The idea for this came from the SDCC clip for the game, introducing us to Bill, and the fact that Ellie can be a badass just by talking. Gave me the idea for this as a result.

Losing It

"Wait here. I'll disengage the traps."

Ellie watched as Bill, a.k.a. Fat Bastard walked down the street. She wasn't sure why she watched him exactly. There were plenty of pricks in the world, even those who weren't infected by mushrooms from the ether. Still, those pricks she could count on Joel to teach a lesson. Those pricks, she might be able to help teach a lesson. Here however, was a prick that not only was a prick not to Joel, but one she couldn't teach a lesson to. Which sucked. Because she wasn't often in a position where she could take a water pipe to someone's arm.

"Okay. Move up."

Ellie flexed her shoulders as she and Joel moved to where Fat Bastard was waiting for them. She felt stiff, and carrying a rifle around wasn't helping matters.

Wish I could use it…

Except she couldn't. It was Joel's weapon. She just helped share the load. All she got was a butterfly knife and the pipe she was still carrying around.

The pair reached Fat Bastard, the arsehole standing on top of a car, one of many separating this part of the thoroughfare from the other. His eyes lingered on Ellie. Her gaze stared back. In turn, his gaze moved back to the pipe.

"I'll be wanting that back before you head out of here."

"You're welcome to it fatty," Ellie murmured.

Fat Bastard went to reach for something in his belt. If he actually pulled something out, Ellie didn't see, as Joel stepped between the two of them.

"Enough," the former convict said forcefully. "We've got enough to worry about right now."

"Joel, if you think I'm going to keep listening to that little bitch-…"

"Fuck you fatty."

"Enough," Joel snarled again, reaching for something in his own belt. Something that Ellie knew would be his revolver. "Let's keep moving."

Fat Bastard looked at both of them. Ellie gripped her pipe, daring him to make a mood. Still, as much as she hated to admit it, it was probably Joel that got him to get moving again rather than her.

That's right…the fourteen year-old thought as Fat Bastard made his way onto the street on the other side. Keep moving you-…

Ellie's train of thought ground to a halt right then. That's what happened when Joel hit her over the head with the palm of his hand.

"Ow! What was that for?"

"You trying to get us killed?" Joel snarled softly, making it clear he didn't want his overweight friend to hear. "You want us to end up dead?"

"I'm not the one who-…"

Joel slapped her. Again.

"Watch it!" Ellie exclaimed. "Your job is-…"

"My job is to get you from point a to point b. Apart from getting you there alive, the condition in which I get you there was never part of the job description."

Presumably the job description involved not being infected as well. Ellie didn't point that out though. Her head was ringing, and while Joel had so far refrained from doing actual harm to her, she didn't want to test him. Not after seeing what he did to those thugs a few days back. Not after his buddy-buddy relationship with Fat Bastard.

"So you can keep your mouth shut," Joel murmured. "Good. Now keep it shut until you stop spewing out the trash that keeps coming out of it."

Ellie did keep her mouth shut, even as the two began following their guide. It wasn't because she had the intention of obeying her protector. Rather, it was from the absolute absurdity of the statement. Foul language? They were low on food, ammo, surrounded by people (and worse) that wanted to kill them, and Joel was worried about language? Ellie kept silent, hoping for some elaboration, but with none coming, she ended up opening her mouth again.

"Lose the language," she murmured. "Sure…I'll lose it when Billy here loses some weight."

"Weight, words…I'm past caring," Joel murmured, not showing the reaction Ellie expected.

"And what about you?" Ellie asked. "When you going to lose your homicidal-…"

Joel turned to face her, stopping in his tracks. He stood there, glaring at her, causing the girl to recoil. Somehow, the gaze of this protector/murderer was more terrifying than anything she'd seen him do up until now.

"Don't talk to me about losing stuff…" Joel whispered. "Not now. Not ever."

"But you told me to lose the potty-…"

"Words, weight. Like I said, I'm past caring. But remove the stick from your arse Ellie and stop trying to make us lose the only chance of getting transport. Because you've got no idea what Bill and I went through. What everyone of our age lost when civilization crumbled around us. Don't talk to us like you've got things worth saying, because you don't."

It was clear the conversation was at an end. And not just because Fat Bastard was calling for them to hurry up.

Of course, watching as Joel walked to join him, Ellie wasn't sure what she could actually say.