one passing night

the evening is spread out against the sky

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joint post: come on it, the water's fine!
like a boss
findmyownreason wrote in onepassingnight
The weather report had forecast rain, but they'd been lucky.  The sky had been clear and sunny when they'd picked out and set up their campsite earlier and it had stayed just as balmy on the long hike to the lake.  It was his last chance to be with his baby sister before she went off to college (not such a baby anymore.  Life seemed intent on forcing him to acknowledge that fact despite his best efforts to avoid it).  Cloud wanted today, this whole trip together, to be perfect. 

Which she was.  Almost embarrassingly so.  He could eat a little pride though to see Ami smile like that.  He'd like to blame it on the fact one of his arms was in a sling and say it was slowing him down but - the fish really did just like her better.  As he watched her reel yet another one toward shore, his blue eyes narrowed behind his tinted glasses and he just had to ask.

"Are you sure you didn't put some kind of girly hex on my lure or something?

"Of course I didn't," Ami returned easily. "I don't need to do anything like that to beat you in fishing." The spell was on her lure. Besides, it didn't take much to use the water to sense where the fish were. And it was, emphatically, not cheating. It was a part of her.

So Ami's innocent look as she pulled in her line was an entirely sincere one, really. It was amazing how much resistance fish could muster in the water, and she strained against the effort of bringing it in. From the way her rod was bent double, it must have been a decent size.

Given that his bobber wasn't doing anything but sitting there lamely in the water, Cloud turned his concentration on Ami's. Which was underwater most of the time thanks to the fight the fish was putting up. When she was younger, he would have helped her. She was too stubborn and half the time the fish would have pulled her in the water before she'd gotten the fish on dry land if he hadn't been there to anchor her. She was an adult now, or close to it, as he had to keep reminding himself and she could fight her own battles. As long as if was just against fish, at least. So he got the net ready for when she got the fish close enough but didn't try to take over what she was doing in any way. It was hard sometimes but he was learning. Or trying to at least.

"We keeping this one for dinner or are you letting it go back to its fishy family once it admits you've won?"

If she can handle demons, crazy genetic experiments, and manifestations of nightmares and death, she can handle fish. Ami brought the line in steadily, playing a little to slowly wear out her prey.

"That depends on the size," she pointed out. But from the way her arms were just starting to tire, it was probably a keeper. She glanced aside to note that Cloud was ready, and made a concerted final effort to bring it in. As it broke through the water, she grinned.

Cloud gave a whistle as the fish showed up, first under the water and then being pulled clear, thrashing. It was definitely a keeper and he caught it in the net with a smooth twist of his wrist. Not happy about being out of its element, the fish continued to fight as Cloud brought it back to the dock. Efficient, he got the hook out of it and dropped it into the bucket.

"At least we won't end up eating hotdogs tonight," he grunted. Which was when the first splash of water hit him, scattering across his nose and causing his head to jerk up in surprise. He hadn't noticed the already low clouds starting to send their darts of water across the lake, too busy with the fish and his little sister. Now though he was finally aware of the fast approaching storm. Too late to head back to the campsite. A quick look around revealed the lean-to shelter on the shore and he jerked his chin at it as he caught up his own pole and gear with his good hand.

"Come on."

She was still looking at the bucket, rather smugly, when the rain went from a few drops that weren't worth noticing, to a steady stream. No wonder the fish had been biting heavily; she'd read that they tend to feed most right around a rain.

She headed quickly to the shelter, though the rain didn't quite seem to reach her as they went; she was keeping it away and keeping herself dry. And probably waiting for this to be noticed, and to be asked, before doing the same for anyone else.

ooc. so - we're going with a bit of an AU (an AU within an AU - we need to go deeper!) with this post.  It's pretty much modern day Tokyo, where Cloud and Ami have been brother and sister all their lives and they're getting in one last family event before Ami goes off for college.  Feel free to jump on in as a late arriving family member, a friend, a stranger in the lean to they're taking shelter from the rain in, whoever you feel like jumping in as.  Due to the HUGE difference in our posting speeds, I'm a snail, put who you'd like to have tagging back in your subject line, either or both, together or separate threads and whether you're open to random threadjacking by the other or not.  I've got a busy couple of days coming up but I wanted to get this up and out there now before LJ updates and goes down again.  Come join the rainy day fun!

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Under the overhang, Ami had the luxury to look over her catch: a slippery bass determined to thwart them and quite furious at being caught. She couldn't say she blamed it; but she had no intention of freeing it, either.

"I can fry it," she told her brother. "Back at the campsite, I can do it. I brought everything we'll need." She'd come prepared, of course. This meant going back there, but they needed to eventually anyway, despite the weather. She glanced upward, then at Cloud.

"You're soaked." This was mostly a mischievous way to point out that she wasn't. Brat.


But he said it with a smile as he shook water out of his unbowed spikes with his fingers. He knew Ami had a way with water and he'd never pushed or questioned it. It was just the way she was.

"That fish dinner you're talking about better be worth it."

"It is if I say it is." But the snappish retort came with a smile like Cloud's. "If you're worried about that, want to cook it for us yourself?" You have just talked yourself into more work, big brother. Ami held out the metal stringer with the fish secured to it.

Of course, in the rain... Her eyes sought out somewhere that might have dry wood still. "Did we have some wood under a tarp?"

Cloud looks at the fish with a dubious eye before taking it from Ami.

"I'll descale it. You're still cooking it." Cloud can cook. He's been forced to or starve. But his idea of cooking the fish involves wrapping it in tinfoil with some lemons and burying it in the ashes. The problem with that plan is he's hungry now. And Ami's a better cook than he is anyway. Her question has him glancing around, both for a spot to skin and gut the fish that's off to the side and for -

"Looks like." Most people are pretty good about restocking shelters when they use them and sure enough, there's a stack of wood in one dry corner near a much used fire pit. With a smirk, Cloud will reach gesture to his coat pocket. One arm in a cast, the other full of fish, he can't reach it himself but - "I've got the matches if you want them. Unless you've forgotten how to manage fire with all your wet work."

"If you're saying I can't handle a fire, maybe I should go eat something else." Yes, go. As in, not share. Don't talk yourself into starvation, big brother. Ami smiles a bit too sweetly as she takes the matches, point made.

It doesn't take long to build a fire; she doesn't need power over that element for this, just basic knowledge of how to strike a match and how to build the fire so it catches. She read a book about it before they came out here anyway.

Considering he's the one holding the fish, he doesn't take her threat too seriously but he doesn't complain either as she shuffles around in his pocket and then heads off with the matches. He doesn't doubt that she'll get the fire started. She's more determined than any new experience. Meanwhile, he's going to head off to the far corner with the fish and bucket to turn it into something edible, leaving all the extra bits in the bucket to dump back in the lake once it gets done raining. They'll eat what they've got and the rest of the fish can have what they don't. Sounds like an all around fair circle to him.

It takes a bit more doing than usual considering he's one handed and it's a bit of a sloppier job than he'd like but he still gets the job done and what's for them is edible. That's what counts. He meanders back over to the fire with his offering after cleaning off his knife and sighs as the beginning heat hit him. He's not complaining but the wet and the chill is making his arm ache and the fire feels nice in contrast. He'll hand over the fish without compunction.

"If you can rough it out here, I don't see how college will be much of a challenge to you when you go."

"I'm not going to university to challenge myself," Ami says bluntly. "I'll do that on my own. I'm going so I'll have the credentials I need for my goals." She doesn't tend to say 'dreams' these days.

It's true, of course. She could have handled college long ago; even her teachers had known and said that. But it had seemed important, back then, to stay with her friends. When that ended, she chose her next school for very practical reasons, to investigate it. When that ended, there'd been no more point in holding herself back, and here she is ready for college at age sixteen.

Once the fire is going, once or twice she helps Cloud by putting something just a bit closer to his grasp, or getting it done before he can worry about it. She does it without saying anything, letting the gestures speak for themselves without becoming embarrassing.

He notices the moves and he doesn't say anything either. It would be embarrassing for both of them but that doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate the fact she does it anyway. He hopes she knows that too without him having to make anything awkward between them by saying so. Shifting over one of the larger logs for her and then another for himself to sit on, he settles in front of the fire, blue eyes catching gold as they watch his little sister over the flames. He watches her a lot, as if she's a forever secret he's intend on at least memorizing, studying every move until the way she moves tells him more about her than any words she could ever say. She's precious to him. And so it's important to him to know how to take care of her whether she wants him to or not. So he's studying again, as always, but his voice is soft as he says:

"Wasn't talking about the academia part of college, Ami."

She tends to be focused, to put it gently. Once they're settled, Ami sits down on the log after quickly wiping it off with her hand; she's wearing old clothes, but tidy habits die hard.

"I'll be fine with that, too," she insists with her usual pride. "I want to test myself." She wants to see that she can make it on her own, experience new things, handle herself on her own. She may be a homebody at heart, but she has that drive for adventure, too.

He nods. He knows. She's always been about seeing how far she can push the boundaries, how far she can expand her world - and yet he knows that parts of her world will always be restrained and fragile too. His brows come down and the lines of his mouth flatten out. He's a big brother. He's always going to worry.

"You're not talking about boys, are you?"

Ami frowns. "I'm not interested in that." Considering she's a healthy teenage girl, that might actually be the more worrying answer; but to a big brother, it's probably a relief.

It's only partly a lie. She would want to love and be loved, and she already knows what passion can be (sorry, brother). But it hadn't turned out well, and to a girl who already has trouble trusting...

hey you :D

It is a relief to a big brother. There's something about the thought of his sister and any guy in any way that involves touching that his mind absolutely rejects wanting to deal with. So there's an obvious relaxing along his shoulders.

Not that he expects the guys to leave her alone. He's her brother but he's not blind.

His sister's amazing.

It brings back the frown.

"Doesn't mean there won't be guys that are."

or oops, she's slightly aged-down here. welp, her remark still stands lol

This, at least, produces a more characteristic smirk. Really, Cloud? Do you expect her not to welcome the attention part?

And do you think she'll let them touch her?

"They can be as interested as they want. However, I don't have any intention of indulging them."

Cloud doesn't trust guys and he really doesn't trust guys when it comes to his sister. She's smart and pretty and funny and she's got a streak of loyalty as deep as the ocean if she lets you close enough to discover it.

And big brother Cloud isn't going to be around to mentally kill people with his glare if they get too friendly with his little sister.

Shifting to put his arm closer to the warmth of the fire, he just grunts. It's almost a grumble but without words.

"Good. Guys are nothing but trouble."

He sounds like a grumpy old man. But while she'd still like to experience love, what she's seen pass for love hasn't given her much faith in something she she could call love truly existing. Love should be better than divorce, better than destruction, better than abandonment.

So she agrees: guys aren't worth investing her time and effort in, for such a poor return.

"I have other things to do," she says bluntly. She has studying, if they're talking about university right now.

Edited at 2012-01-13 03:18 am (UTC)

He shouldn't encourage her distancing herself from people... but he's not exactly the best example of how not to do that. And besides - they're not talking about all people. Just... guys. Devious, tricky, evil guys.

He is one. He'd know.


A pause.

"Though it's okay to be friends with them. Just... nothing else. No - " awkward shifting. "Kissing and stuff. Because you've got other things to do.


"Onii-san." And she rarely calls him that without being serious, though this seriousness is more than a girl should probably being carrying the weight of. "I told you once: I have no intention of giving myself away."

To anyone. And she's more than capable of defending herself if some grubby, dirty hands don't understand that message quickly enough; as far as she's concerned, the subject is really moot.

The truth is, she's scared of it. But it sounds so much better to say she's above it.

Frankly, she's not the only one in the family scared of it and he's the idiot attempting it anyway. But he'll nod and the smile peeks through - just a little. Reaching out he stirs the fire competently with a stick to spread the heat more evenly.

"I can't help it. You're my baby sister and I'm going to worry." His eyes lift over the fire to find hers and there might be a hint of a smirk. "Besides, we already know none of them are good enough for you."

She's a girl who'd been scared of having friends from the start; and when she'd tried, it hadn't ended well. The same could be said for that attempt at romance and it makes her all the more ready to keep people at arm's length. Further, really.

Somehow, Cloud's gotten around that, nudged himself right in closer, so much closer that it almost terrifies her when she's awake and thinks about it and can start to worry about losing it. She wonders sometimes what it says about her that the only people who seem to understand her a little bit are in her dreams. (Wish fulfillment? Delusion? A weak mind that runs away to sleep at night because waking life is so much harder in this area?)

"You can leave off the 'baby' part," she remarks dryly. "I may be your younger sister, but I'm not that far behind." It's a protest for protest's sake, really; it's kind of nice (so much more than kind of) to be the one someone is worried about and protecting. That's part of the 'baby' part.

He lets out a snort and hunches forward a little where he's sitting but it's a relaxed move and there's the hint of a smile on his lips that doesn't leave.

"Sorry, kiddo," he definitely teasing now. "In this at least I'm always going to be a step ahead. It's the only time I get to do that. Gotta milk it."

((OOC. wrapping up time?))

It's true she can't suddenly become older. "I'll leave you that little reassurance, then," Ami says flippantly. If he's going to tease her, she'll tease back. In the dream, she doesn't even think to notice how unusual that is.

(ooc: sure :D)

[[OOC: open to both, together or separately, it's everyone's favorite sister/half-sister, Reno.]]

"Great job, guys. Wow, that sure looked like fun." The sarcasm is highly evident in her tone. She's leaning back in the lean-to with a six pack and a sandwich, relaxing and definitely not fishing. If she wants to eat fish, she'll go to the store and buy some, like a sensible, modern person. The great outdoors isn't exactly her scene. She prefers the city, but somehow she let herself get dragged out on this family camping trip. She hadn't come up with a good enough excuse to get out of it with on time. "What're you gonna do next, roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories?" She's teasing them, but she actually doesn't mind spending time with them. There are worse relatives to be around, after all.

(ooc: Cloud-Reno-Ami post order? ♥ )

Hmph. Reno, appreciate Ami more. Thanks to her, you have fish to grill over the fire, or maybe fry. (They brought some oil, didn't they, and some breadcrumbs?) On the other hand, Ami looked decidedly drier than she had any right to be.

"No," she says easily by way of greeting. "We're planning to eat our fish while you have nothing for dinner." She was, hopefully, teasing. "So if you want us to change our minds, be good awhile, Ok?" There was that sly grin that tended to come out sometimes.

Reno as Cloud's sister - he may NEVER recover.

Cloud's busy shaking rain out of his hair in the corner because even if it would serve both his siblings right to get wet too (since he's ended up being the only one wet. Yet again.) he knows they'd probably gang up on him if he did. He may never get used to living with sisters but he does have a much more finely developed sense of self-preservation because of it.

"Hey," he's quick to speak up over his shoulder once he's got most of the wet out of his hair. "Let's not be hasty. Reno's got the beer."

Priorities, man. Though he's not sure either one of his sisters should be drinking AT ALL. Still, better when he's around than when he's not.

Edited at 2011-12-22 04:07 pm (UTC)

"Oh, I won't have nothing." She grins at Ami. "I've got my own secret stash. And it's better than some scrawny fish." To illustrate, she waves her half-eaten sandwich at Ami. This stash might not actually be as great as she claims, but even if it isn't, Reno likes to sound like she's got something up her sleeve.

"And hey, wait, since when am I doing the cooking?" She pauses, then relaxes. "Well, yeah, I guess I am better at it than you two."

She leans back further, relaxing rather pointedly now as she nods toward Cloud, who as usual was the only one who didn't have the sense or wherewithal to stay dry. "That's right, as the beer-holder, I have certain rights."

Now that, Reno, is unfair. Her favorite food, just a few feet away. Ami eyed the fish, the sandwich, and the fish again. Figured Reno would be the one to turn up with sandwich.

It's something Ami would do, really.

"I'm not interested in your beer," she pointed out, because equilibrium had to be restored somewhere along the line. "So go ahead and make the lunch since you didn't do anything to catch it."

Reno: cheap sisterly labor. Or something like that. Ami would have waited for the protest, but Reno had already decided to be smug about the implication to her abilities.

"I'm interested in the beer." Cloud's learned how to cover his own ass when the two girls go at it. It involves a lot of not getting involved and a lot of just looking stoic and not appearing to side with one or the other. His safety depends on this. And sometimes, he's the one that plays middle ground for the two of them so that their barbs stay friendly. He's still working on that part but he's gotten better over the years. So now he moves back over to where they are and snags one of the beers with one of the lightning fast moves he only breaks out in self-defense most of the time. Popping the tab, he looks at Reno.

Hey, you volunteered, sis. And yeah, you're a better cook than he is hands down. Have an innocent:

"You gonna make it beer battered fish?"

With a meaningful look at Ami, she takes another bite of delicious sandwich, just because she can. "I know, I know, the good girl doesn't drink beer."

But then she's distracted by Cloud's snatching of a beer while her attention is diverted and narrows her eyes at him. She considers snatching the can back, but once Cloud has the tab open, such an operation seems likely to result in nothing but beer spilled all over both of them. Not that that's necessarily a deterrent, but she'd rather not be drenched in beer right now. So he can keep the beer.

"No way, I'm not wasting beer on fish." She gives Cloud a look as if to say, Don't be ridiculous. "And I didn't say I'd definitely do it, just that I'm better than you two."

Know what's really horrible? When a sandwich has been left out for a long time, and the bread gets really dried out and stale. You know, when the moisture evaporates away.

Sometimes it happens really suddenly. So suddenly, that the water-using girl looking way too innocent probably knows something about this as Reno's sandwich turns dry. This is what Ami's sister gets for being a brat.

Ami smiles sweetly at Cloud, another sign of doom. "Don't touch that beer!" she warns him quite cheerfully. "I already brought everything else we need for the batter." Clearly, every single can was needed. Alright, not really.

While he's not surprised in the least, and in fact counted on, Ami having everything they need for the fish, he still holds the beer protectively closer to himself with a slight narrowing of his eyes. Beer's sacred but he's seen Ami do things to other drinks before and he'd rather not risk her sacrilege.

"Don't mess with the beer." He warns it seriously because most of the time he lets her roll right over the top of him but it's because he trusts her to pay attention when he says something's actually important. The beer isn't pivotal but it's there and available now and he'd like to relax with at least his single cold can of it in relative peace.

Reno gets a glance.

"All I know is I'm in charge of starting the fire."

The rest is between you two as far as he's concerned.

"My--sandwich..." Wow, her sister is a jerk. Even Reno wouldn't ruin someone else's sandwich. (Okay, no, she would.)

"Just for that, you guys can have sushi for dinner." She's just not going to mention that she has more sandwiches stashed away somewhere, so there, Ami.

"I don't think anyone wants beer-flavored sushi." Although, now that she mentions it, that sounds intriguing. She glares at Cloud. "Nobody needs you to start the fire, I can start the fire. Not that I'm helping anybody."

With that, she turns back to Ami, still glaring. "Let him have the beer. Just because you don't like having fun doesn't mean nobody else can." Reno isn't exactly sticking up for Cloud, as she thinks of it. It's more that she's sticking up for beer.

If Reno hadn't noticed, being a jerk tended to run in this family. With the possible exception of Cloud, who was just moody.

"My, my," Ami teased Reno further. "You're pretty angry. I guess I can understand that, but remember we're family, alright?" This, apparently, was the closest that was going to happen to an offer of truce.

"So let's have the dinner: beer-batter fish." She did leave Cloud his, though; she just needed one can. "However, Reno, if you're not going to help, don't expect to eat any. You can have your sushi."

Without particularly waiting for agreement, Ami was gathering up the ingredients and eyeing the fish. Her sword was probably overkill. "Cloud, let me borrow a knife."

To Cloud as well, Reno's not defending him so much as the sacred and possibly endangered beer. He understands priorities after all. He misses the sandwich incident entirely but wouldn't complain about that if he knew. They're a family but he's always had the distinct impression that there's a lot that goes on between his sisters right in front of him that he somehow manages to miss entirely. The older he's gotten the more he's started to suspect he's grateful for that.

His eyebrows do jerk upward a little at Reno's comment about the fire and he points a finger at the red head, still holding his beer with that hand.

"If you put firecrackers in it and we don't get dinner, you're buying burgers once we hit civilization again."

At Ami's request, he shakes his head and shifts the beer to his bad hand to hold out the good one for the bucket.

"I'll gut your fish, Ami. You and Reno figure out the rest."

"I'm not about to forget we're family." She rolls her eyes. "How could I? It's burned into my memory at this point."

Yes, the beer is of primary importance. They must unite to defend it from the non-believer Ami. At least she was only taking one can. That wasn't too bad. Even though she was a sandwich ruiner. Reno overlooked the remaining cans protectively.

Cloud not paying attention was nothing new. Talk about oblivious, but maybe that was to be expected from a brother. "I'm not wasting my fireworks on that, hilarious as it would be." Please, she has some sense, and she's not about to put firecrackers in things when people might expect it.

She moved as Cloud reached for the bucket. "I've got a knife." Oh, so the guy was gonna cut up the fish while the women cooked? No way. Cutting things up was more her idea of a good time.

this is making me remember shore dinners on fishing trips with my dad /nostalgia

They could fight over the knife all they wanted. Ami was fine with getting the batter ready. For all that it had started as a joke, it wasn't a bad idea and - oh, yes, she'd smuggled along a few potatoes for 'chips'. She had spices for them, too. She was resourceful.

She found a fairly level spot to use as a table and lay out her supplies. Since they were already pre-measured (easier for once they got to this point), this wouldn't take long.

"Just be ready by the time I am, Ok?" Her voice had that certain false sweetness that suggested she was going to enjoy the other two bickering for a bit.


The whole point of mentioning firecrackers to Reno is to point out they're expected. Cloud's not entirely oblivious to his sister's habits. He's well aware that she likes the element of surprise and so to keep her from trying it at bad times, he makes it a point to point out how unsurprising something would be.

Hey, he's had to survive in a family that involves not only Ami but Reno as well. Guy's learned at least a little bit about self-preservation.

His eyebrows jerk a little over Reno's preempting of the fish though. Gutting it one handed would have been a pain in the ass anyway but Reno had seemed intent on setting things on fire and he didn't mind filling in wherever his sister's didn't want to be. So he hands over the fish with a shrug of one shoulder and resists mentioning not leaving bones in it just because he suspects Reno would be tempted to just because if he did. Instead, he grunts a:

"Thanks" and heads for the fire pit before Reno can change her mind again just to prove she can. One handed fire starting is easier than one handed fish gutting and if Reno's going to offer, Cloud's not about to turn it down. Though he's got his doubts about whether she's doing it for his sake or not, he'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Reno can be thoughtful when she wants and she usually isn't willing to acknowledge it. Settling down in front of the firepit, he comments:

"You'll both miss this one day."

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