1 - "Life as We Know It"

Joel had just tried to reassure Ellie of the lie he told her about the Fireflies, how they stopped trying to look for a cure. How they had given up trying to save mankind. How their year of a crusade across the country wasn't worth it. Ellie said "OK." Joel gave her a minute to calm down before he started to trek down the hillside with a hunting rifle and shotgun strapped on his backpack and a revolver and 9mm in his other holster. After a half hour, he craned his head and saw Ellie still silently trekking behind him, with her head held down low. Joel peered up and found himself standing outside the gates of Tommy's Dam again. He thought for a second before knocking. Joel shouted in a joking voice "Hellooo, anyone in there?" Within a few seconds, Tommy appeared at the door "Well..if it isn't my damned brother. Get your ass in here." Maria said "Hey are you doing?" Ellie mumbled "I'm fine." Joel said "Ellie...please." Maria said "It's fine. Let's get you something to eat. You two can go talk." Ellie said "Alright..." Ellie slowly followed Maria into the back while Joel followed Tommy into his office and placed his backpack on the ground and sat down across from Tommy. Tommy asked "You want a beer?" Joel shook his head "No thanks." Tommy asked "So I take it you didn't find the Fireflies?" Joel said "Well first they weren't at the college, but we found a note saying they were at Salt Lake City so we traveled there...and uh..." Tommy said "It's alright you don't have to.." Joel shook his head "No we found 'em...we just uh..they stopped looking for a cure. They uh, they were just trying to stay alive. They gave us a truck, some gas and let us go." Tommy asked "Well now what are you going to do?" Joel said "I don't know. I heard Texas was rescued and..I was thinking..." A grin spread across Tommy's face "You want to take Ellie back home and..." Joel smiled "Yeah...yeah I do." Tommy asked "Did you hear about Boston?" Joel shook his head "No. What?" Tommy said "A shit ton of Clickers made their way into the city through the pipes and overran the entire's fucking dead." Joel ran his hand through his hair and sighed "When did it happen?" Tommy said "A survivor said it happened about eight months ago." Joel said "Well..that's not an option." Tommy said "Well..let's uh..let's lighten the mood here. Uh..listen, you and your girl can stay here for a few days, get rested up. Get some food in ya. Then when you're ready to leave, we'll get you some gear and a car. We'll send you on your way." Joel said "Thanks baby brother." Tommy said "Just consider us square for the first year." Joel nodded "Yeah..." Tommy said "Hey, remember that the door to come here is always open." Joel said "Thanks, we appreciate it." Tommy nodded "Always." Joel asked "Any other problems?" Tommy laughed "No, not really. During the winter we expanded another dozen families and we only got attacked once by some really desperate hunters." Joel said "That's great. I'm proud of you." Tommy smiled "I appreciate it. Now how about we go eat with the girls, unless you have something else to say." Joel shook his head "No. Let's go." The two picked up their effects and walked into the kitchen. Once Joel spotted Ellie, he saw she still looked depressed and hadn't touched her food. Maria was patting her on the back and seemed to be trying to talk to her, but he knew it was no use. Joel sat down at the table and it took Ellie a minute to notice he had sat down. She looked up at him, gave him a weak smile and looked back down at her food, looking at it as if was about to bite her. Maria asked "Is she alright?" Joel nodded "We've just been through a lot." Maria said "Come on Ellie, you gotta eat something." Ellie pushed her plate away "I'm not hungry." Joel said "You have to eat, Ellie. You haven't eaten since yesterday morning." Ellie said "I'm not hungry Joel." Maria asked "Are you tired?" Ellie nodded "Yeah." Maria said "Come on then, i'll get you a room." Ellie sighed "Alright." Ellie got up and followed Maria . A few minutes later Maria returned and sat down. Maria asked "Is she alright?" Joel nodded "Yeah, she's just been through a lot over the past year." Maria asked "What happened?" Joel sighed and explained everything that happened during the winter with David and his group of cannibals and what happened with the Fireflies. Maria asked "Was she like this on the way here?" Joel nodded "Yeah, I think it's hard on her. Especially since she probably thinks we wasted a year for nothing." Maria said "It would have been a waste if you didn't try." Joel said "I know, I just don't know what she thinks. She's hard to read." Tommy said "She just needs time. It heals all wounds." Joel said "I know." After eating a dinner consisting of a bowl of soup and a slice of bread, he went to bed and found Ellie sound asleep on top of a bunk bed. Joel whispered "Good night baby girl."

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