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Tia Kirby

Don't walk, run!

0 · 295 views · located in Virginia

a character in “The Walking Dead: Survivor Chronicles”, as played by Faith Fanon

Description

Image

Name: Tia Kirby

Age: 16

Sexual orientation: Straight

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Occupation: High school student

Looks:
Tia is 5’ 1” and 88lb, with a boyish figure - she jokes that she never went through puberty. Her hair is shorn at the sides and piled up on top to add an inch or two to her height. Her left earlobe is a torn mess – the first Walker she encountered ripped an earring from it while trying to grasp her. There is badly chipped black nail polish on her fingernails.

Other:
We are the Walking Dead

Personality

Personality:
Despite being cowed by the horrors of the outbreak and the loss of her family, Tia retains some of her brash personality from life before. She is quick-witted and quick-tempered, but retains a humble streak, drummed into her by her grandmother that means she is also quick to apologise and quick to forgive. Even moreso now than ever, Tia believes in living for the moment. In unguarded moments, it's obvious Tia yearns for the security of the second home she found with her grandparents, and has an almost child-like need to recreate that by finding her brother.

Equipment

Clothing:
Fleeing her house, Tia grabbed a handful of clothes from a washbasket, and has been too scared to loot clothes stores for anything else. As a result, she wears a black tanktop she was sleeping in, her sister’s yellow Hello Kitty sweatshirt, and one of her grandfather’s denim work shirts, layering them as the weather dictates. She also wears a denim mini and knee-socks that were once white but are now dark with grime, dust and dirt. Over these, she wears her brother's 4XL Virginia Cavaliers hoodie which comes down to her knees. Battered black Converse and a green bandana worn on the neck or over the head complete the outfit.

Weapons:
Image
Image
Hand hatchet, which at just 9” long is a lot shorter than a regular hatchet. Killing a Walker with it would mean getting close enough to hug it, something Tia hasn’t risked yet.
Tia also carries her grandfather’s Smith & Wesson Model 29-2. Its 6” barrel and 45oz weight means she can hardly hold it up with two hands, and she’s only fired the revolver once as a result. She has 28 .44 Magnum bullets for it.
Tia has compensated for her lack of skill with weapons with stealth and agility. Already used to sneaking around the projects at home, and climbing chain-link fences, fire escapes, and the like, Tia has been able to avoid confrontations with both Walkers and - more difficultly - and humans.

Equipment:
Tia fled her home with nothing but her weapons, a handful of clothes, and her purse, which contains basic makeup items and mirror, small change, a cigarette lighter, and a couple of condoms. Her small size has meant that she's been able to survive on what little food she has been able to scavange along the way.

History

History:
Tia, her younger sister Emeli and older brother DeShaun were raised by their maternal grandparents when their mother died of an overdose 10 years ago. It was a spartan upbringing, but it represented stability after the chaotic home life provided by their mother, a drug addict, occasional prostitute and occasional jail bird. Under their grandfather’s firm hand, DeShaun gave up running with street gangs and is now a sophomore defensive tackle at the University of Virginia. Tia hasn’t lost her rebellious streak, but gets good grades, mostly stays out of trouble, and hopes to go to college.

Tia’s first experience of Walkers was when one attacked her on the way home from school, ripping half her earlobe off. She thought he was a drunk and escaped. When she got home, she found her grandfather boarding up the house and Emeli tending to her grandmother, who had been bitten. During the night, her grandmother died, then came back. Tia woke to find her grandfather holding her slavering grandmother at arm’s length. Her grandfather yelled at Tia to get his gun from under their bed; the shot she fired went through her grandmother’s head and grazed her grandfather’s shoulder.

Grandfather sat watch for the rest of the night as more and more groans filled the air outside. In the morning, he too fell into a fever, and Tia took his place on watch. With everyone in the house silent, no Walkers came calling. In the evening, Emeli’s shrieks split the air as her grandfather’s corpse sat up and grabbed her. Drawn by the sound, two more Walkers smashed through a window; the last thing Tia saw as she fled was the three Walkers feasting on her little sister’s still-twitching body.

Now, Tia is heading for Virginia University, Charlottesville. If anyone can protect her from this horror, it’s surely her 6’6”, 280lb brother.

Family:
Brother DeShaun, 20, fate unknown, last seen in University Virginia.
Sister Emeli, 12, dead.
Grandmother dead.
Grandfather a Walker.

So begins...

Tia Kirby's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tia Kirby
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Tia crouched in the drain that ran under the jammed highway above her, drew her knees into her giant hoodie and pulled the drawstring tight until only one eye peeped out. Shots, yells and the freaks' groans echoed in the tunnel from above.

They'd been chasing her for three days now. There was no way she could have fought them. Every night she hoped against hope that she'd shaken them off her tail, but each day, no matter how cautious she was, they were back on her trail by midday. She had no time for foraging. She'd run out of food two days ago, and carried an empty water bottle all day yesterday. Now she sucked greedily on a sleeve she'd dipped in the stale water puddled in the drain. She'd finally abandoned that water bottle on the road this morning to make sure they stayed on her trail. It was time for desperate measures.

She'd met the hunters on the road between Strasburg and Harrisonburg, near a village called Woodstock. They'd laughed, but not unkindly, when she'd asked if it was where the hippy festival was held. They had a deer on the back of their pick-up, and saw Tia eyeing it hungrily. 'C'mon, little one,' the one with the green bandana round his neck had said. 'We'll feed ya some.' She'd hopped up on the back between Green Bandana and the deer. About 20 miles down the road, they took a right. Green Bandana explained they were holed up by the Brandywine in the George Washington national forest. 'Good fishing there, good hunting too, and in Shenandoah,' he'd said. Tia didn't pay much attention in geography class, but she'd seen the signs for both George Washington and Shenandoah while on the road.

They'd entered forest about seven miles after their right turn, and Green Bandana banged on the cab with his fist and unwrapping his neckcloth. 'Good a time as any,' said the driver, coming round the side of the truck. Tia's head was jerked backwards as Green Bandana wrapped his neckcloth round her throat, muffling any screams. He grabbed Tia's thin left arm with his spare hand, and the driver grabbed her right arm and, at the third attempt, her kicking right leg. The passenger jumped up on the bed of the truck and began to unbuckle his belt, a greasy grin spreading across his lips. 'Who's Craig's pretty girl?' he mumbled. He knelt and grabbed Tia's left thigh, digging his fingers into her flesh.

Tia had nearly passed out from lack of oxygen when she heard the driver's scream, and suddenly her arms and legs were free. Craig was fumbling around his knees for his gunbelt, and Green Bandana was kneeling over her, already firing a pistol at the freaks clung to the driver's back. She gulped air down into her tortured lungs and scooted out from under Green Bandana, passed Craig, and jumped down onto the dirt track, running for her life. It wasn't until she climbed a tree to sleep in for the night that she discovered the green bandana, stuck to her neck with dried blood.

DeShaun's university was near Harrisonburg, she knew, but she didn't dare stay on the main roads once she'd realised the two men were on her tail. By now, she was hopelessly lost, and running out of energy. An hour ago, she'd spotted Green Bandana and Craig cresting a hill behind her. She'd also spotted the mansion on a distant hill, and the traffic jam on the raised road ahead. Traffic jams meant loads of freaks. She dropped her water bottle in the road, knowing the hunters would see it, and headed straight for the traffic jam. By now, the hunters were 500 metres behind her.

Muscles cramping with dehydration, Tia broke into a run. She heard one of the men cry out 'Aw, come on now, Tia'. The first freak patrolling the traffic jam raised its head and began to moan. Tia dodged past it and ran on, hoping to get as many freaks between her and the hunters before she found a car to hide underneath. Two more turned and began shuffling after her. Tia jumped up on the hood of a car that had T-boned another, and slid across it, stumbling as she landed on a rotting, headless torso. She gagged, raised herself up from bloodied knees, and risked a look behind her. About 10 freaks now stood between her and the hunters. She turned and crashed straight into a freak. One shattered eyesocket dripped jelly down its grey cheek, and jagged teeth snapped inches from her forehead. Tia gagged again at the stench from its mouth and rolled away from it before it could close its arms. Her pulse thundered in her ears and her vision blurred momentarily. Blindly, she stepped off the road and into the ditch that ran alongside it. A shot rang out behind her, bringing her to her senses again, and she spotted the tunnel. Fighting to keep her breath level, Tia hauled herself into the ditch and hid.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby
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Tia was drifting in and out of consciousness. She heard shots, yells and groans... then nothing... then silence bar the wind rustling the hedges next to the road... then nothing... then an engine idling. Tia blinked her eyes, shook her throbbing head. People. She heard two doors open and gently close, and the distinct sound of a rifle bolt action. She fought her instinct to stay hidden. She should at least try and get a look at this new threat.

She inched out of the drain and crouched, her head level with the blacktop. Despite her blurring vision, she saw a pair of workboots approaching the T-boned cars she'd hurdled earlier. She inched further into cover as a man with dark red hair crept into view, holding a handgun and an iron bar. That meant two men at least, this one and the one with the rifle. Could be trouble.

Just as Tia was about to slink back to her hiding places, the man turned and called back to his buddy 'No-one's here'. He had a blue and yellow patch on his back. Unable to focus properly, she couldn't make it out, but it looked like he was some kind of state responder. He moved back towards his vehicle and Tia, stomach lurching, dragged herself up onto the road for a better look. Crouching behind a sleek, shiny new Prius, its interior spattered with blood and gore, she saw the new arrivals' pick-up. A woman with long dark hair had her head under the open hood. She looked nearly as tall as her companion, and had her rifle slung on her back.

Tia made a quick calculation. There was a big house nearby which looked safe, but there was something wrong with her, probably exhaustion, and she didn't know if she'd make it alone. Besides, there might be freaks there too. This couple might be dangerous, there was no knowing, but a man and a woman together was a lot less dangerous than two men. She drew her gun and, knees buckling, lent on the Prius to pull herself into a stand. The heavy revolver dragged her right shoulder down; there was no way she could have lifted it to fire, so she dropped it with a clatter.

'Hey,' she called, parched throat muffling her voice. 'Hey, over here,' she tried again. Her vision blurred red, and then came back. Her pulse roared in her ears. 'Hey, I'm Tia. There's a house over there looks safe. I ain't been bit, don't shoot me.' With that, all the sound in the world went out, Tia slammed face first into the hood of the Prius and slid down into a tangle of thin limbs on the road.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby
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#, as written by KJA
The familiar smell of grease and gasoline was comforting in Becky nostrils as she glanced around the engine for any loose or damaged components, arching an eyebrow she noticed the cam belt was fraying and wasn't looking too great. This could be a problem, cam belts can be interchangeable and easy to find but if they break en-route that puts the vehicle out of action. Last thing she wanted if biters were around. Running her fingers along the damage Rebecca examined around the belt sighing softly to herself, it wouldn't last twenty miles.

Looking under the two cars Kieran checked for any biters that might have gotten wedged in between, he'd seen it before and it became a real pain in the arse when trying to move wrecks. Happy the underneath was clear he stepped over to the side of the hatchback, the car that had smashed into the side of a saloon. Pressing a shoulder against the framework Kieran grunted as he slowly moved the city car backwards, making room between them.

Becky had repositioned the belt slightly keeping the frayed edge a little clear from the cams, pondering for a moment she wasn’t convinced that would affect its durability much. It was then she heard a metallic clatter in the distance, Kieran couldn’t be ditching that gun already surely. Standing up from the hood Becky looked out watching Kieran move the city car, the young girl’s first word was lost of them but the second greeting rang loud and clear.

Looking over at the Prius Kieran raised his gun half way, slowing at the sight of the young and seemingly unarmed girl. Becky wasted no time in slinging her rifle into her hands and aiming intently down the iron sights ‘Watch her Kay!’ she barked out. Kieran could see the girl was in a bad state as she spoke, silently relieved that she wasn’t a biter. Before he had the chance to reply Tia’s head virtually bounced off the hood as she collapsed to the floor.

Moving swiftly over to Tia’s side Kieran scanned his eyes over her, pressing two fingers against her neck and checking his wristwatch ‘What the hell are you doing!?’ Becky called out, her rifle still up. ‘She’s dehydrated. She needs fluids.’ He replied. Noticing the large revolver on the floor near the girl Becky’s eyes widen as a walker rose from the blacktop behind the now cleared accident.

‘Stay down!’ Becky shouted as she steadied her rifle, standing upright the biter gargled blood at Kieran before the echoing thud of Becky’s rifle splattered half the man’s head sending him crashing hard to the ground. Based on her pulse, skin colour and temperature it didn’t take long for Kieran to double-check it was severe dehydration, just to be sure. The sound of Becky reloading her bolt action rang out high pitched as her spent cartridge bounced to the ground ‘We need to go!’ she called out dropping another biter on the road behind him.

Kieran couldn’t leave Tia there; he knew that wasn’t what Becky would have wanted either, even if she was more concerned for their own skin in that very moment. Digging his Glock into his pocket Kieran slung Tia’s limp form over his shoulder in a firearm’s carry. Snatching up his crowbar and the revolver in his free hand he didn’t hesitate to move quickly towards the truck. Grunting under the strain of the young girl’s form as he dashed to the vehicle, he wasn’t exactly ripped after all.

Briefly darting her eyes to Kieran and the girl Becky stepped backwards to the driver’s door firing a shot as yet another biter came into view behind a wreck. Opening the flat bed Kieran dropped Tia into the back before stepping up into the bed and sitting beside her unconscious body ‘She said something about a house up ahead.’ Sitting down into the cab Becky replied ‘There’s a manor up the hill, we’ll head there’ slamming the door shut and firing up the engine.

Moving Becky’s duffel bag to act as a pillow for Tia Kieran pulled his first aid kit out of his backpack checking it for any supplements while Becky drove clear of the wrecks, no luck. Grunting disapprovingly Kieran opted for his water bottle, tilting small amounts into the girl’s open mouth. It wouldn’t revive her but it would keep her stable till they got to the manor, all Kieran needed was some typical sugar and salt to make an improvised electrolyte replacement mixture.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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#, as written by KJA
Luckily the road was reasonably clear on the ascent to the mansion. After giving Tia some slow mouthfuls of water from his bottle Kieran slipped Tia’s revolver into his backpack along with his medical kit and water bottle before giving Becky a handful of .308s through the cab’s back window from her bag. ‘Remind me why we picked her up?’ Becky called back through the window, keeping her eyes on the road. ‘Because I wasn’t going to leave her for the biters Becky, you wouldn’t have either if I know you at all’ he replied with a firm tone. ‘Fair enough’ Becky replied. Looking over the cab Kieran spoke through the window again ‘It is far you think? Maybe she knows people there.’ Throwing the speedometer a glance Becky takes an educated guess ‘Couple of miles or so.’

Turning the ’72 Dodge truck off the road Becky slowed the truck to a crawl as they approached the mansion. Making sure all his kit was in the backpack Kieran threw it over his shoulders, double checking his Glock was still in his jeans’ pocket before lifting up Tia in both arms in front of him. Bringing the truck to a halt Becky was quick to open the door, kneeling down behind it she loaded her rifle back up to the full five rounds. Stepping down from the back of the flat bed Kieran walked around to stand near the outstretched door Becky was shielding herself with ‘What are you doing Kay?’ she whispered sharply. Tia limp in his arms in front of him Kieran rested her against his chest as he spoke ‘She might know someone in there.’ Kieran hoped. He was risking that if they were armed they wouldn’t quickly shoot at a man helping a child even if they didn’t know her.

Becky outstretched an arm pressing down on the horn ever slightly, hopefully just enough to catch attention of the house rather than the whole area. Keeping low behind the door Becky looked up at Kieran before eyeing the door just over the bottom of the door’s window, rifle in both hands ready.

Seeing the door begin to open Kieran took a step forward calling out

‘We need help, this girl is badly dehydrated. Do you know her? Her name is Tia.’

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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#, as written by KJA
Kieran widened his eyes at the sight of the man’s pistol, flashing Becky a glance he shook his head slightly suggesting against any ideas she may have had with her own firearm. Extending two fingers from the hand he had wrapped around the Tia’s shoulder Kieran tries his best to sound calm ‘Sorry. We don’t mean you any harm.’ Noticing the man’s gaze Kieran tilted Tia slightly to give him a better look, his brow frowning at his response. ‘No distraction, I promise you that. I’m an EMT I can tell you its dehydration, she’s not bitten.’ During their exchange Becky had her rifle aimed up at the scope shimmering in the window, she wanted to take fewer chances.

Nodding at Xander’s invitation inside Kieran offers him a slight smile as he passes through the front door ‘Thank you. My name’s Kieran, my friend Becky. She’s a mechanic.’ By now Becky had lowered her rifle down to her side and raised a peaceful hand to the scope in the window. Placing the rifle into the flat bed Becky started up the truck again and parked over in front of the mansion’s garage, a small offset structure built away from the house itself. Glancing over at Xander Becky offered him a firm nod before entering the garage via its side door. Cam belt first, introductions second that was her priority.

Kieran made an effort to find sugar, salt and a glass before carrying Tia upstairs. Walking through the hallway Kieran kept his gaze between Tia’s unconscious face and through the doorways of any empty rooms, passing the others as he did so ‘Xander said I can use some water, I have my own too. Please excuse the brief introduction, my name is Kieran I’m a Richmond EMT. My friend’s Becky, she’s outside working on the truck. I need to see to Tia first, if anyone is injured come see me.’ Hopefully his British accent served to compliment his intentions. Shortly after Kieran settled on a bedroom and closed the door behind them.

Placing Tia on the bed Kieran set the glass down filling it with water from his backpack. Adding guessed measures of sugar and salt he stirred the mixture with a nearby pen before feeding it very slowly and carefully into Tia’s mouth. After what seemed like fifteen minutes Kieran was content with the amount Tia had in her system, about half the glass, setting it down on the bedside table. Dragging a chair from the wall Kieran sat down beside the bed, holding Tia’s wrist and checking his watch. The results wouldn’t be immediate but there was a difference already. Arching his head back with a tired sigh he pulled out his Glock and placed it on the windowsill the other side of him, rubbing his face deeply in both hands before resting his eyes.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby
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Angry, jabbing pain crashed through Tia's head, each throb accompanied by a flash of picture: Craig's leering face, but rotted and vacant-eyed like one of the freaks; DeShaun grinning his good-natured smile as he drove a blue pick-up into a knot of vehicles blocking a blacktop highway; herself; standing in a concreted hole as blood poured onto her face and into her mouth; a giant hand lifting her up bodily, another giant hand knocking on a door.

The images stopped, replaced by an unfaltering bright light. The jabs of pain stopped, replaced by a steady, dull ache in her temples. She felt she was lying on something soft, far softer than the drain she last remembered being in. She kept her eyes closed, trying to keep her breathing as shallow as possible, and listened. She could hear voices downstairs, and people moving about. Then her pulse quickened as she heard the rustle of clothing, and light breathing. Someone must be right next to her! Tia quickly went through a mental checklist: If the freaks had got her, she wouldn't even be breathing. If Green Bandana and Craig had got her, she certainly wouldn't be lying on a soft bed. She tensed, ready for action, and snapped her eyes open.

In an instant she took in her surroundings. She lay in a spartan bedroom, with light streaming in a window. Between her and the window sat a red-haired man. Somehow, he looked familiar, but most importantly, he had his eyes closed. Stubble patched his cheeks, and he looked drawn. Tia slowly let out her breath and relaxed a little. The tension had amped up her headache again, and she winced as she raised her head off the pillow for a better look round. She was still wearing her giant hoodie, but there was no sign of her weapons. But there was a black, sleek handgun on the windowsill. It would be a real risk, trying to creep round someone this close. Besides, she wasn't sure she felt strong enough. She lifted an arm experimentally and waved it gently. The red-haired man didn't move. Tia propped herself up on her elbows, and immediately her vision blurred and pain lanced through her temples again. She lay back down and sighed. Well, she was in better shape here than she had been in days. There was nothing for it.

Hey, Carrot Top! Hey, wake up sleepyhead! Where the hell we at, man? And who are you and where's my Granddaddy's gun? They better not be freaks I hear downstairs, Carrot Top, I seen them go upstairs before.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Katie Halesworth

Though it wasn't funny or pleasant, Katie couldn't help but hide her smile as the boy spoke, and though she knew he was one hundred percent serious, it was the closest to a joke she had heard in a while. She too was surprised by the sudden numbers rising in the group that she had hoped was small. At his words, she sprang to the window, clicking her cross bow into place and calling a small, "come," to Nick. She saw through the window a group of people, one of which looked extremely sick. Shit, she thought, watching them enter. The man carried the nearly unconsious one, and his friend, the one with the rifle, waved a peaceful hand to her. She nodded back, a small sign of hello, but ample, and kept her cross bow ready, looking out the window as the girl parked the car. As she disappeared, she allowed herself to leave the window, her crossbow arm dropping to her side as she looked around, the two new-by's going upstairs. What a motley crew.

She glanced at the boy she had met earlier, Xander, and nodded in his direction. "These your friends?" She asked, moving slightly closer, but just enough so she could see out the door, into the woods. Remembering he had said she could get a room, small goosebumps rose on her back. She hadn't slept in a real room, never mind a bed, in a few weeks. Most of the time, she found some place flat, got in her sleeping back, and slept on Nick. It kept him warm, and gave her a pillow. It worked well enough.

Her attention flashed back to the woods, and she couldn't shake the feeling that there was someone there. But she ignored it, hoping she was wrong.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman
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#, as written by KJA
Kieran drifted off to sleep without much trouble; the day’s events coupled with lack of sleep had run him ragged. No-one was sleeping soundly anymore and if they were it was a privilege. Kieran couldn’t seem to shake the nightmares which happened every time he got his head down; Becky had noticed it in his expressionless tired face when she first found him. Before any vivid images manifested into these dreams Kieran was abruptly woken up by Tia’s words.

Almost on cue with Tia’s words Kieran winced his tired eyes open, swallowing dryly he raised a hand as she spoke ‘It’s okay I have your gun, in my backpack. We’re at the house you told me about before you passed out, you’re safe’ he replied. Leaning down Kieran retrieved the weighty revolver, placing it on the bed beside her. ‘You need to drink some water. What I gave you only meant to kick start your hydration levels.’ Sliding the glass from the bedside table he offered it out watching her raise it to her lips he adds ‘It tastes bad but trust me, you’ll get your strength back.’

Going back into his backpack Kieran continued to speak as he did so ‘I’ve got your hatchet and purse too, you must have been out there for days given the state you were in.’ Looking over to Tia Kieran offered her a tired smile ‘Just do me a favour and don’t call me Carrot t-‘ *Thud Thud* the sound of the muffled gunshots snapped Kieran’s eyes wide open, darting his gaze to the door. Snatching his Glock up from the windowsill he kept it low as his side, stepping over to the bedroom door and opening it ajar looking down the hallway.

Listening out intently for what seemed like a long drawn out moment of silence Kieran relaxed as he heard the voice of a young woman, Xander’s sister he assumed, speaking of the gunshots’ source. Pulling the door closed again Kieran walked back over to the chair, placing his Glock back on the window. Looking through the glass he focused on the garage, not seeing Becky outside he assumed she must have been too busy looking for a cam belt to hear the distant gunfire. Rubbing a hand against his forehead Kieran huffed out a tired sigh before looking over at Tia.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby
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Tia grinned as the red-haired man snapped awake, raising a hand slowly, almost to ward off her rapid-fire questioning. It’s okay I have your gun, in my backpack,' he said. She maintained her glare. 'We’re at the house you told me about before you passed out, you’re safe.' The man leant over and put her revolver next to her, giving her a closer look at the patch she vaguely recalled seeing on his back that afternoon. He was an emergency medical technician, and he seemed to know what he was talking about as he explained what was wrong with her. She still felt weak and dizzy, but she felt a hell of a lot better than she had in the afternoon, and she only hesitated for a second before sipping from the glass he held out to her.

'Aw, Carrot Top, what are you giving me?' Tia grimaced as the bitter liquid slid down her throat. It seemed to ease some of the tightness in her chest, though. ‘It tastes bad but trust me, you’ll get your strength back,’ he replied. Tia half sat, and sipped at the glass as they chatted. She caught glimpses of his name tag as he moved. Adams was the red-haired man's surname; she didn't see all of his first name.

*Thud, Thud* The man grabbed his gun and looked out the bedroom door. Tia dropped her glass scrambling to lift her revolver. 'K, don't leave me, what the hell?' she blurted out. A long silence followed. The man had gone from tired, worn and caring, to tense, upright and alert. But at the sound of a woman's voice he relaxed again, peering out the window. Apparantly satisfied at what he'd seen, he seemed to deflate with a long, drawn-out sigh, and sat beside her again, rolling his eyes at her.

Tia put her gun down again, shaking as the tension left her body. Tears sprang unbidden to her eyes, and she rubbed at them hurridly with a cuff of her hoodie. 'Where are we, K?' she whispered? 'Are we safe here? We gotta be safe, your friends are here, right, K? Right?'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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#, as written by KJA
‘Not far from Richmond, I’m not sure where exactly.’ Kieran replied to the start of Tia’s new and pleasantly quieter questioning. He hadn’t noticed before but she was wearing a rather recognisable hoodie, which team was it again? He wondered silently, he followed British soccer rather than the local teams. He also managed to notice her scabbed and damaged earlobe too, before he had a chance to consider treating it Kieran turned his gaze back to Tia’s as she asked him more questions. 'Are we safe here', she asked. Offering a small reassuring nod he replied ‘Should be. These people let us in when they saw the state of you.’ Pointing a thumb to the window he continued ‘My friend Becky is out in the garage, probably trying to find some bits and bobs for the pickup no less. That’s what she’s good at.’ A warmer but none the less a thin and tired smile creased his cheeks ‘I fixed people, she fixed cars.’

Stuffing his glock back into a jean pocket Kieran pulled his water bottle from his backpack. Standing up, he dropped the bottle next to Tia on the bed as he walked over to the door. ‘I’m going to go find out what’s happening. Drink some more water.’ 'You, drink the Kool-Aid,' Tia shot back. Listening to her response he would nod instead of smile this time ‘My name’s Kieran but you can call me Kay still, I don’t mind.’ 'alright Kay. You can call me Tee,' she smiled at him. 'Tee?' he queried. 'Yeah, my brother calls me that. Where you from anyway, that's a funny accent?' 'England.' he replied as he closed the door and headed downstairs 'Watch your ass, Kay,' Tia called. Kieran opted to speak to who he assumed was in charge first, the young man named Xander. Stepping out of the front door Kieran looked around ‘Xander?’ walked down the stairs he looked around the side of the manor to see the back of the man ‘Everything okay back there?’

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman
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"Valka? Never heard of them being called that before. Well, I suppose if you want the cellar you can have it. I was planning on going to check it out tomorrow. Thanks for taking care of it. If you want a pillow or blanket we have more than enough upstairs." Xander shrugged. "Name's Xander by the way, if you need anything just ask." He turned and left.

He was about half way around when he looked up and saw a smoke coming out of a window. It wasn't a constant stream, he knew exactly what was causing the smoke. He licked his lips and looked down at his hands, they were shaking. It's been a few weeks since he had the sweet smoke down his lungs. He didn't care if they were menthol, kings, and the cheapest damn cigarettes in the world. He just didn't find them anymore. They were one of the few things that were taking during the looting. Xander had given up hope of seeing them. He was going to trade for a pack later. He sighed and stared to continue on.

"Sorry about not answering. Everything fine, some walkers in the basement. A boy took care of them. He's gonna stay in the cellar. As long as he doesn't cause trouble we should be fine." Xander said sitting on the stairs. "It's quiet, have you noticed it. Almost too quiet. I think the noise we caused has attracted those bastards. We'll talk with everyone about what we'll do in the morning."



Meanwhile...

"I don't mind that you smoke. My brother used to smoke before... Well you know when I'm talking about," Lyra said smiling at her. She had fond memories of her brother that happened while he was smoking. "He used to smoke Red Marlboro 100's. I remember when he would get back from his day shift and sit at the table and talk to me about my day while he smoked his cigarette. He tried not to blow it in my face, but it didn't always happen." Lyra didn't know why she talked about it, maybe it was because she felt missed home and her normal schedule. She figured talking about the old times made her feel better.

"I'm sorry, for sharing that. I didn't mean to get so personal so quickly. It's just, I miss those day's so much. I really hope things get better, but everyday I lose a little bit of that hope." Lyra's smile started to fade. She felt a tear fall down her cheek. She wiped it away and looked up with her smile renewed. It was getting tougher to fake smiles. She used to be so good at it, she was almost as good as Xander.

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Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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"A genny..." Xander was confused until she mentioned the fact that power was on in the garage, "Oh, a generator. No, we didn't turn one on. Too much noise couldn't risk it. I didn't find one either. However I didn't a good chance to look around yet. Hence the fact there was a bunch of walkers in the basement that I had no idea about." He was clueless about why the power was on. "There could have been a back up that's still running, but I highly doubt it." He still needed to figure out watch. He would take the first shift, maybe let Katie have second, "You can have the third and final shift. That way you can have ample time to work on your truck and the jeep. I'll help you push your truck in the garage when I get back from checking on my sister." He rubbed his eyes and headed back to the main part of the house. He wanted to check up on his sister and to see how the two girls were doing. Xander started up the stairs.

Meanwhile...

Lyra shot up and headed towards to where their stuff was. She dug through her bag and pulled out a water bottle. She tossed it up in the air and caught it with a little smile on her face. She went back to where the others were and unscrewed the bottle and handed it to the girl, "Here drink this very slowly. In fact, take a sip and swish around in your mouth. Then swallow." She heard footsteps coming up the stairs. "Rena, stay here with Tia. I'll be back," She left the room and closed the door behind her. She looked down the stairs and saw her brother's face. He flashed her a quick smile and was soon reached the top of the stairs.

"How's our patients?" Xander asked leaning up against the wall. He tried to keep his voice low so that they wouldn't hear him.

"Honestly, Tia doesn't look great. She's still severely dehydrated. Rena on the other hand is just shaken up." Lyra said leaning on the same wall and put her head on his side.

"So, I'm guessing Rena was the one smoking, Tia doesn't look the type." Xander said as his fingers was rapping on the wall.

"Yeah, I didn't see what type they were. All I know is they aren't your brand." Lyra sighed. When he ran out of cigarettes, for the first week he had gotten snappy and often flipped out on the others in their group.

"So, what do you think about joining up with these people? I know it's a bit of a stretch but, I think you will be safer in a group than with just me." Xander sighed, he really wanted to keep her safe. Even if he died tonight, he could die happy knowing that she was safe for the time being.

"I wouldn't be opposed to it, but even it was just you and me it would be just fine too." Lyra looked up and smiled at her big brother.

"Alright, that's two votes to joining a group. We'll talk about it in the morning with the others, right now I need a cigarette. Go back to Tia and Rena, and I'll be in shortly." Xander said getting away from the wall. He headed to the same room that Lyra got the water bottle and grabbed his entire pack. He followed his sister back into the room. "Rena, I really would like a pack of cigarettes, I'll trade you for one. Take anything you want from my backpack," He said as he dropped his pack on the ground. He turned to Tia, "You get to bed as soon as possible. You need your rest. That's not a request that's an order, and don't try to fight me on this one." He didn't care if he sounded harsh it was how the world worked. If you weren't up to snuff, then you aren't going to make it.

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Tia shifted from the doorway, lent her head against the wall and took the bottle Lyra offered with two hands. A little water dribbled over her chin as she took a mouthful, swallowed, and drank again. This one she swished around in her mouth as Lyra had instructed, then swallowed again. Then she patted the hand Rena had laid on her shoulder and offered her the bottle of water. 'Thanks, Rena. Hey, what a mess.' She looked up under the girl's bangs into her red-rimmed blue eyes. 'Sorry 'bout your brother, Rena. They got my little sister too.' Tia shuddered, recalling the blood squirting from Emeli's neck, and closed her eyes, forcing that awful memory back down. 'Nobody didn't lose no-one, I 'spose.' Her voice tailed off to a near-whisper as she looked back at Rena. 'I shot my own Grammy...'

She heard footsteps, most likely a man's, coming up the stairs, then a male voice low in discussion with Lyra. 'My brother's still out there though,' she said. 'Nothing's gonna stop DeShaun. He's at the university near here.' The last time Tia had shared her hope to be reunited with her giant brother had been with the hunters, before their attack. Green Bandana had stifled a grin; his scepticism about DeShaun's prospects had chilled her to the bone. There was no such look in Rena's eyes.

The door swung open and Tia scooted her legs up as a heavy-duty pair of boots stomped in. She glanced upwards into the harassed-looking face of a man who bore a passing resemblance to Lyra. He abruptly bargained with Rena over cigarettes, then barked down at Tia: 'Get to bed as soon as possible. You need your rest. That's not a request, that's an order, and don't try to fight me on this one.'

She slid back from him along the wall, and dragged herself upright by leaning on the bed for support. She locked her knees to stop them wobbling and threw her hood over her head. 'Hey, fuck you, man,' she yelled. 'You can't tell me what to do, the doc said I'm fine.' Her vision blurred again, and she sat down on the bed. 'Just cos this is your house, no-one made you the boss. I got a million cigarettes, and I ain't givin' you none of them!'

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Rena's blue eyes focused on Lyra as she tossed the bottle of water in the air. She gave a small smile as she caught the bottle then looked to Tia. She wanted to ask if she was ok, but she decided not to. She watched Lyra hand Tia the bottle and give her instructions. She nodded, taking in the instructions she gave Tia.

As Lyra went out the door, Rena nodded and stood. She was in a daze and she could barely even function. She was so tired that everything was starting to spin. She moved back to her spot by the window and looked at her pack of smokes that laid on the ground. Coon was sitting next to them, gazing at her. "You hungry baby?" She asked, her words a slur. Coon ran over to her bag, which was still across the room closer to Tia, and climbed inside. Everyone could hear the rustling in the bag of Coon munching on his snacks.

As she sat there, she listened to Tia talking. She never replied, however she listened to every word. When Tia spoke of her own brother, Rena gave a small smile. Silently she prayed to whichever god would listen that DeShuan was alright. She had never met him, and she doubted she ever would. However, she knew the pain all to well of losing a sibling.

A loud grumble echoed from Rena's stomach right as Xander walked in. She gazed up at him and watched as he plopped his bag in front of her. She nodded and gave a small whistle, which took a few times to get it right. Coon stuck his head out of her bag and she showed him her pack of smokes. The little creature moved back into the bag for a second before pushing a pack out of the bag, climbing out himself, and sliding the pack of smokes over to her, using his nose. "Good boy." She said then handed the back of smokes to Xander. "You got any food?" She asked hopefully. "Nothing big, just a sandwich or something?" She asked doubtfully. Whenever Tia replied to Xander, Rena shook her head and laughed a little. "I'm sure he means no harm." She mumbled, hoping she heard her.

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Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Xander kept a neutral face while Tia snapped at him. The only thing gave away how angry he was, was his right hand curled itself into a fist. Lyra was a bit taken back. She hadn't figured that she would react like that. However, she used to do the same thing when she was younger. Now, she did what her brother told her to do. "Objection noted. I'm the boss here because, I know what it takes to survive in this hell. Now, Lyra will give you something to eat, finish that water bottle and off to bed. I'm done hearing about this." His voice was level the entire time, he then took a deep breath and turned to Rena. His fist released and his attitude changed.

"No sandwich, sorry. Got a can of bread if you want that, if not. Just go through my pack and look for something. You want it, it's yours. Now, I'm going to leave my bag here and take that pack," as he finished talking he lightly grabbed the pack of cigarettes and headed out. He slammed the pack against his hand and opened it. He stuffed the trash in his pocket and grabbed a smoke. He checked his pocket for his lighter and sighed. It died last week. He hadn't gotten the chance to find another one. He decided to search the kitchen. He opened a drawer and found a book of matches. He opened it and saw that there was only 3 left, "Guess, if she has cigarettes then I could bum a light every now and again." He light a match and light his cigarette. As he inhaled the smoke he felt his nerves to calm down. He headed out to the garage.

"Hey Becky. I'm here to help you push that truck. I said I would." Xander said after letting a breath of smoke out.

Meanwhile...

After Xander left Lyra turned to Tia, "I'm sorry about that. He's under a lot of stress, everybody is a lot of stress I guess." Lyra didn't know what to say. She was used to being told what to do. Xander usually knew best. That doesn't mean she didn't have an opinion about the things he choose to do. He didn't have to bark orders, but that's how the world works. Lyra sighed and said, "Alright, we have some of everything here, peaches, pineapples, pears, beans, and bread." Lyra said taking the cans out of Xanders' pack.

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Her Grandaddy used to curl his fist and speak levelly like that too, Tia recalled. Usually it was when DeShaun, as a youngster, had had a brush with the law, committed some petty crime or other. His reasoning, DeShaun had explained to Tia not long before he left for university, was that, at their lowly station in life, any misstep could spell disaster - jail, drug addiction, even crippling injury or death. The stakes were the same now, Tia realised, and this man was fighting for his family's life as hard, harder even, than her Grandaddy had fought for her, DeShaun and Emeli. She pulled down her hood as she lowered her gaze from his. 'Sorry,' she mumbled as he turned away, and sat meekly until he stomped downstairs again.

She supped at the water bottle as Lyra made excuses for her brother. She sounded hesitant, surprised by the outburst, and busied herself with his pack. Tia glanced up at Rena for her reaction to the shouting match. 'Guess I shoulda kept it shut up,' Tia ventured. 'I didn't mean to upset anyone. Thanks for taking me in.' But as Lyra listed the cans in her brother's pack, Tia felt a spark of rebellion rise from deep within. 'Still, I made it here on my own. He ain't the only one still living.'

However, her weakness returned with a vengance as she tried to open a can of peaches. Her shaking hands could barely grasp the ring pull, and it spun from her grasp half open, the jagged metal cutting her index finger deeply. Tia cried out as blood quickly welled up in the cut and spilled down her wrist. The half-opened can lay on the bed next to her, spilling its juice.

Tia felt the tears prick the back of her eyes, and slapped her hands to her face to hide them. She'd already fallen twice and been shouted down in front of Rena and Lyra; she didn't want to humiliate herself further. She took a deep breath to calm herself again, and scooped up the can, drinking off the rest of the juice and swallowing loudly. She licked the last drops from her lips, and tasted the sharp rich salt of her own blood where her finger had bled on her cheek. She rolled her eyes at Lyra. 'Oh my days, what kind of a mess am I?'

She undid the bandana from round her neck, poured the last drops of the water onto it, and wrapped it round her cut finger. Pulling open the can, she tentatively got to her feet and walked slowly back to the room Kieran had put her in first. She climbed into bed, fished one of the slippery pieces of fruit out of the can, and promptly fell asleep.

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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The girls eyes went a little wide at Tia's outburst, however she quickly gave a nutrual face. She didn't want to seem suprised, even though she was. Then again, she could understand it. She used to hate when she was given orders. When it was all over and Xander turned to her she gave a small smile. "Alright, thank you." She said and bowed her head a little. When he walked out, she gazed at the bag and shrugged. "Can't be too picky in times like these." She mumbled with a small laugh at the end, which was to hopefully ease a little of the tention. "I guess I'll take some of the bread." She said then mused the idea of bread in a can. She had never heard of it, but was willing to try anything edible at this moment.
She got up and got the can from Lyra and gave her thanks. After opening it she couldn't help but to give a very small snicker, the thought still amusing her in her tired state. When Tia started talking, she flashed her a small smile of understanding. "I wouldn't worry. We are all stressed here and he should know that." She looked to Lyra, who she figured could word things better, since she indeed knew him better than anyone else there.
She gazed back to Coon, who was curled up in her lap once again. She smiled at him but her attention swiftly moved to Tia when she cried out. Her eyes got wide and she attempted to jump up, however fell back onto her but where she was. "Shit..." She mummbled before trying it again, making it to her feet this time. However, Tia had already pulled off her bandanna and wrapped her finger. "Wow, today just isn't your day." Rena mummbled as she watched her. "You alright?" She asked but wasn't sure Tia heard her. When Tia jumped up and walked out of the room, Rena shook her head, hoping that she was alright.
As she sat there, sleep started to consume her more and more, until her head leaned against the wall. "I should get up..." She mumbled to herself but decided to not fight it. After all, she was only given the one night, she might as well make the best of it while she could. As her head leaned against the wall she slowly let herself drifted off.

"Hey, keep up." Logan told her as she started to fall behind as they walked. "Sorry" She said as she jogged a little to catch up with him. Her eyes started to water as she gazed at her brother. "Logan..." She whispered but he didn't seem to hear. They continued to walk a little more before coming upon a few walkers. His gun was raised and he motioned for her to come closer to him. "Alright, you pop off the first shot. I want to see how your aim is." Rena nodded, raising her gun and aiming at the first walker who still hadn't noticed them. Suddenly, the creature turned and gave a odd growling. Rena panicked and pulled the trigger. "Good" Logan praised her with a small chuckle before popping the other two with his gun. Rena gave a small smile before hearing growling behind her. Quickly she turned but was suddenly pulled back. "Logan!" She screamed as a horde of walkers charged them. She shot as many as she could before having to reload. She tried her best to cover Logan but the walkers seemed to multiply. "Damnit, Logan lets go!" She screamed, shooting a few more of the monsters. "RUN!" Logan commanded as a walker latched onto his arm and took a chunk out of his shoulder. "LOGAN!" Rena screamed as her body ran, though she tried to stop herself.

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Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Minya Polack Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Xander stepped outside and looked towards the moon. It wasn't even halfway overhead and it rose a bit after the sun went down. If he had to guess, "It's roughly 7. That's what I can tell. I used to be able to tell the time of day from looking at the sun. I got really good at it." He took a look at the things she said could be used as weapons. Not much, the wrenches could be useful. However, they had certain flaws to them. "If you think they could be good, you can take them. As for watch, keep an ear open for walkers or bandits. So, keep doing what your doing but, be vigilant."

He finished his smoke and tossed it on the ground. He grounded it and headed inside the house. He saw Kieran on the couch and smirked. He headed up the stairs and checked one of the hall closets. He found a pile of blankets. He grabbed them and put a few of them on the ground in front of the room where his sister was. He knocked on the door like he used to when he left her dinner infront of the door. It was the old 'Shave and a Haircut,' knock. He left before Lyra could open the door. He took the rest and headed downstairs. He was going to check to see if that guy in the basement wanted a blanket. It couldn't hurt to ask. As he made his way to the basement he decided to put a blanket on the sleeping EMT. Xander took a quick look at the designs of the blankets and decided to drape the pink floral one on the man. He needed a good laugh. Xander wanted to take a picture. He chuckled as he headed down stairs, "I'm coming down, It's just me." He said as he started down the stairs. He was surprised about how dark it was.

"I brought some blankets. Man, how can you see down here? It's really dark." Xander said as his eyes adjusted to the almost dark. He look around and didn't see the boy. He shrugged and put a blanket on a work bench. He went back up the stairs and decided to look for the boy. He searched the house finding the boy talking to Katie. "I found some extra blankets, I put one in the basement for you. I'm curious on why you have animal bones... Well everywhere?"

Elsewhere...

Lyra grabbed a can of pineapples. She looked at the can and sighed, it was her and her brother's favorite fruit. He would have told her to eat it. Her plan was to give it to him for his dinner. She decided to do what her brother would have told her to do. It was for the best. "Xander... hasn't had the easiest life in the world. I know, by the looks of it... None of us has had an easy life. His life has been harder than mine by a long shot." Lyra said. She started to open the can when Tia cut her finger. She started up but, Lyra realized that she had it under control. "Don't worry sweetie I've seen worse. You just need sleep." Lyra was happy to see her go to her room. She shut the door behind Tia. She finished off her pineapple.

She leaned against the wall and started dozing. She came to her senses when she saw Rena start to get up. She chuckled as she saw her fail. A bit after Rena fell asleep she heard the knock on the door. Lyra smiled as she remembered the times before. She got up and opened the door. There was a stack of three blankets on the floor. She picked one up and threw one over the girl. Lyra thought about the times when Xander would through the holiest of blankets on her when she fell asleep on the couch. She smiled at the memory. She wanted more of the good ones. She took the rest with her as she went to Tia's room. She threw one blanket on the ground and draped the other one around the sleeping girl. She smiled and watched Tia for a few minutes. Lyra turned and left. She was getting tired. It had been a long day. She decided to go back to Rena's room. She laid down and used Xander's pack as a pillow. She got under the blanket and fell asleep.

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Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman
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Tia was woken by the throbbing in her finger, then gasped drily at how thirsty she was. There was a dull ache between her temples. It was only once her physical discomforts had registered with her that she realised she was lying in a bed, for the first time since she'd fled Baltimore. She stretched out her arms and legs, waving them like she was making a snow angel. Damn, it was a big bed too, not like the narrow camper in the room she'd shared with her sister in her grandparents' cramped home. She rolled over, just because she'd never been able to roll over in a bed before without falling out, then rolled back again. Her eyes fell on an open can of peaches on the bedside locker. Tia grabbed it and drank down the juice, the segments of fruit falling against her nose as she upended the can for every last drop of sweet, sticky refreshment. Satisfied, she nestled back into the bed - she didn't even remember getting into it last night - and nibbled on a couple of pieces of peach. Though she was ravenous, she was used to conserving food - she hadn't felt full for weeks - and besides, who knew if her stay in this house would last any longer than her night's sleep.

Putting the three-quarters full can to one side, Tia dared a peek at her finger. The cut wasn't deep, and had scabbed during the night, but it was in an awkward spot; every time she made a fist or fully opened her hand, the cut threatened to open again. Kieran, she recalled with a start. Kay, the medic. He might have a bandage, if he was still in the house, that was. And who else was in the house? Tia could hear voices elsewhere in the house, and recalled exhausted and upset Rena, angry Xander and his push-over sister Lyra. Had Kay been with someone too? Tia couldn't remember much between finally escaping Green Bandana and Craig, snatches of conversation with Kay and her confrontation with Xander.

She helped herself to another slice of peach - You gonna get fat, girl, she joked to herself - then rolled herself out of bed. Damn, she hadn't even got undressed last night. She hadn't even taken off her sneakers. The sheets she'd lain in were grimy and her bandana, sticking out from under her pillow, was bloodied. Tia held a hand up to her head, checking for other injuries, then stuffed the bandana in her pocket, shrugging. She grabbed her hatchet, but left her revolver on the locker.

On her way to the stairs, Tia peeked in the door next to hers. Lyra lay on the floor next to Xander's back. Tia remembered where her can of peaches came from, and snuck into the room and dragged a blanket back over the girl's sleeping form. Rena's stuff was still in the room; the fresh smell of cigarette smoke told Tia Rena had risen already.

Still making only the faintest of sounds, Tia crept down the wide staircase. She thought she smelled coffee brewing from somewhere and was about to go find the kitchen, when she saw through an open door beside her a familiar red head sticking out from under a pink blanket on a couch. She slipped in and sat on the floor opposite the sleeping Kay. His face, though still lined with worry, looked far less worn than it had as he sat by her bed yesterday. A line of sun lanced through a crack in the curtains. In a couple of minutes, Tia guessed, it would traverse Kay's face. She settled down to wait.

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Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby
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#, as written by KJA
'I'm home!' Kieran called out as he dropped his keys into a bowl near the front door of the house. Slipping his arms out of the EMT jacket he continued as he settled in from the day's grind 'Had the strangest call today. Some old vagrant attacked a young woman in the park, she's okay through. The old bloke seemed to run off before we got there.' Kieran knotted his brow at the lack of response, walking through to the kitchen he called out 'Chloe? You asleep again?' pouring a glass of cold water from the facet before stepping into the living room. Standing in the doorway Kieran smirked taking a small sip of the glass 'C'mon sweetheart wake up. Some of us have been busy today' he spoke to the back of his wife's head as it sat heavily against the back of the sofa facing the television. 'Chloe?' Kieran rasped with concern and a wet throat as he approached the sofa.

Seeping over his closed lids the sun acted as his saving grace from one of his least favourite slumber topics. Wincing his eyes Kieran's blood shot vision looked square into the source before he shielded the light with a raised hand. Blinking heavily he cleared his throat with a few unpleasant noises behind his closed lips.

Shit. I'm still alive and she's still dead.

Coming to his senses mentally with that thought and physically with adjusting vision Kieran looked over at Tia offering her a thin smile 'You're looking a lot better.'

Meanwhile...

Becky had been busy throughout the night on the vehicles. The truck fixed. The Jeep now up and running, to the point she spent a few hours dismantling the block to make sure there wasn't a single issue. Just in case anyone wanted her on guard anyway. Eventually the physical work drained her, sat upright she fell asleep against one of the Jeep's tires. Rifle cradled over her lap.

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Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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As the sun rose Xander decided that he would head to the kitchen to see if there was anything left. He walked down the stairs thinking about what was going to happen when everybody woke up. He opened the cabinet above the sink and found the china. It was pretty fine but, it would break easily and weigh a ton. Xander opened a cabinet above the counter it was bare. However, he couldn't see into the deepest parts. He reached in and his fingers brushed up against something plastic. He grabbed it and saw it was a half a bottle of instant coffee. "Dear God, I thought I would never have coffee again." He opened the top and the room was filled with the sweet aroma of coffee. He inhaled deeply and exhaled. He heard somebody come down the stairs. He smiled when he saw Rena.

"You may not believe this... But, yes we have coffee. Instant, but it's coffee. So... we need water, and a lot of it. I'll look for a way to boil the water, you just get the water. Can't be that hard." Xander said putting the bottle on the counter and spied a kettle on the stove. "If fact fill this. It should be enough for all of us." He said to her before she left. Xander opened the stove and saw the trays. He grabbed one and headed outside. He passed Tia and Kieran, "Morning, I found Instant Coffee. I'll let you know when it's ready." He tossed the tray on the ground and started to look around for some rocks.

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Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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He frowned as the ray of light settled on his face, and craned his neck to remove his sleeping eyes from its glare. To no avail, the light soon crept up on Kieran again, and he frowned and winced as he awoke. A fleeting look of desperation hollowed his face, giving him a drawn, skeletal appearance, before he snapped fulling awake and returned to normal, smiling at her. 'Nice blanket, Kay,' Tia smirked. 'You're looking a lot better,' he mumbled, clearing his throat. 'Yeah,' she replied, looking round her, not meeting his gaze. 'Thanks for picking me up yesterday, I - ' She broke off. She didn't want to admit, to herself more than to Kieran, that she'd been just about done in. To have come this far, to have been this close to DeShaun's campus, to have survived so much, and not to have made it...

'Morning,' Xander said in passing. He didn't seem any less gruff than he had last night. 'I found instant coffee. I'll let you know when it's ready.' And he was gone again. 'Ugh, Mister Grumpypants,' Tia whispered to Kieran, grinning. Then she sprang to her feet in a flurry of thin arms and legs. 'Stay here, sleepy head, I'll get you some breakfast.'

She dashed lightly up the stairs to her room - her room? would they be staying long enough to claim rooms? - and got her open can of peaches. Passing the next room, she peeked inside at Lyra, still sleeping under the blanket she'd repositioned over her. Then her eyes fell on Rena's packet of cigarettes. Tia slid inside the half-open door and stepped lightly around the sleeping figure. Holding her breath, she slid one of the smokes from the packet, put it in her deep hoodie pocket, and tiptoed out again.

'Here, peaches,' she said, putting the can down next to Kieran's couch. 'They're Xander's and Lyra's really, but they don't mind sharing.' She thought for a minute, her head on one side. 'They're pretty cool really, letting us stay here, don't ya think?' She fished another slice of peach from the tin, held it lengthways in her teeth and gave Kieran a peachy grin and a wink, then turned on her heel and left.

Tia stood in the front door, swallowing her peach and watching the sun on Xandar's broad back as he wandered, his eyes cast down. As she started towards him, he bent down, picked up a rock and hefted it in his hand. Tia paused momentarily, wondering whether he was safe after all. Still, she'd slept safely, his sister had fed her. Those weren't the actions of someone who wished her harm. Nonetheless, she kept back about six feet when she came up and said: 'What ya doing? Collecting stones, huh?' She looked at the surrounding countryside as it came into focus as the rising sun burnt off the dawn haze. 'You and Lyra got a nice place. Pretty safe, huh?' She looked back at Xander. 'Sorry bout last night, all the shouting. I was pretty messed up. I got ya this.' She held out the cigarette, then started scanning the ground for stones similar to that Xander had picked up.