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If you're going out then I want to come.

There was still a chance that her group was out here somewhere, and though she tried to act like she was okay with being locked in a room, Ash had found the isolation and confinement close to maddening after nearly a year spent in the constant company of people and outdoors. It had been discussed briefly over breakfast, a small disagreement about it but they had agreed to bring her in the end as the group decided to head out on a supply run after the department of their friend yesterday, much to her relief.

It was easy to get back into this kind of routine. Scanning the trees, checking around shrubs and rocks, making sure it was as safe as the world could be these days to go forwards. Slowing before eventually pausing her steps Ash spotted a slight movement just off to the side. Glancing around she saw no signs of the dead, at least not yet and the others were just ahead. She could go and check quickly and catch up, calling out would just attract unwanted attention. Her clothes had dried and Leo was back behind the group somewhere, acting as a rear guard, so she felt fairly well protected.

Drawing her knife Ash moved as silently as she could towards the downed tree, giving it a wide enough birth that if anything was lurking behind it she would have enough space to not be gabbed. Small twigs snapped beneath her feet and the leaves rustled softly with each step but other than that it was quiet here. If there was something dead it would have been making noise by now- a slightly noise to the left caught her attention, she half turned, but felt something grab at her before she had a chance to fully react.

A strong grip took hold of her torso, a hand clamping over her mouth before any sound could escape and the girl was suddenly pulled back into a body, pressing her against themself. Panic struck at Ash as she struggled in vain against the grip on her. Her knife had been dropped in the ambush, however after a moment a flash of common sense returned and she bit hard on the hand over her mouth, feeling it instantly release her with a cry.

“Aaargh! Ahh, stop! Hey! It’s me!”

She’d already moved several steps away from the figure but stopped and turned at the voice, a frightened look on her face for a moment and her hands held up defensively until she saw the familiar face. That brown hair, those warm chocolate eyes, that goofy smile, the slight country twang to his voice.


Kneeling down the man shook his hand slightly, inspecting the fingers. “Yes! Man… bit the hell out of me. I think you drew blood. Come all this way-” His words however were cut short as Ash closed the gap between them and hugged him tightly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"If that's not good enough for you...then we have a problem..."

“I think if she can handle nearly freezing to death and being chased by zombies, she can handle being tied up for a few minutes.”

”Alright boys, play nice,”

"But you know if you fall asleep you could be the next dead guy."

Slowly Ash's eyes started to open and the world began to come into focus. The voices sounded far away and we're fading in and out with her vision but slowly things were starting to come back from the darkness. Above her stood a really pissed of looking guy, his hand on a gun though it wasn't pointed at her necessarily it was still right by her. Slowly, instinctually, her hand went for the sheath at her side, only to find the blade missing. Everything was still cold, everything was still wet and her head felt like it had been hit by a truck. Looking around as she slowly shifted away from the angry armed man, her foot suddenly jolting as her shoe laces came taught, luckily she hadn't tried getting up, rather just slowly scooting away.

No sudden movement.

Her eyes began shifting around the room now, the two girls from before were there. The two new men. And the one who had brought here here in the first place. With her backpack. Up until this point Ash had been quiet, there had been a few whimpers and gasps of pain but no words had left her mouth. But that scared look that had dominated her face up until now flashed with a momentary anger at the sight of him holding her things.

"Hey! Th-that's mine!" Her words weren't exactly the intimidating sort, her voice was rather soft and gentle, even with the angry tone. Her eyes darted around at the faces in the room defiantly, a slight glare to them before she fell back on the young, dark-haired man with the accent.
"You can't have it." She was in no position to be making threats or demands. Unarmed in a room full of very capable looking adults. But she needed that backpack. She wouldn't survive long back out there without it. Another violent shiver ran through her body, reminding her she was still cold. But she could deal with that later.
Two. There were two of them. For a moment she weighed up her options as one turned towards her. For a moment even considering taking her chances with the dead. You at least knew where you stood with the dead. Then she considered if she could potentially take them, even armed as the one approaching her was. And then he leapt at her. Instantly backing away a step Ash reached for her knife at her side. He wasn't big, exactly, but he was bigger than her and he was coming at her with a blade of his own. Only to have him pass her and stab at the dead that had gotten far too close for comfort and silently Ash cursed herself. She had been too distracted to even notice it.


The look he received in reply was cautious but there was at least a flicker of understanding there and the girl gave him the slightest of nods before he suddenly scooped her up and began carrying her. In his arms he'd feel her shivering violently and there were moments during the trip... wherever they were going, that her eyes slid completely closed and she lost consciousness for a few seconds. She couldn't really tell how much time passed while the man carried her, but eventually the jolting eased and they arrived at what looked like a relatively large log cabin. Settling onto her unsteady feet Ash glanced up at the man as he took her hand, a slightly curious look crossing her own before she slipped it out of his grip.

He had saved her, true. But she had no clue who these people were. The sounds of rustling leaves caused Ash to retreat a few steps, even as her companion advanced and then smiled back at her.

"It's alright, they're friends."

His friends maybe. Her arms wrapped around herself Ash moved to speak before another dizzy spell came over her, staggering slightly where she stood but shaking her head firmly before everything went entirely dark and the girl collapsed to the ground. Totally unconscious.

Dashing through the forest, her breath turning to a light fog grey eyes darted around as the small girl stumbled through the woods, her feet falling silently in the light snow. With their quarry now on the move the zombies that had been turning their attention towards now fleeing figure. She managed to run a fairly long way, far enough that it felt safe to stop and take a rest. Shivering and gasping for breath the young girl sank into the snow. Her usually fair skin now alarmingly pale, her lips practically blue and her entire body shivering as she tried to regain her breath and warm herself up.

The large, oversized waxed jacket she wore was soaked, even as waterproof as it usually was. And then she heard the car. Her breath caught as the definite sounds of a moving vehicle began getting louder. It was moving towards her. Glancing around, her vision going momentarily blurry as it was, she caught sight of a couple of dead still shambling through the woods either side of her. Her limbs felt heavy as stones as she managed to force herself to her feet, her backpack felt like it weighed a ton as she began to stumble her way slowly through the trees.
Me too please! If I may :)
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