Ashley/Chris having a recovery session with each other. Talking about what just happened, Confessing feelings and stuff.
“How is it?” she asks, legs swinging idly, like she’s itching to get up and run.
They have all been restless. None of them have slept. None of them have wanted to sleep.
Chris clears his throat, foot shifting gingerly, and the right side of his face twitches as he winces. “Not great.”
Ashley’s nose wrinkles sympathetically. “Did they give you anything?”
“Valium,” Chris snorts, digging around in his pocket and taking out the pill bottle with a rattling flourish. “Want one?”
Shaking her head, Ashley huffs out something that’s probably supposed to be a laugh. Chris tosses the bottle aside on his cot and it bounces once against the sheets before settling. They sit in contention for a while until Ashley clears her throat.
“When do you think the ambulances will get here?” she asks. “I feel like we’ve been at the ranger station for hours.”
“Soon, I hope.” Chris mutters. “But I think one of the rangers said they needed to clear the roads up first. Snow and all.”
“Right,” Ashley sighs, reaching up and pulling her hat off of her head, fingers scrubbing through her hair until it stood up in endearing little tufts.
Chris muffled his laugh behind a hand, and Ashley blinked at him.
“Noth– Nothing,” Chris shakes his head. “It’s just–”
He gestures with a hand to her hair. She reaches up, cheeks going a ruddy color, and smooths the tangled strands down.
“No, hey. I didn’t–” Chris sighs. “You looked cute.”
Ashley goes still. Her hands slip down, resting in her lap, hair still a bit disheveled. She glances, furtive, up from beneath her lashes and smiles. It’s a coy little thing and her cheeks are still flush.
Chris’ jaw goes kind of slack. She’s covered in dirt and blood but she’s the prettiest thing he’s ever laid eyes on.
“Um,” his adam’s apple bobs as he swallows. “Ash?”
“Are we gonna– I mean, we don’t have to, but I think we should probably talk about, um… about that uh…”
“About what, Chris?” she presses.
“Oh,” Ashley blinks, legs finally stilling. “That.”
“Yeah,” Chris mumbles, gaze dropping. “I mean… it’s totally… I get it if it was just a spur of the moment, we might die thing, and I–”
“Chris,” Ashley says, sliding from her spot on the cot next to him, padding over and finding a comfortable spot between his knees, grin small when he is finally brave enough to meet her eyes. “I kind of figured… it was a something to look forward to after we made it out alive thing.”
Chris’ eyes go wide behind his glasses. “O– Oh. Well. I–”
“Are you gonna make me do all the work again, or are you gonna kiss me this time?” Ashley asks on a laugh, and Chris is already reaching for her, hands curving gentle along her jawline in order to reel her in and slant through mouths clumsily together.
It doesn’t last long. It’s a sweet, momentary thing, and then they’re pulling away. They linger in each other’s space, foreheads resting together, and Chris leans in and kisses the corner of her mouth once more.
“I’m glad we survived,” he mumbles.
Ashley laughs. “Yeah. Yeah, me too.”