I watched as she ran off, chuckling quietly to myself. She caved once, she’ll cave again. Maybe after I’ve gotten in her pants and had a decent night’s sleep for once, I’ll move on.
By the time I got back to the camp, Sophia was hiding out by what looked like half a lab. I smiled in her direction, helping myself to some of the rabbit stew left in the pot. She looked away from me, the expression on her face one of faltering concentrationyu
"What're you doin'?" I asked through a mouthful of rabbit. My voice makes her jump, and she spills something that makes a fizzing noise on the floor. I move back from it, not wanting whatever it is to eat through my shoes.
"Fucking hell. I'm trying to work on a cure," she told me, and I smiled a little.
"That's what the big shots in cities were saying before it got worse. I reckon they fucked up and a test subject spread it," I said. I’d been signed up as a guinea pig for one of those programs. It paid well, and they wanted to test it on everyone they could, drug addicts included. I’m sure they had a field day when I walked in and said I was interested. I’m a skinny fuck now, but back then I was near enough a skeleton, and looked like I’d never seen the sun. Now, I’ve got muscles and a tan. If you put two pictures of before and after together you’d think they were different people. I’m probably one of the few people this plague’s actually been any good for.
She gave a shrug, "they were also being paid to hurry it along,” she pointed out, looking up as Scott walked over to us. I kept my mouth shut, watching how the two of them
“Hey, you ok? I heard swearing," he said.
"Yeah I'm ok, just tired I guess. Cancer and I did a little training earlier, try and help me against the walkers so I'm just a little overworked.”
"She's still got a lot of work to do,” I told him with a smile. I made my smile friendly, but I was thinking of her lips on mine more than I probably should around him. Sophia glanced over at me.
"Yeah well only if I can fit it in between my other work," she hedged, apparently not wanting to remember what happened as much as I did.
Scott threw me a glare. “If she wants training she can come to me," he said icily.
"Maybe you should’ve thought of that before she nearly became zombie food."
"She didn't need it then, it was only since you turned up that they started appearing," he argued. I could feel my temper beginning to rise more than I wanted it to.
"How do you explain the one that nearly killed her?" I retorted irritably.
I wasn’t the only one getting pissed off. "Oh for god’s sake you two will you just shut up! I need to concentrate so unless you intend to stay quiet bugger off," she snapped. Scott sent another glare my way before leaving. I watched him retreating as Sophia shrugged, calm again.
"He doesn't like you," she told me. The feeling’s mutual, Soph, trust me.
"Dare I ask why?" is what I said instead. I didn’t feel like making it so obvious I wanted to cut his dick off and feed it to him.
She shrugged again, "threatened by you? Seems he has reason to..." I gave her a lopsided grin watching as she opened a cold box filled with zombie flesh and blood packs. I thought back to her saying she was after a cure and my two weeks of being a test subject.
"D'you need a guinea pig? I signed up to be one before it spread, but the smart people were all dead before I got a chance to be much use." Mostly I sat in a room having shots of methadone between fits of anger and withdrawal sickness, with a few other injections and blood tests thrown in.
She shakes her head. "I'm not risking it, I'm just going at the virus itself,” she said, taking out a small chunk of zombie meat, placing it carefully under a microscope. She added a drop of a murky looking liquid to it. I wondered vaguely how that was helping her, and how she planned to succeed in something that wasn’t a full lab where the government funded scientist with limitless resources failed. "The problem is that it being a virus means it’s so much harder to find an antidote for it because, like a cold, it constantly mutates; I just need to find the common active section and destroy it.” She was visibly relaxing, talking about something she was good at. It wasn’t exactly what you would call familiar territory for me. I knew how to synthesize drugs, and thought I knew a fair bit about chemistry, but as she talked, I realised I was pretty clueless.
"Well I had a couple of injections while I was there. I might still be useful. Up to you, though."
“I can take a blood sample I guess, it might be something I've not come up against. So far not much of their stuff has helped but it might be different.” She pulled out a kit of needles and vials, attaching the vacuum tubes to the needles as she asked me to sit and roll up my sleeve. I obliged, trying to remember which arm had the most veins. Settling on my right arm, I pulled the material back, showing off an arm that was almost clean of faint blue lines. I could still see a few, but it was pretty slim pickings.
When she saw the state of my arm, a smirk curled on her lips. "Not giving me much to work with here," she commented, swabbing and tying off to try and get the veins to stick out a bit more. I barely noticed as she stuck the needle in. I watched as blood was pulled along the thin tube into the vial, shrugging.
"I've not been clean long." No point pretending, right?
She glanced up at me. "What was it?"
"Anything and everything I could get my hands on. I was a dealer, so supplies weren't exactly short." Nodding, she kept her thoughts to herself, taping a cotton bud over the small hole when she was done. A glass of water found its way into my hand. "So that's basically my past," I laughed humourlessly, taking a long drink of the warm water. "What about you?"