The last time Olympia had tried cooking, it had ended up in a disaster. Not only had the cookies she’d been trying to cook come out more like misshapen lumps than an actual piece of food, but Candice had seen it as another chance to insult her. Since then, Olympia had avoided the kitchen like the plague.
But in the days in between missions, when the halls were full of agents Olympia didn’t yet know and perhaps didn’t care to know, It was lonely and dull, training was always an option, and Olympia had done a lot of it…but she was starting to wonder if they’d ever get a chance to use that training, or if they’d just constantly be thrown into situations where pure luck decided whether they lived, died, or were crippled in cryo tubes.
She was beginning to realize she needed something to do, outside of training. Otherwise, she’d go insane.
So the agent ventured back to the kitchen, hoping that this time she could avoid meeting up with Candice and being mocked. As she entered the kitchen, the familiar surfaces of stainless steel greeted her eye. She always felt like a stranger in these kitchens, like she didn’t quite belong. A kitchen was no place for a soldier, but what else was a soldier to do in their free time? There wasn’t much on this bloody ship to interest people, even her teammates were boring.
It was as Olympia walked fully into the room that she realized she wasn’t the only one in there.
Sucker Punch Photocall Portraits
Charleston was surprised when he managed to land a hit on Olympia - and a fair, solid hit at that. He doubted he would’ve been able to pull that off when he was fresh in the Freelancers. Then again, maybe he had gotten lucky - and he knew better than to rely on dumb luck to get him through a fight, which was why he began another evasive maneuver as soon as he saw Olympia moving. He was playing it safe, for sure, not wanting to risk another blow so close to the one he managed to land.
Then again, he hadn’t counted on Olympia kicking at him. Her leg swept behind his quickly, and he wasn’t paying enough attention to that particular area of her body to dodge it quickly enough. Charleston was knocked to the ground, right on his butt - he remembered being cornered by the grunts in the last “mission.” Had they caught him in this, they almost certainly would’ve killed him, and they nearly had.
And the thing was, they had been whatever the Covenant equivalent of a rookie was. Had he been faced with something fiercer, Charleston doubted he would’ve made it out alive. That was precisely why he had to get better, learn to be more efficient. Charleston wasn’t going to die here.
As soon as he hit the floor, Charleston attempted a clumsy roll. Definitely more graceless than anything Olympia had done, but just enough to get him out of harms way, at least for the immediate moment. Putting his hands up in a guarding gesture, the younger agent went to throw himself up, not wasting anytime before he was pursuing Olympia again with a one-two swing at her stomach. His breaths were ragged now, but for Charleston, this had transformed into something more than a simple sparring session, and he wasn’t going to go down without giving it his all.
Olympia’s leg connected with his knee, grunting as her leg twisted as Charleston fell down. She’d known it wasn’t going to be the most graceful move, but she wanted Charleston on the ground, It was much easier to win a spar when your opponent was on the ground. But as she was recovering from the kick and getting firmly planted on the ground again, Charleston started a roll across the floor.
He looked like a dying duck.
As he swung up from the ground, quicker than Olympia had imagined she would. He hit off some blows at her stomach, which again she decided to lean away from, bending backwards to avoid getting hit in the gut. He seemed to be fighting harder than he was before, back when they were warming up he seemed apathetic. That was good, Olympia guessed. Maybe he was finally growing a spine for battle.
"More interested in this fight now, are we?" Olympia said between parries. She laughed and aimed a punch directly at Charleston’s head. They’d gotten closer together since Charleston had gotten off the floor, so her punch wouldn’t have much to travel.
Olympia was starting to realize that perhaps she shouldn’t be fighting as if she wanted to win. She was supposed to be helping Charleston train…right? So why did she feel like she wanted to beat him to the ground?
Maybe it was the normal competitive spirit bursting out of her, or maybe she was just afraid of failing such an easy task as beating Charleston in a spar. If she couldn’t win this one spar, what use was she?
It’s a training exercise, she told herself. Nothing more.
Olympia blinked as Helena said those words. She’d always seen Helena as a woman of moderation, one of the people who wouldn’t just blurt out something like that in an instant. But, I guess, we all have needs.
Still, the declaration confused her. But it wasn’t as if Helena was a bad catch, she wasn’t half bad looking. Olympia blushed, blood flooding her face as she wondered what to do. It was such a forceful declaration that Olympia was taken aback.
What a dumb question, she realized, wanting to hit herself in the face. Of course that’s what she meant. Why else would she want her to be naked?
Naked…holy fuck, Olympia hadn’t been naked in front of someone else in years. It wasn’t like her body was bad, it was just…a soldier’s. Her chest still bore faint scars from her first mission, when she’d been caught in a plasma grenade blast. Since then, she’d worn tops that didn’t show it, not because she was self-conscious or anything, but because it seemed like a weakness.
But Helena probably wouldn’t mind…why was Olympia even considering this? Of course she’d say no, right? The last thing she needed was an emotional attachment.
The words came out before she even knew what she was doing.
"I’ll be there in ten…although we’re not going to discuss this afterwards, okay?"
Crap. It would seem her body had spoken for her.
Montgomery was one of the few people on the Equinox that Olympia had never quarreled with. Sure, they’d only had one chat, seemingly forever ago, when Mont had ditched the medbay and they’d talked about books. How long ago that seemed now…that was a time when things were simpler. When Olympia hated Phoenix and hated the A.I., but at least they were all still alive. Now it was all so complicated. Now she didn’t know who she hated, except the Director. Her hatred for him had grown like a parasite in the last few months, until it was difficult to keep under the surface.
But Montgomery was one of the few she hadn’t started to dislike. Sure, he could be a cocky asshole sometime, but mostly a solid guy.
"I trust you too, Montgomery," Olympia said quietly, replying quickly and steadily. There were few people on the ship she felt were steady enough to earn her trust, but she would trust Mont in the field covering her. Even though he was part of Gamma—a team Olympia planned to avoid since the Locust mission—Olympia didn’t see him as a Gamma.
So yes, she trusted him, and was equally glad he trusted her. Some things remained unchanged.
She knew they were disappointed.
Their eyes boring into her back seemed harsher than usual. Olympia wanted to punch one of them in the face. Her team was dead. Olympia had run while she could, she had just taken off, activated her speed enhancement. Run away. She’d never thought herself a coward, but in that moment, she’d seen her team cut down.
And she had been scared. In that moment, she’d decided she wanted to live.
It was a shame she knew she would have to live with, but when Ara spoke these words, it was like a knife. Cutting deeper into the shame that already rose under her skin.
"Well, you aren’t one to talk about disappointment," she shot back angrily. They all had to see that it wasn’t her fault…was it?
"You and your kind aren’t as perfect as you want to seem. You were supposed to be the perfect war machine, and look at you, you are all sad excuses for anything. You are just as much of a failure as I am!"
whispers I’ll reply to the other three prompts once I get some NaNo done jeez like maybe an hour