They took a free tent from a Red Cross station and walked back to their lot at Cadet Point. Most of the house was gone, but a corner of the attic remained. Bo, their 3-year-old bulldog-lab mix, crawled out of the spot where, two days earlier, his owners had told him to stay. Chancey heard a mewing from nearby.
"There's Speedy," he said, and the family cat tiptoed back to them.
Chancey is a strapping 6-footer with deep-set, dark blue eyes. His sideburns and moustache have gone gray, and his small ponytail peeks out from an ever-present baseball cap.
At 4-feet-11, Fairchild is solid as steel. She contains her long, light-brown curls with a clip. Her fair skin has toasted from these past weeks outdoors.
Dillion has his father's strong build, and his mother's pale blue eyes. He was ecstatic when he found his youth football picture amid the debris on their property.
"I know this is important to you, Daddy," they said he told them as he solemnly presented the photo to his father.
Right away, the couple, who never married, knew they had to get out and work. Biloxi was exploding with new construction before the hurricane, and Chancey had built up a steady business.
"We just had to get out there and work with what we had in our pockets," he said. "Except, we had no pockets."
Five days later, they scraped up enough money doing odd jobs to buy a hammer and tool belts. A roofing job gave them enough money to buy a $400 truck from a friend who ran a junkyard.
Even though they owed $100 on the truck, they earned enough from another job to buy a ramshackle camper for $500. They moved it to the lot where one day they still hope to build their castle in the pines.
With Biloxi schools still closed, and with no power or water on their property, Chancey and Fairchild sent Dillion to stay with an aunt in the western part of the state.
On the houses left standing around Biloxi, new roofs are in high demand. So Fairchild and Chancey work as long as there is daylight.
"Every time we get paid, we go buy something at Home Depot," Fairchild said. "A chain saw, a regular saw, a ladder ...."
"That just kills me," Chancey interjected. "I had three brand-new ones in my shed."
They said they had little use for whining, or wondering why the government hadn't stepped in to make everything better. Fairchild and Chancey stood in a Federal Emergency Management Agency line for three days, and when nothing happened, they walked away.
"People just sit back and say 'FEMA's going to take care of you.' We've heard that every day," Chancey said. "But it might be a year before you get anything from FEMA, and we've still got to live for that year."
Before he went off to his aunt's house, Dillion told his parents it was not fair that some people still had their houses when they did not.
"I told him we can't be mean-hearted like that," Fairchild said. "I said it is good that they have a house. It's just unfortunate that we don't."
Chancey and Fairchild had no insurance on their home. They still make their $450-a-month mortgage payment because they don't want to lose the land.
"Some people got other people to fall back on," Chancey said. "We take care of ourselves."
Chancey said he wished his "little lady" didn't have to be out in the hot sun, pounding nails. He said he wished the casinos were still standing so Fairchild could work there instead.
On the other hand, Chancey said, as he cast a smile toward Fairchild: "Look, baby. Some people pay to go to the sauna and sweat and drip all day. You got one for free."
\o7Times staff photographer Carolyn Cole, in Picayune, Miss., contributed to this report.