[b Misc Features:] Short dirty blonde hair and full beard, brown eyes, tall and slim
[b Current Inventory:] Ruger 10/22 w/ optical scope + 25 bullets, 6" hunting knife, pocket flashlight, Swiss army knife, lighter.
[b Name(s):] Roamer, zombie, biters, lurkers.
[b Average Speed:] 2-3 MPH/3-5 KPH.
[b Stamina:] Low.
[b Intelligence:] Low.
[b Misc Info:] These are you're bread and butter undead. They are slow, shuffling, decaying pieces of meat who alone are no great concern to an aware person. However they tend to migrate in herds and attack en masse. Be wary of all buildings, vehicles and generally anywhere; these have a habit of being anywhere and everywhere.
[b Name(s):] Sprinter.
[b Average Speed:] 8-10 MPH/13-16 KPH.
[b Stamina:] Average.
[b Intelligence:] Low.
[b Misc Info:] Fresher and more acrobatic as a result. When people first turn, they are likely to be akin to these more able undead. Speed is their only main difference to the previous category, so if there is a herd do keep in mind that some will move much faster than their shuffling brethren.
[b Name(s):] Stalkers/Jackals.
[b Stamina:] High.
[b Intelligence:] High.
[b Misc Info:] As yet, these are the most persistent and aggressive undead to come across. They have an inert ability to seek out food and their heightened sound and smell make up for a below average sight. If you are being hunted by one, take it out quickly. Although they travel alone often, a few of these chasing you and you are in a very large amount of trouble. They are highly mutated infected, with clawed hands and a thicker skull. As present, killing one without a firearm is unheard of.
[b Name(s):] Wheezers/Chokers/Coughers.
[b Stamina:] Low.
[b Intelligence:] Average.
[b Misc Info:] They gain their name from the nerve-gas like emission caused by an over-active stomach. Whilst it's speed is so low, it cripples it's prey - the living - by expelling a gas similar in fashion to nerve-gas. Thus gas causes nerve spasms, dizziness, headaches, shortness of breaths whilst it also permeates clothing, meaning you should strip off to some fresh clothes if you encounter one - or at least wash them. With such a weapon at hand, it's also advisable not to shoot one in the stomach. Though not tested, theoretically it could explode.
[b Name(s):] Siafu/Ants.
[b Average Speed:] 7-8 MPH/11-13 KPH.
[b Stamina:] Average.
[b Intelligence:] Average.
[b Misc Info:] Always found in groups of eight or more, [i 'Siafu'] - given from the African driver ant known for its large colonies - is the name given to a throng of children once they have turned. Known for more athletic, jinking movement given their young and sprightly age, they are considered by some to be shy and withdrawn. Some people say they use this child-like hiding to draw in prey who believe they are approaching innocent lost children. Overpowering by pure numbers, they do have small sharp talons and their skin can be caustic at times. The visible perforated hernia is the only assumed weakpoint.
[b Name(s):] Loggers/Flotsam.
[b Average Speed:] 6-8 MPH/9-13 KPH.
[b Stamina:] Average.
[b Intelligence:] High.
[b Misc Info:] Typically dwellers of the sewers - where they earned their unfortunate name of loggers - these hive-mind-esque infected are known for their incredible fits of rage and being possessive of the territory they inhabit. Typically seen in groups no bigger than five, they aren't seen during the day though it is not known if they spend it in some kind of hibernation or simply retreat to the dark shadows beneath the city. They sense of smell and knowledge of orientation make up for a lake of sight - make sure you bring some caustic materials with you to distract them. A good dismemberment can't hurt either.
[b Name(s):] Streps/Necros.
[b Average Speed:] 2-3 MPH/3-5 KPH.
[b Stamina:] High.
[b Intelligence:] Above-Average.
[b Misc Info:] Due to a high rate of decay, streps are one of the more fatality inducing undead - even if they don't move at a particularly quick speed like sprinters or have long claws like a stalker. A word of care; Do. Not. Touch. Them. Given their advanced state of decay, contact with these hellish ghouls exposes the victim to skin-eating bacteria which bolsters a typical fatality rate from 30/40% up to 50/60%. Thankfully they are not you're typical urban-dweller, preferring wooded areas, grassland or subterranean terrain with the loggers. Should you encounter one then do take note of the soft plate in their chest.
[b Name(s):] Tumblers/Arachnids/Gears.
[b Average Speed:] 7-8 MPH/11-13 KPH.
[b Stamina:] Low.
[b Intelligence:] Low.
[b Misc Info:] A rather terrifying if strange infected, tumblers are named after the tumbling spider which cartwheels to get away from predators. Although this creature doesn't perform acrobatics with a neat dismount at the end, it is very fast. It's limbs are barely connected to it's body, and through an unknown but assumed chain of brain chemistry, it manages to fling it's appendages in the direction it wishes to move, the bones grinding and clicking like gears as it throws itself at it's prey in a short but quick burst of energy. It should be noted that if you can put enough obstacles or distance between you and it, then you will escape as it's attack requires so much energy it cannot be kept up for long. Be hesitant - it often lies dormant in buildings where it could be mistaken for just another body.
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Tasia enjoyed the feeling of being entangled with Simo like this. It was warm and safe, it made the rest of the world simply melt away somewhat. She smiled softly at his words, she supposed he was right. She did her best in the little situations but in the grand scheme of things what use was she?
Tasia hopes he was right when it came to him being alright, he at least seemed a little more distracted now, a little more relaxed and she stroked his chest in a quiet trance.
[b “How do you do that?”] She asked him, his tone quiet and soft. He was remarkable sometimes and she so badly wanted to know how he did it.
[b “How do you make everything seem alright, even when it isn’t?”] She had a small laugh at that because no one knew when everything would ever be alright again.
She just wanted to be close to him, and they were close like this. It was a tender moment. Gareth would kill them both if he ever found them like this, she knew that much. Tasia just needed to make sure that for now, they had the privacy of one another. She would do her best and if the worst did happen then she would accept all of Gareth’s anger just to lessen it for Simo. He had been through so much.
[b “You’ve been so brave, Viking boy.”] Tasia said with a smile playing on her lips. It was true, he had faced so much the past few days and here he was, breathing and alive. Tasia shifted and buried her face in his neck, content.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat At least she was honest, even if her response wasn’t the more positive or hopeful of them. In a way it did make him feel better to hear she was frightened too. But he shook his head lightly when she said she wasn’t helpful, letting her return to her place against his chest, hands stroking slowly along her back and sides now in unison as he took a moment to think.
[+firebrick “I think you are too hard on yourself. Even more than I am.”] He wanted to keep his tone light and a touch humorous, wanting her to relax rather than this be some amazingly serious conversation.[+firebrick “You help in the little ways. Making food, singing, keeping the house warm, keeping me warm.”] He squeezed her just a little at that and she would hear his chest flutter a little more rapidly in a laugh, his leg shifting so they were somewhat entangled fully now.
[+firebrick “I’ll be okay, eventually.”] He hoped he would, but he didn’t want to say that to her as she lay settled against him. His hand at her side ran along her figure, up to brush at her hair and tuck some loose strands back as he looked down at her. She seemed so peaceful and sweet at times that he felt like a monster next to her. Some big, foreign monster. It made him smile a touch.
[+firebrick “It’ll be okay Tasia. We’ll just take things one day at a time.”] There wasn’t much else they could do, short of finding a larger community to live in and grow with. It was nice to think of, but Simo doubted that the best elements of society would survive for too long. Tasia had gotten here through the willpower of her brother, her sweet and kind nature easily taken advantage of, but no doubt most of those like her were gone now.
Tasia watched him and she could tell his mind was elsewhere, wandering in places far away from here or perhaps back into the past before all of this began. He came close to her and she didn’t object, in fact she welcomed it as she felt his delicate touches. She hadn’t seen Simo this vulnerable before now. It was puzzling and worrying at the same time.
Tasia heard his question and she propped herself up slightly so she could look at him, reaching out a hand and brushing her fingers over his cheek, very gently.
[b “I’m-“] She did not want to lie, not to him. He had been honest with her. He deserved the same respect back.
[b “I’m alright, just frightened.”] She confessed quietly. She was frightened for herself, frightened for Simo and his current state and she was scared for what tomorrow might bring.
[b “It’s just... a lot. My job has always been to help. And today I didn’t help I-“] She couldn’t quite say it and she didn’t bother trying because it would drag up wounds she didn’t want open right then. Today had been very peculiar and very strange for her. Every emotion had run through her heart and it was worrying.
[b “I just want you to be okay.”] Tasia admitted quietly as if it was a secret, or a weakness somehow and confessing it out loud would earn her ridicule. She retook her place by him, resting her head on his chest where she could hear his steady heartbeat, a reassurance that he was very much alive.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat A little surprised by her calm and accepting response, Simo could only follow with her to the downstairs bedroom. He pushed the door over though didn’t shut it entirely before moving to the side of the bed he had been using as his own, near to the window. He silently placed his pistol down on the bedside table before like her he removed his boots. Fatigue was beginning to overcome him now, as if some how being in this room leant itself toward feeling tired and wanting to rest.
He would have remained in his jeans, but he knew they were a mess and didn’t want to muddy the bedsheets, so they were unbuttoned and slipped off quietly and put over a nearby chair. Thankfully he had changed clothes and washed when they he’d had the chance. Either way, he sat on the edge of the bed, for a moment just letting things settle and a touch of peace come over him in the silence. A hand to his back beckoned him to get into the bed, obliging and slipping beneath the covers.
Like Tasia it was peculiar to be in a bed beside someone, especially when she shuffled closer and his arm slipped beneath and around her to pull her close and rest her head on his shoulder. She was very warm, and he let out a deep breath as he brushed his other hand along her side slowly, hoping it helped her to relax some. It wasn’t all about him and his problems. She had been through it all at the same time as him.
[+firebrick “Tasia, how are you?”] He spoke softly, above a whisper but he kept his gaze on the ceiling above. He had never asked her before, at least before they had left to come in here. With the covers pulled up over them and drawing slow circles along her side, over her shirt, he felt a little better, warmer, safer.
Tasia watched him, at least he wasn’t pretending everything was fine. She preferred to know what was really going on in his head and she sighed out quietly. Time, of course. She wouldn’t press him. They all needed time. His second question surprised her and she thought for a while.
She was usually first awake so she was sure they wouldn’t get caught and Gareth would probably sleep late thanks to the alcohol. She looked him over and nodded finally. If it helped him rest then of course. And honestly, she didn’t want to sleep on that couch or be alone either.
[b “Of course.”] She said to him, unable to deny his request. And what was so wrong with wanting to seek comfort in another’s arms? To feel the warmth and to feel safe for a night?
Tasia took his hand and led him to his room. She wasn’t sure if either of them would sleep particularly well or not given the circumstances. Nightmares were sure to ravage whatever darkness encased them. She slid out her boots and kept the braid in place. She was frightened for Simo, if she was being completely truthful because what they had done was no small thing. She didn’t blame him, of course she didn’t.
It was cooler in the room and she got beneath the blankets, feeling a touch awkward, not because of Simo just because it had been an age ago she had shared any close contact with anyone. She waited for him to get into bed and wrapped her arms around him, bringing him close by means of comfort, knowing sometimes having someone close was enough comfort.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat The look she gave him was one he wasn’t entirely comfortable seeing. He saw the concern and the discomfort, even before she asked him how he was. Her body against him was warm and her arms and hands had them pulled together securely, so he knew that he couldn’t easily squirm or dart the question without upsetting her. It had barely been two hours since last she asked him, but without means of escaping the situation or distracting him entirely, he was forced to confront how he felt head on.
His eyes glanced to the couch for a moment, and he swallowed the lump in his throat as he felt her squeeze at him to refocus his attention back on her. There would never be a good time to talk about such dark feelings, and he let his hand on her cheek brush up to push at her hair. Her braid had held well this time.
[+firebrick “I… I just need time, I think…”] There was nothing else he could think to say that he already hadn’t. Sometimes it was simply time that would help things to ease and tension to be released. Looking down into her pale but shining blue eyes, he lowered his head and kissed her cheek softly.
[+firebrick “Will you stay with me tonight? Please?”] His hands slipped to wrap about her petite waist, squeezing her just a little, embracing her more. He was memorising her touch, how she felt, her smell, her everything, because right now she was all he had and he wanted to cherish it all.
Tasia set the plates away and looked to Simo when he spoke.
[b “Doesn’t sound appetising.”] She giggled softly, at least glad the day had ended somewhat pleasantly. Gareth would have a sore head in the morning no doubt. She glanced to the stairs when Simo stepped close, a little worried her brother would make an entrance but all was quiet. She met his gaze and felt his lips on her own, placing her hands on his shoulders as they shared a moment in the quiet.
She broke off for breath and looked up at him, he looked okay, worn down maybe but then who wasn’t? She sighed out contently and knew today would haunt them all regardless of how it ended. She wanted to ask if he was alright, make sure he wasn’t going to collapse or breakdown but he seemed alright and she didn’t want to spoil the mood with her endless clucking. She looked to the couch and it felt wrong to sleep on it but she would be alright.
She shifted so her arms were around him, she had meant what she had said earlier. It had been the merciful evil what had happened even though it weighed heavily on her shoulders.
[b “Are you alright?”] She finally asked him, as if having him in her arms made him incapable of lying somehow. The snow would mean more hardship, as if it were even possible. She gazed at him, searching his face and committing it to memory. Each feature, each line, each scar and the way his eyes glinted, she didn’t want to forget it.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Simo’s story didn’t seem to upset any stomachs and meals were finished not long after. Gareth was keeping the bottle to himself it seemed though it wasn’t about to be wrestled away by any of them, they could quite well understand why he needed it. Sat at the table it was as if time had reversed, they were just a group of people enjoying a meal and things for the next hour seemed to return to something approaching normalcy.
As the young duo stood up to head over to the door and get some fresh air, Elizabeth made herself scarce, wanting to rest early tonight so that perhaps tomorrow they could all be more productive – she had been quite lazy that day by her own admission. Simo waved off her self-deprecating views, thanking her for helping him today and forcing her into a hug. It took a moment for her to give in and hug back but the duo embraced a while longer before the bearded man would release her.
No sooner had she left that he was hearing singing and he remained stood by the table, leaning against one of the chairs as he let Tasia sing on. It was quite beautiful, even if he had never heard the song before to compare, and he only moved when Gareth came walking past. He patted the foreign man on his shoulder, saying nothing more as he swayed his way up the stairs towards what had become his room.
[+firebrick “Hey, with a glass of beer, rakfisk can be quite the delicious meal.”] He offered a small smile with his statement. In truth he hated the stuff, found it far too salty, but it didn’t matter what he thought of it at that moment. Waiting for her as she closed the door, he dragged over one of the chairs, tipping it so the back rest under the handle and pushing the leg with his boot. Mark had gotten in without waking them, at least this would give them some notice.
Turning back to Tasia he watched her for a moment, just looking at her, before slowly walking over. It felt like something needed to be said, some kind of thanks above what he had given before, but as he closed the gap with her he could think of little more than cupping a hand to her small cheek and tipping her head back a touch so that he could press a kiss to her lips, his other hand curling around her back and pulling her close to him. And that is what he did.
Gareth chuckled a little, both at Simo’s story and Elizabeth’s reaction.
[i “Three months? Good God, Viking, you lot truly do eat the strangest things.”] Gareth chuckled and it turned to laughter for a few minutes. He took another drink of the alcohol and it seemed to be helping him. He looked to his sister and was at least glad to see her smiling. Regardless of everything going to shit in this world, he did want his sibling happy. He wasn’t sure exactly how such a thing would ever happen. It wasn’t as if any of them would have their own home, children and an easy nine to five job.
Tasia smiled a little as she finished her meal and looked to Gareth, nodding to him. She supposed it was the alcohol making him somewhat happier, easier to forget the woes of the day. And the alcohol seemed to keep him sated and in good spirits for the hour to follow. Tasia had cleared the dishes away, making sure the place was somewhat tidy as she looked out the window at the darkening skies.
Gareth stood, swaying slightly as he went outside and stood by the door with the bottle in hand. Tasia joined him and watched the ashes fluttering in the breeze. It took her a while to realise snow was falling into the ground and she sighed softly.
[i “Sing something.”] Gareth murmured to her quietly and Tasia raised an eyebrow as she looked to him.
[i “People sing stop funerals... it would seem right, somehow.”] Gareth wanted to at least feel the man had some send off fitting.
[b “ Yet though the ocean
with waves unending
Cover the Earth
Yet is there loss after all.
For what e'er drifts from
Is with the tide to another brought
And there's naught los beyond recall
Which cannot be found, if sought.”] Tasia sang along. It was a song their mother used to sing and it was always a comfort. She patted Gareth’s shoulder and coaxed the bottle from him. Gareth didn’t object, he just looked to her and kissed his sister’s cheek.
[b “To bed, Gareth.”] She said softly and motioned to the stairs. Gareth offered no protest as he sloppily made his way up the steps. Tasia sighed out as she watched him disappear and closed the door to the cold, eyeing the snow as it stuck on the ground already.
[b “It’s snowing.”] She said as she looked to Simo. [b “Not uncommon in Finald, I suppose? Just lacking the smell of trout?”] She gave a small laugh.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Leaving her to go get her brother, figuring it would be better that way, Simo walked up next to Elizabeth. His pace slowed as he needed the crackling fire, burning fiercely, the heat so much he could understand why they stood so far away. Leaving the siblings to head in he stood silently beside the older woman, neither of them with much to say but give some silent last respects to the departed Mark. For a few minutes they stood still, until Simo couldn’t bring himself to look anymore, a hand coming up to Elizabeth’s shoulders.
[+firebrick “Come on, it’s getting dark.”] His voice was a whisper, crackling, unsure whether his comment was just from the fire waning or some more spiritual darkness settling over him, all he knew was that he wanted away from all this. Tasia’s words helped only so much. He had to pull at Elizabeth’s shoulder a touch more firmly before she gave in and began walking back, though she cast glances backwards several times before the pairing returned inside.
She quickly took her seat at the table, a little quiet though she gave thanks to Tasia. Simo eyed the bottle in Gareth’s hand, a strong desire overwhelming him to take a long drink, to drink until the bottle was empty. He had his reasons why, he had good excuses for such an action, but after a long hesitation he quickly moved past the man and bottle and slipped into a seat opposite Tasia. The smell of the food soon drifted up, coaxing him, tying knots in his stomach in remembrance of all his hungry nights; should he eat up? Should he save his share for later? Was he being greedy? He pushed his food around, stirring it almost, lost to his thoughts. Thankfully the siblings chatter took his attention back to the present and he listened to Gareth intently.
[i Was he laughing?]
At first it seemed disrespectful, as if they were enjoying themselves whilst Mark’s ashes were still settling, having fun at his expense. But it did break the tension of the room. It eased the Finn’s discomfort and he offered a meek smile as he nodded.
[+firebrick “At least burnt toast isn’t too bad a smell. Imagine smashing seventeen glass jars of your cousins rakfisk. Hint; it is rotten trout fermented in its own juices for three months. They had to destroy and rebuild the entire pantry.”] Like Gareth this brought out a soft laughter from him, though it soon grew when Elizabeth made a face of pure disgust, as if she could smell the memory – if only he could share and convey the horrifying smell he’d endured that day.
Simo's arms around her waist were a comfort she couldn't quite describe as she leaned back into, feeling his breath on her ear and his lips pressed to her cheek. She smiled at him, a little wanly but she didn't push it with him. She stepped out behind him and looked to Gareth. She gestured she would get Gareth, they had to eat, despite everything.
She reached down and touched her brother's shoulder.
[b "C'mon, inside. You'll freeze out here."'] She said to him quietly as she offered her hand and helped him up. She watched him head inside and she looked to the pyre that was still burning, although with less ferocity. Mark had been so young, it was a stolen life. Tasia returned inside and looked to Gareth who had poured himself a whisky from the dusty bottle. She didn't approve but she also wasn't going to argue with him. Not today.
[i "Do we have enough stuff left?"] Gareth asked and Tasia nodded to him. She didn't want them to worry about rations but they at least deserved a somewhat flavourful meal. Especially after today. She just wanted them to at least have something decent. Tasia dropped into a seat and looked to the others. She wasn't sure what to say, or how to act but she knew something had to be said. She figured her nursing head would be the best way to look at this.
[b "What happened was necessary. And Mark made a choice. He wanted to go with dignity and respect, and we let him make that choice."] She said quietly and Gareth took a drink of the whisky, not flinching at the taste. He nodded to Tasia as he started on the food.
Tasia pushed her food around for a while, barely eating as she looked over to the couch from where she sat at the table. She seemed lost in a daydream but she knew she couldn't afford to be like this. She ate some of the food and was at least grateful it had flavour and wasn't plain and stodgy.
[i "You know she couldn't cook, when she was a girl. Burnt toast all the time."] What happened next was strange as Gareth laughed a little, like a release of tension as he chuckled away to himself and Tasia smiled at him, shaking her head slightly.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Despite what he had said and offering a forlorn smile as she kissed his forehead and left, Simo remained sat on the edge of the bed a little while longer. He had gone to stand and follow her out, but it was as if his legs refused the command. For a few minutes he just sat there, contemplating everything and mentally having to psych himself up just to stand and move about. It was a far cry from how confident and assured he had been the day before.
Thankfully he regained his composure, standing up to walk across to the window. Gazing out he could only see the glow of the fire, though having heard nothing from the house he assumed it meant Gareth and Elizabeth remained outside. In some ways, it was a miracle Simo had gotten this far without being confronted by murder like this. The siblings had had to deal with their parents, and he assumed Elizabeth had with her husband. Perhaps this was just a very strange, very morbid right of passage. Now he was fully blooded into the apocalypse and all the horrors it could set upon you.
Not wanting to be alone to his thoughts much longer he headed out, seeing the fireplace burning brighter though like Tasia he swiftly made an exit from being near that couch. Instead he turned towards her, seeing her surveying the meal she had made for them and walking over. A touch tentative as he walked across, he took in a deep breath and his hands wrapped about her waist from behind, pulling her back against his chest as he embraced her.
[+firebrick “Thank you.”] Was all he could muster, though it held the meaning of everything he needed to say. She was being simplistic but determined in setting a meal for them and trying to bring a little semblance of normalcy to the day, and it was working.
Again, he placed a kiss to her soft and smooth cheek before his hands slid away. What had happened earlier in the outbuilding was not forgotten, but it seemed terribly naïve of him to try and keep that going given their collective mood, not to mention he didn’t feel as if he could be an attentive boyfriend at that moment – if that is what he was to her. Those questions would come in the coming days, for now he headed towards the door to go get the others. Hopefully they could eat, talk, take their minds away from the present.
Tasia wasn’t so sure Simo was alright, in fact he quite evidently was anything but okay. She didn’t fight him as she shifted off of him, pressing a kiss to his temple as she got up.
[b “Alright.”] She said softly to him as she looked him over. Her own emotions were pushed to the side, an easy task for her as she figured that keeping herself busy.
Tasia gave him a last look, before she headed out into the house. She fed the fire and watched the flames lick at the dried wood. She would get more tomorrow, she figured if her shoulder held up. Tasia avoided the couch that the feed had been done on like the plague itself. She didn’t look at it, she couldn’t. Tasia got up and looked out the window at the flames that were slowly diminishing. Gareth was sat outside, watching the flames with a strange sort of intensity about him. They had done something terrible. Something unforgivable.
Tasia fixed coffee, strong as always as she set some mugs down on the table, into autopilot mode, determined to keep everything as normal as possible. It seemed stupid in a way, even to her as she did her best not to think about everything. She set the mugs out neatly at each chair at the table, mixing in some tomato purée she had found along with some of the tuna from a can. She stirred it all in together, heating the rice once more before slowly setting some portions into bowls. She set each one down and sighed out shakily. She adjusted the braid of her hair and lit a couple extra candles. A normal meal, that was her aim as best she could manage.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Simo was quite understandably broken right then and there. It was the fact that Mark’s demise, whilst necessary, was the first time he had killed a real person. In a manner of speaking, killing the undead was easier as he could disconnect himself, he was killing a feral animal and not a human being. But now that line had been crossed and it was unsettling to him how easy he had done it. The only real upside to this was that he had saved the others from having to do it. Thinking of himself as a martyr of sorts would help.
Her continued pleas for him to rest, to lay down and just take things easy, were met with a soft shake of his head.
[+firebrick “No, I can’t. I can’t let everyone work.”] The last thing he needed was to feel useless or a burden to the others. His hands came up to take hers, squeezing them appreciatively of her just being with him now. He brought his head forward to rest against her shoulder, taking a few deep breaths as his hands remained with hers and he just took a little time to steel his resolve.
When his head came back up his dark eyes were open and looking up at her, a faint and sad smile on his lips. A few minutes to himself and longer with her and he was feeling that little bit better already.
[+firebrick “I’ll be okay… just might not be my usual self for a little while.”] He’d rather not play the fool after what had happened, but nor did he want to worry her by lying and saying all was well right then. Hopefully in time it would get better.[+firebrick “Come on, we should go see the others. Don’t want them to worry.”] He nodded though he didn’t make an attempt to move, not wanting to throw her off him suddenly.
Tasia was shocked, to say the least. She understood why he felt the need to put on a disguise in these times but he was a fool if he ever thought he needed to do that around her. She knew everyone wore a mask of bravery and strength. She didn’t speak as he let it all out, simply rubbing his muscles as best she could. What he had done today, no one should have ever had to do.
Tasia wouldn’t tell him to take the mask off, she knew it was needed in these times more than ever before but she did want him to know he didn’t have to act like that all of the time. She felt his lips to her cheek and sighed out. Tasia pulled back and looked him, cupping his face gently, looking him over worriedly for a few seconds.
[b “Oh, Simo.”] She said quietly. She couldn’t take this burden from him, no matter how hard she wanted to.
He looked so tired, so worn down and today had only added weight to his shoulders.
[b “Please try and rest.”] She murmured to him softly, she knew sleep would be so fickle for all of them after today but they each had to try. Tasia wasn’t going to be sleeping on the couch Mark had died on, that was for sure. No one should. She just wanted everyone to rest. Tomorrow would be another day, a new day complete with new challenges.
[b “Please, alright?”] She wanted to apologise to him, to apologise for what he had needed to do to Mark. Then again, she had drugged the poor man to sleep. If anything, this was on her and Simo because Elizabeth and Gareth hadn’t done anything to mess their hands.
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