I Hold On
Focus and Muscle Memory
It was about twenty minutes later and Shane found himself all alone with Ellie in the field, a couple miles away from Hershel's farm. Since the others in the group had left, he and Ellie had moved away from the 'gun range' they had been using for practice and down a path into the woods which lead into an open grassy space surrounded by a few large oak trees. It was there he had set up a large log he had found and hung it from one of the larger trees by a thick white rope. He had done similar training sessions with some of the rookies back at the station in King's County to help them out with learning how to fire and aim a gun more properly. While he figured the redhead didn't need much 'training' he thought it'd be nice to spend a little alone time with her and to see where her head was at. He still couldn't help but feel a tad guilty about the most recent stunt he had pulled on her. While he had the cause to threaten her like he had, he still couldn't shake the feeling he could have gone about things in a different way. He never once voiced how truly sorry he was though and instead stuck to his usual reserved and smug persona.
"You ready red? Now here's where things get serious."
Shane turned to the auburn haired woman and smirked when she rolled her olive green eyes at him.
"You call shootin' at a movin' hunk of dead wood serious? Oh please. And didn't I tell you a while back to stop callin' me red? My name is Ellie. E.L.L.I.E."
He didn't bat an eye and instead took a few steps towards her from where he had been standing by the tied up log. By now his leg where she had kicked him didn't hurt as bad, so he was hardly even limping.
"Well I like red better. Easier on the tongue if you know what I'm sayin'. Now quit your whinin' and get ready to shoot. You're in deputy Walsh's advanced class now and I ain't gonna be takin' none of your lip girl."
When she did her little eye roll and sighed a bit, Shane couldn't help but smirk. He thought it was real cute the way she tried to fight him; he knew he'd always win though, no matter what 'game' they were playing.
"This is pointless. I've shot and killed over a dozen flesh eaters way before I met you. All I'll be doin' is wastin' bullets."
She attempted to reason with him. He clearly knew she wasn't up for this but he didn't care. He needed to see first hand what she was capable of. Even though she had iced those walkers back at the barn with that knife of hers where they had gone to retrieve Ariel, Ellie would be useless to him if she didn't know how to kill with a gun. Shane had a feeling that she knew what she was doing but the bit of teasing he was giving her was too good to pass up. There was just something about egging her on that made his ego spark.
"If you're so good then you won't be wastin' bullets will ya? Two shots to the center and we can go. That's all I'm askin' to see. Now let's go red. Get them guns outta your britches and focus. Or is that hot head of yours cloudin' your focus already?"
"Fine. Get out of my way then and let's get this over with so we can go do some real work."
He raised a brow when she nudged him to the side with her whole body, irritation clearly radiating off of her. The push wasn't enough to knock him over or even make him stumble a bit since he was so well built but it did catch him off guard. For someone so thin, Ellie still had some strength to her, but Shane kept that to himself. He instead went ahead and walked over to the log and gave it a push, effectively causing it to rock side to side at a fairly good speed. He then backed away, making sure to be a good distance away from the swaying hunk of wood and flickered his eyes over to the redhead who now had both her firearms out and ready, already aiming them at her intended target. A few seconds later, a couple of shots rang out, each bullet barely nicking the top of the old mass of wood.
That smug grin he usually wore in her presence never failed to fade from his lips.
"Well no shit."
He caught her glaring at him while still gripping her Winchester's in either hand.
Shane quickly went over and gave the large log another push and just as quickly backed away, retreating to a safe distance once again. This time he was intentive as he watched Ellie reload and put her focus on the swinging target. He noticed her hands were shaking ever so slightly and even before she had her sights lined up, she pulled back on both triggers, once again missing the log. Either she was doing this on purpose or she clearly had her mind somewhere else.
"This is so dumb! Fuck this."
Shane shook his head as the woman cursed out and tried to walk away while she began deliberately stuffing her pistols into those blue jean shorts of hers but he went ahead and caught up with her and grabbed her by the arm gently, making her turn to look at him. His deep brown eyes fixated themselves on hers which were now shooting sharp emerald daggers at him.
"Thought you said this was pointless red? I racking your nerves or somethin'? Is my presence so distractin' that you can't even focus? What about all them walkers you said you killed dead on? You makin' that up or what? 'Cause your performance right now ain't backin' up all your talk."
"I am not makin' that up! Those walkers were movin' slow okay? Slow. The way you're throwin' that log around, it's like one of them things on steroids!"
"You think everythin' is just gonna slow down for you? You think you'll always be on top of things when the shit hits the fan? You gotta focus red. Get your head outta your ass and go again."
Shane let go of her arm when he he was sure she wasn't going to book on him and gave the log another hard handed push. He backed up, this time falling back at her side and nodded to the large slab of pendulating wood, but he noticed Ellie never budged or bothered to reach for either one of her silver pieces and instead crossed her arms over her chest with a scowl on her face.
"I said go again."
The man repeated himself, once again nodding towards the target. He was getting a bit irritated with how stubborn she was being.
Shane did his best to hold back the annoying notion to slap her that was threatening to reveal itself the more she continued on this childish charade.
"What? You too scared you'll miss again?"
He watched as she did that signature eye roll she was so good at, as if to tell him if she in fact attempted again, she'd somehow manage to not miss.
"I'd like to see you try hittin' that stupid thing."
Without a second thought, Shane reached for his gun that was located in the front of his pants and in one fluid movement, pulled it out, aimed and shot at the swaying lumber, hitting it dead center, causing splinters and particles of wood to join the air. He then turned to her again, seeing the pure disbelief in her eyes for a moment before she shifted her green eyes back to the now slightly wavering mass of wood.
"You see I can be pissed off, I can be whistlin' Dixie, and I always hit the target. But you? God you shoot like a damn girl."
"Maybe it's because I am a girl."
He could tell by her sarcastic tone that she was still surprised he had aimed and shot so quickly and so dead on.
"No, no, that ain't it. I saw you take down all them things back at that old barn with nothin' but a lil' ol' army knife in your hand, not to mention you were dehydrated as hell and barely on your feet. Now you're well rested and should have most of your energy back. This should be easy game for you red."
Shane went ahead and headed over to the log and gave it yet another push, not leaving any room for discussion. He wasn't letting Ellie leave until she at least gave the wood a fatal blow just as he had. So when he took a few steps back, joining the tenacious redhead again, he got even more serious than he had been before and practically got in the woman's face.
"Now you stand there and you point your weapon like you point your finger. Don't think about it. I'm talkin' 'bout muscle memory girl, muscle memory. Now go on, shoot that son'a bitch."
The man noticed how her eyes went from looking at him and back to the swinging log as she hesitated for a moment but then she went ahead and slid both her guns out of either side of her shorts and took a firm stance and then took aim. Seconds later two simultaneous gunshots rang out over the small grove and Shane shook his head in an impatient way and let out a long drawn out sigh at the lack of contact between the intended target and the bullets.
"So much of that father of yours teachin' you 'bout guns and survival. What a damn waste. You can't even focus your shot on some hunk of driftwood blowin' in the breeze. At this rate, you'll be dead within a month. And here I thought you meant somethin' when you talked 'bout bein' my back up. I'd rather have Rick's twelve year old son as my back up. Shit, I'm sure even that crippled and suicide happy girl you call a sister would be a hell of a lot better sidekick than you."
Shane's dark eyes grew wide when two more rapid gunshots went off, bits of wood flew in all directions and with a loud 'thud' the mass of dead wood fell to the ground. He figured he must have provoked the woman something fierce by what he had said in order for her to hit the rope that had been holding the wood up in the air. A big smirk came over his face and he turned to her, unaware of the trigger he had set off in her.
"Shit red, I should rile you up more often."
She in turn snapped at him in a cold harsh tone, making him back off a bit.
"Go fuck yourself."
He stood there a bit dumbfounded as she jammed her pistols back into the sides of her jean shorts, hostile moss green eyes locked with his coffee brown ones for a brief moment before she took off without another word. Shane ran a hand over his head, collecting the sweat that had formed there, not really understanding what he had done to piss her off. His eyes were fixed on Ellie's thin curvy frame as she stalked off, her hips swaying side to side in a fitted rage as she headed out of the enclosed thicket and back towards the road that headed back to Hershel's farm. With a shake of his head, he licked at his dry lips and made his way to the Hyundai, already attempting to think of what to say once he caught up with her.
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