6.5

The potato-things took most of the afternoon to bake in the coals of the fire. Jerret dug them out carefully even as the first drops of rain started landing near him. He left them to cool off, still carefully wrapped in the paper he’d found in the kitchen. They might be a little gritty but it was the best he could manage right now. He looked up as Jessie returned again from wherever she had wandered off to this time.

She had a fish, one that was nearly half her size. She ran up to him, stumbling a little as the tail slapped at her legs.

“I caught a fish! Can we eat it?”

“Uh…” The questions were too numerous to pick one to start with and he decided to roll with it, “It’s gonna rain soon, I think, we’ll have to wait to cook it till after the storm. Put it inside to keep it fresh.”

“Okay!” She struggled up into the ship with her catch and disappeared inside.

Jerret checked on the food again and it was cooled enough to move so he gathered them up and carried them inside in time to find the others fighting.

“Leave me alone!” Jessie was sans fish now and kicking at Calvin’s shins. Calvin backed up a little but the hallway didn’t leave much room.

“I just wanted to-ow! Please stop kicking me!”

Jerret squeezed past them into the kitchen and set the food down on the table.

“I don’t want to talk to you!” Jessie’s voice carried well in the small space.

“Please just listen!”

He went back out into the hall and grabbed Calvin’s shoulder, shoving him back into the control room despite his protests.

“Stay in here and fix the ship. If I have to listen to you two arguing one more time I’ll do a lot worse than kicking.” He didn’t give Calvin a chance to respond, instead grabbing Jessie in the hallway and carrying her into her room, “Stay in here if you don’t want to deal with him, and no more kicking.” He set her down and she sat down on the bed with a defiant huff. He went back out into the hallway, and outside into a steady drizzle. The rain was cold but there was no wind to blow it around yet, so he sat down next to the dying fire and watched it sizzle slowly out. The sun was out behind the clouds somewhere, but there was no telling where. Off in the distance thunder crackled and the rain started falling harder. The tension in the atmosphere was quickly dissipating, and he waited until the ground was thoroughly soaked before heading back inside.

There was no sound from either of them, much to his relief. He hadn’t spent this much time with other people willingly in a long time, and it was starting to get tiring. He sat down in his room with his book as the storm grew angrier outside and the thunder got closer.

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