elitown with 40 in tlou au ?
40 prompts. / “i’ll keep you safe.”
worrying is second nature. eli is hard pressed to remember when it was anything less. each day that the sun rises, panic begins to gnaw at the back of her mind – when her own life hangs in the balance along with those of her friends, it’s hard to imagine what peace feels like.
ian’s group is a breath of fresh air, to some extent. it’s all run so much more casually – with caddy, you had a cause, and you stuck to it. here, people could relax again. next to no one’s jaw was constantly clenched; no one was permanently white knuckled. it was nice.
“i don’t want to go back,” eli had told luke one night, when the air seemed too heavy for her lungs and she was tired of carrying the secret around. the words are each weights taken from anxious stomach and dragged through anxious teeth – they fall heavily in the tent around them like physical presences. luke hums in response, dispersing the tension and running a hand through her long, loose hair.
“no one’s saying you have to go back.” he kisses her head, sweetly, gently, as to not overwhelm her. he fears that one small part of her, the scared part, the part that can’t meet his eyes, will never trust him. “i don’t want you to go back.”
she rolls over, then, to face him, nose inches away from his chest. “i feel better here. feel better with you. it’s… easier, here. not that it’s ever easy. he could…”
“stop.” smoothly, he pulls her up to look him in the face; he knows she is staring somewhere above his eyes, but he doesn’t mind. she just needs to hear this. “stop that. he can’t do anything to you or any of us. i’ll keep you safe.”
he sounds so sure, and she’s so tired of fighting the feeling of fatigue, that she has no choice but to give in. after all, the world was so strange, now. the feeling of falling in love couldn’t be that different from the feeling of fear.