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“Nobody’s seen you in days.”

Days: a Ellie & Jesse ficlet

Hard to know if she should be more scared of Dina or Joel. Or Maria. Yeah, probably Auntie Maria was the one she should be hiding from. At least she could tell Maria and Joel the truth though, what the hell was she gonna say to Dina?

“Sorry babe, thing is I’m immune and I got bit really visibly so I had to find some acid the pour on it before I could come back to Jackson and I couldn’t find anything for like, 2 days.”

That sounded like a great way to lose her girlfriend and make Maria and Joel even madder in one fell swoop. Ugh, why did the weather the last few days have to actually be good? It had been snowing like hell in typical Jackson fashion for months, yet when Ellie needs an excuse? Beautiful sunshine. She reached the gate, hoping she could wing it.

“Ellie! You’re alive! Man, no one’s seen you in days, we thought the worst. Should’ve known you were just being stubborn or some shit or…”

Jesse paused, having just clocked the acid burn on her neck. Then he spoke in good humour.

“Oh fuck, man, when you gonna learn to stop playing with acid, dude? You got some particular fascination for it or something? If it’s a kink, you need to find a healthier, less skin-destroying way to get your kicks.”

“Hey, fuck you! I just got in an accident.”

“Hey, chill out, I was just messing with you, man, we’ve been scared for your ass, you know. I’m guessing you’re hungry? That usually wrecks whatever faint traces of a sense of humour you otherwise have.”

“Fuck you, man.” Then after a beat, “Starving, yeah.”

Jesse grabs his lunch, “Here, sandwhichs. Fair warning though, I got ‘em from the bar, so they have that delicious bigot flavouring.”

Ellie had already descended on the sandwhich like a wild animal before he’d finished explaining, and shrugged the issue off. It wasn’t long before the whole sandwich was demolished.

“Dude, do you even know what flavour it was?”

She had no clue beyond “Some kind of meat?”

Jesse laughed warmly. “Three days alone, and you’ve regressed into a wild animal. I always thought your domestication was tenous, El.”

“Pfft, at least I’m actually still alive after three days alone and injured out there, I doubt you’d manage that, dude.”

Jesse didn’t rise to it. “You need anything else before we go track down Joel and Dina? Your old man will kill me if he finds out I sat on knowledge of your safety for even this long, to be honest, so you should get moving.”

“Shit, any chance you’ll come flank for me? I’m gonna be killed by Joel, revived by Dina, killed again by Dina, revived by Maria and then probably end up with whatever’s left of me being fed to Buckley.”

“I’ll come with you, dude, but don’t think I’m standing in the way of your old man, or Dina, or Maria actually. No good the both of us ending up as Buckley’s supper and I don’t think we’d stand a chance. Can’t you ever invite me on something that isn’t a suicide mission?”

“Meh, what would be the fun in that?”

“Er, no chance of dying?”

“Pfft, live a little dude.”

“That’s the idea. Avoid suicide missions and therefore live. I don’t know why you struggle so much with this, man. You read enough. Anyhow, I’ll come watch you face the music and pray for you from the sidelines. Let’s go find ‘em before they find us and things wind up even worse.”

Miraculously, both of them survived to banter another day, though Ellie never did learn to “live a little” without going a suicide mission. Lucky, then, that she somehow survived so many of them.