Long Time Gone Part 28
Posted By: grylsy<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 16 December 2004, 11:19 AM
Long Time Gone Part 28: Better out than in...
October 23rd, 2550, Reach, Camp Hathcock, Rifle Range, 2001 Hours
Chris couldn't eat anything so he went to the range early; maybe Alison had the same idea.
"Why, oh why, oh why..." He muttered checking Ruddy had set the targets before going to the bar, "now I got to put a good word in for him to get some leave, Christ..."
"You shouldn't use the Lord's name in vain," said someone behind him.
Chris turned and Alison was there; she had her uniform on, a good sign thought Chris, she wasn't expecting any action, and she had brought her own rifle.
"Hi, Alison," Chris forced out, he felt nervous as hell around her.
"Hi," she said walking up to him, she took her helmet off and let her hair fall down, she edged closer to him, her eyes somewhat closed.
Oh shit does she want a kiss!? He thought, he had to act fast.
"Err, let's start shall we?" Chris turned away from her and avoided an annoyed look she bored into the back of his skull.
"Fine..." She sounded so disappointed.
"Take a spot and enable night vision," was all he said, trying to sound as professional as possible.
"Aye," she said laying down and deploying her bipod, "ready..."
Chris took a step back and held the auto target control.
"In three, two, one..." Chris pressed the button, nothing happened... "Nice job Ruddy, nice fucking job..."
"What?" Asked Alison, she had gotten up and left her rifle.
"Ruddy fucked up, give us a sec," Chris walked along following the cable back to the target engineer's post. He found the problem quickly, Ruddy had failed to attach the control device to the actual auto targets.
It was soon fixed and Chris made his way back to the range. Alison was sitting down looking down the range; rifle in hand; practicing a support position.
"Alight let's try again." He tried not to make eye contact, he loved her but he didn't want to hurt her feelings or himself.
Alison laid back down on the sniper's mat and set her rifle back up. She moved her legs so she wouldn't slip back and dug her elbows into the soft surface.
Chris' eyes uncontrollably shifted to her rear. He felt he couldn't look away; like a solar eclipse; you want to watch but you know it is bad for you.
"Don't stare at it," she said coldly, "and get me something to shoot." Chris was shocked he felt like he should have defended himself but he knew that he had upset her. He complied and raised the first target.
Alison dropped it with a straight headshot; the next three targets were met with similar outcomes. This went on for half an hour, Chris set the target, gave wind headings and appropriate adjustments while Alison blew the shit out of it.
"You're doing great," said Chris trying to break the awkward silences that followed between targets. Alison grunted a reply, "look, I don't know what you were expecting but..." Alison turned her head, he looked at her eyes, they were a mix between confusion and sadness, "nothing... nothing..." Said Chris, letting a breath out.
"What?" She asked seriously.
"Nothing, better off you don't know," Chris went to put the next target up but he stopped, he didn't know why, part of him wanted to tell her but the other didn't.
"But I really want to know," she said, she sat up and turned to face him. Chris looked down at her, "tell me..." she pleaded.
"Alison..." Chris stopped, his mouth was in awe, he forgot what he was going to say, "Err, I like you and all, I like you a lot in fact, but I just got off a bad relationship a few months ago and I don't feel like starting another..." Alison sat there and looked at him for second, "there I said it, I'm sure if it is enough but it is all I am saying."
Alison stared at him, not knowing what to say for a minute.
"I don't hate you for it, I didn't know about the other stuff though, what happened with her?" She asked.
"She, err, died..." Chris sat down, the memories came flooding back.
"How?" Alison scooped closer to him.
"The Covenant killed her," Chris had read the report and knew she had committed suicide against superior odds but decided to leave it out. He had even seen the video footage from her helmet, even the bit when she said good bye to him and shot herself...
"Well crying about it won't make it better," she said a bit hard but she was sitting right next to him now, "you need to be strong..." Chris wiped the tears forming under his eyes away with a hand.
"I was, it's just," Chris cradled his head in his arms, "you remind me of her but not of her, when I think of you I think of how I met her..."
"What did I have to do with it?" She asked, leaning onto his shoulder.
"You remember back on Earth, the Shock Troopers that I left with?"
"Remember the Sargeant of the second squad?" Chris suddenly realized Alison was leaning on him.
"Reilly or something?" Said Alison.
"No her name was Ripply, Michelle Ripply," Chris suddenly felt his stomach become smaller, trying not to embarrass himself around Alsion.
"I vaguely remember her," Alison stopped leaning on him and faced him, "did you, two, err," she whispered the next part, "do it? " Chris was somewhat taken aback by the questions.
"Ah, what does it matter?" He didn't really want to say anything.
"I'm just curious; we have so much to talk about..." Do we? They both thought as one.
"If it makes any difference yes we did and if you want to know the first time just ask anyone in her squ... wait they're dead and I don't know where Hans' Squad is... Just ask Chambers tomorrow."
"But I want to know now!" She playfully pushed him so he almost rolled over onto his side, Chris, not thinking did the same.
"You shouldn't push girls!" She said.
"You can take it!" He said, he felt happy, for what little reason there was.
They talked for a little bit more before Alison asked Chris how good he was with a sniper rifle.
"I'm ok with it but I don't like sniping I think it is, err lame," Alison gave him a slight look of annoyance after he said it.
"Let's see how good you are mister." She handed him her rifle and took the remote for the targets off him.
"Hey come on," Chris took the rifle reluctantly, "I'm the one meant to be judging your skills."
"Let's just say I want to evaluate if you're any good with anything bigger than a pistol..." Chris caught the idea of that phrase; it was a shot at his man hood.
"You'll see," Chris took up position and loaded the rifle, "you keep it well maintained, Christ even a custom non-HUD scope."
"Yeah, I dislike HUD configured scopes; it just makes it seem too much like a video game."
"I know what you mean," said Chris taking the safety off, "ready..." he concluded.
"I'll decide that," she said, "alright... go!" A target sprung up. Chris fired and it went down; a fist sized hole through the centre.
"Not bad," she said, "not bad at all..." Another target sprung up at extreme range, but it might as well been right in front of McAllen as the 14.5 x 114 mm traveled at monster velocities and took the target down in milliseconds.
"Can I stop now?" Chris looked back at Alison; she was staring at him; well more towards his legs, "hey stop looking at it! I couldn't look at yours!" Alison gave him a look and set the next target up without a word, but she had a wide smile on her face.
They spent ten minutes doing this, not saying a word. Then they finally stopped.
"So?" Said Chris relieving Alison of the controls and handing her back the rifle, "how'd I do?"
"Pretty darn good," Alison smiled for the first time in twenty minutes; but it was a forced friendly smile, "I wouldn't mind you with us on the Quail."
"Well it means a lot from you, being the pro sniper babe you are," Chris looked away from Alison after his comment, he felt like an idiot.
"Anytime," Alison slung her rifle, "how about we go back to the bar?" Chris wanted too go and enjoy her company but he didn't want to embarrass himself any further.
"Nah, I should go to bed, I got a few people to teach tomorrow, well you as well, see you around after lunch then, bye." Chris left without a further word. Alison stood there; she had something to say but held it back.
Chris walked into his room; Chambers was sitting on his own bed, waiting for McAllen.
"Hmmpf," he said at first, "so, where is she?" Chris looked at his friend; a worried look was on his face.
"I thought you didn't want me to get involved with her," Chris took a couple of steps into the room, the door hissed shut.
"Christ," exclaimed Chambers, "that is the second fucking time you haven't realized I was being sarcastic! Damn man, she's hot, don't let her get away from you, not again, so what if she is half the planet away, we might get posted closer to her eventually, who knows?"
Chris felt like a bigger idiot, he had fucked up.
"She wanted to as well..." Chris breathed sitting down on his bed, "but I told her I didn't want too, I even told her how I felt. I just don't know what to do anymore." Chris laid back on his bed, a million thoughts flooding his head, he closed his eyes but all he could see was Alison.
"Well you still have a chance," said Chambers after a few moments thought, "I'm going to sneak into Susan's quarters tomorrow after lights out so you and Alison could come here," Chambers tried to make eye contact with Chris but he was facing the wall, "its lucky because them two are room mates, just ask her, I want to be alone with Susan."
Chris agreed and tried to get some sleep...
October 24th, 2550, Reach, Camp Hathcock, Instructor Quarters, 2203 Hours
Chris clumsily tried to open the door one handed; the other was intent on opening Alison's bra, his face locked with hers.
They had spent most of the night getting drunk and talking eventually one thing lead to another and here they were, alone, getting naked in the same room... you do the math.