They're sitting by their small campfire, two days into their reconnaissance mission. Their food's been eaten and their trash stowed away, and they're sharing a log, enjoying the last legs of their fire as it begins to die down. They're ostensibly collecting data, monitoring military activity on either side of the border, taking remote seismic readings, but their binoculars are set aside for the night, and they'll be deploying the last of their equipment tomorrow afternoon. It's rare to send operators on a trip to the surface, but no vehicle would be able to make it through the dense forests, and they're technically between borders, skirting the edge of international law, so it was deemed prudent to avoid an aircraft. Besides, both of them had signed up for this mission, much to Kal'tsit's surprise. She'd requested Glaucus, since she was familiar with some of the tech, but Blue Poison had come voluntarily. Mostly, Kal'tsit was relieved. Usually operators draw straws for this kind of mission, but the two of them work well together, so she hadn't thought anything of it.
Glaucus looks over at Blue, making eye contact before Blue hastily looks away, pulling her hood around herself but not quite enough to hide the flush rising to her cheeks. It barely shows, but Glaucus has been around her enough to recognize it, and she's been waiting for a chance to confront it.
"Hey, Blue, what are you getting all embarrassed about?" she asks with a smirk.
Blue only blushes harder, pulling her hoodie further over herself, her voice squeaky as she lets out an unconvincing "Nothing!"
Glaucus snorts, rolling her eyes. "You're not exactly subtle, you know. You've been making those eyes at me since we stepped off the drop ship on the other side of the Ursus border."
There's another sound, a strangled squeak, then Blue clears her throat, trying to form words. "I, um, I'm sorry if, uh, if I made you uncomfortable ididntmeantoandimsossorry!" she finishes, ending in a messy ramble. There's a moment of silence, before Glaucus laughs, and Blue looks at her confused when she speaks.
"Nah, don't worry. You can undress me with your eyes if you want, I've just been waiting for you to say something, silly."
Blue stammers an attempt at a denial, eyes widening in shock before pulling her hoodie around herself, scrunching her eyes shut. Distantly, there's the sound of Glaucus laughing again, and she flinches, trying to tune it out as best as she can. Her breaths come heavy, and she does her best to try to control them, ignoring everything around her.
In, hold, out. In, hold, out.
"Hey, Blue, are you okay? I didn't mean to laugh at you, I'm sorry, I'm sorry if it was-"
She raises a finger, and Glaucus stops midsentence, before her voice softens. "Take as much time as you need," she offers.
Blue goes back to focusing on her breathing, dimly thankful in the background of her mind. In, hold, out. In, hold, out.
The fire's gone out by the time she opens her eyes, breathing under control but voice still shaky. She looks over at Glaucus, foot rapidly tapping, aided by their prosthetics, and Glaucus gives her a small smile. Blue remembers when Glaucus had added the tapping function to their legs, how they had gone on about how the delicate motions were tricky for the exoskeleton to mirror without moving too much or too little. They'd spent days on that project alone, tinkering with them until they got it to work in a way that was comfortable without causing them pain. Blue mirrors her smile, before it turns into a grimace with the words she wants to say.
"You shouldn't get too close to me," she warns. "I'm dangerous, I'll just... please..." She trails off, words lost.
Glaucus scoots slightly closer, and Blue flinches, and they stop, keeping a respectful distance. "Blue. Who told you that?" they ask, voice gentle.
"I... what...? Why would that matter?"
"Because I think they're wrong," she says, voice blunt. "I won't do anything you're not comfortable with, but you're not dangerous. On the battlefield, sure," she chuckles, "but not here, not to me. You're kind, and sweet, and comfortable, and you can't talk about my friend that way, okay?"
Blue's eyes widen in surprise, and she averts them again, staring at her feet. "You're too kind to me," she whispers.
"You deserve all of it," Glaucus responds.
Blue sits with that for a minute then edges closer to her, silently asking permission, and they nod, gently wrapping their arms around her in a hug. They're warm, and safe, and feels like home, and for all the time she's been at Rhodes Island, they're the person who's been there for her the most, and Blue feels her eyes starting to twinge as she wills the tears to stay back.
"I... thank you."
"Don't mention it."
They sit like that for a while, Blue wrapped in gentle arms, clinging to them like a lifeline, before Glaucus disengages with a smirk. "Blue, you know if you want something, you gotta ask, right? Talk to me. What's been on your mind?"
Her breath catches, the implication not lost on her. "You sure that's okay?"
"Yeah. You can talk about it, and we can go from there."
Blue considers the words for a moment, then closes her eyes, building up the courage to speak. "You're so pretty!" she blurts. "Your eyes, and your hair, and your shoulders... andyourlips" she squeaks.
Glaucus grins, hand rising to Blue's chin, and Blue looks up at her in surprise. "You know what, Blue? I think you're very pretty too. And you're not the only one fantasizing about their partner's lips on this mission," they whisper, voice getting husky as they run a thumb across her lower lip.
Blue's mouth goes dry, and she freezes. Oh god, do they mean... no. Wait, they have to... unless they... wait, uh—
Glaucus chuckles, smiling at her. "Do you wanna kiss me, Blue? It sounds like that might be what you want."
Her brain short circuits for a second, then she turns to face Glaucus, hands fisting in her T-shirt as she nods vigorously. Glaucus smiles brighter at her, then leans forward, and Blue leans into it eagerly, too eagerly, and their teeth bump into each other, and Blue's certain she's screwed it up and stammering an apology and Glaucus is laughing again and—oh. Their lips are on hers and they're just as soft as they looked, and their hand is caressing the back of Blue's head, and she tenses for a second before relaxing into it.
Glaucus pulls away for a moment, cupping the back of her head, and Blue leans into her touch, a slight whine escaping her lips. "You're so adorable, Blue, I can't believe I'm finally getting to kiss you. I hope you know that."
Blue looks at her, stunned. Glaucus is excited about kissing her? Her beautiful, confident, jaw-dropping partner is interested in her? Glaucus just laughs, reading the incredulity on her face. "Yeah, I sure am. Now are we gonna sit here gaping all day or get back to making out?"
Blue blushes, moving in for another kiss. Glaucus's hand at the back of her head is firm, firm enough to support her but gentle enough that she could pull away at any time. It's hungrier this time, and she presses into her partner, eager for more, whining as Glaucus scrapes their teeth on her lower lip. Her hands slide under their shirt, running across their stomach, enjoying how soft and lovely they are.
Glaucus giggles, putting her arms around Blue's shoulders. "Hey. You gotta tell me what you want, for real. I don't wanna rush you. We have plenty of time, we can take things at your pace, okay?"
She sighs, then nods, leaning forward into the embrace, resting her head on their shoulder. "Yeah. That sounds good."
Two of them sit there for a while, light dwindling, soft words and bubbling laughter filling the forest clearing. The last embers of their fire are flickering out when they finally get up, Blue rising first and taking their partner's hand, gently pulling them up. "Hold me tonight?" she asks, a hint of hesitation coloring her voice.
Glaucus smiles. "Of course, Blue."