Snow Flurry - 2 - Pet Pony Content, Finally
Jan 3rd, 2013
- Part II – Oh look, the plot is finally related to the thread.
- You regain consciousness with the sun bearing down on you with incredible intensity. Fucking hell, you must have come in late last night and forgot to close the blinds. You can't really remember anything. You pry open your eyes with considerable effort and get a look at your surroundings. The events of the previous day come flooding back, causing you to slump back to the forest floor.
- It really wasn't a dream.
- You raise your head to see Ryan kneeling down in the entrance of his makeshift shelter, for the first time noticing a stack of berries on the ground next to you.
- “I'm not really sure what pastel ponies eat, so I'm sorry if you don't like 'em that much. I figured you should probably eat something though. Who the hell knows what happened to you the past couple weeks.”
- Two weeks? Christ. You hadn't thought it was that long.
- “Uh, thanks a lot. I mean it. I'd be getting shipped off to fuck knows where if it wasn't for you, and now you're serving me breakfast in bed, or something like that at least.”
- Ryan chuckles. “Don't mention it.”
- You fumble around with the berries for awhile with your hooves before deciding that picking them up is a lost cause. Once Ryan has turned around, busying himself with something outside the lean-to, you swallow your pride and eat one off the top of the stack. If you'd have known that they taste that good, you wouldn't have even hesitated. You greedily snatch up the rest of the pile. Apparently you were quite a bit hungrier than you thought.
- Looking up again you can see that Ryan had already returned to the shelter by the time you'd finished and a wave of embarrassment washes over you.
- “I got in touch with a friend of mine from the army. He's, uh, how to phrase this politely?” Ryan ponders to himself. “He's a bit of an eccentric. He lives off the grid out in the mountains. If we'll be safe anywhere, it's with him.” Ryan's a military man, then. You hadn't exactly pegged him for the type; you noticed he was in pretty good shape, but he doesn't strike you as a guy who follows orders well.
- “Eccentric enough to take in a talking horse?”
- You manage to crack a smile at your own joke, if only for the absurdity of the whole situation.
- “I already explained to him what happened. At least, I explained it as well as anyone can.”
- “He's gonna come pick us up on a little dirt road that cuts through the woods not too far from here. I figured that going in to town for lunch first might get us some weird looks.
- It seems like Ryan has a pretty good knowledge of wherever they ended up taking you. You put your suspicions aside for the time being, just grateful to have somebody that knows how to get you out of here.
- “It's gonna be a couple hour's walk so we should probably get moving. I really don't fancy the idea of running into whoever found those two back at the warehouse.”
- For the first time the thought of being pursued crosses your mind. It's not a very pleasant one, so you push it out of your head and get up to leave.
- - - -
- Your feet, or hooves, you suppose, are aching by the time you finally make it to a tiny break in the trees. All of a sudden you have a lot more sympathy for your dog growing up; keeping up on four tiny legs isn't as easy as they make it look. Too exhausted to care about appearances, you collapse onto the dirt and breathe a sigh of relief. Ryan sits down on a rock just behind you, wiping the sweat off his forehead.
- “I guess we made better time than I expected. Dan should be here in a few more minutes though.”
- As planned, it isn't long before you can see a rusty four-door pickup kicking up a cloud of dust down the road. You jump up and quickly move out of the driver's line of sight, not wanting to send him into a panic while he's behind the wheel.
- The truck pulls to a stop in front of you. Dan leaps out the door, leaving the truck idling, and comes around to greet Ryan. The two waste no time in hugging each other.
- Dan is the first to break the embrace and speak. “It's been way too fuckin' long man.”
- “And when we finally get together it's still so you can bail me out. I guess nothing changes.”
- You can see Dan scan the area from behind the cover of the trees you're hiding behind.
- “So, I understand that you brought me some company too.”
- Ryan beckons you over with his hand. Still a bit unsure of yourself, you step out into the road.
- “Hol-eee shiiiit. You really weren't shittin' me.” Dan's jaw is hanging wide enough to drive a car through.
- After a few seconds in a daze, Dan speaks up again. “Well, I guess we should probably get you two out of here before somebody else drives by and calls out the CIA or some shit.”
- Ryan and Dan turn towards the truck to work out how to fit everyone inside. Dan turns towards Ryan and makes a pathetic attempt a whisper into his ear that only a boisterous mountain man would expect anyone within five miles not to hear. “So, what's her name exactly?” You're taken aback for a moment, not used to be referred to as 'her,' let alone being spoken about like you aren't there. You decide that given the circumstances it's best not to fight them over it. Ryan leans over to him, doing a much better job of keeping you out of their conversation.
- Dan turns and speaks directly to you for the first time. “Well, little miss Snow Flurry, you can just sit right here in the back. Long as you keep your head down nobody's gonna see you from the road.” You really wish he'd stop talking about you like that; you resolve to bring it up with him once you're not being hunted by the mob.
- You go up to the back door of the pickup and begin trying to hoist yourself in when you're suddenly grabbed from behind and lifted in by Ryan. “There you go,” he says with a smile. Oh great, now they're both doing it.
- You can't really see exactly what happened from your vantage point in the truck but Dan and Ryan both suddenly sprint around to the driver's side door. The distinct sound of a gunshot rings out from the woods, and you can hear a round ricochet off the hood of the side of the truck. Oh fuck. Dan flings open the driver's side door and jumps back in, with Ryan following shortly after into the seat beside you. As gunshots continue to ring out across the forest, Ryan jumps over you, slamming your door shut and covering your body underneath his own.
- Dan hits the gas like no man you've ever seen before, causing his pickup to take off like a drag racer down the dirt road. Bullets continue to impact the side of the car, some tearing through the doors and others impacting the passenger side of the vehicle. As soon as you've cleared the immediate line of fire, the mood lightens slightly.
- “Fuckin' hell man, you could at least do me the courtesy of tellin' me to bring my AK if you're planning on gettin' into a firefight,” Dan laughs from the driver's seat. You wonder what kind of man responds that way to a being shot at but decide that it's probably the type of man you don't ask that question to.
- It's only then that you realize that Ryan is still laying over the top of your own body.
- “Oh, fuck.” You can hear Dan's voice from the driver's seat. Suddenly the car veers sharply off the road and comes to a halt.
- You can feel Ryan's body being pulled off you as Dan tears off a sleeve of his shirt. Blood is spilling out of one of Ryan's legs as Dan quickly bandages the wound with his makeshift tourniquet. Seemingly satisfied with his work, Dan props Ryan up in the seat beside you as Ryan himself remains in a semi-conscious state of shock. You've never felt more worthless in your life, which, considering how your life had been going up til now, is saying something. All you can do is sit there and hope for the best as Dan jumps back into the driver's seat, pulling back onto the road.
- - - -
- “I can't go and fuckin' let you die on me, can I? You still owe me a beer for comin' to pick you up. Better make it two for saving your ass too, now,” Dan chides across the table.
- Ryan rubs his bandaged thigh idly. You were amazed by how delicately a guy like Dan was able to treat his wound once you arrived at his cabin. You guess living this far away from civilization makes you fairly self-reliant.
- “I spend four years in Iraq without a scratch then get shot up by the mob back home. That is my luck.” Ryan takes a sip of some pretty potent looking drink. Dan had poured you some water in a dish on the floor. Considering the circumstances, you don't plan on complaining. You certainly didn't do a whole hell of a lot to help out anyway.
- “Well, I think I'm gonna turn in for the night,” Ryan says, finishing his drink, “I've had a pretty crazy day and all.”
- “I got a bed set up for you in the back. That's the only one I've got though, so I guess she's sleepin' in your room,” Dan says, gesturing to you.
- “We're used to it by now.”
- Ryan gets up and you follow suit; some shut-eye sounds pretty damn appealing right now. As it turns out, Dan's idea of a bed is a mattress on the floor. Ryan lies gingerly down on the bed, careful to avoid lying on his injured side. Within a minute he's snoring on the bed, having not even bothered with the blanket lying next to him.
- You grab the sheet in your mouth and carefully pull it over him before taking a place by his side at the edge of the mattress. You figure it's the least you can do for a man that's saved you twice now.
- He rolls over and lazily scratches behind your ears. It's strangely comforting, and within a few seconds you've both drifted off to sleep.
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