(2015-10-29) The Arrival..in Stratford
The Arrival..in Stratford
Summary: Quinton is reunited with his sister…yeah and Piper too
Date: 10.29.2015
Related: Related Logs (Say None if there aren't any; don't leave blank. You have to use full URLs, like http://mushname.wikidot.com/logtitle)

Town Center (TC)

Intersection: Texas Street and Main Street

The town center isn't like most for small towns, but quite normal for small farm towns in the panhandle of Texas. There are no fancy town greens or historical buildings like the court house or town hall.

On the east side of the street is a Dairy Queen, boarded up with overgrown grass growing through the concrete of the outside eating area. Near that is the Stratford Inn, a small strip motel with a dozen small rooms.

To the west are grain silos and a rail road depot flanking the railroad tracks that run through town.

The occassional stray dog, cat or other wildlife can be seen or heard roaming through.

It's been a day shy of two weeks since the scouting party pulled into Stratford and then pulled out again, leaving the poet behind to get to know the locals and help ease the joining of the two camps. The locals were starting to wonder if perhaps these mysterious Camp Hope people were ever going to show. Seems the wait is over though, "Estan aqui! Estan aqui! (They're here!)" the cry comes up from the guard perched on the roof of the two story condos. The words are enough to send all the residents out of the protective fences of the complex and heading toward the center of town.

While he's not been as well fed this past two weeks, he's definitely slept better. And been warmer. No sweater today sadly, but a t-shirt and a flannel someone had lent him. The poet hears the call and rushes off to great the buses. He has been planning on starting the trek back by foot if they didn't return in a day or so, so…thank god. The windows are too small, or maybe everyone is slouched down , but Quin can see many people inside, and definitely ca't make out anyone specific. Damn it. He impatiently shifts from one foot to the other, forcing himself to not just run in the direction of the vehicles.

The army truck, followed by two yellow school buses rumble through town. The small crowd gathered makes them slow to a stop. The two guards in the truck glancing at each other warily before getting out slowly and keeping their hands up to show peaceful intent. The first bus seems to have the people in it, and not as many as would be expected, the second is all the supplies and personal possessions that were allowed to be brought. "Hola" one of the guards greets and then gestures to the bus which he heads to the back of. The bus doors open, both those in front and in back and what is left of the people of Camp Hope begin to disembark. They are all tired looking, a few are brought out the back on stretchers under the direction of the Doc. Even a number of those coming out the front are wounded. Something happened, and not something good.

The bit of nervous excitement quickly drains from Quin and is replied with outright panic. "no no no no…" He pushes to the front of the group, desperately scanning faces. Before he sees her, Kayla sees him and tackle hugs the poet, arms clinging to the skinny man like an octopus. The suddenness of the hug startles not only Quin, but most of the others around them. Some tense while a few raise a hand, but then lower it just as quickly when they see Quin is hugging her back. He had words, but the condition of everything has stolen them from him. So instead he olds onto her, scanning the rest of the people over her head.

Bea descends the bus carrying Troy and guiding the tired and cranky Becca by the hand. Bea looks awful, more exhausted than most of the ambulatory folks and has clearly been crying. She is followed by the rest of the children and then Piper is the last one off the bus. Of everyone she has changed the most drastically over the 9 days. No longer needing the maternity clothing she wears the the bright dress that was given to her a few weeks ago. It clashes with the olive colored snuggie that holds the squirmy newborn to her chest. The diaper bag is slung over a shoulder and Quin's guitar case is in hand.

Quinton locates a few more faces, in clouding Harmony's, before Kayla gives him another squeeze and whispers something in his ear. The brother looks down, sighing and then placing a kiss to his younger siblings forehead. She lets go of him and steps away, having to go take care of something (it was a long ride!). Bea's face, and the lack of a certain someone clue him in some, but he is still cautious as he approaches the new mother.

In a small pond of Latino faces Quinton's is easy to make out, even for the short Piper. She doesn't do the running hug tackle that his sister did, but there is no caution or hesitation when she hands the guitar off to Caro and moves to greet him, also with a hug, but because of the infant attached to her isn't as tight "Don't ever… again." she tells him, a few words lost as she does her best to keep relatively calm and not hug him to pieces.

Quinton's very easily picked out, tall, pale and blonde. Poor guy. His arms go around her, enveloping her more than usually. A little bit of fear and a lot of not used to her being not the size of a beach ball. A cheek is laid against the top of her head briefly before he lets go, not wanting to squish the newborn. They say babies are tough, but he'd rather not take any chances. Pale eye quickly scan Piper, and then bay and then any of the children he can see. "…W-w-…" It's hard to tell what he's trying to ask after, so much seems to have happened.

It's been two weeks, so naturally Piper is reluctant to be let go or be let go off, but the squirming infant is enough to get her to do so. Her tired eyes look at with trying to figure out what he is asking. One W sound isn't enough for her to go on, "What?" there is a pause "When?" another pause, she can't imagine it would be why, where or how, so those are left out.

Quinton just frowns, a single word question doesn't cover what appears to have happened. Worried eyes glance around at the survivors. Guilt is already settling in, he should have been there, for whatever it was that happened. A hand raises to rub his face, the beard almost needing a trim now. "…okay?" Maybe that's where to start.

Piper looks from him to the gathered survivors. The Reyes family (the locals) seem to have everything under control and are helping the wounded and directing everyone to the motel for now. To give them a temporary place to sit and rest. It's not a warm welcome but a practical one. She isn't going to assume this time that he is just asking about her, but even if he was the answer would be the same "Tired. Stiff. Sad…" there is a beat "but alive." her eyes briefly go to the infant and then back to him

That's not helping with the guilt. He seems to deflate some, but nods, finally letting his eyes linger on the babe. He can't tell the gender, but it seems …well? Fussy babies are a good thing, right? it means they're wanting food or attention or something? His baby experience is Troy, so….yeah. he's very lost. Finally a hand raises, and if Piper allows Quin will touch one of the baby's cheeks briefly.

She is familiar with that bit of body language, "No." Piper says "Kamo Kids attacked." she doesn't want him to have any survivor's guilt about this too. She doesn't pull away when he reaches to touch the babe's cheek, instead she moves closer, turning into him so he can get a better view of the infant "Boy." she tells him, not the girl that she kept claiming it would be, but that's usually how it works.

Quinton's frown increases. He's the one that drove Dax away. If that was her group… A swallow and he'll shove that away for now. Time to feel guilty about it later, he guesses. His head tilts, bangs flopping to the side to look at the baby. A surprised glance to piper, she was so sure it was going to be a girl! But he then looks back down at the little man, his finger tracing the baby's cheek and then the top of his head, "….flawless…"

And there is quite a bit of hair on that baby's head too. Piper has given up on keeping a hat on him and now that they are in a warmer climate she won't have to worry about it so much. A tired grin meets his expression, "Surprised me too." she admits and his comment has her making an amused noise "Sometimes." yes she is talkative today, even in front of all these people…even if they aren't paying much attention to the pair, though she does get a look occasionally, but she is ignoring them all.

Quinton doesn't notice the other people. New borns tend to have one of two affects on people. They either run, or stare amazed. Quin seems to fall into the second category, although that probably isn't a surprise. He is a poet, hope and all that shit. Pale eyes sneak up to look at Piper. She seems…happy? It's hard to say with all the tragedy around them, "…when?"

Well that haunted look that seemed to never leave her eyes is gone, but yes, hard to say at the moment. As Quin stares transfixed at her son Piper sneaks her hand into his. It's clear to her he isn't asking about when the attack happened, that's probably kind of obvious, "Nine days. The 20th." of course she knows the exact day, does she have a calendar hidden somewhere. "How was things…" she gestures around the town.

9 days. 9 days old. God….Quin's eyes stay fixed on the babe, his finger tracing an ear before he pulls back. The poet takes a very deep breath , looking back towards the family he's been staying with, "…good…people." He doesn't appear to be injured or mistreated at all. Maybe lost pound or two, and needs a change of clothing, but besides that he's good. "Buildings…houses…cover…" He motions to the west, but then blinks as there's a hand in his. He must be having a frazzled day to not note that.

There is a sigh of relief as any residual worry about that situation melts away, "We were worried." Piper glances around a bit, but can't seem to find who she is looking for. When he indicates the west the looks that way, taking in the almost desert like landscape that is the panhandle of Texas "Show me?" she asks. After being trapped in a bus for hours and hours she is probably restless…even if she is tired.

Please. Even on bad days, Quin's usually charming enough to not give them a bad reputation. If that's what she meant. Either way he gives a small smile, the first since the buses were spotted. He blinks, glancing to what's left of the Camp Hopers. "..Sure?" Everyone seems to be busy, either stretching or unloading the bus for specifics. No one has become too buddy buddy yet. That will take time. A man is near and Quin rattles off something quickly in spanish, using his free hand to motion to the west again. The dark hair man nods, acknowledging whatever Quin told him. And with that Quin nods to Piper, "…come…" a step is taken to start leading her.

Piper nods, she's sure. If this is to be their new home she may as well start to get the lay of the land. Until Quin addresses the man she wasn't even aware he was near, that kinda disturbs her, but not enough to last. Of course she understands every word that was rattled off, but she gives no reply to it. She'll let them, the locals, think she doesn't understand for now. When they start start to walk she does so eagerly…though a little stiffly. To much sitting "A friend?" she asks gesturing to the dark haired man as they make their way west.

Quinton gives a small shrug to the question, "ok." Eyebrows draw together at her stiff movement, "Need….stretch?" He starts to motion to take the baby, like he would Troy but then stops. Newborns are a whole new level of scary.

The residential area that they are walking toward and all of the town really is all flat, with straight streets, formed in a grid like pattern, almost symmetrical really. Piper is studying the houses, any grass that the lawns had long dead from not being watered regularly. "I could." despite it being a yes/no question she doesn't answer it as such. She looks at him and seems ready to give him a chance to hold the boy but his hesitation stops her as well. She isn't going to force the baby on him. "Thoughts to where?"

Quinton hesitates more, his free hand twitching once, "I can…" he then motions at the nameless babe. her question though, makes him look away, "Not…" He'll try again, "Changed….less people…" It's easier and harder now….

Since he is offering again, Piper will gingerly remove the infant from his snuggie and offer him over to Quinton, guiding him in the proper holding technique for a baby so new to this world, "Thanks." once the pair are situated, the infant staring up wideeyed at the bearded man, she shrugs off the snuggie and rolls her shoulders back and forward. "We'll figure it out." she gives him a reassuring smile. And while it might not be them two specifically to do so, she seems warily optimistic about it.

Once he's in Quin's arms, the man freezes. Why is he so light? His pale eyes widen and they lock on the infants and he inhales deeply, like he's going to say something, but the words catch in his throat. Absently he answers Piper, "Yeah…" Piper being the optimistic one is kinda odd, but once he gets everything in order in his brain, that will be nice.

Funny how becoming a mother can give a person a much needed attitude adjustment. Not only does she have to help make this a safe place, but she has to do while putting on a brave face…even if she is at times terrified on the inside. Their disparaging heights makes it so she doesn't have to lean over much to place a peck on the staring baby's head. "It's okay." she whispers, but can still be heard, to the baby "He's a good one." as for actual stretches…she doesn't do much, arches back a little, bends over to touch her toes…she can actually do that now…almost.

Quinton just watches Piper kiss the baby, trying to hold him as still as possible. It's probably a little funny, the grown man looking slightly terrified at the life in his hands. As Piper stretches his eyes go back to Quinn and he swallows, nervously. Finally he manages a quiet, "…hey…"

It is sorta funny, and there are few things more irresistible than a man holding a baby… except a man holding a baby with a puppy. Probably good for Quin that it is just Piper here and none of the other camp females…from either group. The woman hangs bent over a bit, feeling the muscles stretch and her spine loosen a bit.

The baby's light brown eyes widen a bit as the fuzzy faced man speaks, but no crying, just arm waving and a few kicks with both legs.

Also good that Page isn't there. The combination for the unholy trinity might be too much for Piper to handle! The poet's own eyes widen as the baby squirms. It moves! Oh God! "Hey!…hey…" Instinctively he rocks slightly. that's what everyone did with troy, right?

Piper looks up at Quinton when he speaks a little louder. She wonders briefly if she had that same look of terror when she first held him. She did. It was gotten over quickly. Straightening she puts a calming hand on the adult Quin's arm "You're fine." yes she is amused, "Won't break." not as easily as people seem to think at least.

Says Piper! Quinton's a smart enough man though to know if he did break the baby he'd be a dead man…and rightfully so. His eyes travel from the babe's to her hand and then up to her face, "..Light…" he'll heft the baby a few inches to demonstrate what he means.

Piper cants her head at him. What was he expecting? She's tiny herself, and with the way she ate during her pregnancy its surprising he isn't smaller, "Yes." she says with a nod, she is neither alarmed or worried about it, so must be a normal thing for newborns "You have him?" she asks and then motions about keeping walking. Asking if he wants to carry him around while they walk or if she should take him back.

Quinton doesn't know! he just feels…light! There's an internal debate, does he have him? Can he do two things at once? Gah! This is stupid, people have had babies for a very long time, Quin should be able to do this. So he nods, "Y-yeah…Got him." He lets Piper set the pace, eyes moving from his path, to he baby to the surrounding areas…just in case. He is wearing his gun, but isn't sure he could draw it with the babe in his arms if something went wrong.

She watches him, that part hasn't changed and never will, while he makes up his mind about that. Piper doesn't ask if he is sure about that. If he says he has him she trusts that he does. And the baby doesn't seem to mind being carried around outside the snuggie. Freedom to squirm around as much as he wants. Without the waddle she is back to a normal pace, but still slower than the poet's normal one, since there is really no reason to hurry. Houses are past and she looks them over, a church, she stops though at a playground. With its empty swings, and large wooden playscape it looks rather lonely "Nice." she says but then continues. She'll have to bring the rest of the children down later. And the survey of the neighborhood continues and for now everyone is safe.

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