Chapter 3 Part 2

Jett caught up with Ari just as he was climbing over the fence again. His whole body was tense, as his obsidian eyes were darting about and giving away his hectic train of thought. “Ari…” the younger blonde climbed over and looked up at his Gunner. “We’ll find some answers…” he gently squeezed his arm before walking over to the cycle to disarm it. Ari just nodded and climbed up into his seat on the cycle. 

It roared to a start and Jett attempted to maneuver and turn the vehicle in the right direction. There was no conversation between the two until the intercom crackled to life once again. Adrien’s voice blared through both of their speakers. “Where were you two?!” Ari sighed and retorted back. “We were trying to do our job, but we had to guess where the heck you were trying to make us go.” Jett’s eyes widened. “W-what he’s trying to say is that we continued on the predicted path and explored the surrounding forest…” He reported. Adrien let out an exasperated noise. “And?” Jett fidgeted. “And what..?” “And did you find anything?” The Flyer’s tone was clearly irritated. “Nope. We only saw trees in all directions. A few underweight squirrels but besides that just trees.” Ari easily lied and tapped almost inaudibly against the back glass, to tell Jett that what they saw is their secret. Jett nearly jumped out of his skin however and caused the cycle to slightly swerve. His breath caught in his throat for a moment as he straightened out wheel and increased their speed. “What was that.” Adrien demanded tersely. “It was just a tree in an unexpected spot.” Jett quietly replied, getting his fear under control. 

Ari looked back at him with a raised eyebrow. “Sure it was. Get back to the carrier now before the General get word of this and leaves your arses in the middle of the forest.” Jett glanced at Ari who was clenching his fist to try to remain from making some smart comment, but failed. “Yes, Sir.” He said with false sincerity and mock respect. They could hear a sharp intake of breath, showing that Ari had managed to strike a nerve. “Just get back here.” The line cut  off with a loud beep. “Geez, all I did was make one small comment.” Ari innocently said and leaned back in his seat.

“You really are terrible sometimes…” Jett replied. 

“If you keep saying things like that, I might believe it pretty soon.” 

“You know thats not what I mean, Ari…” 

“I know what you mean, Jett. I was just joking.”

“You always say that… Sometimes I really wonder if you really mean the things you say like that.”

Ari was caught off guard at Jett’s tone and glanced back at Jett. “What’s that supposed to mean?” Jett didn’t respond for a few moments, but it was clear that he was thinking by the way he clutched the handles. “Never mind… It isn't anything important…” His body was hunching forward more than usual, as if he was trying to curl up and escape from whatever was plaguing his thoughts. “Jett, just spit it out. I can see that you're upset.” Ari murmured. 

“We’re almost to the carrier.” He quietly said and reduced speed as the ramp extended from the cargo bay. Ari’s toes nearly touched the cold metal as the proceeded up the ramp. Jett slightly shivered at the temperature change that the steel emitted. They soon peaked and pulled forward into the designated spot. Adrien was leaning up against an interior wall, his eyes somewhat closed but still stood with attentiveness. Jett felt a cold sweat creep up on the back of his neck in anticipation of what was to come. He continued with protocol however and docked the cycle before starting the necessary steps to prep the vehicle for its next mission.

Ari in the meantime stepped down onto the platform and strode over to ammunition locker and replaced his weapons to the proper spots. Adrien watched both of them closely as they went about procedure. Ari finished first and looked over at Adrien. “Did they send you down here to babysit us?” Jett stiffened and glanced over in time to catch Adrien’s relatively calm demeanor changed onto one that looked like hatred. “I wouldn't be so cocky considering the stunt you two pulled today.” Jett nearly dropped his helmet as he was taking it off. Ari merely raised an eyebrow. “That we pulled? We were the ones abandoned without any direction by you if I remember correctly, Lancing.” Ari retorted smoothly and walked up to the Flyer.

Adrien gave him a scalding look before replying with a voice like silk. “Abandoned is an awfully strong word, Knight. I recall there being technical issues as soon as you entered that forest.” The two stepped closer to each other sizing the other one up in the process. “Oh really? Are you really blaming this on the technology that you control? Geez. I thought that Flyers haas to be on top of all of that stuff! What is that academy coming to now?” Ari tapped his index finger to his lip. “I suppose they're just giving guns to any random monkey who can hold one too then? Its really a shame. The early Gunners were such powerful figures in the early 2060’s, but now we have you. Such a pity.” Adrien sneered back.

Ari’s expression didn't falter, it only widened his grin as the taller man gazed at him almost with surprise. Ari opened his mouth to speak again but was knocked off balance as the plane began to rise again. Jett was already seated in his previous seat as the other two slightly staggered for a moment. Their eyes were locked for a moment with fire before turning on their heels and walking in opposite directions. Ari took his seat across from Jett as Adrien stalked up the staircase going to the upper levels of the carrier.

Ari fastened the restraints and glanced over at Jett. The younger male was quiet as he stared at the metal grated floor. Ari studied him for a moment before taking off his helmet and placing it between his feet. A suffocating silence hung thick in the air as the two made eye contact. Jett’s baby blues looked sad as they met the cold gray of Ari’s. “Your eyes don’t ever seem to change…” He murmured to the Gunner’s surprise. “What’s that supposed to mean, Jett..?” Ari shifted in his seat and very slightly squinted at the blonde.

“Your face and body language changes throughout any situation but your eyes… They never fluctuate with the emotions you’re portraying unless its anger…” Jett started before pausing to collect his thoughts. Ari didn't seem to react to this just yet as his expression stayed stable while Jett was figuring out his next words. “Why… why don't they change for me..?” the Runner’s voice was almost a whisper now as his head hung. Ari’s cold façade stayed just that as he mulled over all that Jett had said. The words hung heavy in the air as the two didn't say any more to each other for the duration of the flight back to base.

The End

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