Word Count: 4042
My thanks to sparky955 and grey853 for their beta help. Link takes you to AO3
He stepped out the backdoor of the kitchen and started towards the house. The stars were out and the night was crystal clear. It was beautiful, but it would also be freezing by the morning. He was about to turn back towards Taste, to remind Matt to leave a trickle of water running when he heard the noise.
Something was in their dumpster. The top was flung back and Illya could barely make out a shape moving around the exterior. Saying a silent prayer that it wasn’t a hungry black bear, he shouted, “What the hell is going on here?”
There was a squeal and Illya realized it was not an animal in his dumpster, but a person. A step closer proved it was a young woman, her clothes tattered and dirty, her face gaunt.
“Don’t hurt me! I’ll clean it up.”
Immediately, Illya stepped down. “I won’t. I’m sorry. You just startled me.”
“What are you doing?” Illya realized the piles of garbage were food that they had tossed from the day before. “You can’t eat that? You’ll get sick.”
“Better than going hungry.”
“Who are you?”
“Helen, I’m Illya and this is my restaurant.” He gestured over his shoulder. “Why are you doing this?”
“We?” Illya realized there were two smaller shapes huddled against a nearby bush. “No, this won’t do. Come with me.”
“Are you arresting us?” The woman’s voice was fearful.