I sat in my apartment's lobby, feeling sorry for myself. I was surrounded by a forest of frozen and pantry foods. Tinned foods, shredded foods, dried foods, need-to-stay-in-the-fridge foods. My hand ached in protest as I picked up the cheap pen and put it to the notepad again as Robin brought down another crate full of, surprise, Food.
Due to the massive student population in this side of the city, the businessman who arranged for these flats to be built decided it would be a fantastic idea to have a communal kitchen. But it had only been used once a week on a Sunday by Jack and I because our cheap oven didn't want to cook a full roast due to the fact it probably had enough space to fit a side plate in. Not ideal for the Yorkshire Puddings. But we decided upon using the communal kitchen as our food store, and we were taking advantage of the room-sized freezer.
I looked up as Robin dumped the crate onto the floor heavily, he sighed and dragged a tried hand across his forehead before unloading the crate.
'Dante, is there any way we can lock the kitchen cabinets?' Robin asked, going into army-efficiency mode, 'if we are gonna have more survivors living here, we need to make sure the food is rationed out properly.'
The jittery caretaker stood up shakily, 's-s-sure, there were s-s-some padlocks in m-m-my apartment..' He shuffled off towards the stairwell, hitching his shady-looking shotgun closer to his sunken chest.
Robin then turned to me with a concerned expression, 'how's your foot?'
I looked at the pen in my lap miserably, 'It hurts.' I said honestly, 'but I... I think I tended to it well enough. But the bullet shattered too many bones, and I wont be able to walk properly for a long time.'
He looked at me again with the pitying look of someone who didn't understand, 'we brought medical supplies from the Base. I could try and find some painkillers for you?'
I thought about it for a second, 'no... Other people may need them more than me in the future. What if another survivor arrives and they have a worse injury than myself?'
Robin chuckled softly, 'well so far it's just us. And you're injured - and I'd class being shot a pretty serious injury.'
I shook my head, 'No,' I replied firmly, 'there could be someone who is serious- Oooh! Smiley face chips!' I lost all my concentration as a frozen childhood treat emerged from the cool pile of freezer foods.
Robin laughed at me, then turned around to look at Dante who had just returned to us, the tin of locks in his hands jangling noisily.
He raised the tin to show he had returned with the locks, Robin smiled, nodding, 'we'll use them when more people start coming in.'
'As long as I can keep the freezer running, too.'
I looked up worriedly, 'that's a point...' I glanced up at Robin, 'where's Lieutenant Grey?'
'He stayed upstairs, right?' Robin asked Dante. Dante nodded vigorously.
'Y-y-yes. I r-ran into him u-upstairs. He said he was going to c-check a few more r-rooms.'
I pursed my lips before standing up on uncertain legs, 'I'm going to go and look for him. Then I'll come back and check out what's going on with this mass of processed lard.'
I winced as my foot protested to the activity, but pushed on another metre before Robin noticed what I was trying to do, 'No. He'll be fine. He's a big boy.' I frowned, looking at the clock with resided above the entrance door.
'It's been a while now,' I pressed, slumping back onto my hard plastic lobby chair.
Just as Robin was about to open his mouth to laugh out another witty comment, Lieutenant Gray made an appearance, with a face like a slapped arse.
'Col! Where you- Oh, what's wrong?' I questioned, taking in his incredibly grumpy expression.
He looked down, 'it's ,uh, Colligan. He just calls me that because he's lazy.'
Robin gave a carefree chuckle, shrugging as if to say "yeah, that's me".
'Oh, and... we have a visitor.'
I blushed, embarrassed by my sudden forwardness towards him, 'ah, sorry. I guess I just got used to Robin saying it... and, visitor?' I asked, leaning forward interestedly.
Lieutenant Gray gave a heavy sigh, rolling his eyes, 'judging by the way she acted she's a spoilt brat who isn't worth our time. But, of course, she's refusing to leave so we will have to make do.'
I felt my heart sink, 'but what if more people like her come? Come and take up apartments, take advantage of the food supplies,' I said worriedly, my eyes flicked back and forth from the trio.
'Which is exactly why we're putting locks on the cabinets,' Robin explained soothingly, 'right, Dante?'
'O-oh! Right, yeah.' Dante muttered, stumbling over to the kitchen, laying the locks on the counter, ready to be used when all the food had been put in.
I fidgeted nervously, looking at my fingers as I twisted them, ' is she... is she safe to be around?'
'I couldn't say,' Lieutenant Grey replied, 'she looked young. In her teens maybe.'
Robin smiled without humour. 'Great. We're baby-sitting.'
Lieutenant Grey put a hand on his shoulder, 'don't worry. I'll keep an eye on her.'
I nodded, 'but, Lieutenant Gray, are you sure she wont be something of a liability. What if she does something reckless or stupid?'
'Maybe we should take her shoe laces,' Robin said, deadpan.
Lieutenant Gray's face went taught at he fought the urge to laugh, 'I don't think he meant it like that, Robin. Riley has a point, we don't know anything about her. Other than "she doesn't like people".'
We wallowed in a thoughtful silence for some time before I felt the little lightbulb go off in my head, 'oh yeah! What I wanted to say, Lieutenant Gray, was something that Dante mentioned earlier.... what if the power goes?'
'We'll think of something.' He replied edgily.
'W-we should be fine for a few months. I t-t-think we have a b-back up generator in t-the back.' Dante added.
A few months sounded good enough for me.