Home is Where You Are

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Chief Reynolds slammed his fist down aggressively on his desk. "God dammit! How could you idiots have lost them?! We were so close! A younger officer quivered in fear. Holding onto his partners shoulders as if his life depended on it. "W-well... We didn't really expect the girl to be armed sir... And Foster..... He's-" Another blow was dealt to the poor mahogany. "They were right in our grasp and you dumbasses still couldn't keep track! What am I, a god damn babysitter?" He sat down at his desk, defeated and disappointed in his team. He rested his chin on his hands. "If you want something done right... You gotta do it yourself. Looks like we've got no other choice at this rate." Reynolds stood up abruptly from his desk. The whole room remained awkwardly silent. "Boys, looks like we're bringing out the big guns." He announced, his voice gruff from his previous fit of rage.

Zack and Ray took a moment to catch their breaths after running for so long. "I think we lost 'em." Zack huffed. Ray stood with her head pointed down to the ground. Breathing heavily as she bent forward a bit, in order to relieve the tension built up in her heart and lungs. Once their pulses were back to a normal state they sought out a place to hide. "What'll we do now? We can't go home anymore. They'll find us." Ray's eyebrows crinkled, her expression was one of a woman who was very distraught. This caused Zack's heart to feel tight. Seeing her look so scared made him feel uncomfortable. She was usually the one with the plan. The two of them looked around the large woods for a place to seek refuge for the night before attempting to go any further. To their surprise, they happened upon what appeared to be an abandoned campsite. "This is way nicer than the place I used to stay at." Zack chuckled. Ray just gave him her typical blank stare in response. There was an empty fire pit, some rusted pots and pans, and a tattered tent that looked as though it had been lying there for decades. He looked at her. "....Yeeeeah. Maybe not." She looked up at him. "Zack, yours may have been a mess but at least it was still liveable." Realizing they were still holding hands he quickly let go, somewhat flustered. "C'mon. Let's keep looking."

The two continued to walk side by side, making sure not to disturb any of the wildlife within the acres of woods. Eventually, they happened upon a small cave that seemed to be vacant. "Guess we don't have much of a choice. We'll rest up and start traveling again tomorrow." Thunder started to rumble in the distance as the two of them made their way inside. Zack laid against one of the walls. Ray curled up on the dirty ground next to him. He sighed heavily as he watched her begin to shiver.
Zack removed his jacket and laid it over her. Causing her to sit up. "But this is no good. What about you? Aren't you going to be cold?" She questioned. "Nah. I've been through worse. I'll be fi-" She cut him off. Laying her head on his shoulder. "If we huddle together like this then we can both stay warm." Zack felt his face become flushed. At first he was hesitant but soon decided to wrap is arm around her, hugging her closer to him. He turned his head to the entrance of the cave. "S-so you can keep warm too. Don't be getting any weird ideas. I just don't want to kill a popsicle." Ray blank. A confused expression on her face that soon melted into a warm, loving smile. Zack dared not to look at her for he was unsure of what it would to do his heart in that moment. "We'll find somewhere better tomorrow. I promise. But until then.. We'll just have to put up with this." Ray closed her eyes. Feeling herself drift off to sleep at the sound of his voice. Zack gained back the courage to look. He rested his hand on his cheek, propping up his elbow with one knee. Ray fast asleep against his other shoulder. He thought about what they would do now that they didn't have a place to go back to. Though, as long as she was still with him, he felt comfortable anywhere. He smiled to himself as he thought about it, feeling his eyelids get heavy and ignoring the aching pain in his neck. And finally, Zack was out like a light. Unaware that he had been resting his head against hers.

For the first time in a long while, Zack had a good night's rest.

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