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Ever Since the Killjoys

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Grace kept running. Val wasn't close behind - he was chasing her to tell her to come inside. It wasn't safe in the zones, and definitely not at night. Dracs and even scarecrows were sighted, and usually that meant death if you weren't prepared. And Grace wasn't, but Val was.

"Grace! Stop! It's not safe!" Val shouted, worried as Grace slowed down to a walk. He did the same, but was walking at a slightly quicker pace than her.

"Not safe... right." Grace responded, before sitting down in the sand. "I'm just... used to running at night. It's exciting." she added, hearing the gritting of sand that signaled to her that Val was looming closer. He sat next to her, before sighing.

"You know, I also sometimes walk at night. It let me think. Like... about someone I like." he said, before looking at Grace, who was picking up small amounts of sand and letting it fall between her fingers.

"Who?" she asked, tilting her head slightly before straightening it, focusing on the sand falling through her fingers.

"Yeah, don't kill me, but it's... it's you." Val responded, offering a small smile. Which, for him, was rare.

"Flattering, but...." Grace said, stopping what she was doing. "Val, you know I don't go for guys like you... you killed Doctor Death-Defying, for his sake!" she exclaimed, looking down. A gentle hand, belonging to Val, laid on her shoulder, as her gaze slowly went skyward. The stars of the desert dazzled brilliantly, making Grace slowly sigh.

"I know... I know..." Val muttered, taking his hand off of her shoulder and setting it on his own lap.

"But..."

"But what?"

"I can... make an exception. You're the first person I've felt safe with, ever since the Killjoys." Grace admitted, a warm blush washing onto her face. "Even with Doctor and Cherri, I always felt that a drac or something would just sneak behind me and dust me. But you've protected me... and everyone else, too. Thank you." she added, shuffling so she could lay her head on Val's shoulder.

"It's no big deal." Val responded, hesitantly wrapping his left arm around Grace's body. "I know you'll probably never forgive me for what I have done, though."

"Correct. But please, don't ruin this." Grace muttered, shuffling closer to Val and enjoying the night, for it was the best night the group has had for a while. No dracs, no scarecrows, no nothing. Just peace and silence.

"Grace, do you mind if I give you something?" Val asked, after a bout of silence. "Close your eyes."

Grace did, nodding her head.

"What is it?" she asked, before feeling a pair of lips on hers. Slightly dazed, Grace enjoyed it, happy for once in her life.

"Are... you alright?" Val asked, with a worried tone.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Grace responded, before kissing Val back and uttering a small giggle. "Thanks."

"Let's... Let's get up and go, we don't want to be dusted tonight." Val muttered, standing up and dusting himself off. Grace did the same, and once she was done, she held onto Val's hand and they started to walk back to base.