Set just after Ellie's capture at the hands of David, Joel and Ellie continue their journey to Salt Lake City in search of the fireflies...
"Pitty we can't take it with us..." Joel muttered as he picked away at the guitar's strings. Ellie nodded slightly, too busy staring at the floor. Joel couldn't help loosing his chain of thought. He put the guitar down and sighed as he sat beside her.
"What's wrong kido?" he asked trying to comfort her and find out what had been bothering her for the past few days.
"I'm still... I can't get rid of the thought of when... when I was captured." Ellie managed as she began to choke up. "He nearly..." She continued. Joel sighed... it had been days but she was still torn up about David and how close he came to violating her.
"Do you need anything?" He asked he wiped away her tears with his sleeve. She shaked her head as a reply...
"Not much you can do... I just need time..." She muttered as she sighed. Joel leaned over and placed another block of wood on the fire. The air was freezing and the fire was doing little good.
"Listen... you can talk to me about it, about anything... I know its hard." Joel said as she took a glance at him.
"Yeah, sure..." She replied in a dull voice. She looked over to the guitar. "Can you play me something actually..." She asked as Joel sat down beside the guitar again. He took a moment to reply.
"Sure... do you know any songs?" Joel asked as he sat the guitar on his lap. He noticed that she had lightened up a little at the prospect of hearing some music.
"No... we never got to listen to old music that much..." Ellie added as she snuggled up next to the fire. Joel's eyes widened as he thought of a song.
"Ok here goes..." He muttered as he began to pluck away at the stings... he started to sing in a quiet voice.
"I looked out this morning, and the sun was gone...
Turned on some music to start my day...
I lost myself in a familiar song...
I closed my eyes and I slipped away."
Joel began to strum the guitar, fast and loud and the sound of music made both Ellie and Joel a little more joyful.
"It's more than a feeling...
When I hear that old song they..."
Joel stopped strumming immediately to the sound of a car pulling up to the house. He put his finger to his lip and Ellie nodded in acknowledgment. Joel took his pistol from its holster and crept towards the door. A man walked up the steps of the house, a child following him.
"Hide..." Joel whispered as he hid behind the curtains. The door opened and the man entered.
"Lewis stay close... there's been a fire, someone's here." The man whispered in a distinct Scottish accent. He closed the door and aimed his rifle around the room. Joel looked across to Ellie who was hiding in the shadows, with fear in her eyes. The man spotted her and he stepped forward to her. "Hello... little girl?" He asked as he slightly lowered his rifle. Joel pushed the boy out of the way and aimed his pistol at the man.
"Don't fucking move." Joel said as he pressed the pistol against the man's neck.
"Shite... listen I aint looking for bother." The man said as he lowered his rifle and slowly turned around. The boy behind him, a young teenager looked scarred to death and stepped back, smacking off a wall. "Come on... you've got a kid man... you must be reasonable." The man argued as Joel aimed right at the man's face.
"So do you... give me your gun..." Joel asked as he put his other hand out towards the man. The man sighed as he handed Joel his rifle. "Sit down..." Joel said as he checked the window for others.
"Were just travelers bro..." The man said as he and the boy sat down uneasily.
"Dad?" The teenager asked as Joel lay the rifle against the wall.
"Listen man... I think we got off on the wrong foot..." The man said trying to reason with Joel. "Look I know you've got a kid to look after, so do I..." He continued. Ellie sat down opposite of the fire, and brought her knees up towards her chest.
"My name's Lewis." The man said as he offered Joel his hand. Joel took a moment before taking ahold of the Lewis's hand and shaked it.
"I'm Joel, this is Ellie... what's the boys name?" Joel asked as he sat opposite of the man, next to Ellie.
"I'm Kyle..." The boy managed as he relaxed a little as Joel sat down his gun.
"So where are you headed?" Joel asked Lewis who had already began to warm himself on the fire.
"Utah... theres a settlement there where my cousin lives." Lewis told Joel as he took his hands away from the fire.
"Utah ehh?... Were heading to Salt Lake city... are you going through there?" Joel asked Lewis.
"No... the settlement's nearby though... if you want you can come with us." Lewis said with a smile, trying to win Joel's good side.
"Ok... that would be great..." Ellie added.
"So why did you come in here?" Joel asked Lewis.
"I swore I heard a guitar as we drove through... was that you?" Lewis asked, Joel nodded as he rested his head. "Well I'm going to get some rest then..." Lewis added as he put his hood over his head and rested against the wall.
"Hey..." Kyle said with a warm voice as he inched towards Ellie. Joel watched the boy closely... he was still scarred, he still kept his distance.
"Oh hey... Kyle." Ellie said as she gave him a slight smile. "I can't remember how long its been since... since I met someone my age." Ellie said as she relaxed by the fire, but still distant and looking away at the flames.
"Yeah me too... so ummm..." The boy mumbled as he tried to make conversation, this made Ellie smirk a little as he blushed.
"So she's your daughter?" Lewis asked from across the room, quiet enough for only Joel to hear.
"Yeah..." He replied. He knew inside she was not his daughter but he had grown to love her as one.
"Well at least their getting along..." Lewis said with a smile.
The morning dawned and Joel was the first to wake... He slowly sat up, stretching his back and yawning quietly. "Lewis?" He asked as he looked around the room. He was no where to be seen and Joel got worried. He looked beside him and to his relief Ellie was snuggled up in a blanket. Joel slowly stood up and un-holstered his pistol. "Lewis!" Joel asked in a louder voice.
"Aye?" He asked as he came round the corner, holding two can of peaches. Lewis felt a slight relief knowing he hadn't made off with any supplies or such.
"Nothing... just wondering where you were..." Joel muttered as he stretched his legs. Lewis handed Joel a can of peaches and he sat the other down. He pierced it with a bayonet and took a mouthful.
"Wow... taste like shit..." Lewis muttered as he sat the can next to Kyle. His son who had just woke up took a mouthful and passed the can back to his dad.
"Ellie?" Joel asked as he gently shook her shoulders. "Here eat up." He said as he passed her a can of peaches.
"Joel... what time is it?" She asked as she rubbed her eyes.
"Early... we should move." Kyle said as he finished his peaches. Lewis nodded in agreement.
"Right were going to head off... so do you defiantly want to come with us?" Lewis asked.
"Yeah lets go." Joel said as he handed Lewis his rifle back. "No hard feelings?" He asked as the group picked up their possessions and walked down the steps out of the house.
"No, this is going to be a blast..." Lewis said with a smile as he loaded the gear into the back of the car. "You not bringing the guitar?" Lewis asked as he closed the car boot. Joel felt sad to leave a fine instrument abandoned...
"It's a shame... maybe someone else will put it to use." Joel said as he looked back at the house before entering the car.
"You've been quiet so far..." Kyle said to Ellie as they both sat in the back.
"I'm just tired..."