Dust Origins: Luke Ripley and Juniper Jacobs

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Dust Origins: Luke Ripley and Juniper Jacobs

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby supertoastgirl on Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:03 pm

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Juniper's hands were covered in soot and her mouth tasted of bile. The home that she she and Robin had created was now a pile of black ash. Every nook and cranny, familiar blanket, and memory that once lived inside were nothing now. It would have a been a good year of living in that broken down shed, but sometimes life whips you around and tries to break your neck. All Juniper had now was her rucksack, filled with only what she'd need to survive for the next two weeks before returning to Dust.

After an hour of searching the ashes for a keepsake that she desperately regretted not packing, Juniper had decided that burning down the shed wasn't the brightest idea. This had been one of her gut decisions, letting the desert engulf the memory of her and Robin. She also didn't mind the idea of Robin coming back one day and finding nothing in return.

Robin had left Juniper five days ago. After two days of of frantically trying to be normal, one day of pathetic panic, and one day delivering a message to Luke back in Dust, Juni decided to burn it. It didn't take much. Just a couple of matches and a journal that Robin had given her was enough to blaze the place. Juniper set it alight just as the sun was rising, and watched patiently until the sun was high in the sky. Now the sky was clear and the world seemed vast. Yet, her yearning for adventure had ceased. She needed to go home. She needed to see Luke. She needed to fix this.




Juniper saw her destination just as the sun started to fade. There was a tired old tool shed on the edge of Dust... Or rather on the outside of Dust. It was small and dirty, secluded from the world that it once was a part of. When Dust was first founded the boundaries were fluid, and farmers took to farther reaches such as these. But now, with strict laws about borders, this hut was a little more than a mile away from town. Exhausted, Juniper plopped her rucksack down in front of the door. With her hands on her hips Juniper took a moment to look around, hoping that Luke would be the face that she would see. There was no sign of him yet.

The day before Juni had managed to get a message to Luke. By some inventive climbing and good eye she was able to sling shot a rock that had a paper tied around it perfectly in front of his door. She waited and watched the message for a couple hours, making sure that no one else picked it up. After all, she was due to come back in just two weeks, and having evidence of communication with the inside would have sent her out for another six months.

Taking a moment for collect herself, Juniper went inside the shack. In the dank musk was a very used love seat and a coffee table. She smiled to herself, remembering the time that she and Luke had dragged the two pieces out here in the middle of the night. They were just two teenagers at that point, not sure if they were in love or lust. This was where some of their young experimenting went on. The couch was nearly wall to wall and the coffee table wobbled in uncertainty as she nudged it.

Juniper left the door open and took a seat on the couch. Sinking into its run down cushion and rusted springs. There she waited, feeling her heart beat rise into her throat.

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Re: Dust Origins: Luke Ripley and Juniper Jacobs

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LittleMissGeorgia on Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:40 pm

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Despite Juniper's message being delivered on Luke's front doorstep on the Tuesday, it wasn't actually until the early hours of Wednesday that the young man had actually read it. He had been working in the bar for old Richard who owned the place, just another in a long line of jobs he'd never really taken seriously, and kept getting fired from for turning up late, breaking something or another misdemeanor of the like. But him and the red headed waitress, Lucinda, who he'd been flirting with for a while, ended up making out in the staff toilet (due to what Luke would certainly call from very smooth talking on his part) and they had both clocked out early to head back to his. As he reached his front doorstep, Lucinda pushed him up against the door, hungrily kissing his lips again, whilst her right hand traveled south to his belt buckle.

"Hey, hey, hey, honey, at least let me get the door open first. We wouldn't want any of the old dusties getting a glimpse of what I've got to offer," he smirked smugly, raising his eyebrows and glancing down in the direction of his crotch.

Lucinda giggled girlishly. "Oh don't you worry, I'll help you find those keys," she said, slipping her hand down his trousers and feeling around. "Whoops!" she exclaimed in an over exaggerated fashion, "I seem to have completely missed your pocket! What a silly girl I am!" She giggled again, certainly louder than was necessary.

"It's fine, baby. I've got them," Luke said, stepping backwards so her hand slipped out and reaching into his back pocket to produce his house keys. As much fun as he was having, he certainly didn't need another public indecency reprimand from the town... He turned towards the door to slip the key in, and it was likely that if Lucinda hadn't grabbed his ass at that exact moment, he would've missed Juniper's message all together. But she did, just as he was about to push the key into the lock. The shock of her certainly no longer subtle advances caused Luke to drop the key and it clattered onto his doorstep at his feet. He instantly bent down to pick them up, and as he did he caught sight of of a small piece of paper curled round what appeared to be a rock, and tied firmly in place with a piece of string. He picked it up and untied the string, Lucinda briefly forgotten, despite her leaning in and beginning to kiss his neck in what she seemed to hope was a seductive way.

Luke didn't even need to read the note or the signature to know who it was from, he recognized his old friend's handwriting in an instant. "Juni," he breathed, "Oh my god, Juni."

It was at that moment he felt Lucinda freeze and pull back from him like she'd been electrocuted. "What the fuck?!" she said angrily. "My name's Lucinda, you asshole!" she shouted, her eyes filling with fury. And without even giving him a moment to react she reached out and slapped him across the cheek. Hard.




So, that was how Luke found himself hurrying towards the abandoned tool shed outside of town as the sun began to set, just as Juniper's note had instructed, his cheek still slightly pink from the night before and his needs left distinctly unfulfilled. Juni was certainly going to answer for this, Luke vowed jokingly to himself as he approached the shed, laughing slightly, thinking of how funny he knew she would find it. He couldn't wait to see her. She was his partner in crime, his confidante, and most of all, his best friend. She'd been away so long, and worst of all Luke didn't even know why. He'd been waiting for her return since the day she left town, counting down the 6 months, but she was 2 weeks early. Maybe his brother had decided to lift her exile prematurely, he thought excitedly as he pushed the door open. Thank god, he couldn't wait to have her back.

But the sight that met his eyes was an entirely different one than that he had been expecting. Juniper was sat on the couch by herself. She was dirty, and certainly skinnier than Luke remembered her. Her features were very pale and drawn, with none of her usual healthy glow. She looked tired, and her eyes were sunken and dark with exhaustion. She looked...sad. Not the beaming smile he had spent so long imagining gracing her pretty features on her return to them.

"Juni...?" he said warily to the figure of the small woman, almost uncertain this ghost could be his beautiful best friend.

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Re: Dust Origins: Luke Ripley and Juniper Jacobs

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby supertoastgirl on Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:42 pm

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Juniper sat on that sandy couch and remembered how simple life was before all of this. If only she had the patience and humility to take what she was given and not stir up a fight. Then she wouldn't have been sent out of Dust in the first place, and this whole thing wouldn't have happened. She and Luke would have stayed the same rascals that created chaos for the old folk. And eventually they probably would've even seen a stable enough life together and gotten married on a whim.

But that wasn't really Juni and Luke was it? They couldn't stand to be in one place or with one person for too long. The two of them together would have turned out of be the biggest train wreck Dust had ever seen. And people generally frowned upon separation, or what used to be called divorce.

Juniper remembered when they were kids. When they were younger Juni never paid much attention to Luke, she was always seeking attention from the older boys, including his brother Noah. She never did get that innocent kiss that she wanted from Noah when she was just eleven. But he was good enough to teach her that he was probably the nicest boy she'd ever have a crush on. True words, even till this day. Juniper went though a sling of horny teenage boys in school, none of which were really into her. Sure, she was experienced, but she didn't have a very good resume.

Once Luke hit puberty, a grew out of his preppy boyish figure, Juni finally took notice to him. Whether or not he was trying to get her attention was beyond her. But after a rowdy conversation and a couple of kisses after sharing half a bottle of tequila, Juni decided to keep him. They grew to be the best of friends, and Juniper taught him everything she knew about pleasing a woman. Or at least about pleasing her... Which she figured was pretty universal. Now, years later, they still depended on each other.




"Luke," she said softly, seeing that handsome face in the doorway. Juni wasn't quite sure what to do, or how to explain herself, or how to get what she needed out of Luke, or how to even fix this whole thing. "Look at you," she said, seeing that he looked... pretty much the same. Perhaps a little more groggy than usual, but himself. Juniper usually had a sparkling smile when she saw her dearest friend, and one would think that time would make this smile even wider, but she could only muster a strange half smile today. It was like her eyes and her lips and everything else were detached. Some parts of her were smiling, but some parts of her were crying too.

Juni didn't know what to do, but she did know what she needed. Taking her mind off of the conversation they were going to be having shortly she embraced Luke. She curled her arms under his and squeezed her face against his chest. Luke's scent was familiar and calming, and despite the distance that had inevitably been created with time, she felt like nothing had ever changed.

Hormones ran through her like an electric shock, and before she knew it she was crying. "Oh hell," she mumbled to herself before wiping the watery blotches around her eyes. Juniper didn't want Luke to see her like this. Then he'd know something really was wrong. "Look," she said firmly, moving away from him and collecting herself, "I need you to get some... things for me."

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Re: Dust Origins: Luke Ripley and Juniper Jacobs

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LittleMissGeorgia on Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:35 pm

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Juni seemed emotional, hugely emotional. For her this was completely uncharacteristic. The Juni he remembered was feisty and fun, she didn't do watery smiles or trembling lips, like the woman he was looking at now. She did running up and throwing her arms round him, laughing and making sarcastic comments. This certainly was not the reunion Luke had expected, not in a million years. This wasn't right. Something wasn't right.

As she filled his arms with her little form, Luke pulled her into his grasp and held her tightly. Drinking in everything about her, how she felt when she hugged him, how soft her hair felt against his arms, the scent of her body when... Was that smoke he could smell? What on earth was she doing smelling of smoke? Had she been to a bonfire of some description, or near someone cooking? But she'd been so far away from anything even vaguely resembling civilisation, how was that possible? And actually, he thought as he lifted his lightly blackened fingers up from her to look at them, rubbing his thumb and index fingers together in confusion, there was a thin layer of soot on her skin and clothes. What on earth had she been doing? Oh god, had she been in a fire? Was she hurt?! Was that why she was back?

Luke was about to push her away from him so he could look at her full length and check for harm. But instead he heard her sniffing and muttering something that sounded like "oh hell", though he couldn't be sure, as she had lifted her hands to her face and was rubbing it, muffling her words. Then she pulled back, blinking furiously, eyes darting to the middle distance, focusing on something behind him, as though she was trying to focus. Even though she had made a distinct effort to try and hide her tears, Luke knew Juniper too well. They'd been the best of friends for years, and there was nothing he didn't see in her, or at least he liked to believe. But the real question for Luke was not why was she hiding her tears, but why was she crying in the first place? Surely she ought to be happy to return to dust, to him and all of her friends and loved ones? What possible thing was there to be sad about. Luke had so many questions, his mind was abuzz with them. But juniper beat him to it.

"I need you to get some...things for me."

"Of course," Luke responded instantly. It was always his instant reaction. While Luke couldn't keep his eye on one woman for more than five minutes and his bed partners changed faster than the wind in a dust storm, he was an exceptionally loyal friend. He would never betray those he cared for in that way. That's why he was so sure, despite increasing tension and attraction between them, he would never lay a hand on his brother's fiancé, Risalda. He loved them both too much to do a thing like that.

"But...why do you need me to get anything for you?" Luke questioned, realising that his initial response made no real sense, just like Juni's request. "You're back aren't you? You can come and go freely in Dust now, you can get whatever you want?" Luke paused, looking at his friend in confusion. "Juni..." he began, realising the most crucial question, one he ought to have started with, "are you...alright?"
Last edited by LittleMissGeorgia on Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dust Origins: Luke Ripley and Juniper Jacobs

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby supertoastgirl on Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:56 am

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Juniper's smoky blonde hair moved from her shoulders as she shook her head. "I still have two weeks," she said bluntly, almost as if she was hurt that Luke hadn't been keeping track. How could he? A year was a long time, and it probably passed faster without him fretting about the exact day Juni would return. "And here I thought you had a count down for my return," she said with a coy smile. There was the Juniper they both knew. A little playfulness on her lips and little devil in her eyes. Like a slow breeze that brought relief to the farm hands of Dust, her lightheartedness vanished just as quickly as it appeared. Again, her face was shallow, yet deep with trouble.

Luke rattled off some more questions, and a little bubble of panic formed in her chest. "Stop," she said quickly, raising a hand up to him, "I'm fine." Juniper shook her head, "I mean, I will be fine." Discontented with herself Juni rolled her eyes, then took his distracting herself by looking around the unbearably small shed they were in.

"Just ..." Juniper trailed off. Honestly, she didn't want anyone to know what had happened, and what state she was in. Her left hand came up to her face and smeared some soot across her cheek. "Please, just don't ask anymore questions," she begged, "I'll tell you everything when you come back." Juniper nodded her head, "I promise." She took his hand in hers and squeezed it lightly.

Looking down at their hands she realized how badly she needed to get clean. Her mind raced with options. She had only enough drinking water until the end of next week, just as planned. "Here," she said, leaving him to grab her pack. Inside was a very specific list written on a piece of paper that was once part of a novel.

"And bring me some water?" she added, gesturing to her dirty clothes and face.

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Re: Dust Origins: Luke Ripley and Juniper Jacobs

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LittleMissGeorgia on Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:37 pm

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"Hey," Luke responded, a look of mock offence on his attractive features, "of course I know exactly when you're due back. I just assumed because you were here now you had been let back in early. How was I to know you were just breaking the rules, again," he said, emphasising the word 'again' jokingly. He laughed softly, seeing his lighter mood reflected temporarily in Juni's face. Maybe this wasn't so bad, maybe she was okay really. Maybe she was just upset because of everything that had happened with leaving Dust and returning. Maybe it really would all be alright?

But Luke saw her face fall and he knew really, who was he kidding? Nothing was alright really. Something was so wrong. But she was refusing to tell him what, her next words made that clear. Truly, Luke wasn't sure if she was shutting him out, or if it really honestly was too awful to talk about.

Luke listened to her speak and took the list. "What's this?" he asked. Typical Luke, always asking before thinking. Remembering this fact, he began to read carefully down the list.

Towels, antiseptic, alcohol, pain killers, changes of clothes, tissue paper, food, blankets. The list went on, a collection of bizarre items that Luke was seriously struggling to fathom the use of, especially together. But there was one in particular that confused him. Misoprostol. What the hell was miso-whatever he'd just read??? It looked like the name of a medication, but what could it possibly be for? He looked closely at Juniper's face for a few moments. Despite her exhaustion and clearly dirty exterior, she didn't look exceptionally ill with any strange condition or infection that might warrant the use of a strange medicine. But it was also clear by the expression on her face that she did not intend to answer anymore of his questions and to ask would simply be a waste of breath.

"Okay..." Luke said slowly. "I'll do my best..." He looked at her for a few moments more, confusion and concern etched on his face. "I'll be as fast as I can. And Juni," he paused, taking a few steps towards her and pulling her into his arms once more, "I've really missed you."

With that, Luke exited the small hut, list clutched in his hand, in search of his friend's strange requests. It was his house he headed for first, knowing he would find many of the items there. He also filled up some large water containers. Then he headed to the small town market to get the items he didn't have. After an hour and a half's work, Luke stood in his front room looking over his haul. It was only the antiseptic, pain killers and the strange drug left to obtain.

Ah well, no time like the present, Luke thought with a sigh. He may as well get the job done. It was just as well he had a friend in medicine, he realised fondly, as he made his way towards Risalda's clinic.

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Re: Dust Origins: Luke Ripley and Juniper Jacobs

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby supertoastgirl on Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:02 pm

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Her bright eyes watched Luke look over the list in anticipation. Juni was expecting something more out of him, and she wasn't sure if she was disappointed or relieved when he simply agreed without any more questions. The confusion and concern were apparent in his face, but he was loyal enough to just forget about the questions and do.

Luke's arms enveloped her before he left. Juniper was comforted there, inside her best friend's strong arms and encased in his protection. Not that Luke had committed a crime like her, but he had been out there with her then this won't have happened. Juniper would have never met Robin. And if she had, Luke would've known Rob was a deadbeat. Whether or not that would have stopped Juniper is another story... But all the same, he would have known and he would have tried to look after her.

But he was looking after now, that's all that mattered. Before Luke left Juniper stopped him to thank him. Really, there was no one else in Dust who would do something so illegal with so little answers.




After Luke left Juniper sat silently as the sun went down. Her mind was consumed, running through conversations she had had in the wilderness. Memories ebbed and flowed between her ears. Was she so replaceable, so worthless, that she could be left behind without a moments notice?

Juniper mused about that night. She was so certain of Robin. She had trusted him, confided in him, and loved him. Thinking back on it now though, even with wounds so fresh, it was almost humorous. Juni should have known better. Robin was a scavenger with an exhausted heart and a wild soul. He was bound to do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. Yet, he knew he wasn't selfish. Juniper knew that because everything he did was for his sister.

Their meeting was brief the night that Robin left. Their relationship had evolved into something fierce, yet it was remarkably sweet. Juni had planned this night perfectly in her head. Robin would return from visiting his sister, he would be surprised at Juniper's domesticity when seeing that she had cooked something other than soup, then they would sit together, eat, and talk. It would have been as romantic as Juniper allowed it. An hour or so later Robin would have made a snide remark about her not drinking. Then she would have told him. She would have told him that she was having his baby.

But that's not what happened. Robin came back late, obviously upset about something. Juniper tried to get him to talk but all he said to her was "We can't do this anymore." Then after a boiled exchange and words that probably shouldn't have been said, he was gone. And that was it.

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