Log:Bedlam in Joberg, Pt.2
The N12 is a very long highway across South Africa. It leads to Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga, if one doesn't mind driving 6 hours. Ethan clearly doesn't mind, as this was his idea. There was a lovely week spent in the cities, but now he wants them to get back to nature, if staying at a resort in the canyon is considered that. But there are lovely tours to take. So he rented a 1995 Land Rover Defender and they packed their stuff into the back, and took to the road.
And they went off the road when a very angry rhinoceros decided the vehicle was challenging its authority. Now they're in a ditch, with a blown tire, an overheated radiator, and a hell of a hike to the nearest spot, which would be Pilgrims Rest and Crystal Springs Reserve.
Ethan is in cargo shorts and a safari shirt with Indiana Jones hat, digging in the back of the vehicle for a lug wrench.
Kit is still in his usual fare, because bugs biting one's legs was no good. He couldn't tell Ethan if he learned that before or after Bastian's influence on them. Could be habit from living in Prosperity, or off world or simply his own. Over the last theoretical week he's stopped asking and went with what felt right at the time. Actually liberating really in choices so simple.
Now they are stranded in the bush. Lyle is still looking for the Rhino while he's securiing whats needed in his backpack. Finally, silence getting the better of him he asks Ethan, "All those motor skills of yours... can you fix it, bru?"
Kit leaves back to Temporary Room Nexus
"The radiator isn't a problem. The problem is..." Ethan finally emerges from his digging, "There's no goddamned lug wrench in the truck. Who doesn't keep a lug wrench in their vehicle!?" He grabs his own pack and slams the trunk down with a scowl. "Sorry Lyle. We can call it if you want. No triple A out here to come pick us up. Unless you're up for a hike and maybe some actual camping in actual nature?"
Lyle shifts his toothpick to the other side of his mouth with his tongue, amused, "The asshole how rented us this truck." Behind those sunglasses he scans the area again deciding, "Seems that was extra in the fine print." Ethan comes around apologizing. He's still getting used to that. One weathered hand wraps around the side of Ethan's neck focusing his attention for the moment. "Ethan, I've been abandoned in space and have done so many cattle drives sleeping indoors once felt just... wrong. I've got you, this sky overhead, and this red earth you have given back to me. Whyever would I give this up, mon?" His head jerks to the side with a faint grin widening, "Come. We have the world in fron of us." Expression squints behind the sunglasses, "Which way was the road?"
Ethan's head dips at the touch, but his eyes meet Lyle's and there is a whole universe of love in those bright blues. He smiles. "And I am used to sleeping in the dirt and outdoors, if I became an anthropologist. So we got this. Ok." He digs in a pocket of his pack and pulls out a compass. "I'm guessing we can hit Pilgrim's rest if we head," he points, "That way." He picks a landmark on the horizon, a cluster of Umbrella Thorn trees in the distance.
He locks up the truck securely for a later tow, and grabs a secondary bag out of the back seat. This is a two man tent. Ethan slings it over one shoulder. "Ready when you are," he announces, before moving to kiss the other man's forehead.
Lyle rests his forehead to Ethan's in the late morning heat for a moment watching and living in that look he's given. Even if the sunglasses are on that smile can be seen reaching his eyes making a world of difference; his usual paranoias laid still. There is confidence there as eh assures, "You were, and you will be. The world is there to be discovered every day, and I want to be there with you when you discover it. Ja. Ja, we got this." He shoulder's the pack over one, than the other shoulder securing the load since anything left with the Jeep will be stripped and re-purposed no down. Finder's keepers. Feet turn, but stop moving when that kiss is placed to his forehead. Finger hooks into Ethan's belt snagging him back taking the moment with a wry grin to steal a proper kiss offering the deeply sentimental words, "I am super glad... you were not trampled to death by a rhino." So sentimental. Like a high impact Hallmark card. "Cmon. the longer we wait the further back those trees are going to get."
"Holy shit did you see the size of that thing? It definitely won the fight with the truck! Which I'm kind of glad of because they're endangered and all. But I almost soiled myself," Ethan admits with a laugh. "Almost, but not quite. Didn't have quite the scare factor of goddamned Nails coming at us. Maybe that's why I'm a good field anthropologist. Not a lot of things can really scare me more than Beaver lake." He chuckles and shifts his gear to make sure it's balanced.
He heads off towards those trees in the correct direction, grateful that they packed food and water for the long drive and all the just in case scenarios. The Bedlam Boys learned the hardest of ways to be prepared for anything, because anything can happen.
Lyle laughs. It's alright to laugh, even if it was, literally, life endingly scary as balls they're together now. Both ghosts? Both real? Either way they're living on a 1:1 metric. Pack hiked up and it's one fooot in front of the other. Thing about eing a hardnosed rancher is there was a key difference in that Buttercup did all the walking. Ah well. R "Man, I remmeber first time we were there and you kept sayin you was hearin stuff. Man I was so oblivious. I was high on bein heroes, getting the power on. THe rush of doing somethin thrillin like fekkin with electrical in teh storm, and then finding Ran's things. Man, I'm sorry I didn't take you literal. Maybe it's best we didn't. We got the job done. GOt out." The blond falls silent for a while looking over the land. The heat, while uncomfortable felt good. It felt like it should feel. Looking over to Ethan, determined, powred by this trip. All teh bullshit of the island, and they still have right now. He tried not to think on it too hard lest his mind unfold like an onion. "I'm sorry...you had to discover it was true over teh radio when we were fighting. Never sat well with me you went though that. I was hurt... didn't want to hurt you, bru. So... I'm sorry for the times I was fekkin stupid, a'ight?" There. It's said and it can get buried withthe bad part of their memories or... try to be. "Shaking his head he murmurs, "You didn't let me ride the rino though. I'm a lil sore about that." Not really. It was scary as hell, but that joke and that impulse will never get old.
"We were just kids, Lyle. Stupid is kind of in the resume for that," Ethan points out with a smile. "All is forgiven, if you can forgive me for being Captain Oblivious about your feelings for two damn years." Stupid goes around. He chuckles. "Pretty sure trying to ride an endangered species is a felony. Don't want to spent our entire trip in a South African prison, right?" He winks and sips from a canteen to make sure he doesn't dehydrate. "This is really beautiful country though, beneath all the politics and violence. You can see the hand of the divine in the landscape and the animals."
Lyle doesn't miss a beat. "I'm an endangered species and you ain't been arrested yet." He pauses and snickers, "For that." He just shakes his head too fucking amused. "Ja no. Prison isn't on teh playlist for me, luv. The idea is to see if any of this makes me feel reacclimated to any feeling of home. If prison does that?" An eyebrow arches over the lenses as they press on through the scrubland and the dust, "Not sure I want to remember." Looking around a deep breath is taken, "This land has been built on beauty and war. Before those that look like us showed up here. Blast, we just made it so much worse. And worse. The land? I have faith she will outlive us and maybe forgive what we have done to all she has given us." Looking to Ethan he adds, "You'll have to share with me what she tells you." That is to say what he learns from teh deep repository of knowledge he elsewise possesses.
And oh what a wealth of knowledge is there. Ethan grins before he begins to expound on the wonders of where they are. "Mpumalanga means 'Place of the Rising Sun' and is the name given to the new province in Eastern Transvaal in 1993. It includes part of the old Transvaal and the former homeland KaNgwane, as well as parts of Gazankulu and Lebowa. The province forms a very important part of South Africa's heritage." You can tune out any time now. "Pilgrim's Rest is the site of an alluvvial gold deposit in 1873, and mining continued until 1972."
Lyle doesn't tune him out. Watching Ethan get excited about things and happy means, in spite of every crazy stupid thing they have done and battle fought they made all teh right choices and he can be happy now. Rogue's taken a certain ownership in seeing to that for the sake of the man's peace of mind. Man he is a FONT of knowledge that has nothing to do with Tatas: the breasts or the cars. Amazing. "What happened in 72? They finally get tired?" Smart ass.
"Something good happened from it. Not common where money is concerned," Ethan notes with that eager grin of his as he climbs up a rocky slope. "The mining company stopped the digs and two years later sold Pilgrim's Rest to the Transvaal Provincial Administration to be preserved as a national historic asset. The town's original architecture remains largely unchanged because of that. I didn't think we'd have a chance to see it but, well, it looks likes fate decided we need to."
Lyle says, "Not sure how much fate plays into what we do but it's likely none or all of it." Of that he is pretty damn certain! After a time feet leave scruba nd locate the road again; packed red eary and dry, but so tamped down it doesn't dust up much. He considers this mulling that over in his head and looking rightly impressed. Ethan," He asks in that curious timbre his musings bear infamy for in his youth, "Does fate always show in teh form of a rhino? I'm beginning to think this may explain a lot about you." Oh he tries not to laugh but the grin forms and he staggrs out fo swatting range, "I ask because I care. And also because that would explain why the Noc got damaged. Space rhino."
Ethan blurts out a laugh. "No, no it most certainly does not. Sometimes it's a giant fucking beaver. Sometimes it's a goddamned alien. This time though, definitely a rhino. You're lucky we didn't get a horn up the ass!" The road is there to lead them to their destination, and they have each other. What more could they need?
Lyle has to add using his hands as a gesture to shape. "Did the rhino have a glass bowl space helmet. Little nubbins for the horn? I have to know, mate" He listens to the answer laughing. Hand falls to Ethan's shoulder with a squeeze, "Well, then I'm glad we didn't get hit on by a rhino." Shaking his head he observes with absolute appreciation, "Living with you is never dull. In that I'm more lucky."