Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Phage
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Ash’s eyes went wide. She probably shouldn’t have done that. It had been more instinctual than anything else. Everything had been happening so fast and the woman had just kind of… been there. Too close. Her breaths started to come a little bigger as her eyes darted around the room, trying to read it. The big guy had moved across the room and taken her backpack and Ash felt her stomach sink slightly. What was he going to do with it?

"Here you go. My name is Leo."

Hesitantly Ash reached out, as if expecting him to grab at her the moment she did and took the bag back hesitantly, not looking away from his face as she did. She searched his face critically, looking for any signs of deceit or hidden motives. But he just seemed sincere, warm, kind even. The smile reminded her of him.

"Hey. I'm the Sam."

A slight smile, for just a fraction of a moment. The other blonde woman and she gave the slightest movement of a wave in return. She seemed a lot more relaxed than the one that had grabbed her.
“I-I can do it.” She replied slowly, reaching down and untying her shoe laces before standing on relatively firm feet and hugging the bag into her chest as she began following the pair up the stairs. She cast a final glance at the blonde woman who she had kicked as she disappeared from view downstairs.

At the door to the bedroom Ash paused, glancing over her shoulder at the taller man, whom she had originally taken as the greatest threat to her. Leo. “Umm… thank you.” She spoke softly, timidly now they were alone, a lot of her spirit from before gone now. Opening the door she watched the other girl enter and began to follow. “You didn’t have to do that for me.” She hadn’t looked up at Leo yet, avoiding eye contact as she began to close the door however paused just before it closed and opened it slightly, glancing up at the man finally.

“I’m Ash.” She gave him the slightest hint of a smile before closing the door behind her. Inside she tipped her backpack upside down and began dumping the contents onto the floor before she slipped out of her coat, her boots, socks, eventually coming to stand in only a singlet and underwear before she grabbed a blanket off the bed and wrapped it around herself.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by MissCapnCrunch
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I love you and I hate you and I'm losing my mind. You tell me all the time that this will pass and that I'm gonna be fine.


For a moment things went dark.

Brooklyn had seen the kick coming, closed her eyes and had taken the brute force straight to her mouth, busting open her bottom lip. The taste of copper filled her mouth. A whimper escaped from her throat as she quickly placed her hand up to feel the warm blood dripping. No teeth were broken, but Brooklyn would admit her spirit was. She held her hand over her mouth as the blood dripped to her grey sweater. Tears weld up in her eyes as she looked at the young girl.

How could she?

As Leo and Sam comforted the girl in the ways they knew how, the two made eye contact again. Brookyln didn't look at her angry in the slightest, a sense of sadness in her eyes as she watched her walk upstairs. She wasn't mad, but she was hurt both mentally and physically. "Never. Again." Brooklyn said out loud to the remaining household members that were still downstairs. She didn't raise her voice nor did she curse, but she made mental note to never do that again.

Finally getting up, Brooklyn removed her blood stained sweatshirt revealing a tank top and used it to wipe off what she could off her chin and neck. She took this opportunity to go back outside, slamming the door behind her. "Fuck." she growled, sitting on the steps- her sweater balled up in her lap. Reaching down she took a handful of snow and pressed it to her lower face. It melted against her warm flesh, releasing the pain and perhaps helping the swelling.

It was freezing outside, but the young woman was hot with adrenaline from the scene that had taken place. "Why does everyone I try to take care of, try to fuck me up? Hmm?" she grumbled in a whisper, as she punished herself by punching her thigh through her jeans several times. She had done this out of habit ever since she was a young girl, to relieve stress rather than punch a wall or another person. After cooling off for a few minutes, Brooklyn went back inside, her sweater under her arm.

She proceeded to go into her room and change into her one other sweater she owned, this time maroon. Her other sweater she balled up and threw onto the bed along with the soaked tank top. She would have to try to clean it later as she was skilled in getting blood out of clothing- but she wasn't in the mood to deal with it right now. That or she would just burn the clothing in their fireplace, and call it done for.

Moving back down towards the kitchen, Brooklyn took it upon herself to start dinner- a fish stew.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by IAmKnight
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Honestly the scene presented for Jorel was hard to describe. Jorel mainly questioned himself about his next words, wondering if they would help the current situation or simply further endanger the group with ideas of separation. It wasn't totally clear if anyone was in charge, even if Conrad found the place, so the democractic thinking among the group could prove to be detrimental.

Brook decided she'd check on the girl again. It was slightly odd seeing her somewhat interested in this girl, but Jorel tried passing it up, until he saw the seriousness of it all and the sudden grab of her chin. She was kicked in the face, and Jorel was a little unsure who he should check on first, deciding to see if Brooklyn was okay once the girl was dealt with.

The girl had gotten her bag back. This was comforting, at least. One thing Jorel and Leo shared in common was that they both valued kindness, though their methods of survival were clearly somewhat different. Jorel watched as the girl cautiously checked her belongings. He began towonder who the other person was on the photo. Was this girl alone, with a memento of a passed relative, or was this person still alive somewhere? He'd have to ask her one day once she'd get used to being with the group.

It was soon agreed that the girl would follow Leo and Sam up to the rooms. Jorel couldn't care if his room was used, but he did wonder if the two of them would keep an eye on her and make sure she didn't turn. After all, in the end they only checked her eyes and her limbs.

Brooklyn was quite clearly upset by the situation. She had gone outside and gone back inside and paced around for a bit, which Jorel found worrying. "Hey, Brook, you al- 'kay, then, just ignore me." Jorel shrugged and scratched his eyebrow. "Conrad, that deer is stinkin' up the place and quite clearly Leo's bein' a bore. Ah, whatever." Jorel raised his palms upwards and shrugged. "I'm gonna go help Brook cook or something." He turned swiftly and walked to the kitchen, placing his rifle against the wall once inside. His revolver sat at his side as he rolled his sleeves up. "Brook, you're okay, right? If you wanna speak, I'm here. On that note, what are we making?"
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Blazion
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Well, it wasn't her plants but at least they were going forward. Without anyone drawing their gun, to boot! How glorious. Though to be fair, despite her usual chill composure Sam was still pretty miffed at Leo. He hadn't drawn his gun, but to have threatened them - people he has known for half a year like common thugs?

Nonetheless, the stray - the girl - had responded positively to his efforts and Sam herself even got the slightest positive reaction. As such she walked with the two of them as they ascended to get the girl sorted in Leo's room, that same relaxed gait present despite her underlying ... irration.

And then she was alone with the girl - Ash, was it? Sam was too cautious of a person to fully put her back to her, but gave her a mediocrum of privacy by only keeping her in the peripheral of her vision as the tattoo artist leaned against the wall. No bites from what she saw, which was no doubt more than Brook could have checked for with all the girl's gear on. Though, the scar along her arm was interesting. Fierce. A mark of pride.

Finally the stray seemed mostly settled, now out of her wet clothes and wrapped up in Leo's blanket while looking for someplace to hang her things. Sam took her own jacket off, still a bit damp along the bottom from her earlier fishing adventures, to throw over Leo's nightstand. Eh, good enough. She was even kind enough to help Ash hang her clothes up by Leo's - he had the smallest room, not including Sam's rafter 'bungalow', so there wasn't much space elsewhere.

In all it ended up with Sam lounging on Leo's bed, back against the wall and humming a jazzy tune as she watched the little stray spread her things on the ground. No doubt it had gotten messed up from all the pawing around in it, and most looked pretty valuable - well, valuable considering their circumstances. It was during this relaxed lull that the girl finally talked to her, causing Sam's blue gaze to flick over.

"I'm sorry I kicked your friend in the face," though the look she gave indicated there was a slight hint of pride there. She had seen Sam's reaction. "Is she always so grabby with your... prisoners?" There was a slight trail off at the end, though her attention had returned back to the possessions scattered around her as she methodically organised them it was clear she was unsure what term she should actually be using.

"I wouldn't say you were a prisoner, per say," Sam began, just to brighten. She sat up straighter, casting a lazy grin. "Actually nevermind, I always wanted to be a warden. First rule of Log Cabin Prison, no prisoners in handcuffs."

The tattoo artist pitched her voice low, as though whispering conspiratorially. "That's mostly because Conrad is the only one with handcuffs. Man's a little..." She trailed off and made a circular motion with a finger at the side of her head. Crazy.

Flopping back once more, Sam crossed her arms behind her head and shrugged. "Couldn't say about Brook though. I was their latest stray before you and she was a bit ... immobile when I came around."
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Zapdos
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Conrad just watched as everything seemed to spiral out of control. Sure, the girl probably wasn’t a zombie, but there were still problems here. Brooklyn got beat up. That was one problem. A bigger problem was security; how in the hell did anyone think it was a good idea to disobey protocol like that? Sure, the girl was fine, but what if she wasn’t? Zombies were quick. Add that with one being kept untied at point-blank range? It was just stupid. The way Conrad saw things, they were a lot less safe now, and it was kind of his own fault.

“Let’s do things democratically,” he had said. “More minds will be able to think of better solutions,” he had said. But where had that gotten them? In a spot where they literally could be killed by an irrational shooter who brought zombies into their house.

No more. Conrad hadn’t gotten to where he was today by doing nothing. He wasn’t going to stand idly by and wait for the group to come to its senses or get eaten by a zombie. No, now was the time for action.

Without saying a word, the ex-cop started rummaging through the drawers and taking out any food that was there. Freshly caught fish, salvaged pre-packaged food, potted plants, whatever. Conrad tried being quiet, but with everyone so distracted it wasn’t hard to gather things unnoticed anyway. Once his hands were full, he left the cabin and put everything in the Explorer.

With that finished, Conrad hopped in the driver’s seat and drove away from the cabin for good.
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by CaptainSully
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Leo watched as Sam and the young girl Ash disappeared into his small room. It wasn't much but it was his, at least it had been. For the next twenty four hours at least, Ash would have the run of it just to make sure she wasn't going to turn. There was always a risk involved with people coming to the cabin but he wasn't prepared to have the girl tied up. If she turned she'd be locked in the room and given her size, she wouldn't be hard to deal with. He had broken protocol, pissed people off and probably scared a few others with how he reacted but it was done with now. He just had to show that the right decision was made.

As the door shut behind the pair Leo pulled up a nearby chair and took a seat. He could hear shuffling and voices for a few minutes before they stopped, presumably to whisper between themselves. That silence was soon broken by the sound of an engine starting out of the front of the cabin. Leo shot up from his chair to the nearest window he could find and watched as the tail end of the explorer disappeared behind the trees. He didn't know for sure who it was but he presumed it was likely Conrad given his affinity for it.

Returning back to the chair he approached his bedroom door and knocked on it. "Hey...are you all done?"
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Phage
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Another slight smile. Ash did mean what she said, she felt bad about kicking the other woman in her face, but it had been a reaction, she hadn't really taken the time to think about what she was doing before she just did it! And she intended to apologise when she saw her again. It had just been a very high-intensity situation. There had been that guys with the gun- Leo, people talking about tying her up, the guy with the accent had taken her stuff and she had worried she wasn’t going to get it back.

Mostly everything had survived being submerged, her backpack had held up really well against the water, though some things were a little damp and her photo was slightly soggy. “It’s just… everyone underestimates me, you know? They treat me like I’m a little kid and I get it but it just… it’s insulting. I’ve survived just as long as everyone else out here.” Maybe that was part of the reason she had lashed out, because she had been mad as well as frightened.

And maybe that was why she felt comfortable around Sam. She had this laid back and relaxed feeling about her and she hadn’t been pandering at all. Her behaviour didn’t seem to be swayed one way or another because of her age. The only problem was… what now? Was anyone out there looking for her? Were they even still alive? How were they supposed to find her? Should she stay here or go looking for them? Was she even allowed to stay here? Sam had said she wasn’t their prisoner so after what had happened downstairs she wouldn’t blame them if they wanted her out of here as soon as it wasn’t a death sentence for her.

She began carefully; meticulously placing items carefully back into the backpack. The last thing she needed was tangled ropes. However as she was doing this her stomach let out a loud, angry growl. It had been a while now since she had eaten last. She’d been separated from her group for nearly a week now and she hadn’t been the one with the food, what little they had had in the first place.
“Sorry,” Ash quickly muttered, casting her eyes down and tugging at the bun of her hair until the light brown locks tumbled free, falling past her shoulders but not yet to her elbows.

The sound of a car door slamming outside caught before the vehicle started up and sped off, all before she was even able to get off the floor. A small frown before a knock at the door caused her to jump slightly.

"Hey...are you all done?"

She looked to Sam again before glancing down at herself, still wrapped in the blanket. “My clothes are going to be wet for a while…” If she was supposed to put them back on so that she could get going she would but if that wasn’t the case she may need to borrow something. Not that she really thought they’d have much that would fit her.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by MissCapnCrunch
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I love you and I hate you and I'm losing my mind. You tell me all the time that this will pass and that I'm gonna be fine.


Brooklyn had taken some time to gather ingredients from around the kitchen and pantry. The group had been excellent at keeping food, both fresh and dry. The only thing the young woman had really been craving that they had not found yet, were fresh eggs. Raising her head she watched Conrad pick up a few food items. She assumed that he was going to cool off like she had done earlier, but when the sound of the explorer starting could be heard from outside. Brooklyn's stomach sank. Maybe he was going for another supply run? Perhaps a solo scouting mission? She would keep this assumption until otherwise.

Jorel's voice calmed Brooklyn's voice from the anxiety that had risen in her over the course of the day.

"I don't think he's coming back Jorel." she spoke, her gray eyes steady on his. She couldn't move her lips without a bit of pain, she assumed it would be sore for at least a few days, hopefully less if she nursed it and kept her usual chatter to a minimum. "I know. Our group's a mess, so he up 'n' left. No worries, I prevented him from taking too much, though Sam'll kill me for letting him take a plant or two," Jorel said, leaning on the kitchen bench with a deep sigh. Brooklyn shook her head, she couldn't believe Conrad would do that to them.

Sam would definitely be pissed.

Changing topics, trying to stay positive in the loss of their friend, Brooklyn motioned to the several ingredients. "Fish stew. Hopefully it'll warm everyone up in more ways than one." Jorel rubbed his eyes and groaned. "God damnit, how does so much shit even happen in one day? Fuckin' hell." He remained motionless for a few seconds, then turned around to the knife block, pulling out the smaller of the group. He returned to the prep bench, knife in hand. "A'ight, toss 'em here." Brooklyn could rely on Jorel to always help her. She slid over a few of the fresh fish her and Sam had caught earlier and got to work on the other parts of the stew.

First garlic; taking a couple of cloves and a pinch of salt Brooklyn began to mash the ingredients into a paste in the bottom of her bowl. "Put the fish in there when you're done Jorel, please." she asked of him politely before filling their only large soup pot with just a small bit of some of their purified water.

She began to heat the water in medium heat on their gas stove. She began with adding some onion, celery and carrot with a little more salt and a bit of other seasonings. When the onions became tender- she would proceed to add the pureed garlic and fish. Brooklyn lost herself in her cooking, stirring the mixture occasionally as the aromatic smells filled the entire cabin. After about five minutes Brooklyn added a diced tomato, stirring until they cooked down. Potatoes and more seasonings would be added for the heartiness of the meal, after which Brooklyn would turn the heat to low, covered and left. Dinner would be ready in about a half hour. Hopefully in this time the cabin would calm down and everyone could enjoy a loving meal together.

"Thank you." she nodded to Jorel, appreciative again, as leaned against a counter away from the stove.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by IAmKnight
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Jorel was in the middle of gutting a river fish with the knife he had grabbed earlier. It was routine for Brook and Jorel to make the food, though of course today would be the first without Conrad. Jorel of course could understand why he had done it, but... After 9 months? Really? It occupied his mind throughout the entire course of prepping the food.

Earlier he had found Conrad follow Brook into the kitchen. He stood up to do the same, but he came back out with a number of items in hand. "Mate, what are you doing?" Conrad looked into Jorel's eyes, and it really didn't take too long to realise what his motives were. He looked at the bundle of items Conrad held; packaged foods, drinks, other consumables, some bits of survival stuff here and there, and a random pot plant that Sam would kill him for. "If you're leaving, fine mate. Just take that and go." It was a armful of stuff, but it certainly wasn't going to hinder the group's survival, except maybe Jorel's for allowing Conrad to leave with the plant. Conrad nodded, and the two exchanged a brief handshake - albeit awkward with Conrad's gear - before he left the cabin. Moments later, the Explorer sounded, and Jorel watched Conrad roll off. He sighed. Turning around, he headed towards the kitchen.

Jorel had finished gutting the fish, removing the organs from it and chucking it into a bucket that he had kicked beside him. It made a lovely splat as it hit the bottom. He grunted, then began to drain the fish of blood, before filleting it and removing the bones. The work took just as long as it took Brook to do her amount of cooking, but he had chopped it into bits in time to dump into the pot. "Voilà," Jorel half-heartedly exclaimed as he tossed the fish into the pot. "One less mouth to feed, and another mouth to feed. Let's hope she isn't wasting air." Jorel hopped up onto the bench once done, leaning back to look up at the ceiling, cranking his neck. "I'd like a bath..." He sniffed himself, scrunching up his face. "Haven't had one in almost a year, it seems."
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Blazion
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”Being underestimated is good. It means they never expect you to be dangerous,” Sam gave a little shrug with her words, another lopsided grin adorning her face. ”But I’m sure they realize now that you’re a fighter. Which is good! No one likes a dead weight.” Herself least of all, when it could strain the group. Who knows, what with the gear the little stray was packing she could even be useful if she stayed. Really that’s all Sam could ask for!

Well, that and knowing who the hell was driving off in the Explorer. The sound caused the tattoo artist to frown, tilting her head as she listened to the engine slowly fade away. Leo’s room didn’t have a window, but it was probably Conrad going to cool off. He didn’t seem too happy about the situation, but in these times sometimes the best thing to do was fall in line. Sam didn’t particularly like the thought of wasted gas, but as long as he killed a few corpsewalkers who cared?

And he was fanatical about that, so no worries there.

”Hm?” Once again Sam’s distraction caused her to slide her gaze to the other occupant of the room, quirking a blonde eyebrow at Ash. ”Right,” She stated and got up from the bed, stretching her arms above her head.

”I’ll go grab a change of Brooklyn’s clothes – you’d be swimming in whatever I have, short stuff.” It admittedly make Sam’s skin itch slightly at leaving the girl alone since they hadn’t known each other for even an hour, but it was just a brief trip. Sliding the door open just slightly the blonde slipped out and closed it behind her. A frown briefly pulled at her lips seeing Leo, the image of him with his hand on that little gun of his flashing through her mind, but it was soon smoothed over with a quirk of her lips.

”One minute, soldier, need to grab our stray some clothes.” She slipped by Leo and within minutes of rummaging in Brook’s things – and checking briefly on Beaumont and George, her pair of red robin tomato plants that Sam had stashed by Brook’s window – she had grabbed what looked like the smallest sets of clothing the other woman owned. She was sure despite what happened Brooklyn wouldn’t mind. Sam liked rummaging through her things all the time after all. Sometimes she folded towels into elephants – it was the only animal she knew how to fold though.

Within short order the tattoo artist was once more brushing passed Leo and inside the room, offering the armful of clothing to Ash.

”Here you go. Best you’re going to get unless you want to wear my spare hoodie as a dress. Best apocalypse fashion there is!”
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Phage
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Taking a moment to breathe as Sam left the room Ash flopped back onto the floor, blinking for a few moments as tears sprung to her eyes. Furiously she began to wipe away the tears, sniffling angrily as she sat back up. The Sam would be back any moment and the last thing she wanted was to be caught crying after she had just made a big fuss about being strong. By the time Sam had returned she was mostly under control, though her eyes were still a little red but she was running her fingers through her hair.

Inspecting the clothes there was the slightest hint of distaste to her face, but she said nothing and slipped the dark blue cardigan on and pulled on the pair of pants. They were not things she would normally wear, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.
“It’s fine, most of my clothes are really big on me too. When you grow out of them as quickly as I do sizing up is not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve got a belt.” She took the belt from her pants that were hanging up and drying and used it to help hold these ones up. She just didn’t have the hips to hold up adult pants. She then began rolling up the pant legs and pushing up the arms.

She looked dumb, but she was warm and mostly dry so she certainly wasn’t complaining. And if anyone made a comment? Then she would try to just grit her teeth and take it. She didn’t want two incidents in one day where she attacked the people who had helped her. For a moment she glanced at her knife too, also hanging up. She wanted to bring it with her, but thought it would make a better impression upon the group if she wasn’t walking around armed. It was dumb but for now it was the smarter move.

Exiting the door she looked up at the tall man cautiously before casting her gaze back down once more, lose strands of hair falling over her face, one arm holding the other as she waited to be told what they’d be doing now. It had been a long time since she had been in a situation like this and she remembered how much she hated it.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by CaptainSully
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Leo wanted to get himself back downstairs, more than anything to get confirmation on who had left. Sam quickly emerged from his room before rushing back in with a a handful of clothes. A few minutes later Sam emerged accompanied by the young girl, the close she wore rolled up where possible so they didn't hang off her. She looked rather stupid but Sully was just glad that she had something warm on instead of the water drenched clothes she had arrived in. He squatted down to her eye level so she wasn't having to crane her neck upwards to him.

"I'm going to talk to you like an adult and let you know the situation." Leo removed the rifle from over his shoulder and rested it against the nearby wall. "This cabin has always had a policy of tying up anyone who arrives, just as a precaution because of the risk of hidden bites. What you woke up to was a disagreement about whether to tie you up or not. Fortunately the group has agreed to not having you bound and gagged, but what everyone will expect is for you to stay in my room under lock and key for a couple of days. It is only a precaution and i'm sure you'll be able to come out when you need to go to toilet and eat. Once a couple of days has gone by and everyone's happy you're healthy then you'll have the chance to roam around whenever you like."

Leo paused for a moment looking over his shoulder at the nearby staircase. "So now we are going eat. I think it'd be a good time to properly meet everyone and maybe you could apologise to Brooklyn. She's had a hard time and didn't really mean anything bad. I mean if you'd rather we can hold off going downstairs and I can bring it up to you of course. Either way though, once dinner is done you'll be expected to return to my room." Leo cast a glance at the gun he left resting against the wall with the chair nearby. "I'll be outside the entire time you're in there so you'll be safe." Turning back to her and looking her in the eye he tried his best to show as soft and welcoming a smile as he could muster. "So what do you think? Do you want to go and eat downstairs?"
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Blazion
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Well, at least Sam could respect Leo for being upfront about the whole affair. Still pissed at him, though. However, his words sparked a thought and the tattoo artist made a thoughtful hum, tapping a finger against her bottom lip.

”You know, we never even asked Ash if she had a safe house to return to or anything.” She commented aloud, but then after a moment just shrugged. ”Well, at least you know now you can stay here, I guess.” The last part had an overly dramatic lilt to Sam’s words, obviously teasing. However finally she just gestured downstairs.

”Now come on, I worked up an appetite getting those fish and I’m fuckin’ hungry.” With the two following her – presumably at least – the blonde descended the stairs once more, though as her gaze flitted across the room a frown tugged the corners of her lips down. ”I told them not to move my plants,” the woman muttered under her breath, dragging her gaze around the room. Abigail – her budding cucumber plant – was no where to be seen. Finally she shrugged and just moved to the kitchen and leaned against the doorway. It couldn’t have gone far.

”Well hello Mr. And Ms. Cheerful. Making that gumbo? Because I am fucking starving.” Gesturing into the kitchen, Sam called over to Ash. "This is Brooklyn and Jorel by the way. Conrad's run off somewhere - I'm eating his portion if he's not back in time, I don't even care."
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Phage
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There was a moment when Ash went to open her mouth to say something as Sam spoke, but the woman continued on before she could get a word in so she let it go and followed the adults down the stairs. The smell of something delicious hit her noise as they travelled back down the stairs. She heard Sam mutter something under her breath but couldn’t make out what it was for the life of her and decided not to pursue it. She stuck close to Sam as the woman moved confidently throughout the house, all the time her eyes taking in all the details she could.

The front door was there, a fireplace, the windows were boarded up, two doors that she weren’t entirely sure where they led and then the door to the kitchen that Sam now leant against. As she approached the woman introduced the two who were busy preparing food. Brooklyn and Jorel. Jorel was the one who had grabbed her in the first place, Brooklyn the one she kicked in the face. As soon as her eyes passed over the woman, however, she cast them down quickly to the floor. There was one more, Ash vaguely remembered him but not really and apparently he had left?

Thinking about it now it had been a long time since she had been in a house like this, stocked, people cooking and using it for something other than a safe place to sleep for the night before they moved on the next morning. These people had made this place their home. They were living here. For a moment she felt tears threatening to overwhelm her again before she was able to calm herself. It was… a lot to take in. Slowly she walked over to Brooklyn, though remained just out of arms’ reach and eventually managing to look up at the woman, though it was clear she was uncomfortable doing so.

“I’m sorry I kicked you in the face.” The apology was sincere, no hint that she was doing it of anything other than her own free will and she did clearly mean what she was saying. Her eyes then strayed over to Jorel and another faint smile flickered across her features for a moment before it was lost. “And thank you, for helping me out there I-” A pause as she looked around the room once more at the four strangers. “I am sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused.” No one had said so directly yet, but she had caused them trouble and the tone in her voice reflected that. She sounded defeated.
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I love you and I hate you and I'm losing my mind. You tell me all the time that this will pass and that I'm gonna be fine.


"Yes, I can tell." Brooklyn chuckled about Jorel's bathing comment. She would admit that she herself was not up to her usual satisfactory of "cleanliness" but she tried to bathe as often as she could and remain as sanitary as possible. Just because the world was playing it's role in this chaos didn't mean she had to be lead actress.

Opening the lid and stirring the pot, the stew's aroma was delightful. It was as ready to eat. Brooklyn took a moment to turn off the heat from the burner, they needed to save as much fuel as possible thought the stove didn't take much to heat up, and often they used the fireplace, or an open campfire to prepare some meals. She left the pot on the burner to keep it warm until the rest of the group was ready to chow. "Not a gumbo this time, a stew. Pretty close though, might use that deer meat for the gumbo." Brooklyn replied to Sam, debating if she should mention that Conrad's portion would indefinitely be up for grabs, since he would not likely return.

Looking over to properly be introduced to the young girl, Brooklyn's eyes widened. It was very clear that she was adorning her clothes. They looked a bit large on her, but she looked beautiful. How she dreamed of having her daughter sneak into her room and borrow clothes for a night out with friends. Brooklyn watched as Ash looked up at her meekly and apologized.

"I deserved it, and I forgive you." Brooklyn admitted.

She gave a faint smile, "I shouldn't have grabbed you like I did, we don't get visitors much." she let out a little chuckle. "Hopefully you can forgive too, a nice hot meal could be a start?" she didn't mention the clothes, she didn't mind if Ash kept them just for the night, or if she kept them-

Forever.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by IAmKnight
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Jorel chuckled as Brooklyn agreed, opening his mouth to respond when the others had come downstairs, clearly somewhat attracted at the scent of the kitchen. Jorel was of course glad, he always found it pleasing to know people enjoyed his food. In this case he was glad to have made a nice meal for the new guest.

As Sam introduced he and Brook, he waved and smiled at the young girl, his remaining hand on his hip, careful to use the opposing hand from the hip side with his revolver holster. "Welcome to our lovely little cabin, hope you enjoy your stay here at this..." Jorel looked around the room, noting a somewhat peeled wooden cupboard, and raised his eyebrow. "...2 star hotel." He quickly whipped up a serving of the stew as Brook began to talk, displaying it as she suggested the meal.

"Feel free to have more if you like. We've made... Extras." At this, he side-eyed Brook. "And no worries, in this world we're all friends here. I've been meaning to ask, actually, do you have a group or something you should be with who might be looking for you? You were in a bit of a rush when I found you."
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by CaptainSully
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Observing the group Leo felt a sense of relief that everything seemed to be going in the right direction, for the moment at least. It was important to him that the group returned to some normality given the new addition. In hindsight his immediate reaction was extreme but would likely have escalated to that point had they not listened anyway. From what they had observed so far the girl was clean, barring the occassional shiver she seemed fine. No sweats, bloodshot eyes or any of the other give aways of infection. Besides, after food she'd be back in his bedroom locked away just to be sure she was good.

With the smell of food floating in the air Leo felt his stomach cramp. It felt like he hadn't eaten all day but it was just that he had a hearty appetite that could never quite be filled. He moved to the table to take a seat, taking his usual spot giving a view out of the window. There was only a small gap to see through given the heavily boarding over it, but he could still see if there was movement outside. Sitting down he ran his fingers through his hair before stretching his arms wide, arching his back over the chair. He yawned quietly as he waited for the food to be prepared. His culinary skills were significantly lacking, but his washing up talents were exceptional.
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Midna-Phobia
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I've been meaning to ask, actually, do you have a group or something you should be with who might be looking for you?

Ash’s face fell slightly at the question, her eyes going slightly dark and her gaze falling to the floor once more. “I don’t know.” Rather than crying or getting upset though her voice had gone relatively deadpan. She wasn’t sure exactly how much she should tell them and how much to keep to herself. She didn’t think these people would hurt her friends, but you could never be sure anymore. “We were heading north when a large group of the dead separated us. The plan was to follow the river until we reached the lake. I was waiting for them when the dead started to swarm me. I don’t know if I missed them or they just hadn't made it to the lake yet.”

A long pause, her resolve seeming to weaken for another moment before she let out a long breath. “I don’t know if they’d look for me if I wasn’t there. I don’t even know if they’re alive.” There was a little shake to it, signifying underlying emotion she was not allowing to break through. She felt like she should be more upset about all of this, like there should be more of an outward reaction. But she had seen so much death. She had lost so many people. Maybe she was just too tired to cry anymore right now.

Thankfully dinner proved to be an excellent distraction, the mood lightened and with the attention of the room not so solely on her Ash felt herself start to relax a little. And the food was good. It had been a long time since she’d sat down at a table and had a proper meal but it was nice. It reminded her of before the world became such a horrible place to live and she felt herself feeling full and satisfied for the first time in a long time.

Though it could only last so long. Once the meal was over she was escorted back to the room and left alone inside. It could be worse, realistically. But just something as simple as a door made the isolation feel so much worse than it was. She should have had the best night’s sleep she’d had in months, a proper bed, blankets, a pillow! But it was well into the early AM before she managed to doze off. All the shouting and banging from downstairs had finally quietened down and there was no more movement from outside. Every now and then she had gotten up to look out the window, just in case a familiar shadow was moving around in the darkness outside before exhaustion finally claimed her.
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Now, it could be said that Sam had a temper.

Sure, it seemed a little hard to invoke considering her usual chill demeanour, but it was there! Usually what sparked it to show to the others was being threatened, or just as understandably, the well-being of the group being threatened. Oh boy, she did not like either of these scenarios one bit. Of course considering the fact that her plants were very, very important to survival in times were food was scarce, it’s no surprise that they were included. Plus, you know, the whole naming them thing.

So it was pretty much inevitable that on finding out what Conrad did, Sam lost her shit.

There was some yelling, some hitting her car when it wouldn’t start up to chase him, some threatening to do some rather graphic things to Conrad, and she even began to march off into the woods to chase after him if necessary. Luckily she was talked down from that one. In any case, the result of Conrad leaving was why Sam was currently packing up her things.

No, she wasn’t going to leave the group like he did. Like some sort of bitch over not getting their way. Nope. Because of Con-fucking-rad their supply run schedule was pushed forward. The little stray didn't even turn out to be a half-bad addition, despite her youth - which was great, Sam hated dead weights. So here Sam was, up in her rafter ‘room’ gathering necessary supplies. Her AK-47 rifle was strapped across her back, for although without ammo it was a very threatening piece of equipment should they find other survivors. Her pistol loaded and extra ammo carefully stored. Clothing dry and warm, and her dufflebag emptied.

It hurt Sam every time she emptied the dufflebag of its contents, but it was necessary for now. As such the rather large pile of hundreds, thousands of dollars in various bundled of bills was pushed into a far corner of her rafter home, stashed away carefully. Sam couldn’t help but run her hand over it – the full one, touching the still fairly crisp notes with all her fingers. It was pretty much useless now, but at the same time she couldn’t help the delight that sparked inside her on seeing it. Maybe someday it’d be worth something again.

Either way, she wasn’t getting rid of it.

Yet with the dufflebag now emptied and waiting to be filled Sam finally hopped down from the ceiling, landing with a rather loud thud – uncaring if it bothered anyone. Whistling a jaunty tune she descended the steps, doing up her blonde, teal-tipped hair in a ponytail as she called out.

”You guys better be ready soon, I’m getting antsy about getting out of here!” The cheer in her voice was obvious, back to being her usual chill self. Mostly. Her gaze darkened as it passed over the window where ‘Abigail’ once rested, almost bristling like an angry animal.

Oh, Conrad had better have gotten away, because he wouldn’t have a second chance.
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I love you and I hate you and I'm losing my mind. You tell me all the time that this will pass and that I'm gonna be fine.


Dinner had gone well, everyone had a hearty share of the stew. Usually the group tried not to overly eat so they wouldn't slip into the deeper stages of slumber, but today's events called for it. Brooklyn took it upon herself to clean up afterwards as well. She usually passed the clean up duty to others because she and Jorel were the usual cooks, but today she wanted a little extra time alone as she processed things. She sang quietly to herself as she put the food away into their ice box and washed down the dishes; "You and me. Together we'll be. Forever, you'll see. We'll always be good company. You and me. Just wait and see." she glanced through the kitchen's boarded window towards her daughter's grave marker with the last words, before glancing upwards to the ceiling.

Climbing into bed- Brooklyn came to full relation that her face was extremely sore. She usually laid on her stomach, her head turned off to the side, but tonight she had to lay straight on her back. It was very uncomfortable but she laid often like this when she was pregnant, not able to sleep on her tummy when it was at it's largest. She isn't sure when the night turned into day, but the bright winter sun came before she knew it.

Brooklyn hadn't taken care of her blood stained sweater from yesterday, and the smell was very unpleasant. She didn't want to quite throw it away, considering she had lost a pair of clothes to Ash and wasn't sure if she'd be getting anymore anytime soon. Her early morning routine went as normal as possible, her lower face was bruised, painful to the touch but much better than yesterday. When Sam called for them Brooklyn was all ready to go, she just would need to put on her jacket and some boots before going out into the blistering cold.

"I don't want us to find him, Sam." Brooklyn admitted to Sam in a voice low enough for no one else but Sam to hear. She shook her head. She really didn't want to find Conrad, he hadn't came back last night and that had meant that he was either dead or that he had betrayed them and left. Unsure of which one was worse, Brooklyn preferred neither. She slipped on her boots, and than her her jacket as she took a seat in the living room, waiting for the rest of the group to be ready to go.
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