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 |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:05 pm

Naira had the right idea. He'd do everything he could to celebrate this victory, there would be no if, ands, or buts about it. Jack had every intention of making sure everyone knew where he stood. These bandits and all of Pandora were below him.

"Streamers, champagne, god damn fire works if we can manage it!" he answered quickly, "I want it all after this. It's gonna be a bang!"

A familiar, playful frustrated expression overtook her features. Her usual huffy stance was taken up as she protested that very last statement. Jack waved her away easily. He knew that was true but that didn't mean he couldn't give her a hard time about it!

"Oh come on, so not true," he joked with her, watching as the Warrior kept it's attack on Sanctuary. The floating island seemed to buckle underneath it's weight, piece falling below it, "Every bit of you has always been into every bit of me."

Even if he denied it being the other way around, Naira had stuck by him throughout the years, even learning about Angel. She had done more than enough at this point. He would make sure she was thoroughly rewarded for that.


----- [ x ] -----

For the most part, he allowed her the time to try and get a hold of herself. Naeva found even that difficult, her chest aching and guilt weighing on her shoulders. Nothing was going the way it was supposed to anymore.

She had it in her mind that it was because both she and Naira existed in this world. Despite everything more or less being the same, this one change was throwing everything off and it was because she was here, with him.

Naeva sucked in a breath at that question. She expected it one day, had an answer prepared but now? Now she wasn't so sure. Everything had changed so vastly...

"Listen..." she started, trying to ignore the emotion in her voice, "Jack wasn't he only one who had knowledge of what was supposed to happen...Naira and I both...we both knew most events up to Jack's death, in the Vault, along with the Warrior."

She swallowed thickly, stopping and starting on every other word, ignoring the hiccups in her voice. It was too hard to consider but all of this, she knew the change happened because of them...

"If we weren't...if I hadn't been down there...Everything would have been fine, it would have worked out..." she admitted, "I don't know what brought me here all those years ago or for what purpose...but it was the wrong thing to do...Everything would have worked out if I wasn't here. Everyone in Sanctuary would have been okay..."

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:06 pm

Though she had been joking, it didn't surprise her that Jack sounded entirely serious about a big to-do for this victory of his. Really, why wouldn't he? Angel was dead as well as Wilhelm, Nisha and his doppelganger who had all aided in finding and opening the Vault on Elpis. Though the last three might be seen as replaceable later down the road the first was not. It was only natural that Jack would want to celebrate the deaths of those that had aided in killing his daughter.

She allowed a small chuckle to escape her at his plans to celebrate nonetheless. "Just don't over do it too much. I'd rather not have to drag your ass to bed afterwards!"

Even if he promised this Naira still expected him to possibly do just that. Jack had a habit of overdoing things nowadays, that much had been one of the first things that had changed so thoroughly after Elpis...

As expected from him further, Jack was quick to retort despite the truth to her rebuttal. Naira rolled her eyes with some amount of affection tugging a small smile to her lips. Even if it was just a joke there was still a little truth to it...

"Oh, I don't know, lover, that cockiness can be a little off putting sometimes," she teased easily.

The roar of the Warrior drew her gaze back to Sanctuary's fate, a building toppling under the beast's weight. It was thoroughly destroying the place and if one hadn't gotten out already Naira doubted they would be at all. Those who might have seen it coming and reached the fast travel, they might survive yet, at least for a time.


----[x]----

Though he was curious and wished for an answer Zer0 made no move to hold her away or deny her comfort in these moments that followed. That would be needlessly cruel to the one he was most attached to in his life thus far. He had faith in her that she would provide an answer when she could yet even so minutes passed in near silence.

When he heard her speak he cocked his head to one side and merely listened. It took her quite a long while to spit the words out but she managed. It was all nonsense to Zer0, however. What did she mean by all of that exactly?

"Or perhaps your friend / has managed to ward off his / fate. We do not know," Zer0 mentioned matter-of-factly.

If she had been in the Vault or not, it may well have changed nothing if Zer0 was the only one there to fight the Warrior. He well could have lost that challenge without the other Vault Hunters arriving... He again wondered what had happened to stall them so long and why he had not found them while he'd escaped with Naeva. However he pushed those thoughts away. Now wasn't the time.

"We can't say for sure. / We have no proof that's what has / changed your outcome here."

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:43 pm

Jack snorted in good humor at her words. Oh, he had every intention of going all out. If she just had to leave a blanket wherever he passed out, that would be enough. It wasn't like she hadn't done it before, when frustrated with him.

He waved that comment off easily, far too used to doing so quite often these days. The teasing was always pleasant and he was able to shoot things back quickly.

"Just toss me a pillow and a blanket, let me pass out wherever," he joked back lightly, "Maybe an extra cuddle or two, huh?"

Sanctuary was buckling under the Warrior. Chunks of stone and parts of buildings fell below. Soon, there would be nothing left. The place these bandits called a refuge was no longer that. If anyone survived, they'd be dealt with accordingly.

He raised an eyebrow, crossing his arms over his chest at her next works. Him, off putting? That was impossible. No, no, no, that wouldn't do at all.

"Oh come on, it's the confidence you love," he answered quickly, "Don't deny it, I already know!"


----- [ x ] -----

He didn't quite get it. That wasn't a surprise. The first Vault opening was to blame and that knowledge wasn't exactly profound in Naeva. All she knew was it happened and she continued life here.

Still, that didn't account for the changes. If he was correct, was it that Naira's presence might have bolstered Jack's confidence. The woman he had previously had a relationship, Nisha, might have died to Vault Hunter hands but was Jack's loss really that tremendous now?

"But we can't say it's not either," she finally got the gull to speak up again despite her muddled and troubling thoughts, "And that's what troubles me the most."

Naeva tried to ignore the sound of the Warriors roar and the falling of Sanctuary. Even this far, she could hear the island buckling under the creatures weight. Every bit of her trembled, terrified by the very happenings...

"Why is she still with that man...?" she muttered the question, aware there was no reasonable answer, "What did she see him that psychopath?"

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:34 pm

Naira tossed Jack a look, eyebrow raised. The blanket and pillow could easily be provided, god knows she'd done that a time or two, or ten, during their relationship but the cuddling? She scoffed, though out of good humor than anything else.

"An extra cuddle or two, huh?" she echoed, growing more amused by the second. "Well, maybe if you actually make it into bed. I sure as shit ain't gonna lay on the floor with your unconscious ass, love."

If anything it would be a little incentive for Jack to actually make it into bed of his own volition. This was, of course, assuming he didn't just forget over the course of whatever celebrations he had in mind to partake in up on Helios. He'd naturally want to be around anyone who'd adore his victory, after all, and who better than those who worked for him? When he'd wish to head up was the question now.

She spared him another quick glance as he moved, folding his arms as he did so often these days. He almost looked a little put off by that jest. Naira's lip quirked up a bit, a fact she hid behind the furry collar of her coat.

"Come now, there's the 'right amount of cocky' and then there's 'too much cocky'," she prodded further.


----[x]----

Zer0 listened once more, quiet even as his mind raced. It was easy to see that Naeva was beating herself up now but there was little he could do to ease that. The wound was too fresh, the guilt too heavy and raw. All he could do now was to part to her counterarguments and other options to keep going. He'd be damned if he lost her now after fleeing the Vault with her in hand.

"And you don't know that / it isn't either. Let it / rest for now, okay?" he pushed, almost gently even.

This was the most he could do now, even as he held her, a hand still tangled in her hair. It wasn't yet safe to head out and find another place away from the Warrior's destruction and Zer0 wasn't sure it would be smart anyways. Not yet. Naeva was compromised emotionally and who knew what other orders Handsome Jack had given it after destroying Sanctuary... Still, the city was falling, piece by piece and it would soon be no more.

Had the others fled back there to resupply? If so they might have been caught up by the Warrior then, or perhaps they hid in the Eridium Blight like he and Naeva did now.

Shaking the thoughts away, Zer0 moved to rest his chin atop her head.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:48 pm

Jack raised an eyebrow at that, glancing at her only briefly. Now that was weird! Despite her attitude to most, she was an affectionate person. Not wanting to cuddle was something of a rarity.

"You sick or something?" he asked in a joking manner, "Or has hell finally frozen over? You love shit like that!"

He was surprised she didn't propose it herself. He was prepared for a heck of a night when they got back to Helios. After Sanctuary fell, the rest of the bandits would too. Jack would take power here, find any other Vault that still remained, and make sure he couldn't be taken down anytime soon.

The thought was there and gone in an instant when she spoke up again, something of amusement in her tone. Jack snorted in response though didn't take much to it.

"Oh please, there is not," he shot back easily, "I'm confident, I'm not cocky. Cock is for people who boast about their victory and die before it's even finished. I haven't gotten to that point, have I?"

Jack spared her a wide grin, clear to show that he was joking. He didn't intend to let that comment bother him and he was going to ride out this victory without any trouble. There was no way anyone could take it from him now.


----- [ x ] -----

His voice was unusually gentle, something that she'd only heard a handful of times with him. Zer0 was always blunt, words picked carefully but their meaning was always clear. There was very little room for gentleness in this man...

Still, she did as he asked and dropped the subject for now. There was too much whirling in her. Naeva's stomach seemed to twist in knots and her head ached from both crying and the blow she had taken. She moved her head a little, resting her temple against his shoulder.

"What are we supposed to do?" she asked then.

Watch and wait, that's what had said before. Naeva knew that she couldn't do anything now and because of that, he couldn't either. She was a hindrance to his ability in those moments.

"Do we really just wait...?"

Naeva knew the answer would be yes. Still, it pained her to even think about it. Things had gone so far south. Knowing that there was no way to fix it right here and now, she suddenly became aware of how powerless she was.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:32 am

Naira rolled her eyes and offered a sarcastic laugh. Of course she loved affection but there were standards involved. Then again Jack didn't quite seem to mind where they were when he took to such things, so long as there weren't any watching eyes.

"Oh, don't be like that! You make it sound so horrible," she snarked, tossing him yet another amused glance. "Besides, the floor isn't so comfortable when you're not passed out."

He seemed to easily wave away this concern of hers, far more eager to see the last of Sanctuary fall. With it the Warrior fell back to the surface of the planet, unbothered by the height and the impact of its landing. Nothing so simple would bring it down, not now. And with the Vault Hunters scattered, some possibly dead... Naira worried still, buried as it was behind the snark and humor she and Jack shared now.

A hum left her, a little more sober than a moment ago. She reached out to loop her arms around one of his before she said anything. With what had happened today, what was happening, well... She thought it too much to think Naeva might yet still consider her a friend... Jack was all she had left, the others killed by Vault Hunter hands.

"Well, maybe not the dying part and you'd best not go and do that anytime soon," Naira answered.


----[x]----

Zer0 didn't know what else to tell her that he hadn't already. He would not lie, after all, seeing no need to. It would only instill false hope at best and distrust in him at worst. He'd rather avoid both and be realistic about it all. Still...

"We wait, plan, and watch," Zer0 answered simply. Once they knew if Jack and Naira remained to clean up the 'mess' or if they headed out with the Warrior then they could go and see to finding survivors of Sanctuary. Perhaps among their number they might build up a small resistance yet again.

In the time that they had to wait they could compose themselves and plan for the worst of the situation. Zer0 was concerned that they were the only two Vault Hunters left yet he would not assume as much until there was proof to it. That was the most hope he could give to himself, knowing full well what might have happened. None of them had died against Hyperion yet, it would honestly have only been a matter of time.

These things he did not say to Naeva, however. He had doubts that she hadn't already thought them anyways, perhaps even blaming herself further for it all.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:57 pm

There she was, looking up a little bit. A familiar sarcastic laugh rang out, a roll of her eyes appearing beforehand. That was more the Naira he knew. Jack didn't pretend to understand whatever guilt or worry might be on her shoulders. No, he had this long since coming and he planned on enjoying it.

"I'll figure out some way to recover," he answered, easily brushing her off, "I've had worse, far worse."

They were both all too aware of that and in the moment, lapsing into those thoughts seemed like a stupid idea. His victory was at hand, Sanctuary had completely fallen and hopefully, those who resided within it did as well. As far as he knew, the Vault Hunters were either scattered or dead, apart from the two that had escaped.

His attention turned to her a little more fully when she wrapped her arms around his. The words were no doubt justified though the worry within them wasn't entirely missed. What was she fretting over now?

"Dying? Oh come on, Bunny, I don't plan on kicking the bucket anytime soon!" he responded easily, "There's too much too do, too much left to celebrate! Hey, what brought this on all of a sudden?"

Naira had expressed her concern, worries, and god knew what else throughout this time but this was certainly the first time he was actually somewhat concerned about it. There was no need to feel so down when things were looking so up. So why was she now?


----- [ x ] -----

Watch and wait and recover. She didn't like the sound of it but what else could be done? They were backed into a corner, the only two Vault Hunters seemingly alive as far as they were aware. Of course this is what he would suggest.

It still didn't seem like enough. She would have rather him let her take that blow against the Warrior then let everyone else suffer. This was something that seemed best left quiet. Her thoughts and feelings in those moments were so muddled and he'd already taken great risks to get her out alive. Saying something like that might just make it worse, even if that's how she felt.

"It just doesn't seem like enough..." she finally muttered, at a loss as to what else she could say.

Guilt already weighed too heavily on her shoulders, perhaps compelling her to say such things. Naeva had never been one to linger on thoughts like this, not for a long time. Now it just seemed all too real and she was at fault.

She heaved a sigh, perhaps some kind of show of her current pains and worries. There was too much happening, too much to worry about. As Sanctuary fell, all she could think was the people who had been let down and those who would were going to suffer in the future.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:00 pm

From the sounds of it Jack was well intent on passing out wherever he was later tonight. Well, she'd tried to get him into a more comfortable end by the night but Naira would see where that ended up. That was the most she could do barring dragging him to a bed after the fact.

Naira didn't answer him right away, moving to rest her head against his arm as well. It was a downer of a topic, but it was one that worried her still. Despite what Elpis' Vault had showed him Naira knew that the original way things would have gone would have been his death. Her being here, or perhaps Naeva or even the both of them, had been enough to divert that end from happening. But would it remain that way? Naira didn't know what to expect from here on out...

"I'm just worried is all," she admitted finally. "We don't know how many or which Vault Hunters are still alive and they managed to nearly turn the tides more than once before."

And that had been against all odds too... She left that thought unsaid. Already Jack was waving off the concern anyways even if he had taken her words more seriously now than he had ever before.

"Besides, Sanctuary's fallen now and the Warrior is waiting for a new order," Naira pointed out. "It's about time for your victory strut up on Helios."


----[x]----

Zer0 shook his head when finally she spoke again. It had taken her a long while, silence reigning for so long. The Warrior had grown quiet, the destruction of Sanctuary seemingly finished. Zer0 wondered just what or who would be Jack's next target for the beast to tackle... Instead of being able to dwell on that, he peered down at Naeva.

"Does it ever though? / We have made many small strides / that weren't a lot then," he pointed out.

Even so they'd just been ill-equipped and prepared for this battle. With luck enough of the others still lived to fight back but he could not promise her this much. What he could do was to point out past victories that just seemed like wishful thinking back then. Perhaps this might give her something to draw strength from if not from him.

He would not push them onwards, however, until Naeva had a hold of herself again. It wouldn't be wise to now, when she was still so grief stricken at Sanctuary's fate. There would be too many mistakes to be made if he allowed that to happen...

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:03 pm

He had listened to her words but didn't really hear them. No, there was no need to worry, not at this point in time. He saw no reason to. Whatever happened to the rest of the Vault Hunters, they'd be deal with in time. Even if he had to order the Warrior to track down each and every one of them until they were dealt with.

With Sanctuary gone, Jack took up just that suggestion. He and Naira would head back to Helios, the siren placed in the bunker where his daughter once resided. She'd be useful in time.

Jack's victory strut was just that. People on Helios were more than willing to indulge and the board would have no choice but to see this position through for years to come. He would make sure that this was something remembered.

That same day was a party, more so for everyone than anything at all. It was probably the first time he even let low workers indulge in such things. He clasped a hand around Naira's shoulder, holding a drink for her.

"Come on now, you're not still worrying, are you?" he asked, a clear slur in his voice, "Have a drink! We'll indulge in a little...private fun later!"

The least he could do was get her to loosen up a little. There was nothing to worry about. The Warrior in their hands, he could take care of the rest with a snap of his fingers!


----- [ x ] -----

Naeva hadn't been quite sure of his words but what else was new now? She wasn't so much worried about their chances as she was the people lost. No matter how she tried to look at it, she'd been the reason why those lives were gone.

Sanctuary had fallen and so too would many other places. She had doubts that it even mattered if those people were bandits or not. Jack wouldn't let anyone live.

She had told him that but...Well, it seemed Zer0 had been dead set on gambling her life over many others.

Eventually, an eerie hush fell around them and so did the evening sky. Nothing called out, not rakks or skags or any wildlife. Nothing broke that silence, no familiarity in the air. It was all so unsettling.

Naeva had sat down long after, knees pulled up to her chest, hand tangled in her hair as she pondered all of it and yet, wanted her mind to rest. It still throbbed from the blow and was no doubt unsettled by everything else that followed. She truly wasn't able to find peace, not yet, not after a few hours had passed.

Zer0 had taken watch though, she wasn't sure for what. From the sounds of it now, not even the bandits that littered this place were looking for a fight outside of escape. It was all too quiet, too eerie for her comfort.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:26 pm

It didn't take long to reach Helios, not with the technology at their disposal these days. Even Lilith had long been deposited inside the bunker, out of reach of anyone who could help her. Those that had once held the key to getting inside were either dead or the means lost to them now. The password was long since changed before the pair even reached Helios and the celebrations properly started.

Honestly, it was somewhat surprising just how quickly all of Helios seemed to take to the matter, ignoring their work in favor to join in Jack's play. No one seemed to want to pass up the chance for an extended break away from work without consequences. Hell, Naira wouldn't be surprised if Jack somehow managed to convince the board of directors to make this day a company holiday for years to come even.

Though Naira followed along at Jack's heels she didn't quite get as involved with the festivities. Loud noises like this weren't quite her style but she'd indulge for Jack's sake tonight. It wasn't hard to see she was dutifully keeping an eye on him, however, as the hours passed even if she at times took to sketching in the little beat up book she kept on her person more often than not. At least, she did when Jack stood still for longer than three minutes.

It was during one such occasion when he came to her side, a hand clapped over her shoulder quite suddenly. She jerked in surprise, a startled sound leaving her before she realized who it was.

"You scared the crap out of me!" she accused, pouting at him. It didn't seem to deter him as he held out the drink he had for her, promises for later being made as he did. Taking the proffered drink she leaned into his side briefly to say "If you pass out before that..."

Already he was slurring as it was.


----[x]----

The hours passed slowly, the quiet that followed unsettling to even Zer0. Nonetheless he eventually released Naeva from his grasp, moving to take up watch at the cavern entrance, hidden in shadow. Crouched down as he was, he would be a hard sight to catch. However even as he kept his gaze outward he still heard Naeva shifting, moving to curl up into herself he imagined.

So they remained like that, as the sky darkened when evening drew near. Hardly did they move, no word spoken from then on.

At least, that's how it had been. Finally, Zer0 rose to his feet, the dirt and gravel crunching beneath his feet as he moved to Naeva's side. She was in no better shape now then she'd been in earlier though he hadn't expected much improvement. It wouldn't be until they'd made strides against Handsome Jack again that he might see improvement from her at all.

That worried him, if he was honest, and he hated it.

"Naeva, can you walk?"

With no movement from the Warrior or from Hyperion ground forces they might be able to set out and find out where the others had gone, whether alive or dead now. If he had to then Zer0 would carry her on his back, rifle in hands to pick out threats from afar if able.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:59 pm

She jumped, which surprised him a little. Naira must have lapsed into some pretty deep thoughts despite the party going on around her. She was never one for noise, if he recalled. It just wasn't her thing. Regardless, he wanted her to enjoy herself too.

Eventually, she took the drink, joking along with him. There was an air of seriousness in her tone, however, and he knew why. It would be no fun if she didn't get some reward either! She'd been with him from the start, after all.

"Ah, promise baby!" he said, throwing his arms up easily, "Put a little more faith in me, come on. I won't pass out until I'm well and ready to!"

They both knew that could be a lie. He'd passed out on more than on occasion before it was actually intended. He'd gotten quite the earful at those times.

It didn't matter. What mattered now was Sanctuary was gone and those who had resided within it were dead. There was no way he could be stopped with the Warrior's power at his side.

"Come on, enjoy yourself a little," he pressed a moment after, tugging her close to his side, "Look at all of this! Everyone's happy for once. And why shouldn't they be? They've got a hero in their midst!"


----- [ x ] -----

She was quiet for a long while, so unlike her normal self. No doubt he had taken notice of that. Given their current problems, she had no intention of breaking that silence. There was too much to worry about, too much going on...

Neava should hard heard the crunching of gravel underneath his feet as he moved closer to her. There days, she always heard him, even at his quietest of moments. Yet now, she hardly even heard him as he crouched down beside her.

His voice rang out yet she didn't react to it, not right away. It took a few long beats before she lifted her head, suddenly becoming aware that he was in front of her in that dim light.

When she finally lifted her head, it took her a long moment to process what he'd just asked. Eventually, she put the dots together however, clearing her throat in the process. It felt scratchy and sore, as did her eyes now.

"Walk? Yea, sure...whatever you need, Zer0," she finally answered. Her heart wasn't quite into it but she knew they couldn't remain here forever.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:21 pm

Drink in one hand, it wasn't too difficult to go tucking her sketchpad and pencil away in her coat again. The thing had plenty of pockets, inside and out. Jack was already promising her again that he wasn't about to go passing out too early though Naira wasn't sure how serious that oath should be taken. He was probably well on his way to getting plastered already anyways.

"Mmhmm, I'll hold you to that!" she said nonetheless, shooting Jack a half-serious look.

Already he was pulling her close to his side, a place she quite liked if she was entirely honest. He was warm and broad, and despite the things he did to those he deemed as bandits, well... Naira felt rather safe at his side, as strange as that could be to think about. That was, if she allowed herself to think about it.

A chuckle escaped her and she tossed him an amused look. "There's that ego again," she teased. "If you're the hero, what does that make me, hmm? The sidekick?"

At the mention of 'sidekick' she pulled a face, as if daring Jack to say that was what she was after all she'd done to stick through his side over the years. Still, he may say that just to push her buttons a little.


----[x]----

He'd crouched at her side while waiting for her to realize that he'd spoken. Was she even here with him, or lost entirely within herself? Several seconds ticked by in which Zer0 thought it might actually be the latter. If that was the case then what he could do to keep her safe would grow all the more limited.

He had enough time to wonder if he had to somehow carry her and defend the both of them before she'd finally spoken. Even so, Naeva hardly spoke a word, sounding worse for wear.

"We'll move somewhere else, / somewhere safer. We will move / quickly from here on," Zer0 informed her. Uncharacteristically of him, he held out a hand for her to take, to help her to her feet. Naeva certainly looked like she needed it.

It may have been a vain hope but Zer0 hoped all the same that she would be able to make due for at least a short while. There were all sorts of places in the Eridium Blight they could duck for cover in again if she needed it most.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:49 pm

It didn't quite surprise him that she'd hold him to his word. She always found a way to and would bring it up if he failed to see it through. That's just the kind of person she was, though he knew it was all in a more or less easy jab at him.

"I'm sure!" he replied easily, "You always do and make me pay for it too."

Her close at his side, he was comfortable with her body heat, arm kept around a small frame possessively. It wasn't as if any of these lower people would try to make a move on her. They knew better, after all.

Her words rang out again and it was easy to see she pulled a face at the very thought of being called a 'side kick'. Jack couldn't help but laugh, shaking his head in response.

"Sidekick? No, no, no, that won't do at all," he started easily, "I was thinking more along the lines of a queen? Yea, that sounds a lot better than any old 'sidekick'."

It was only natural, after all. He would rule Helios and Pandora all at once, so he needed a queen at his side. One that he trusted, one he knew would never betray him. She was that person. She'd never leave his side, he would make sure of that.


----- [ x ] -----

It probably took her too long to answer. In fact, she knew that was the case. Even so, Zer0 had waited as patiently as he could allow himself, perhaps thinking her condition through carefully. Too many thought had run amok in her head. This wasn't good. Naeva knew she'd be a burden here.

His words were quiet but no less demanding. They needed to move and he made that clear enough. He offered his hand and she gladly took it, pulled to her feet. Naeva tried to ignore just how badly she still trembled, her knees and legs feeling far too weak to be holding her body up.

"Whatever we have to do," she finally answered, her voice sullen.

Too many questions ran through her head at a constant pace. Would this be enough? Was there any place really safe? Could they stop the Warrior now? What about Naira? Was she worried at all? Did she even care? She let it happen, didn't she? So, did that mean she abandoned Naeva in the end? Did she really care at all?

Naeva shook her head, trying to push those thoughts away. They would be relentless no matter what she did. Strange how it only took one thing going wrong to bring up old anxieties and pains.

"Lead the way," she motioned to him then, "I'll do my best to keep up."

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:03 pm

Naira allowed herself a small laugh at Jack's rather truthful answer. While she waited, a short one nonetheless, for Jack's perhaps teasing rebuttal about her role in his little hero story, she instead opted to take another drink. It was something strong, though she wasn't entirely sure what it was. Whatever was mixed into it, well, someone really didn't quite know how the ratio was supposed to work, the burn of the alcohol a little strong!

Maybe it was the burn of the alcohol in her throat or maybe it was Jack's answer which caused the small coughing fit that followed. Naira liked to think it was both, her face feeling a little red. Was he even aware of just how that sounded?

Waving a hand dismissively she offered a sheepish grin to Jack when she spoke. "W-why, Jack! Someone might think you're actually proposing to me like that!"

And really, why wouldn't anyone if they overheard Jack? It wasn't like he was making an effort to be quiet about it, he never really did. It was an odd little topic to answer with though. Naira had been really sure he'd take to just teasing her and trying to get her goat a little for laughs. The change was a little surprising.


----[x]----

Zer0 cocked his head to one side, not missing the sullen drop in her voice. She was no longer sobbing yet this seemed worse somehow. Maybe it was because of the utter loss of spirit in her, the determination she'd had before that they would defeat Jack and his schemes now snuffed out entirely. Zer0 did not like it...

"We will seek for the / others. We have no time to / waste here anymore," he answered nonetheless. Anything he might say about her well-being, well, Zer0 didn't think it would help any.

He waited a moment longer to make sure that Naeva was ready to move, even if she looked ready to dive into the nearest comfortable spot and remain there for who knew how long. Zer0 sincerely hoped he would not have to fetch her from any such situation, worried that she might remain there in her depressive state despite what they might yet be able to achieve against Handsome Jack and the Warrior. Zer0 would not yet count this defeat a permanent one until all was yet lost to them entirely.

Finally, he started them off, the crunch of dirt beneath his feet sounding far louder than ever before. Perhaps even the wildlife, dangerous as they all were, had hidden themselves away in fear of the Warrior's rampage. Though he would have liked to have moved quicker, he kept his pace even for Naeva's sake. She was still sluggish, perhaps still lost in what was happening elsewhere and why that was. Zer0 went so far as to steal a peak at her from over his shoulder, an act that went unnoticed with the way her head hung like that.

He found himself at a loss for words for the first time.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:25 pm

She was laughing, that was a good sign. If he was honest, earlier he had wondered briefly if she was going to back out on him. She expressed her worries and her doubts. Jack didn't want to hear it at the time, more afraid that she might abandon him like so many others.

She'd stuck by him regardless and seemed to be in better spirits now. Jack would scold himself about it later for doubting her. Instead, he focused on her laughter.

Naira had waved a dismissive hand as she spoke. Even so, that left an idea in Jack's head. Just the thought seemed right. If he was going to be king, he did need a queen to rule all of this!

"No, that's a great idea!" he answered in his drunkenness, "Why not? This could be the perfect time with everything going our way!"

He wasn't one who had thought about marriage, not since his first wife. Now, though? Well, maybe this time would work out. He had her and nothing could take her away from him. Jack figured maybe this was the best time to actually say something about it.


----- [ x ] -----

Seek the others out...Were they even still alive here? Zer0 hadn't seen them on the way out nor had there been any contact since. Naeva's hopes weren't high at this point in time. They could be all captured or dead. What was worse, it was because of her.

Her head hung low as they started off. While her hand had remained on her pistol, she wondered if she'd have the strength to even use it now. Naeva did her best to resist a sigh or any sound, though even their footsteps sounded way too loud now with how quiet it had become.

In the darkness, she could barely see his movements but could hear his footsteps. It was the only thing that kept her from straying too far. Wherever they were headed, all she found she could do was follow right now.

Naeva spared a brief glance around in that silence. It was too dark, too quiet. The dangerous wildlife must have hidden away after the Warrior had torn through here. It didn't surprise her but was nonetheless unsettling. How much more would be wiped out in a single day? Naeva was afraid to find out.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:49 pm

Like so many times before, it did not take long for Jack to speak, wheels probably already turning in his head now. Naira listened despite the slur in his words, his arm still around her and keeping her close, warm even. She was sure her face was still red too, it feeling just a touch too warm. She was sure Jack's enthusiasm wasn't helping that either.

It was probably best that she was at least sober right now. Anyone could have picked up on the fact that Jack hadn't exactly been intending on proposing, probably hadn't even thought about it before now given his sudden latching onto that idea. Not so surprising, really, given Jack's lack of a way with words.

"Jack, you're drunk," Naira reminded. "Why don't you hold onto that thought until you're sober, hmm?"

At least then he'd have had some time to actually think that through. He'd been married once that she knew of, after all, and hadn't seemed intent on it again. Naira would rather not be thought of as a mistake later on if he regretted that. Nonetheless, she reached up on tip toes to give Jack a kiss before he could protest about that. Once he had his mind set on something he was rather relentless about it.

"If you ask me when you're sober then I'll answer, promise," she said afterwards.


----[x]----

They walked and walked and in all that time it was in silence though Zer0 was unsure if they made much progress in this darkness. Even the moon above seemed to do little to light their way, not with Helios in the way... Or perhaps that was all a misconception on their part down below today. There was much to be wary and fearsome about now after all, more so than usual.

Not a word was said and though Zer0 didn't usually mind it left him just as wary about Naeva's state of mind. Even a small comment or two would have been said by now on her part. What was he to do with this Naeva? He was not well-versed in how to deal with the emotions of others, much less how to help and to heal.

Finally, he stopped, almost sure that Naeva might bump right into him. Whether she did or not Zer0 would then turn, wasting no time to warn her before merely hoisting her up over his shoulder and then starting off at a much quicker pace. The sooner they found at least one of the others the sooner her mood might improve, hope returning to her. Zer0 would make sure of this one way or another.

Perhaps even this strange occurrence might draw a response from her, this behavior not normal for the assassin.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:09 pm

He glanced down at her face, noticing how red her cheeks had tinted. The thought must have been flattering but even so, she was already protesting too much about him being drunk. He couldn't have that, not at all.

"Drunken words are sober thoughts, Bunny!" he quickly countered next, "Or something like that."

Even so, she might not want to hear it now. Some girls were strange, wanted it as a memory to think back on. Jack didn't care either way. As long as she planned on sticking beside him, that's all that matter.

"Aw come on," he pushed a moment later, "You're really gonna make me wait? Again?"

Jack already knew the answer to that. It would be the same as the last time, after all. While he often didn't admit it, waiting had made that experience all the better. Jack would belly ache about it, however.

"Alright, if that's what I've gotta do," he answered, a small pout adorning his lips.


----- [ x ] -----

Naeva wasn't sure how long they spent walking, the only light provided was that of the moon and stars. Naeva was quiet, far too engrossed in her troubling thoughts. They were too dark, ones that made her stomach twist in nervousness.

When his steps came to a halt, she barely heard them. Naeva lifted her head, running right into him. She had started to open her mouth to speak when her turned to her.

A questioning expression over took her features for a moment. Zer0 had easily lifted her up a moment later, her breath catching in her throat, and easily slung her over his shoulder. He started off again, his pace quick and silent.

"Zer0..." she started quietly, her throat feeling a little hoarse, "What are you doing? I can walk...I'm fine."

While she said it, she knew she wasn't fine, not mentally. Her legs might have worked but her mind was too heavy. Maybe that's why he had done it. She wasn't sure what was running through his head right now.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:29 pm

Naira shot Jack an amused look though a look nonetheless at his rebuttal. That wasn't a new thing to hear, a comment she'd heard before after all, and it didn't surprise her that he'd use it now. Nonetheless she wasn't going to budge. Jack could sometimes be rather impulsive, after all, and impulsive decisions could be regretted later.

She waited further as Jack carried on, already complaining about having to wait. Surely he knew the answer that one.

"Well, I'd rather know I'm not just some drunken impulse, y'know?" she commented rather teasingly. Even so, it carried a great grain of truth to it. "Besides, you have to focus on not passing out before the night is through!"

Finally, Jack agreed though not without a pout prevalent. It was kind of funny how rather childish Jack could be, though at other times it could be frustrating too. For now she took it all with a grain of salt, knowing he felt he well deserved the celebrations happening now. Jack wasn't going to let anything ruin his mood tonight, of that Naira was damn sure about.

She chuckled, nudging Jack's side playfully. "Oh, hush. If it's what you really want then you know the wait's more than worth it."


----[x]----

Zer0 huffed, not yet in the mood to deal with such lies. She wasn't fine, they both knew it, and though she could try denying it all she wanted Zer0 wasn't going to tolerate it. Doing that would only mean she would have an excuse to keep at it, to keep in this mood. They couldn't afford that. This mood left too much room for mistakes, deadly ones even.

"Shut your mouth right now. / You are not well. We both know / this. Don't lie to me," Zer0 answered simply. It was snappish, perhaps even a little cruel given the circumstances, but it might yet make her see reason. He'd learned long ago that she did not appreciate such behavior towards her after all.

Not all was lost, this was just the next big challenge to face. The sooner she was aware of that fact and that not all was lost the better. But helping her come to that conclusion was going to be difficult, he knew it. This was not the challenge he sought nor craved...

If she could not even be trusted to walk and to keep an eye out then he would do it for her. That alone might yet drive her to prove him wrong, a fact she'd once done before concerning her robotic skag. He had hopes it would be the same now.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:01 pm

He wasn't so surprised that she wasn't going to budge from her point. Naira never did. She was bull headed and rarely budged when it came to such things. Jack had learned that a long time ago.

Even so, it was no enjoyment for him. Waiting was wasting time. He respected her enough to do so, if only extending this waiting thing one more time.

"Impulse is great though," he answered, ignoring the slur in his voice. Maybe he'd reflect on that line when he was sober but for now, it made sense.

If anything, she didn't gripe at him this time, something she sometimes did when particularly annoyed. She seemed happy, if not a little embarrassed by the sudden proposal, so why worry? A little waiting could do some good.

"Maybe," he relented in a joking manner, "Maybe I do like waiting for my little bunny."

His tone was hushed as he leaned in closer to her, breath fanning over her neck. For now, those around him went ignored. If she did, she'd push him away, he was sure.


----- [ x ] -----

What he said and the way he said it, she didn't quite expect. Her chest and throat suddenly felt tight with emotion. A mix of annoyance and something else ran through her. It hurt, crashing down on her all at once. He hadn't spoken to her like that in a long time.

Naeva knew in some twisted, backwards way, this was just some way to deal with her current emotions. That didn't make the logic or the intention hurt any less. The wounds were too raw, this was just rubbing salt right in them.

"Put me down," she demanded. It seemed like her words went ignored, annoying her further, and she repeated the demand, her voice a tad stronger, "Zer0, put me down!"

Her words were still ignored, simply causing annoyance to bubble into anger. Why was he doing this? What was it going to accomplish now? It only hurt further, even more so than he was probably aware.

"God damn it, Zer0, just put me down now!" she shouted one last time, ignoring any dangers that could be around. Her temper was too hot to cool and if it had been any other situation, she would have left his side for her own space for a long time.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:30 pm

Jack didn't argue much, thankfully. Sometimes he did, though other times he grew more relentless over time, extending his tactics to other avenues to get what he wanted. Nonetheless, it was a thankful time when he took things in relatively good grace for a time.

She blinked as Jack leaned closer, his voice a hush as his breath hit her neck. It was enough to tickle a little, and she squirmed in his hold, reaching up to playfully swat at him. She was sure some might be watching them, always curious to see what their hero and big boss was up to but for the moment it didn't matter much. Eyes would be on him all night, she was surer of that, due to his success in the Vault.

"J-Jack!" she scolded lightly. "That tickles! And haven't I asked you not to call me a bunny?"

It was a futile question to ask as she was already well aware of that answer. Jack seemed to favor calling her that whenever possible, after the creation of her HDD core, but even more so now than ever before. It was a little cute and endearing but having so many people know about it and potentially hear that pet name was a little embarrassing.


----[x]----

Seconds passed but eventually he was rewarded with a livelier reaction from her. Zer0 was relieved for that though way still; though it worked now, how long might it remain until she slipped back into the shell of her former self? If that happened then it was for naught.

Noticeably, he did not move to respect her wish this time. It might yet be the only thing keeping her from growing so sullen and worrying. Zer0 could not yet risk her hurting herself even if she was now making too much noise. Anything that might come for them in the night would make enough noise to draw attention here. Of that, Zer0 was certain.

"And if I do? Then / what, Naeva? Will you go back / to being a shell?" he accused simply.

It really was as simple as that. She'd become nothing in the hours that followed their retreat. Though she might feel guilt she could not let that consume her and become useless because of it lest it all be for nothing now. There was still a chance to win this challenge, she had to see that before Zer0 would even think of putting her back down.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:00 pm

A throaty chuckle left him as she made an attempt to swat him away. He pulled back a little, grinning widely but other than that, was fine with this reaction. He could still draw her embarrassment out of her, that shier side that he was so unused to in most women.

Even so, he pulled her closer to his side, burying his face in her hair for a brief moment. Eyes would be on him but he had done worse things in front of others. They all knew their place was it was.

"No," he responded simply, much like a spoiled child, "You're my bunny. That's that."

Jack had no doubt she'd continue to argue this in the future. She always did and it was a habit he was used to. Despite that, he'd keep calling her bunny until the day he couldn't anymore.

"You love it," he continued a moment later, "Admit it."


----- [ x ] -----

He refused to relent and for a long moment, so blinded by her own angry, she wondered just what he was getting at until he finally spoke up about it. Naeva fell silent, uncertain of what to tell him.

There had been too much in her head, too much guilt and uncertainty even now. Her best friend seemingly abandoned her for someone else, she was the fault of the Warrior being let loose, she was the reason Sanctuary fell. All because she didn't watch her back well enough.

"I'm not you," she finally responded in a matter of factly manner.

Zer0 might have seen this as just another challenge to over come, something that would bring him temporary enjoyment before moving on to the next. Her own actions were rooted in her emotions. They were far too different in what they would do. Even so, it still burned the way he spoke to her.

"I know what you're trying to do and the most it's accomplishing is a very long inward debate as to whether or not I should shank you in your sleep," she joked, though it felt a little strained even then, "You're such a god damn piss ant sometimes, I hate it."

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands AU| Dark Before Dawn |1-on-1 RP|   Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:05 pm

Despite the scolding, Jack was hardly fazed, instead he seemed to brush aside entirely to tug her closer still. That much she didn't mind, a hand coming up to thread her fingers in his hair, however briefly. Eyes certainly had to be on them but when Jack was so focused on her like this it was easy to forget, even if just for a second or two. Or maybe that was just the influence of the drink already. Naira couldn't say for sure, nor did she try to think too hard about it.

"You're such a brat, Jackie," she retorted. "A compromise every once in awhile never hurts, you know."

It was a statement that would mean little to Jack. If nothing else, it had drove him forward all those years ago, even if the man he became now wasn't the one he'd meant to be back then. A sad thought, really, but one she'd dwell on later, like always. Jack would no doubt chase the thoughts away by any means he could if he noticed her expression fall during his celebrations right now.

Naira smiled up at Jack, leaning up to place a kiss at his jawline. A simple bit of affection but it would no doubt keep Jack reminded to not go passing out on her.


----[x]----

She was quiet for a long minute, maybe two. Zer0 did not mind this, using the opportunity to keep moving forward, his strides long and quick. The robotic skag would keep an eye out for him and if the Vault guardian neared they would hear it coming a mile away. He had no fear here. Even the beasts of this area seemed to have retreated for safety in the beast's wake as it was.

"You aren't, and so what? / Giving up now means nothing. / Continue to fight."

He would not lose Naeva if he could help it, even to herself. The Warrior was a challenge yes, but even he could not face it alone. If the others had succumbed to Hyperion forces or to the beast itself... Well, that was all the more reason to triumph then, wasn't it?

Naeva spoke again, sounding put off yet still marginally better than minutes before. Zer0 allowed an amused scoff to escape him. If that was what helped her to move onwards than so be it, he would be that driving force for her. It wasn't like she was the sort to lash out physically at those she cared about anyways. He'd found that out long ago, just like so much else about her.

"It is good for you." A teasing statement amidst the destruction and despair now, but perhaps it would help in some way.

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