The moon hung fat over the evening. From where she stood, Bastion could just barely see the outline of the Double Tap with its flickering, fading lights; the whole of New Hayven was quiet now like a calm before a storm. Earlier she had watched the Dock Workers pack all their belongings onto a repurposed steam rig, each passenger dressed and ready for battle. She had watched the boat push off from the shore before slinking back to town like a forgotten shadow, taking up a planted post somewhere on the edge of town to observe the evening fade. At some point the Centurian joined her; she still had not asked his name.
He scuffed his boot against a stone. “I thought you liked war.”
Bastion’s lips peeled back from her teeth, but she did not look at him. “It’s not my war,” she eventually replied, though her tone rang with a childish petulance.
“I didn’t think it mattered if it was your war or not.” His eyes were clear and soaked up the moonlight when he tilted his head toward her.
She refused to meet his steady, assessing gaze, but she could see it from the corner of her vision nonetheless; Bastion knew that he was baiting her, and moreover, it was working. “Well this time it matters,” she snapped and finally turned to square herself against him. He was taller than her, certainly broader in the shoulder – they were both creatures of combat, but built for a different kind of war. “I’ve spilled enough fucking blood for Ripton Falls.” Bastion spat the name out like an ugly word, the light reflecting off of her red eyes like a cat at night. “They can fucking rot for all I care.”
He seemed unphased, dropping his chin to look down at her. “A person who didn’t care wouldn’t rile,” he intoned.
The Remnant said nothing, but her expression edged somewhere between venom and fury in equal parts until she looked away from him again. A brief silence carried through them while she chewed on her lower lip, the hilts her swords bouncing restlessly in her hands. After some length of time, the Centurian released a weathered sigh and fixed his attention back on her. “I’ll cover for you.”
Bastion’s expression lifted in surprise, and then suspicion, as she tilted her head back toward him. Her eyes narrowed into critical pinpoints, brows wrought with concentration in an obvious appraisal of his offer. Eventually she sniffed once and turned away again, looking toward the east; a moment later, she was moving. If she was fast, she could catch one of the out-going caravans. “I don’t owe you anything,” Bastion called back over her shoulder.
When he watched her go and saw the wild edges of her savage smile, his mouth lifted at one corner.