1659: Love of a Spartan – Chapters Nineteen and Twenty

Title: Love of a Spartan
Author:  AshleyBudrick
Media: Video Game
Topic: HALO
Genre:  Sci-Fi/Romance
URL:  Saved to this Archive
Critiqued by Admiral Sakai, Gul, and the Arbiter

Hello hello, all you patrons, and welcome back to the extremely slow-motion trainwreck that is, was, and probably always will be Love of a Spartan.

Last time, Mommie’s Little Marines spent five minutes on a memorial service for their buddies the Chief got killed on Lacerta, and then immediately after Troy finally made full Lieutenant. Also, Amy told the Chief to try kissing Renee with his tongue (since apparently he had never once thought to do that before), and… God help us, the two of them got promoted to Corporal.

God help us?! God help the soldiers under their command!”

Terrible Troy Counter: 97

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 87

Fucking Halight Counter: 40

That brings us to Chapter 19/Eighteen, “Tips”.

The only ‘tips’ I want to see are explosive ones, on the rounds I’ll be firing into Amy Smythe’s dense little skull.”

[March 12th, 2535 – Halcyon Class Hercules – Slipspace]

John, Renee and Amy went into the cafeteria and sat at their usual table. The room was unnaturally crowded, so it was a safe guess that there was something special on the menu for today’s dinner.

Which is totally something that automated food dispensers can decide to do…

It could have been dinner time, although there was no way to really know for sure when the ship was in Slipspace… though dates and passing of days could be roughly calculated, not to mention everyone’s bodies knew the routine. Despite the general knowledge of time being absent, everyone seemed to stay relatively on track.

Sigh

We’ve gone over this before- even though time inside of Slipspace doesn’t exactly synch up to time outside, there’s still a consistent progression within both reference frames, so ship’s time will still be countable. (Unless, of course, time in Slipspace runs at significantly different rates depending on where in the ship you are, but then you get weird problems like all the air trying to migrate to the slow parts and then everything that depends on the controlled movement of energy breaks and/or dies).

Amy was really bathing in the glory of being a Corporal, and she was unusually bubbly, and as she and the other two sat at the table, she looked like she was too jittery to sit- almost like a person with ADHD who had been given several cups of coffee.

And this is different from her usual behavior… how, exactly?”

Also, awkward and somewhat politically-incorrect simile is awkward and somewhat politically-incorrect.

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 88

This was incredibly noticeable, since Renee and John sat calmly, almost motionless. Beneath the table however, Renee was gently playing with John’s

pleasedon’tturnintoFiftyShades, pleasedon’tturnintoFiftyShades, pleasedon’tturnintoFiftyShades, pleasedon’tturnintoFiftyShades, pleasedon’tturnintoFiftyShades

fingers .

Oh thank God.

“I’m really hungry,” Amy spewed out her words like a volcano does lava,

Or like this ‘fic does awful similes.

“Can I get you guys something? You don’t have to get up, just tell me what you want. Second thought, I’m almost too excited to eat, but I mind as well anyways. What can I get you two?”

“A bottle of water and an energy bar,” Renee shrugged. She didn’t have much of an appetite.

“You’re no fun,” Amy said, getting to her feet, and she flashed her eyes over to John, carrying an appearance of some young peppy waitress,

… what

This entire sentence is like one of those optical illusions where the meaning still comes through even though all the letters in the word are transposed.”

“And you. Master Chief?”

“The same,” John replied, “Thank you.”

“Okay then,” Amy seemed dulled by her friend’s uninteresting choices but she sauntered off into the crowd of bustling marines.

“She’s really happy,” Renee said, pursing her lips, “Almost too happy.

The word that comes to my mind is ‘intoxicated’.”

Did you notice how she was acting towards Troy?”

“Hmm, ” John nodded, narrowing his eyes in thought, “I don’t trust him.”

“That’s because you’re an abusive, controlling sociopath who respects no authority but your own.”

Terrible Troy Counter: 98

“Neither do I,” she agreed, “I’m glad, I thought I was the only one. I mean, he tried this whole nice-guy act before on Lacerta, and you know what happened afterwards. Troy doesn’t like you, and as long as I’m with you I doubt he’ll change. He’s only going to act nice when there are people to see him, just you watch.”

Terrible Troy Counter: 99

“He may not like me, ” John answered, “But I think being promoted to a full Lieutenant has changed him in some way. It surprised him for Captain Thomsen to give him that rank- I could tell. I think he feels now that he has to do a good job now that’s he’s been given that honor.

Wait- didn’t you just say that you didn’t trust him and thought he hadn’t changed?

Terrible Troy Counter: 98 again

Remember, ranks can be stripped as easily as they can be given

Although, unfortunately for you and your friends, soldiers can’t be revived as easily as incompetent commanders can get them killed.”

and I don’t think Troy will want to lose this title.”

“I suppose, but he’s not going to have my trust for a long while,” Renee sniffed, “No matter how much he sweet-talks Amy and I . I was stupid enough to believe him the first time. I don’t normally give second chances.”

Ohh, you were stupid all right…

Terrible Troy Counter: 99

So they malinger for a little while longer until *shudders* Corporal Smythe comes back with the food and throws their water bottles at them-”

-which is kid stuff between what we’ve seen before, but still strikes me as kind of a safety hazard-

-and of course Edward grabs his out of the air while Renee fumbles with hers. Then Amy decides it’s time for another conversation about her horrifying (and horrifyingly obvious) ‘advice’.”

“I don’t believe it’s sanitary,” John answered truthfully, his expression completely stern, “Considering the amount of germs humans carry in their mouths alone- it isn’t healthy. Nor does it make any sense. It strikes me as rather ridiculous, honestly.”

Ok, Sakai, when did Edward suddenly turn into you?”

“R-Ridiculous ? ” She stammered, staring at John like he was an alien, “Ridiculous? Where have you been living, under a rock?”

John hardened his expression by narrowing his eyes, not particularly pleased with her comment. He knew it was meant to be taken comically, but he had heard too many comments like that from other people who weren’t his friends.

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 89

“No, I’ve just been fighting since I was 6,” John replied, making sure he had a hint of annoyance in his voice, “I’m not at all familiar with normal civilian life.”

And, just like that the biggest, dirtiest secret of the entirely UNSC military research arm has been blown wide open. And our characters… don’t really seem to care.”

“Sorry,” Amy apologized quickly, “But come on, you haven’t heard anyone mention it before? Have you ever seen a romance movie? A sex scene?

In this ‘fic? Not likely.

Please tell me you’ve been taught the basics about sex.”

“The basics, generally, of course, ” John answered, feeling uncomfortable talking about this with Amy, “But hypothetically speaking, why would I need to know more than that?

You know, I used to think the same thing. Then I started reviewing fanfiction.

I’m a soldier, my job is to fight. We were taught about the subject because it’s general knowledge. We were trained to be Spartans, not mothers and fathers . ”

“Okay, fair enough,” Amy said thoughtfully, “But I’m not asking you to go get it on with Renee and have like fifty children, okay?

We have to save something for the sequel, after all!”

Although, to be fair to AshleyBudrick, I don’t know if the sequel actually involved that, it’s just the thing that fanfiction tends to do.

Renee takes issue with the suggestion, and… I swear to God, they have a motherfucking food fight:

Renee glanced down at her abandoned energy bar, and then with a mischievous glance from John to Amy, she hurled it across the table, hitting Amy in the head. Amy let out a shriek of pain, and whipped

around to watch the energy bar fall to the floor.

“What the hell?” she shrieked, not caring that people were staring, “You’re throwing food at me now? What did I do to you? Oh you’re going to get it nowa!” she snatched Renee’s water bottle up, and Renee cowered.

“No!” she giggled, but Amy flung it at her. Renee shrieked, and ducked, and John snapped his arm out and caught it before it could hit her, and he sat it down on the table so quickly it was like it never had been thrown.

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 90!

Fortunately, Troy soon arrives on-scene to tell them to knock it the fuck off.

“Renee started it, ” Amy was quick to snap, sounding like a little brat, “It progressed from there.”

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 91

Troy raised his eyebrow at Renee, making an odd face, but he smiled after a couple of seconds ticked by. Renee had thought that he was going to gross her out for a moment.

Whatever the flippety fuck that means…

Whatever it is, I’m sure it was immature.”

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 92

“Now, now, RenRen, ” He scolded, “Act your age, not your shoe size.”

Oooh, nice one!

“Although it does mean that Renee Kilburn must have extremely tiny feet.’

She didn’t say anything, and only gave him a weird look. Having Troy gone for so long and then to have him randomly waltz back thinking he was part of the club again was too awkward. What was wrong with him? She was sitting clearly beside John and he didn’t look the least bit agitated.

Because how dare a commanding officer take a more conciliatory approach towards his men after they’ve just survived a traumatic ground deployment??”

Terrible Troy Counter: 100!

“Troy, seriously,” Amy turned to look at him, “You’ve treated us like shit ever since we’ve joined the UNSC, then today you magically switch over to the good guy and think you’re going to be welcomed back into our open arms?”

His expression darkened, and he frowned.

“No,” he answered, “Of course I don’t. I know that you, Renee and Spartan must all hate my guts. I’m going to work for your forgiveness and I don’t expect you and Renee to think me godly just because I promoted you.”

That’s…

I’d say that’s surprisingly mature of him, but then again this is Troy Fisher.

They continue discussing Troy’s infractions- imaginary and real- for a while, and what I find interesting is that the discussion never gets any more specific than this:”

“I heard about how you got that broken nose. How do we know that you’re not going to do the same thing again? How can we trust you?”

It’s obvious Mommie’s Little Marines are referring to his assault on Kilburn, but they never say so, and Fisher never does either- he could just as easily be thinking of the fact that he confessed his confused feelings regarding her in the first place!”

Is there anything that Alien Hand Theory can’t explain?

Also,”

Terrible Troy Counter: 101

After that, everyone gets tired and decides to head back to their cabins (an action which takes two 8.5-by-11 pages!), Edward angsting about Amy’s stupid fucking advice the entire fucking time.

And, of course, Kilburn opts to sleep in the Chief’s cabin once again-not only does continuing to do that dramatically increase the chance of someone discovering what (I think) is still supposed to be a clandestine relationship, but it also means that if anyone needs Renee for something, they wouldn’t be able to find her!”

He turned away from her, and began to unbutton his dress coat. The medals jingled as he shrugged it off, and he put it away in his locker on the hanger. He also took off his necktie- he never liked those things- and put it in his locker as well.

urm yeah bro?

hood

what is WRONG wish this PICTURE.

Then… this happens.

John took her by the shoulders, and shoved her backwards onto his bed, their lips only parting for a moment. She let out a little gasp as they fell onto the mattress together, limbs tangled.

He left her lips and went to her neck, kissing her pale, soft skin with the same amount of hunger as he had her lips. His hands, as if they were controlled not by him, moved down her body, over her curves, over the female body in which he was so unfamiliar with.

Her fingers ran through his hair, and slid down his back, feeling the muscles beneath the thin cloth of his shirt. He went back to her lips, and kissed her fiercely again, their hands fumbling everywhere in a frantic effort. She scrambled with his buttons on his shirt, and soon, it had been tossed to the floor. Her hands ran down his muscles, as he pulled her close, kissing her neck, both of them breathing heavily. He reached behind her and pulled her dress shirt free of her pants, and then pushed her back and began to unbutton her shirt, his hands shaking uncontrollably. He couldn’t wait much longer, he heard no protests, so he pulled the last two buttons, and they came off, and went flying across the room. Renee gave a little gasp of surprise, but didn’t care, as she and John both shrugged the shirt off. He instantly looked to her, and wasn’t sure about the bra she was wearing, but didn’t question, but he kissed her collar bone, running his hands along her bare skin. He kissed lower and lower, her stomach, her bellybutton… each kiss receiving a gasp from her.

He went back up to her face, and kissed her again, pulling her tight against him so that her skin was touching his own. He felt adrenaline pumping through him, his heart pounding wildly in his ears, and he put his knee between her legs and pulled her closer, and reached down to her pants, kissing her again.

Honestly… I’m not quite sure what to make of that. I think it’s a massive waste of prose, but really it’s not any different from any other mild to moderately explicit love scene in a novel (notice that I did not say sex scene, because -much to my lack of surprise- they chicken out at the last minute and don’t actually do anything).

Really more than anything it reminds me of the cuddle segments from When You’re Strange, and apparently those were OK, although really I’d prefer a lot of this kind of purple description to not be there.

Whatever. After that, the Chief remembers that Dr. Halsey is concerned about the offspring of SPARTAN-IIs having genetic defects- because that‘s the number-one concern, not fraternization regs or even whether his enhanced strength could injure a partner if he got carried away- and then they fel aspleep lol.

And that’s Chapter 19/Eighteen- pointless, shitty, and short even before I cut half of it.

Seriously, this ‘fic is so well-padded you could survive a drop from high orbit in it.

Chapter 20/Ninteen is entitled ‘Unexpected Events’, which for once doesn’t really tell us much- given the pacing of the last few sections, pretty much any event would be unexpected.”

[March 13th, 2535 – Halcyon Class Hercules – Slipspace]

Even after Renee had fallen asleep in his arms, John found it difficult to sleep himself. He tried, but his efforts proved to be useless.

Well, he could always just read his own story… that’d probably knock him out right quick…

He stared at the ceiling, his eyes long adjusted to the darkness, his mind buzzing with thoughts. He held Renee close to his body, the warmth the both of them created almost depleted the need of a blanket.

That’s not the right word…”

Unless, I dunno, Halo 6 decides to implement a bunch of random statistics bars from The Sims or something…

At this point, I wouldn’t put it past the developers.”

John thought for hours, as time ticked on by, and his mind refused the proposal of sleep. He had been extremely tired, but the whole event with Renee had jolted him up,

far away from the possibilities of hoping to sleep.

Renee was sleeping peacefully in his arms, and John was envious of her. He watched her peaceful face as she slept, and the gentle rise and fall of her chest as she breathed. Her face was free from worry, free from any negative expressions,

… so, he didn’t have to worry about the square root of her face producing imaginary numbers?

and her beauty was plainly obvious. In his opinion, he was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen,

SNERK

“Spirits! There’s narcissim, and then there’s narcissism!”

although he had never directly told her that. Something in him told him that if he were to tell her so, she’d deny it.

So he wastes a few more paragraphs moping around with the whole “pretty ugly” schtick for the both of them, then decides to go and take a shower just so that he can angst some more.

John knew the feelings themselves were natural, but allowing himself to be controlled by them- which had happened to both Renee and himself… John thought it was unacceptable. He was a Spartan, and Spartans never allowed their emotions to control them.

Except for all of the times in this story that he’s let his emotions control him.”

“Damn,” John whispered to himself over the running water. He ran his fingers through his hair, and closed his eyes. He had been showing too much emotion lately- way too much. He hadn’t ever been this way for a long time, since he had been a six year old boy on the playground back on Eridanus II with his schoolmates.

*gasp* Is this… actual introspection?

It was like Renee and Amy had changed him, like allowing himself to befriend them and love Renee, opened not just his feelings of love, but the whole caboodle.

Whatever that means…”

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 93

He remembered how he had gotten angry and thrown the concrete during the mission on Lacerta, and was subject to often having violent thoughts about destroying or causing harm to Troy in one way or another. He never had allowed his temper to go in that way before.

He wasn’t sure what to do, exercise more self-control, perhaps.

That’d probably be a good idea.

He doesn’t really do anything to act on that suggestion, though, and spends another paragraph or two treating a small cut he inflicted on himself while shaving. Then, who should appear but Amy The Annoying?”

“Aren’t you going to tell me what happened?” Amy looked at him with interest,

Whatever would possess him to do that? Does Amy have absolutely no concept of private information?

and she elbowed him slightly, “Did you use my advice? “

Ahem.

Uh oh…”

SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT YOUR GOD DAMN ADVICE ALREADY!!!!

IT WASN’T EVEN THAT COMPLICATED!

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 94

John didn’t say anything and continued to rinse his razor. Amy waited, and watched as he dried it off and placed it in his kit. He glanced up at her, and she smiled.

“Well did ya?” she pressed.

“Might have, might not have, ” John raised his eyebrows, “Classified.”

“What’s with the secrecy?” Amy put her hands on her hips, “Come on John, I’m Renee’s best friend, and if you don’t tell me, she will… at least I think she will.”

Betraying your mate’s confidence in three, two, one…”

“Fine then,” John narrowed his eyes, “If it makes you so happy to know. I’ll tell you. I used your advice.”

Aaaand douchebag! We have douchebag!!

Fucking Halight Counter: 41

Amy instantly beamed. She laughed lightly and reached up to clap him

on the shoulder, but it was awkward due to his height.

“That’s great! So, did she like it?”

“Now you’re getting too personal.”

“Well, you’re not limping from a kick in the groin, or suffering from a broken nose like a certain Lieutenant we know, so I can suspect that she loved it,” Amy grinned mischievously, “Renee’s not as innocent as she looks. She knows a thing or two about what I suggested to you.”

Seeing as it’d be difficult for a human to make it out of her adolescence without at least understanding the general concept...”

Who says any of these idiots ever even made it into their adolescence?

Good point.”

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 95

“I know, but I did more than she did,” he answered truthfully, “Let’s just say we got out of control,” his expression darkened, “I had to stop myself.”

“Stop yourself? Why?”

“We were so close, ” he struggled with what he wanted to say, “But I can’t.”

You know, they do make pills for that…

He explains the whole hybrid issue, and Smythe instructs him to follow her.”

Actually, how is the hybrid issue even an issue? The UNSC is legally allowed to stick wires in its soldiers’ brains, and no doubt gives them a whole battery of vaccinations and general medical stuff so that they can fight in alien environments and catch mouthfuls of pulverized Grunt without getting sick- surely they could squeeze long-acting contraceptives into the mix.

They came to Amy’s room, and she quickly darted in, and beckoned John in after her. He felt awkward, since he hadn’t been in her room before. Standing in the doorway, he saw that Amy’s room was rather messy, with clothes everywhere and her bed looking like a tornado had its way with it.

Why am I not surprised?”

Hey Gul, doesn’t the military make kind of a big deal about keeping your personal space in order?

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 96

She rushed over to her locker, and John saw her pull out a civilian looking purse,

As opposed to all of those military-looking purses out there?

and rummage through it for a moment. She cursed under her breath, until finally; she withdrew a small package, whipped around and held it out to him.

“Here,” Amy thrust it at him when at first he refused to take it. She crammed the little plastic package into his hand, and John opened his hand to study the object. There was something squishy inside the package, and for a moment, a look of confusion swept over John’s face as he looked down at it, rubbing it between his fingers.

“It’s the miracle invention!” Amy beamed at him, “A condom. ”

“Oh. “

Ok, why does she even have that?

If you recall from way back in Chapter Four, Amy Smythe is in a serious relationship with a medical student back on Earth and plans to marry him when she’s done with her service. I don’t think he’d be at all happy to learn what (and, apparently, who) she’s been doing in his absence.

Well, it wouldn’t be a chapter of Love of a Spartan without us finding newer and ever more complicated reasons to hate Amy, now would it?”

He’s reluctant to accept it, but eventually he does and we cut back to Renee waking up in his room and feeling ashamed of her lack-of-sexytimes.

Without a doubt, Amy would be itching to know every detail, but Renee wasn’t about to spill even a tiny bit to her nosy friend.

Don’t worry, you’ve got a callous, self-centered mate to do that for you!”

Sure Amy had been truly the instigator of the event, but Renee was determined to keep it her own private secret between her and John, and she wasn’t really sure if she could trust Amy to absolute secrecy.

She can’t.

She had already proved herself to have a big mouth when she told Kelly and James about their relationship.

She walked over to the panel on the wall and turned on the lights, and she walked over to the mirror hanging on the wall.

Which is apparently still a thing. I could understand its presence if the VIP quarters had their own shower facilities, but they obviously don’t.”

Renee didn’t quite like the appearance she saw in the reflection, she looked deprived of sleep, with dark rings under her eyes, and a half-frown on her mouth-” but she couldn’t be bothered to smile. Her hair was messed, half of it had fallen loose of the knot she’d put it in and she looked like she had just been a brawl, this fact helped by the bandage on her forehead. Her cheeks had color, though – bright pink – and it offered some contrast to her regularly dull face.

All of which still doesn’t tell us anything about what she actually looks like…

“I need make up,” Renee mumbled to herself, and surprisingly disliked her voice as much as her appearance. Normally it wasn’t permitted to wear make-up, nor was it really needed, but Renee and Amy had both smuggled their little compact cases of foundation powder and one stick of eyeliner- both of these were used sparingly and on rare occasions.

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 97

Renee glared at herself in the mirror, and spoke again: “You’re bloody ugly.”

Keep in mind, these characters are supposed to be lifelong natives of Los Angeles.

You know, if AshleyBudrick had just had these characters grow up in what is currently Canada, nobody would have batted a mandible- it’s all part of the North American Republic by 2535 anyway- and they all could have talked in Canadian English to their hearts’ content. But that would be too simple…”

And with that, she turned away from the mirror in disgust. She wasn’t by all means ugly- her looks had been complemented on ever since she could remember.

Of course they were.

Her mother had told her when she had signed up for the marine corps that it was a waste of beauty- she always had dreams that Renee would be a model or an actress – and was quite disappointed when Renee decided to become a marine instead.

Well, Renee thought, if she had become what her mother had envisioned, she would have never met John. But then again, it’s not like John would compensate for her mother’s wishes much either- the idea of her being involved with a Spartan would drive her to the nuthouse. He was unbelievably handsome, but her mother still believed that she was with Troy, who in her eyes, was the perfect match for her daughter.

Wow.

Mommy Kilburn is really kind of a dick.

I mean, yeah, I’m sure Troy would make for a perfectly good partner provided he got that Alien Body Syndrome thing treated, but still, good parents don’t go picking their kids’ significant others’ before they’re even out of high school.

Suddenly, I am not at all surprised that Renee turned out the way she did.”

Renee laughed in spite of herself, shaking her head at thoughts of her parents back home. She hadn’t seen or spoken to them in over a year now.

In mid laugh, though, Renee heard a slight knocking at the door- which she thought odd. Why would John knock? She walked towards the door, the realization creeping up on her that whoever was at the door might be looking for John, not her.

Then, if you’re trying to keep your whole relationship thing a secret, don’t open the door!

The door opened before Renee could access the panel,

Oh.

Right.

The VIP quarters don’t have locks.

Well, at least it’s consistently stupid…

It turns out to be Dr. Halsey, and after the obligatory squirming from Kilburn the scientist explains that she knew about their pair-bond all along.”

She goes over the whole hybrid business yet again, and makes the somewhat baffling statement that she always expected Edward would end up with Kelly, Linda, or one of the other Spartans- because apparently the single greatest scientific mind of the 26th century has never heard of the Westermarck Effect.

… but to fall in love with a marine- you must really mean something to John.”

It took me a while to notice this, but a couple of times so far the narrative refers to Renee as a Marine in really awkward or inappropriate contexts– like it’s her species or something.

You know, it did the same thing with her rank back before her promotion- go back and substitute ‘Grunt’ and ‘Covenant’ for ‘Private’ and ‘UNSC’, and see if the passages that bring it up don’t make just as much if not more sense.”

“I’m nothing special,” Renee shrugged, “In fact, I’m just as ordinary as everyone else. Sometimes I feel that I’m more of a burden to John than I am a help, ” she raised her hand to the bandage on her forehead, “I’m so clumsy, I fell out of a Pelican, tripped and hit my head and got a plasma burn on my arm, in just twenty-four hours alone! I’m just another thing for John to worry about.”

Boy have you got that right.

Fucking Halight Counter: 42

Dr. Halsey looked at her for a long time. She got up, and finally spoke .

“You’re giving him love in a time of war,” she said quietly, her expression almost looking pained as she headed for the door, “He has someone to understand him, someone to be there for him when he’s not out wielding guns and completing suicide missions.

You know, doing the interesting part.

Now, when John comes back, just tell him that I was looking for him, okay?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Renee smiled slightly.

Dr. Halsey returned the smile, although it didn’t look really natural,

So, just like every other action in the story, then?”

and then she turned and left the room.

John returned to the room about ten minutes later, and he found Renee awake and waiting for him. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, looking somewhat down, although when he walked in the door she greeted him with a smile.

“Hello,” Renee said, brushing her hair out of her eyes.

“Hello, ” John crossed to her, throwing aside his clothes and his toiletry kit – and he pressed his lips to hers, before she could say anything about Dr. Halsey’s visit. Renee expected it to be just a casual kiss, but when John shoved her backwards onto the bed, Renee instantly became confused, but she blushed and didn’t protest.

We get another prelude-to-sex scene almost identical to the one up above… with Renee utterly failing to mention that Dr. Halsey wanted to talk to him.

popcorn-ice

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 98

So, he gets paged, and goes up to the bridge, and Halsey explains the situation to him:

“It’s fine, John,” she replied after a while, her face growing solemn, “I have some news for you – news that you probably won’t like to hear . ”

“Ma’am?” John asked, raising his eyebrow. He frowned, and feared what the news may be .

“We’re en route to Reach,” Dr. Halsey met his eyes; “You and I are to leave the Hercules. The rest of your fellow Spartans are being rounded up as well. I’ll tell you more later.”

… why is it Halsey who’s telling him this? Even when her research requires the soldiers working with her to pursue a specific course of military action her requests are routed through the chain of command, and as far as we know she isn’t working on anything at the moment that would require control over the Hercules’s deployment. Thomsen is the ranking officer, and logistical business would be routed through that AI, Kiera.”

John was speechless, as the realization hit him. He was going to leave the Hercules. Leave Renee and Amy. He knew from past experiences of travelling on ships, that he’d come and go. He’d been on over twenty Halcyon class cruisers in the past couple of years, and not once had he been on the same one more than once. There was a fairly good chance that once he’d leave the Hercules, he might not

see Renee again.

… and that, my friends, is why matings among active military personnel are typically kept short and casual– so that you don’t end up in exactly this sort of situation.”

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 99

Instantly, he felt panicked, but pushed this rising emotion aside, and hardened his expression, and found the strength to speak .

“Yes, ma’am ! ”

He watched as Dr. Halsey exchanged glances with the Captain, both of them looking solemn… like they were pitying him. John, for the first time in a while, didn’t care about whoever was listening .

“When will we return?” he asked, keeping his voice low. He took a step closer to Dr. Halsey, appearing almost menacing, “When will we return to the Hercules?”

And his method of dealing with the situation is, of course, growling and intimidation.

Fucking Halight Counter: 43

Dr. Halsey closed her eyes for a moment, and then she opened them and met his eyes.

“I don’t think we will be returning, John, at least not for a long time

John clenched his fists, said nothing, and broke eye contact, his eyes finding some place on the floor. Control, a voice inside his head whispered cautiously, show some control. After a long beat, John exhaled the lungful of air he had bottled inside him, and unclenched his hands slowly.

“I understand.” He answered his voice hard, emotionless.

“I hope you can,” Dr. Halsey said softly, “You can’t stay here forever. You have missions to complete that you do alone, that you have to complete without marines. That’s what your fellow Spartans are for.”

John nodded, although he felt like someone was stabbing him right through the heart. Just the thought of having to leave Renee, where he wouldn’t be there to protect her, wrenched his emotions into pain and grief. But he had to leave, that was his order, and he had to obey.

Notice, of course, that he’s not worried their bond will fade with time or that he himself won’t be able to make it back, but only that he won’t be able to protect her.”

Fucking Halight Counter: 44

You know, sometimes I really fucking hate this story.

He had to swallow a couple of times before he could speak.

“When will we arrive?” his voice was hoarse, and he quickly cleared his throat.

“Soon,” Dr. Halsey looked sympathetic, and she looked to Keira for the exact calculations.

“We’ll be exiting Slipspace in approximately one hour, sixteen minutes, forty three seconds and counting, ” Keira chirped to life, “Once we exit, it will take about ten minutes to enter Reach’s

atmosphere,

Aww, well, that’s still time for a quick shag, right?

“*glares*”

and twenty minutes for the Pelican to arrive at the Military base.

Which is capitalized for Some reason…”

Rough estimates for the last two, but you get the idea.”

John nodded, but said nothing.

Of all things, why did this have to happen? John had known subconsciously all along that it was an event that was eventually going to occur, but having it happen so soon was a shock to him. Just when he was really beginning to realize what it was like to be in love, to feel the real feelings, he had to receive orders to leave.

I swear, on the bones of my ancestors, if he even thinks about disobeying his orders just so that he can get his bulge wet…”

How could he see Renee again? If he even could, when? Once he was separated from her on Reach, they would be light-years away from each other, with no possible contact. And when he’d be sent on another mission, it’d probably be on the other side of the galaxy. Being without her would be difficult; he would have no way to make sure she was safe. Just by her clumsiness on Lacerta, getting a plasma burn and knocking herself unconscious – on just one mission alone – made John sick with worry.

That’s… actually pretty much my reaction, too. Just without the “worry” part.

Fucking Halight Counter: 45

“I’m sorry, John,” Dr. Halsey apologized, and then after a moment, she said, “You’re dismissed.”

John nodded, and left the bridge without even saluting. He felt the dread welling up inside of him as he headed down the hallway to his room, where Renee would be waiting, where he’d have to bear the news. He arrived quickly- despite wanting to stall out having to tell her, and when he walked through the door, he was somewhat surprised to see Amy there, and she and Renee were talking. He thought this was really weird, because if John hadn’t gotten called to the bridge, god knows what Amy would have walked in on.

Once again, this is why doors usually have locks.”

Amy and Renee turned to look at him as he walked in. Amy must have spotted the strange look that had seeped out onto his features, because she laughed.

“Don’t worry, Renee came and got me,” she said, seeming to read his mind, “I didn’t come uninvited.”

Bow chicka bow wow?

So he just goes and starts packing his things without actually explaining the situation to her, and only tells her he’s leaving when she asks what’s going on.”

He painfully watched as both of their expressions- Renee’s in particular, turned into ones of shock. Renee’s mouth fell open, and she looked like someone had slapped her in the face.

“Just – just you?” her voice instantly grew small.

“Just me, ” John bit the inside of his cheek, hard, until he tasted blood .

Ew.

Mommy’s Little Marines (And Spartans) Counter: 100

“For how long?”

“I don’t know,” he answered, his face hardening almost impossibly. He couldn’t bear to tell her that it was probably for good. Dr. Halsey didn’t need to be on the Hercules anymore, and now that she had this idea of gathering all the Spartans on Reach, she probably would refuse to be anywhere else for a while. Whatever she was planning, John thought, it better be damn good.

You know, I’m still not actually sure Dr. Halsey can do that. She doesn’t actually command the Spartans, after all, she just developed them, and while her projects pull a lot of weight with Command they can indeed just say “no” and it seems like pulling every single Spartan in the field back to a single location is the sort of thing NAVSPECWAR would balk at.

John finished emptying his locker, and zipped up the knapsack, and hoisted it onto his back. Renee bit her lip, and Amy got to her feet, realizing that he was probably going to leave the room. She snatched up the condom from the bed, and held it out to him, trying to lighten the mood.

“Here, don’t forget this!” she beamed, but John shot her down with a glare that made her reconsider the idea.

“Considering where I’m going. Corporal, I don’t think I’ll need it.” He said icily, not in the mood for Amy’s jokes. Amy bringing up the condom only reminded him of what he would be deprived of.

Eugh.

Not just what Renee and him longed to do, but being deprived of each other .

No, there’s really no way to have said that and not come across as a horny, selfish idiot.

Nice try saving it, though.

Fucking Halight Counter: 46

Just not nice enough.

Renee sighed, and felt like she wanted to cry. With John gone, there would be nothing to do.

*SNERK*

Nothing to look forward to, her life would return to the boring state it had been before she had met John.

Just don’t start hanging out with any Indian werewolves or anything stupid like that.

It goes on like that for a little while as he actually leaves, but there’s nothing at all new. I realize that since we’re reading this from Renee’s perspective, it could just be that she’s the one apocalyptifying the whole affair, but still– this is not how a soldier should react to losing someone they care about, much less someone they’ve known for all of two weeks.”

Fucking Halight Counter: 47

Come back next time to witness… well, more moping. Lots and lots of moping.

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33 Comments on “1659: Love of a Spartan – Chapters Nineteen and Twenty”

  1. BatJamags says:

    John, Renee and Amy went into the cafeteria and sat at their usual table. The room was unnaturally crowded, so it was a safe guess that there was something special on the menu for today’s dinner.

    Something “special?” So that’s how the UNSC disposes of corpses on a space ship.

    • CrunchyRaptor says:

      Well of course! What else would you do with fresh corpses? Jettison them into space? Pah! Such a waste of useful nutrients. Obviously the dead have no need of those nutrients any more, so it is just practical sense to recycle them.

  2. BatJamags says:

    almost like a person with ADHD who had been given several cups of coffee.

    As someone with ADHD, I am slightly fidgety (I prefer to be doing something with my hands whenever possible), and I am occasionally distracted by shiny objects (hey, what’s that over there?), but I don’t think that’s the experience of everyone with ADHD, and I don’t know if the fidgetyness is even connected.

    • TacoMagic says:

      I’ve never been diagnosed with ADHD, though it’s possible I have a mild form of inattentiveness-ADD though nothing impairing enough that I’ve ever had to seek treatment for. Anyway, I’m a notorious fidget.

      Lyle can back me on that, I absolutely have to be doing something with my hands. If not, I will find something and start fiddling with it. Growing up my parents constantly had to ask me, “Why do you feel the need to touch EVERYTHING!?” My friends in college used to watch me for “the look” where I would start scoping out my general area for something to grab and start messing with.

      Taking up origami when I was in middle school did wonders for teaching me to channel this need to do something with my hands into more constructive areas (or at least less destructive). Eventually it was channeled into engineering where fiddling can actually be a boon. But even today I can’t sit very long without my hands eventually finding something to play with.

      • "Lyle" says:

        It has to be genetic. I’m very tactile, too. Hair twirling, nail biting, knuckle cracking… I have to be doing something with my hands. Crochet is great for keeping hands busy. And my son is starting to show busy-hands, too. He has to touch everything. Our paternal grandmother is the same way.

        • agigabyte says:

          I do the same thing, especially with books, which I will just flip over and over and over and over and over and over and over and-

          (We’re done here. -Monitor)

      • GhostCat says:

        I constantly fidget – I jiggle my leg, turn my rings, play with my plugs, or do something to keep my hands busy. I can’t be still for very long, and the more stressed I am the worse it gets.

  3. BatJamags says:

    “I’m really hungry,” Amy spewed out her words like a volcano does lava,

    So slowly, once every few hundred years, and spreading a giant cloud of ash as she did it?

  4. BatJamags says:

    Considering the amount of germs humans carry in their mouths alone- it isn’t healthy.

    Biology’s not really my thing, but I’m pretty sure that’s the entire evolutionary point of kissing: it’s safer than jumping straight to something more intimate..

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      Biology isn’t my thing either, but I’m pretty sure there’s no evolutionary point to kissing at all.

      I suspect it’s a learned, social behavior and not something genetically selected for.

    • GhostCat says:

      Kissing likely originated with parenting behaviours; babies need soft foods when transitioning from milk to solid foods, and without access to Gerber’s or a food processor the easiest way was for a parent to chew it up themselves before giving it to the baby.

  5. BatJamags says:

    food fight

    Why?

  6. BatJamags says:

    “And, of course, Kilburn opts to sleep in the Chief’s cabin once again-not only does continuing to do that dramatically increase the chance of someone discovering what (I think) is still supposed to be a clandestine relationship, but it also means that if anyone needs Renee for something, they wouldn’t be able to find her!”

    Why would anyone need Renee? It’s not like she’s now an NCO with soldiers under her command or anything,

  7. BatJamags says:

    In his opinion, he was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen,

    Easy there, Buffalo Bill.

  8. BatJamags says:

    Renee glared at herself in the mirror, and spoke again: “You’re bloody ugly.”

    Hm…

    Renee glared at herself in the mirror, and spoke again: “Oi, you’re bloody ugly as nobs, mate. Snog one bloke and you look like utter toss.

    Fixed that for you.

    Then again, I’ve learned most of my British English from Achievement Hunter, which is not the most reliable source.

  9. BatJamags says:

    … but to fall in love with a marine- you must really mean something to John.”

  10. BatJamags says:

    Renee expected it to be just a casual kiss, but when John shoved her backwards onto the bed, Renee instantly became confused, but she blushed and didn’t protest.

    Think you can get away with blushing, can you? Well, I’ve just given the Covenant the exact location of your ship. So there.

  11. AmyXFuckShitIDK says:

    Amy was really bathing in the… unusually bubbly… cups of coffee

  12. AmyXFuckShitOTP says:

    They came to Amy’s room, and she quickly darted in, and beckoned John in after her. He felt awkward, since he hadn’t been in her room before. Standing in the doorway, he saw that Amy’s room was rather messy, with clothes everywhere and her bed looking like [FuckShit] had [his] way with it.

  13. agigabyte says:

    Troy finally made full Lieutenant.

    Full Lieutenant? He’s not Navy. They’re the only ones who use Lieutenant, Junior Grade and Lieutenant. To my knowledge, the other three branches use Second and First Lieutenant.

  14. TacoMagic says:

    Her face was free from worry, free from any negative expressions,

    … so, he didn’t have to worry about the square root of her face producing imaginary numbers?

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t prevent her from behaving irrationally.


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