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The Lights You Make

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That night, so late that it was considered early, Party and Ghoul returned.
Kobra had been dozing, still too wired to sleep properally, as he heard them enter quietly. Their stealth hadn’t mattered though, Kobra had woken fully the moment the familiar sound of the engine filled his ears.
He wondered vaguely if Party was going to comment on the various bullet holes that now adorned the windows and driver’s seat. But more so, he wonders if he and Ghoul are okay?
Today unveiled a lot and really and Kobra still isn’t a hundred percent sure the two of them are ready. However, he knows that if Party needs him, he’ll ask. Well, he’d like to think that Ghoul would come to him as well if he needed to.
But Kobra is still sorta in that weird place between sleeping and waking, his eyes too heavy to open but his hearing still picking up the faint sound of boots walking on sand.
Only slightly, Kobra can feel that his head is resting on something. He’s sorta leaned over, arms curved around his head. He is slowly getting awake enough to where it’s uncomfortable. His shoulder aches in this position but he’s not quite awake enough to readjust.
Very quietly, so soft he just might be imagining it, he can hear someone breathing. It’s slow and deep with sleep. The breaths sound right next to him though and he finally realizes where he is.
He must have fallen asleep beside Jet… his face is probably very close to theirs.
There are a long few moments of silence and the quiet breaths coming from Jet lull Kobra back down into the beginnings of sleep. He’s still awake but only just.
He still does not move, or really attempt to wake up fully once again, as he hears the front door be opened very slowly. It creaks loudly and someone curses. It might have been Ghoul but Kobra can’t be sure. Now he’s a bit more on high alert, something in him finding the action suspicious.

Listening as carefully as he can, Kobra hears a soft sigh of relief as the door closes once again. Is it weird that he knows that that was his brother just from the sigh?
Doesn’t matter, Kobra is already drifting off again, danger forgotten.
“Shh,” he hears Party whisper as the soft sound of the pair’s footsteps cross the room.
He has a feeling that his brother is right beside him now, even though his eyes aren’t open. It’s that somewhat creepy feeling where you just know that another person is in the room with you, or beside you, but they aren’t making a sound so you’re just not sure.
It’s less creepy because it’s Party, he still watches Kobra sleep sometimes. Old habits die hard.

“C’mon, let him sleep,” comes Ghoul’s hushed voice, also right beside of Kobra now.
“I dunno, I wanted to take another look at his shoulder.”
“He’s okay,” Ghoul tries with more gentleness that Kobra has ever heard him use. “You can do that in the morning.”
Kobra hears a soft chuckle from Party.
“It already is morning. Sun’s comin’ up.”
“Party, come on.”
Then Party sighs once again and Kobra thinks he’s gonna leave. Ghoul has a point. His shoulder is fine now, mostly… this current position is sorta painful, and Party needs to get some sleep.
Kobra can’t help but jump when cold hands brush against him as someone lays a blanket down over him. He hadn’t realized that he was chilly until now but the sentiment is nice all the same.
He hears Party shush him, probably thinking he was trying to wake up, running his hand through Kobra’s hair. He falls asleep quickly, listening to the quiet little noises that tell him his friends are right beside him and the gentle pressure of his brother’s fingers in his hair.

____________
After their confessions the other day, things have been… normal.
Kobra continues to get to know Jet, learning about them and what they like. He finds out that they love motorbikes, had one of their own and everything. He learns that they also have a pretty large knowledge about how said bikes work and how to repair them.
“Yeah,” they continue, “the one I had, named her Baby. She’s been mine since I learned how ‘t drive.”
They’re talking fondly, expression distant as they relive old memories. Kobra watches, only half listening to Jet talk about how they learned to drive. He means to listen, he really does care, but watching them grow all reminiscent and fond as they talk is too distracting. He’s once again captured by that small smile and just how fucking soft their lips look. Would it be weird- is it weird that he really wants to kiss them right now?
“But she’s probably gone now,” they finish, snapping rather coldly back into a blank expression. And just like that, the moment is over. Kobra knows there’s pain hidden somewhere underneath their neutral facade but he’s not about to press. Who is he to press for details?
Besidies, they don’t look too horribly distraught or anything so maybe they really are okay and Kobra is reading too far into the details.
“You guys got that car right?”
“Yeah?”
It comes out more of a question than an answer, Kobra not quite understanding the jump in conversation. He’d zoned out a bit and probably missed something. Jet’s looking at him though, eyes kind and curious. Again he gets a little lost in them, too focused on the colors in their gaze to even think about their conversation. He thinks their eyes are brown but in the mid afternoon light filtering through the window they’ve transformed into a honey color. Jet’s eyes are a soft yet deep brown that hides little flecks of gold. Kobra can’t look away, even when he knows Jet is looking at him as well.
“Well, I uh- I heard Party say it’d gotten shot at or somethin’, figured maybe I could taka look at it,” they offer, never breaking eye contact. Never breaking the spell they both seem to be under.
The room around them is noiseless, the world seemingly holding its breath while the two of them don’t even try to drag their gazes away. They’re both too lost, too caught up in swirling blues and rich browns. Unconsciously, they’ve moved a little closer now.
Kobra is mere inches from Jet’s face but still unable to look away, to pull himself out of their eyes. He does though, eyes flicking down to their lips before he can stop himself.
They still look so soft and Kobra wishes to kiss them again.
However, his eyes trail further. The bandages are hidden by the tank top they’re wearing but Kobra knows that they’re there, knows that this is far too soon. So, with everything in him, he pulls away.
It physically hurts to do so, his body like a magnet, fighting to return to where it belongs.
Jet looks confused when Kobra finally manages to look back at them. They’re trying hard to hide it but they look a little hurt as well, and it makes Kobra’s chest constrict with something close to real pain.
Just barely, Kobra remembers their conversation before they nearly… nearly did whatever it is they nearly just did. So, he clears his throat and glances out the window to where the car is just barely visible.
The sun is blistering today, the sole reason they’ve all spent the better part of this day inside. Even with the single electric fan, that has honestly seen better days, using up their megar generator power, the heat is stifling, even inside. The thought of Jet actually going outside in this weather sends real fear through Kobra, making him want to bolt the door closed so they can’t leave the safety of his protection. Or wait- he means the safety of the building. Because Jet isn’t his to take care of or-

Their expression almost seems worried now, like Kobra is going to tell them no that they can’t fix the car or something. They must have realized he’s come back to the previous conversation, too many possibilities swirling in his head about what nearly just happened. Well- okay he is going to tell them no but not for the reason they’re probably imagining. Just listening to Jet talk about how much they loved their bike and how they always managed to find parts to repair it, gave Kobra a pretty good idea that they were pretty damn good with that sorta thing. He nearly felt a little proud, though he’s not sure why.

“Maybe later dude. I don’t think I’m too comfortable with you going out in the sun so soon,” he says, trying for a smile.
It’s still sorta awkward, the weight of their- fuck was that nearly a kiss or?- the weight of their close proximity still lingering over them. Kobra hadn’t moved far, just a few inches until he felt like he could breathe without wanting to throw his restraint out the window and say fuck it.
But he still sorta did. Their little confused look they shoot him, wary curiosity like they’re waiting on him to tell them they’re not good enough. Or that he doesn’t trust them.
Vaguely he wonders where that might have come from. Had someone hurt them before?
“Oh- yeah. Right.”
Jet is sitting up right now, all on their own Kobra might add, legs hidden by a thin, old blanket they’d found laying around. Currently, the two of them are waiting on Party and Ghoul to finish getting the laundry off of the clothesline out back.
Today, Jet is no longer going to have to sleep in the middle of the room. It’d been a pretty easy decision by Party to move them into the other room. There’s a decent mattress in there and all that really needed done was to change the sheets.
The three of them normally take turns sleeping on that mattress but are all willing to make due with the floor or a chair so that Jet can have a more comfortable place to rest. Sure at first, it probably was the best idea to keep them in the main part of the shed, close enough for Party to keep an eye on them at all times.
Now though, the fever is completely gone. Jet is regaining their strength at a very nice rate and they’re stable enough to be moved. Though, Party still brought up their heart. The main reason, other than the lingering fever, for keeping them out front was because of their heart. It’s still a little on the weaker side, likely due to Party having to restart it, and he’d said it might be a while before it’s fully recovered. Kobra questions it though because he’s had his restarted too but has no memory of his heart being any weaker afterwards. Maybe that’s something he should ask Party.
However, at the moment, Jet is doing much better.
They’re sitting up and everything, which Kobra counts as a very good achievement. He’s still not sure if they’re gonna cary Jet into the other room or are going to let them walk. Truthfully, he’s not certain if they’re able to walk just yet. Baby steps ya know. He sorta wants to carry them…

Party barges in, the dirty, white plastic clothes hamper perched on his hip overflowing with semi-clean linen. He tries to blow a few strands of hair out of his eyes but they seem stuck to his face with sweat. It’s gross but funny at the same time as Kobra gets to watch his brother huff dramatically and just use his hand instead.
They don’t wash the sheets often, the process wastes a lot of water and takes time. Plus, sheets hanging outside are like a beacon should there be a patrol passing by.
This was necessary though so they’d all decided to risk it. They couldn’t exactly have Jet sleep on dirty sheets. Kobra really didn’t sleep on that bed anymore anyway, it having sorta become his brother and Ghoul’s ‘place’. He honestly tried not to think about what had been done on that mattress so he was glad that Party suggested that they at least wash the sheets.

“Alright,” Party says cheerfully, “lemme get these babies on the bed and you’re all set to go.”
Jet simply nods shyly, eyes downcast.
Then Ghoul walks in, his own basket almost as big as he is. It’s all Kobra can do not to laugh at him and wonder if he’d be able to stuff him in one of those baskets. He doesn’t doubt he’d fit in one.
But Jet doesn’t react to Kobra’s poorly hidden laugh, nor do they make any indication that they saw Ghoul flipping him off as he passed.
Kobra wonders what’s wrong. Maybe talking about their bike wasn’t a good idea? Had he mis-read the situation and made them uncomfortable by nearly kissing them? Oh god he hopes it’s not that. He doesn’t want them to hate him, to think he’s some creep just trying to take advantage and get in their pants or something.

Bumping their shoulders together gently, Kobra tries to get them to look at him.
“Hey,” he tries when that doesn’t work. “You good?”
“Yeah. I just was thinkin’,” they reply dejectedly.
He wonders if they meant to show him that sadness or if it was just too great for them to hide?
“Your bike?”
“Mhm. My Ma gave it to me and I guess I just miss her is all,” they say with a quiet sigh.
Kobra feels for them, wishes there was something he can do to make this better. He wonders if it’d be a good idea to go back to where the clap had taken place, to rummage around and see if he could find their bike. Maybe having a tangible piece of their mother would help them?
“Do you wanna look for it?” Kobra asks, searching their face for any indication that this is going to hurt them more than help.
His searching is inconclusive. He’s still not sure if Jet’s okay or not. Kobra’s not the best at reading people but right now he wishes he was.
“Yeah. I- I’ve actually been thinking about going back,” then they add, “Once I’m able of course,” before Kobra can protest.
It’s like they know he’s worrying about them. He’s not sure how he feels about that- but if they’re assuring him then maybe they don’t mind him being so… protective.
“Um… maybe I could help you look?”
Really, he’s not trying to like impose or anything. They can tell him no and he’ll probably let them go on their own. He’s not like their partner or anything so he can’t stop them.
But at the same time, the thought of Jet going out- alone and recovering to the place where they nearly died, where their crew died, is absolutely terrifying. He’s not sure if he even really feels any safer at the thought of himself going with them but he just knows that he doesn’t want them to go alone.
“I’d like that,” Jet says gently.
They’re messing with the blanket on their legs, fingers twisting the ratted strings as they sit there together. Kobra wonders if it’s just a nervous thing or they don’t realize that they're actually doing it.
“Okay!” Party says brightly, poking his head out of the door frame to the other room. “It’s all ready for ya.”
Kobra turns to Jet, once again attempting to figure out how they’re gonna do this as Party comes into the room completely. He stops beside Kobra and has his hands on his hips like he’s thinking.
“What?” Jet asks from under their staring.
They look really confused and Kobra feels a little bad. Jet’s not used to their weird sibling thing yet. Hell, Ghoul is still getting used to it.
“Might as well ask,” Party says to Kobra with a shrug. “You wanna do the trip on your own or have one of us help you?”
There’s a long pause as Jet seems to get a little lost in their head but then they’re looking right at Kobra and smiling as they answer.
“Oh-Oh yeah okay. Um I kinda wanna try it myself.”
______
(Jet’s POV)
Jet looks up to Party and Kobra. They seem to be having a debate about something, Party with his hip all stuck out and Kobra doing that adorable thing where he squints when he’s thinking hard about something.
So yeah, they’re sure that the brothers are having some sort of conversation but they’re not sure what. It’s a little uncomfortable though because both of them are staring as they think. Really, Jet’s beginning to worry about what they’re looking at.
“What?” they ask, trying to get at least one of them to answer.
There’s a moment’s pause but then Party Poison turns to Kobra
“Might as well ask,” he says with a shrug.
Then Party turns to Jet finally.
“You wanna do the trip on your own or have one of us help you?”
And oh- yeah that makes sense.
They hadn’t really thought of how they were going to get into the other room, were too busy getting excited for a real-actual- mattress to sleep on. That and the almost kiss they and Kobra had almost had. Was it even considered an almost kiss?
They’d wanted to move that short distance, to connect their lips, but they couldn’t bring themselves to. Then, Kobra had backed away, something unreadable on his face. It sorta hurt but Jet didn’t allow themself to worry on it.
They wondered why the others were giving them the only mattress though. Not that they weren’t eternally grateful for the place to sleep that they already had but-
Seriously it was a piece of plywood.
So yeah, they’d been too caught up in thinking about a vaguely soft surface to sleep on and cute boys to wonder how the hell they were going to actually get to said soft surface. Truthfully, Jet’s not sure if they’re ready to do the whole walking thing. At the moment they feel fine but they haven't even stood on their own yet. Hell they can only really sit up for an hour or two before they get really sore and tired.
Still, it couldn’t hurt to try it themself and then ask for help if they needed it.
“Oh-Oh yeah okay. Um I kinda wanna try it myself,” they say, mostly to Kobra.
They try for a smile, to assure him that they’re okay and ready for this. He always seems so worried and Jet wants to make sure he doesn’t do so continuously.
Kobra and Party both seem to agree and they step to the side so that Jet can get through. Ghoul then pokes his head out of the other room, eyes searching the room. They land on Jet and he gives them an encouraging nod, pushing himself off of the door frame so he’s standing in the middle of it.
Willing themselves to actually do this, Jet moves the blanket aside first. With it bundled up in the corner of the ‘bed’, they simply twist to get their legs over the side. Since they were already sitting, it’s a little easier but only slightly. Their stomach stings instantly as the healing skin is pulled.
They take a deep breath, consciously ignoring the three pairs of staring eyes, and push themselves off of the ‘bed’. Somehow, they manage to not fall but the sharper pain coupled by the headrush leaves them leaning a little on the ‘bed’. They can hear their own heart beating in their ears, loud and annoying.
Instantly, Kobra is by their side, his hands on their shoulders to support them while they try and steady themself.
He doesn’t ask if they’re okay but Jet can hear the question without it being spoken aloud.
“I’m shiny, jus’ gimme a moment,” they mumble willing the faint feeling to go away.
After a long few deep breaths they push off of the bed, which really wasn’t that supportive because it was so low to the ground, and take a single step. This time, they manage though Kobra’s hands never leave their shoulders. He provides them with unspoken but greatly appreciated support as they very slowly make their way across the room.
When they get to the doorway, Ghoul scoots to the side to allow them through.
This room isn’t much bigger than the main one. From what Jet can tell it’s just as cluttered and lived in as the rest of the shed. The only difference is this is more personal. They can see old polaroids carefully taped to the walls along with quite a few stacks of what might be comic books. There’s also quite a few CD’s and cassettes sitting in a wooden crate in the corner of the room that Jet makes plans to look through.
The mattress sits on the wall directly across from the door, only the head of it actually touching the wall. With the fresh sheets it looks like heaven and Jet ungracefully, yet purposefully, falls face first down onto it the moment they get close enough.
Kobra makes a startled sound, instantly turning Jet over onto their back.
“Oh fuck are you okay?” he asks, sounding panicked.
“Yeah ‘jus wanna nap.”
And that’s the truth. The short trip has drained them and they really just want to curl up and sleep. However, they can tell where their little belly flop onto the bed could have scared Kobra. His worry is strangely comforting though. It makes Jet’s heart beat a little more crazy to know that Kobra cares as much as he does.
Also Kobra was probably right to be worried because that fucking hurt. Jet was nearly asleep so they hadn’t felt it but now that Kobra’s talking to them they can most definitely feel the pain. Their whole stomach burns now, whethere that be from the dumb way they’d gotten on the bed or from the trip they’re not sure.
“Okay Kobes, lemme over,” Party’s voice says fondly from somewhere in the room.
Jet hadn’t noticed that they’d closed their eyes but the darkness is sorta nice. Maybe they will just take a quick-
________________
(Kobra’s POV)
Yeah Jet just about gave him a fucking heart attack. Who in their right mind would fall face first onto a mattress rather than just gently laying down?
Of course he gets it, they do look rather exhausted now that they’re looking tiredly back up at him. His brother comes over from the other room, medicine bag under his arm as he shoos him aside.
If it was Ghoul, Party would be hovering too.
Wait- does that mean Kobra thinks of Jet like Ghoul and Party think of each other? He’s not sure he wants to delve into that right now. Especially since it looks like Jet has either fallen asleep or passed out.
“Jet?” Party whispers once he’s beside them.
They received no response, their suspicions that Jet’s sleeping confirmed. Kobra’s not freaking out, not really, but still he’s like- low key- freaking out. What if they’ve reopened the wound? What if they weren’t ready to walk like that and have over done it?
“Yo- Kobra,” Ghoul says, suddenly behind him.
His hands are on his shoulders, pressing hard enough to ground him back into the room. Ghoul was careful though and didn’t get near the still healing blaster wound on the back of his shoulder.
“Are they okay?” Kobra asks Party, voice sounding small even to himself.
“Yeah. They’re fine Kobes, trip took a lot outta ‘em is all.”
Kobra breathes a sigh of relief, still ignoring the possible reasons for his worry. If Party or Ghoul notice, they don’t say so.
He just watches as Party cleans the wound a little and puts fresh bandages over it. Jet’s only in an old, torn tank top so thankfully his brother is able to tend to them without much interference. Still, the room is already getting chilly since the sun is going down and Kobra wonders how they’re gonna keep Jet warm.
Party tucks Jet back in, ensuring that the blankets cover them well enough to keep the worst of the chill away. Kobra sorta wants to crawl in the bed with them. Not- not in that way. Just to keep them warm really. He knows it’d be hell if they get sick and he worries that they’re uncomfortable.
Still, Jet looks so peaceful and warm that Kobra knows it would be weird if he curled up beside them. No matter how badly he wants to. Plus, they’re asleep and if they don’t want Kobra beside them then they couldn’t say. That keeps Kobra from acting on his impulses. He would never want to do something like that.
As Party packs away his supplies, Kobra goes back over to sit beside Jet. It’s not creepy that he’s watching them sleep. Right?
Party does it to him all the time so it’s not creepy. Maybe.
They’re so relaxed right now, face soft as they breathe deeply in their sleep. Maybe Party was right, they’re probably exhausted and they definitely look like their body is enjoying the rest it’s currently getting.
Distantly he hears Ghoul leave the room, something about going to work on some stuff to trade. Alone now with the sleeping form of Jet Star and his brother, Kobra takes a breath.
“Hey Party?”
“Yeah?” his brother says instantly, though his attention is mostly focused on inventorying their medical supplies.
“You said that Jet’s heart is all fucked up because you had to restart it that first night right?”
That makes Party look up and he sets the medkit down.
“Well,” he explains, “that along with how much blood they lost. It really can do a number on your heart ya know”
“Okay but you restarted mine remember-”
“How could I forget?” Party interrupts, the simple statement loaded with pain.
“I know- I’m sorry- but you did the same thing for me. The only difference was an, accidental, overdose rather than blood loss but that’s still trama right?”
“Yeah?”
Party sounds confused now, looking at Kobra as he waits on him to explain.
“So like, why is my heart fine when Jet’s is- is the way that it is?”
“Oh. Oh um…”
Then Party just pauses, thinking hard for a few moments. This is doing nothing to help Kobra though, only confirming his worries that this isn’t normal.
“I- I don’t know.”
“What do you mean?” Kobra asks fearfully.
“I mean you’re right. You were in bad shape for a couple of days but we haven't had any problems since and Jet is well on their way to recovering so- so it just doesn’t make much sense.”
Kobra watches as his brother goes over, fingers finding Jet’s pulse easily. He watches him count quietly to himself, wondering what Party is looking for.
“No it’s definitely not as strong as I’d like it to be. The rhythm is still sorta broken, or irregular I guess, even in their sleep,” Party explains, bringing Kobra no relief.
“Okay so why then? It’s been like what, four or five days? They should be through that by now right?”
Party doesn’t answer right away. Instead he seems to be lost in thought, staring down at his fingers and where they press slightly into Jet’s neck.
“Maybe they have a weak heart? I mean, it’s possible. This might just be how it normally is ya know?”
He doesn’t sound too sure but Kobra can’t find any other explanation. So he just agrees.
“I’ll ask ‘em when they wake up again. Maybe they can tell us why,” Kobra offers, taking in Jet’s still form.
They look… peaceful. Their hair is in a soft halo around them, curls just as defined as ever. Is it weird that Kobra sorta wants to touch their hair, to run his fingers through it. To play with those soft ringlets and twirl them in his fingers. To see if it’s as soft as it looks.
“-obra.”
He blinks, his brother’s concerned face now inches from him. Party is searching him, looking for any hint of why he zoned out.
“What’s goin’ on? I lost you there for a bit.”
“I just- I was just thinkin’ is all,” he says, not sure how to tell his brother how badly he’s falling for Jet.
If he ignores it, maybe it’ll just go away.
He doesn’t need this right now, Jet doesn’t need this. They’re mourning the loss of their entire family and Kobra really doesn’t want to take advantage of their vulnerability like that. He would never be able to forgive himself if he were to do something so cruel.
So he keeps his mouth, and thoughts, to himself.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, I’m good. They weren’t bad thoughts.”
“No,” his brother says, one hand now resting on his uninjured shoulder. “No I mean- can I take a look at your shoulder?”
“Oh. Yeah sure. But I’m okay Party, really.”
Party still helps him shrug off his jacket, knowing without saying it that the action would be painful. Very gently, Party pulls the bandage away, the tape they used pulling on his tender skin. It’s not painful exactly but still uncomfortable.
He feels his brother poke gently around the wound, muttering something as he does so.
“What?”
“Huh? Oh I was just saying how quick it’s healin’. It’s a good thing but sorta a surprise.”
He can hear the question that deeply hidden in his brother’s statement.
“Yeah maybe I should be the one patching folks up rather than you,” he retorts playfully.
Party laughs a little before pressing the bandage back into place.
“Seriously Kobes… you’d tell me if something else happened right?”
“Yeah,” he says instantly, hating himself for it. “Yeah you know I would.”
When he turns around, Party is giving him an easy smile.
___________________
Late that night, Kobra sits up.
He’s been ‘sleeping’ on the floor, bundled up in a blanket his brother insisted he use. Party and Ghoul’s snoring come from the floor across the room, the two of them tangled up and sleeping deeply.
Kobra stands as quietly as he can, wincing a little when his shoulder gets twisted a little. He’s fine, just like he told Party, but that doesn’t mean it’s still not sore.
Grabbing his gun and jacket, Kobra heads outside.
It’s a little after midnight, the moon beaming down at him. The moon isn’t as strong, as violent as the sun. It’s rays are soft and they wash the desert with a blue, hazy glow.
The outline of the Trans-AM calls to him and he finds himself curling up in the passenger’s seat. He’s not exactly sure why he’s awake but he can make a good guess. It’s almost like the dull throb in his shoulder is a reminder of the lies he’s told.
He feel horrible for it and maybe in some way that’ll make up for deceiving his brother. His family. But for now, Kobra reaches over to the CB radio.
Flipping the thing on, he pulls the mic up as close as he can to his mouth. He feels guilty, paranoid that someone’s going to hear him.
“K calling out.”
Instantly there’s a reply.
“Took ya long enough,” a gruff voice replies.
They sounded amused but exasperated, and Kobra felt a little bad for making them wait.
“Sorry, personal shit.”
“You keepin’ an eye out son?” they say, making Kobra do a quick glance out of windows to make sure they were safe.
For now it seemed like he was alone. It’s just him and the radio.
“Yeah. ‘things fucking shiny here.”
If the man on the other end noticies how bitter that statement sounds, he doesn’t mention it.
“Look, I got word of another storm comin’ in. Ya’ll darlins need ‘t stay safe okay.”
Kobra sighs audibly. Of fucking course there’s gonna be another storm.
“Is it gonna be bad?”
“Looks like it.”
“Okay. I’ll stay safe.”
“Check in tomorrow,” the other person says, hinting at something close to concern.
“Will do.”
“Out.”
“K. Out.”

Kobra sighs once again, turning off the radio and running a hand down his face. Just what they need, another goddamn storm. The last one had been bad… so bad that about a handful of rebels had been dusted because of it. Dr. Death’s broadcast early that day told them at least seven were dead directly because of the rain and that a good number of people were sick.
It seemed like Party was one of the lucky ones, the toxins having left his system rather quickly.
Even so, the desert really didn’t need another acid rain storm right now. They were already over the normal amount of rain for the year and Kobra knew that this wasn’t natural.
Sure, they lived in a post- nuclear war desert wasteland but even their weather wasn’t this fucked up.
He wonders what the weather was like. Real actual nature rather than the synthetic kind the City had. Or the scorching, burning kind they had here in the desert. Sure, he’d seen snow and rain before but it’d all been fake. The City had learned how to manipulate the atmosphere into displaying something close to seasons again. But the range was limited; it only really worked up until the City’s borders.
Still, he can’t dwell on this. Not now.
He goes back inside a few hours later, just as the sun begins to rise, and turns on the radio. The normal sound of Dr. Death’s morning broadcast wakes the others. Well everyone but Jet.
Party and Ghoul crowd around Kobra as they all listen to him announce that another, possibly worse, storm is on its way.
His brother curses loudly, as does Ghoul, but Kobra is sorta stood in one place. He can’t bring himself to react, even though he should so that they don’t think he already knew.
“We’re gonna have to board this place up, keep all the water ‘n shit out,” Party says, already eyeing the windows.
“What about the wind? This building isn’t nearly strong enough to withstand wind gusts any higher than the previous storm.”
Party considers Ghoul’s input for a moment.
“We’ll ‘av to make do. No where else to go.”
Kobra nods, his mind too worried now about the rain.
What if the toxins get in anyway? Party’s lungs are still gonna be a little weaker because of the last storm and Kobra doesn’t want to press their luck.
Plus, Jet’s not exactly in the strongest condition at the moment. This storm could definitely fuck up any progess they’ve made. Or worse.
But there’s nothing they can do but buckle down and wait it out. Kobra hates waiting, hates being unable to make an active effort to help those he cares about.
So, he does what he can. He helps Party and Ghoul completely secure the door and windows. He picks Grace up afterwards, holding here close as they stand around the window to watch the pitch black clouds creep ever closer.
It feels like a movie, everything still and quiet as the first burning drops hit the windowpane. He uses an old piece of cloth to cover Grace’s mouth and nose, keeping the fumes away from her. Jet has no windows in their room but Party still gave them a bandana.
All at once the heavens seemed to open up, the wind gusting as if it wanted to tear the building off of its foundation.
Kobra shivers, for more reasons than one.
It’s going to be a long day.