.first light. | .dean.

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"The original names just keep coming, don't they," said Dean as they passed one of Diamond City's guards, who was dressed to the nines in umpire's gear.

"Any name isn't all that original when you think about it," said Piper, giving the cold shoulder to a curious guard, who actually waited his turn to talk to her. "Who were you named after?"

Dean grunted and refrained from explaining that the honor of bearing his grandmother's name was different from a point-and-name. "I think he wants to talk to us."

"They always want to talk to me," she said. "Or anyone passing by." She peered into the guard's mask. "Ah, hey there, Ollie, come to comment on my guest's power armor, or remind me that the mayor has another 'I'm not a synth' speech scheduled for tonight?"

"Uh, the power armor, Piper." Ollie looked Danse up and down. "They're noisy pieces, and this one's got the Brotherhood stamp on it."

Piper looked to the sky and sighed with a growl. "Come on, Ollie. You've met Danse before, and we have a power armor station in the market!"

"Look." Ollie leaned in, away from the prying eyes of a security guard who lacked the privacy of a helmet. Dean figured he was some kind of leader. "Danny's been on edge about the Brotherhood lately."

Piper put a hand on her hip. "He's come in with Blue before."

"The Vault Dweller recently made it on the Mayor's 'Okay to Roam' list."

Piper's brows softened. "Really? She wasn't on it before?"

"I don't know what goes on there, okay? I just get my orders and I keep my head down and do my job. Guy's gotta eat, Piper." He turned toward Danse. "You're gonna need to step out of your armor before you head in, Paladin. We'll keep it safe out here. Follow me to storage."

Danse nodded. Piper seemed surprised at that, but Dean figured Danse was the honorable sort. Dean, on the other hand, probably wouldn't've relinquished all that protection, considering this place was a huge unknown, but knowing Danse had enough trust in them to step out of his armor eased Dean's doubts.

"Storage? That new?"

"I'm surprised you didn't know," said Ollie.

Piper grumbled. "Whatever. This guy's clear to come in?"

"One second," said Ollie. He motioned to a fenced off area and ushered Danse inside. After a few hydraulic sounds, Ollie stepped out with a de-suited Danse and sealed the room. "You're clear to enter with your guests, Piper."

She shrugged her brows. "Thanks."

The fence gate guarding the city welcomed them with a squeak, and they ascended the entrance to the stadium, only to descend into an impressive shack city that didn't appear to sleep, despite the rain. Late night walkers rushed between roofs, holding the brims of their hats or making hats out of scrap metal.

This place, this place, now this was a cool place. Sanctuary Hills was neat, organized, well-protected and well-maintained, but this place had charm, and not just because it was protected by a gigantic baseball stadium. Aside from the pre-war shape of the stands, it lacked symmetry, and nothing matched. It was like a dive bar had blossomed into a settlement. It had a real blue-collar feel, and damn, unless Danse made a real good case at this point, yeah, Dean and Sammy could settle here if they had to.

"It'll look better in the morning," said Piper, pushing him away from his perch. "In here." She took them into the first major structure at the bottom of the steps, where a charming sign reading "Publick Occurrences" hung proudly. She shushed them as she unlocked the door. Inside, she nodded to the sofa, and stepped into the back of the building, where she spoke in a hushed whisper to someone with a young voice. Dean figured he owed Piper an apology for anything stupid he might've said or done during the trip, because he knew that tone of voice, for he had often used it himself with Sam.

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