Fandom: The Last of Us
Characters: Ellie & Joel
Word Count: 474
Summary: Drabble set at the very beginning of their journey while waiting for Tess to come to the apartment, with Ellie watching the rain while Joel naps. I wrote the rough draft right after playing that part of the game last -- and it turned out like a companion piece to "Detach" although I didn't intend for it to be :)
Crossposted to AO3 and FFN
He mumbled in his sleep. Not loud enough or intelligible enough that Ellie could understand, though. He seemed a little... agitated.
She watched the rain falling in sheets, wondering if it would let up before they had to get through it. Wondering what it would be like out there. What will happen to me when we get to where we’re going? She could never walk into a QZ again. She'd have to be smuggled inside, and wasn't that harder than getting smuggled out? Maybe the Fireflies had better living arrangements than any QZ anyhow, and she could stay with them indefinitely.
Maybe she could pick up where Riley had left off.
The sounds coming from the couch became a little louder, but Ellie still couldn't make them out as words. Should she wake him up? He was probably having a bad dream. So much for resting.
She decided to leave him be. She didn't know the guy, but she got the impression he was the type who would strike first, think about it later. She was just fine sitting in the windowsill, watching the rain wash the world. Wash it, or attack it? she mused to herself.
What's taking that Tess chick so long? She hoped nothing had happened to her. If Tess and Joel were partners, they could talk and make the decisions amongst themselves and Ellie could just quietly follow along, not drawing any attention to herself, not accidentally saying too much or pissing anyone off (as she had a habit of doing). The dynamic would be quite different if there was only one of them with her.
Joel's whimpering noises dissolved into murmurs, making Ellie think the dream would perhaps pass without waking him, but then he woke with a start, his eyes flying open... that moment of WHERE THE FUCK AM I and the subsequent oh, right recognition playing across his face in the same second. "You mumble in your sleep," she told him, just for something to say. He didn't answer her. Sat up, held his head in his hands. "I hate bad dreams," she ventured again. Well, duh, who LIKES them? she berated herself.
But all he said was, "Me too." No snarky comeback. The nicest thing he'd said to her thus far, actually.
The woman's return was a relief. Ellie sensed that Tess and Joel were friends, not just business partners. And anyone who had a friend -- a non-asshole-ish friend -- couldn't be a total asshole, right?
Whatever. Ellie reminded herself she didn't have to like them; she wasn’t here to make friends. They all had a job to do. A few hours from now, these people would be on their way home, and she would never see them again. Ellie could just start making friends with the Fireflies; surely some of them had to like kids.