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"Blackbird's Song Is Over Now."

Chapter Text

x0x
He was walking down the path, his face completely free of all emotions. He bore nothing to this name, other than a long knife, small black bag, black, tattered, hoodie jacket, his favorite tiger shirt, dirty red pants and holey boots. Yuri Plisetsky looked like had not showered in several weeks, judging by how much sweat was plastered all over his face and eyes. Yuri licked his small pale lips, tasting the sweat as if it were his life support. And apparently, it was.

He had not had anything to drink or to eat for the past few days and his sweat was the only thing that gave him to feed off. Maybe it wasn’t a bad thing, to not have much food or water on him. With less water, it meant he didn’t have to relieve himself all that much.

Relieving himself could cause him to attract some unwanted attention.

It could slow Yuri down.

And, Yuri did not have any toilet paper.

So it was better with very little water on him.

With less food, he didn’t have to worry about ants crawling into his bag when he went to sleep at night, or it going spoiled when he needed it the most. Also, he wouldn’t have to be lugging so much weight on his back, which could also slow him down.

He was walking down this old, dirty, and ant-filled road, but for what reason? Was he going somewhere? Where was he going? What was waiting for him when he got to that place? Yuri didn’t know. He seriously did not know. He was only wandering around, and of those questions didn’t matter, hoping to find a place to stop for the night. So he could sleep and let the darkness be his blanket.

x0x

Yuri turned his head and saw a small, grayish-blue building just two steps next to him. His brows when up, looking at it. He walked up to the front door, looking at the chipping paint that was falling off the door. The boy’s eyes gleamed with a strange light, looking for the doorknob, or door handle. But wait, Yuri knew he couldn’t go in just yet. He took a step back, and with his long knife, he made large banging sounds on the door. It was to see if there were any of them inside of the building. If there were, then Yuri would have to back away, murder them, and clear them of the building. So it basically to know if it was safe to enter. And it was because none of the undead came to answer the calls that Yuri made on their door. Yuri took a step forward and opened the door. He closed the door behind him quietly, as the floorboards under his feet creaked. When that was done, Yuri looked around and saw a large, metal chandelier on the ceiling. It was missing some stones and lights, but how and why was beyond him. Yuri looked at his feet and saw a red carpet. And then he saw an altar, dozens of pews, several stained glass windows, paintings of crosses, and even few gold pieces here and there. Yuri realized he was in a church. He had never heard anything like a church deep in the forest, far away from civilization. He remembered passing by some churches on his way home before, but that was in the city, however.

Not wanting to dwell on that, Yuri looked around the church, hoping to find something of use, such as food or other supplies such as matches, switchblades, flashlights, batteries. Unfortunately, he found only one can of tuna and a series of birds feasting on some dead animal, possibly a deer. Yuri grimaced when he found the birds and the dead animal. He found it so revolting that he shooed all of the birds away. He knew that the deer’s meat was long spoiled, but he just didn’t like the birds there, as to why he sent them all away. Figuring that it was time to stop for the night, Yuri held the can in his right hand and walked to a pew that was on his left side, in the middle of the row. Yuri sat on it, placing his can on the pew. He lifted his machete into the air and cut the tuna can open with it. Feeling his mouth salivate like a dog in Pavlov’s theory, he set the machete down and carefully dug his fingers into the can. Yuri found himself moaning in pleasure, placing the small pieces of tuna into his mouth and chewing on it. After he swallowed the sweet savory pieces, he licked his lips in satisfaction. Man, that was so good. Even though he craved for some of his grandfather’s pirozhki, this was just fine.

Yuri patted his stomach, lying on his back on the pew. He was glad knowing that he had finally fed himself after so many long days without food, by bearing a full stomach in his body.

Yuri made himself comfortable on the pew, by placing his bag as a pillow under his head. Once that was done, his placed his arm underneath his head and fell asleep.

x0x

Yuri sat up on the pew, stretching and yawning as if he were back in his bed, in his home.

Morning arrived.

Yuri could tell by the rays coming through the stained glass windows that were glowing right on his clothes. Yuri picked up his machete, standing up as he pulled his pants out from his bottom. He grabbed his bag and slung it over his shoulder.

As a couple of birds were poking their beaks into the air as they stood on the windowsill, Yuri pulled up his pants and walked to the door. Yuri yawned again, rubbing his sweat ridden nose. The fifteen-year-old grimaced. He cursed to himself, figuring that he was the equivalent to dog crap. He needed a shower. Yes, a shower. It would be so nice right now. To let hot water touch every part of his small body, to wash away all of his pains and stains, to make him feel new again. He walked out of the door, and as if God heard his thoughts he heard the sounds of a river flowing. It was right behind the church. He followed the sounds of the river flowing, and his young eyes widened. He found the river. It looked beautiful, even if it was in the world of the walking dead. A few rocks were sitting in the river, but it didn’t keep the river look like something out of a fantasy book. Yuri put his hands over his mouth, gasping in pure joy. It was so clean that when Yuri stepped up to it, he saw his own reflection in the water and some smaller, circular and smooth rocks at the bottom as well.

Yuri smiled. Not wanting to waste any time getting in, the boy stripped all of his clothes off. He laughed as he dipped himself into the water. “Yes!” Yuri exclaimed, throwing some of the water into the air as he splashed his hands in it. He cupped his hands and splashed some water over his head, washing the sweat and dirt way. He picked up a stone from the ground and scrubbed every part of his body until there was no more sweat left. A few minutes later, Yuri was out of the river whipping his blonde hair until it was dry. He looked up, his face beaming. He realized his clothes could use some scrubbing, so he went back in and cleaned them the same way as he did to his body.

A few more minutes later, he was out and was whipping his clothes dry as he did to his hair. A few seconds later, he and his clothes were dried up, and Yuri was in them his again. Yuri let out a huge breath, throwing his bag over his shoulder. He continued walking again, holding his machete over his shoulder, keeping his guard up for whatever may come his way.

x0x
Yuri was walking, keeping his hand in his pocket when he noticed a large eighteen wheeler truck just up ahead. Yuri turned his head at it, wondering what the hell that was doing there. He walked up to the front of the truck and saw that the actual truck part was missing and that it was just a big container with boxes of unknown stuff in it.

“That’s weird,” Yuri muttered, wondering why the truck was missing. “Where did it go?”

That answer was beyond him.

So instead of thinking about it, Yuri walked to the back of the truck. The boy stood on his toes, trying to figure out what was in the boxes inside of the truck container. Gathering up all of his strength, he climbed into the container and took a look around. He opened up one box and saw it was full of dog food. Dog food? Yuri frowned. He shook his head, must be for some large pet shop instead of some supermarket, Yuri thought. That thought would be soon debunked, as he looked in another box and found pieces of wrapped up beef jerky in them.

Holy crap.

Then it must be for some small money store. Yuri grabbed a handful of the jerky and placed them in his bag, stocking up on food. Oh dear god! Sleeping in that church must’ve given him some benefits, because tonight he wouldn’t have to go hungry again, after having one meal for one night like last night. He looked in another box and saw a box full of plenty potato bag chips and small boxes of juice. Yuri smiled, taking some of them into his bag. Once his bag was stocked again, he jumped out, holding onto it. He swung his fist merrily, just happy with what he found. If he knew that being in a church would give him benefits, he should’ve gone into one a long time ago. He was strutting down the path until his small ears caught a strange noise. Yuri’s eyes stood still as he heard the strange sound. It was coming right behind him. He turned around, and he narrowed his eyes.

It was a gray truck with someone, possibly a person in either their late teens or early twenties, behind the wheel. Next to the truck, was a motorcycle and with someone else around the truck driver’s age, driving it. Yuri could only stand and watch. The truck and motorcycle stopped next to him.

The person on the motorcycle was wearing a black bandanna around their nose, a gray sweater with a red scarf on their shoulders, torn denim jeans, and black boots. The person was wearing a pair of black glasses and black motorcycle helmet. He was looking right at Yuri as the truck driver came out. The other person was a guy, with dark hair and eyes. He was wearing a smile on his face, wearing a black shirt, same denim pants, and sandy yellow boots.

“What are you assholes looking at?” Yuri asked. His mood turned from happy to upset. He was never fond of other people, just like he is right now.

“Hey, hey buddy.” The smiling guy said, putting his hands up. “We mean no harm. Name’s JJ Leroy and this is my partner,” he showed Yuri the guy with the bandana on his nose. “Otabek Altin.” The guy pulled down his bandana and revealed his mouth to say his name.

“How about you?” JJ asked Yuri for his name.

Yuri frowned, but submitted, “Yuri Plisetsky; now what the hell do you want?”

Otabek cleared his throat. “We’ve got a community just several miles away from here; we’re looking for some new inhabitants, would you be interested?”

“Why would I be? What does this community have?” Yuri asked.

“Anything you could ever ask for, running water, electricity, and nice, cozy beds,” Otabek explained. He pulled down his glasses and his looked at Yuri with his dark powerful eyes. Which made Yuri’s own bluish-green gems widened as he blushed. Otabek pulled out a long, orange envelope and tossed it to Yuri.

Yuri dropped his machete and bag and caught the item in his hands. He opened it up and saw several photos of the community that Otabek mentioned. He was taken aback. It was true. There were pictures of solar panels outside of a row of houses, a sink with water coming out of it, and the last picture, it caught Yuri unexpectedly. It was a picture of a bed with three guys on it. The three bore a blond man, some dark-haired kid in the middle, and some silver haired guy. They were hugging the kid in the middle, but the kid looked like he wasn’t very comfortable in between them.

“Um,” Yuri made a ‘what-the-hell-is-this’ face. That was when Otabek took the picture and apologized, saying, “Oh, sorry, that was the only picture of a bed we could take; we were on a tight schedule.”

JJ chuckled. “Eh, let’s just say there are a lot of diverse people in our community.” He rubbed the back of his head.

Yuri raised a brow and wondered if this was a community, who was in charge of it? “Okay, who’s the leader of this facility then?”

JJ and Otabek looked at each other. “Oh, Celestino Cialdini; he’s cool. He thought that humanity could survive if a whole ton of people gathered and worked together, as to why he established and is leading this place that is called Ciao-Town. There’s a photo of him in there somewhere.” JJ told him.

Yuri dug around in the envelope and found a photo of a tanned man with a taupe colored ponytail. It was Celestino alright.

Yuri tucked the photo back, folding his arms. “Tch. Well, too bad for you guys, even if what you said is true, I loathe people with all of my heart and soul, you got it?”

JJ and Otabek looked at each other again. “Well that’s too bad,” JJ placed his hand up as if he were holding something. “Whether you like it or not, kid, you need people in your life. You can’t go on about it by yourself. What would happen if a whole swarm of the undead was limping after you, with no one to help you? Hmm?”

Yuri had not thought of that. Yeah, JJ had a point. Yuri wouldn’t like being chased by them and he would get eaten, so… he shuddered at the thought.

“And not only that, there are some good people out there in life, really good people. People that can help you with problems, which especially involve ones that include running from the zombies.” JJ said. “Are you getting my drift?”

Yuri would sigh. “Yeah, whatever; I’ll go with you to this Ciao-Town or whatever you call it.” He said.

“Good!” JJ beamed.

“But,” Yuri asserted. “If this is some sort of joke and you’re going to use me as food, this place is turning into a graveyard, you got it?”

JJ’s placed his hands in front of him. “We promise you’ll be safe, little dude.”

Yuri hummed grimly under his teeth, picking up his machete and bag. He looked at Otabek, who apparently had a brow raised up at him. Yuri flinched and cringed.

JJ called for him, as he was standing by the door of his truck.“Yo, Yuri, c’mon bro! They’re about to serve lunch in a few hours!”

Yuri let out a growl from his throat at Otabek, mentally saying that he didn’t like how he had his brow raised at him. Yuri walked to the passenger side of the door and opened it. The seat was awfully comfortable. He had sat in his grandfather’s car, but it was nothing as comfortable as compared to this. It was probably because this truck was a new model and Yuri’s grandfather’s car was made in either the 50’s or 60’s.

Damn, as Yuri closed the truck door. He raised his brows as he grabbed the seatbelt. He made himself comfortable as JJ started the engine.

“Hm, I like this.” Yuri said.

“Glad you do, now hang on; we’re heading back home now!” JJ stated.

Both vehicles drove into the horizon. As Otabek was driving, he pulled out a walkie-talkie and spoke into it.

“Hey, JJ, let’s not forget to ask him the questions.”

JJ picked up his own walkie-talkie from the dashboard.

“Yeah, we should ask him once we get back,” JJ answered.

“Wait a minute, what questions?” Yuri questioned, as he heard what was spoken between them.

“To make sure you’re not a psycho, kid.” JJ answered. “Such as, how many of the undead have you killed?”

“Well—“ Yuri started, looking down at his lap.

“Hey dude, don’t spoil it right now. Celestino would want to hear.” JJ looked at him.

Yuri rolled his eyes. “Ugh, Whatever.” Yuri snorted like a horse and folded his arms over his chest. He put his feet up on the dashboard.

JJ sighed, “Kids nowadays.”

Chapter Text

Yuri looked at JJ and asked, “Hey, your partner said that you guys were on a tight schedule. What kind of schedule do you two have?”

“Well, I’m gonna explain to the best of my ability since it’s a complicated process. With us recruiters, we spend most of the day, every day, outside. Everyone in the community has a job, doesn’t matter what they are, just as long as everyone is active in it. What duties we have back at the community are in the middle of the day, of course. So what we do is spend the whole morning looking for survivors, go back to the community, do our jobs, have lunch, and go back out ‘til nighttime and come back.”

“I see,” Yuri said.

“But then, every week, the schedule is different and everyone’s jobs are switched with everyone’s so no one has to do the same old thing every week, you getting my drift kid?”
Yuri growled from under his throat. He didn’t like being called kid.

“Yeah, time goes fast in our community, so we have an hour to do one thing; if we don’t have time for one job we leave it for the next day. Um, when we taking the photos of everything, either some people didn’t want us in their rooms or the beds were being cleaned so we had to settle for that bed you just saw. The reason why things were tight is that we kind of pushed the photo taking to the last minute because we were repainting some house.” JJ chuckled. He looked at Yuri.

“Kid? Dude? You okay?” JJ asked him.

“Don’t call me kid!” Yuri hissed vehemently.

“What?”

“Or else you won’t have any!” Yuri threatened, holding his machete up in the air.

JJ cried out, and that was when he heard a furious tap on the glass window from Otabek.

“What’s up?” JJ asked, pulling down the window.

Otabek ordered him through the bandana he was wearing. “Whatever you are doing to make him upset, stop it.”

Yuri was heard chuckling under his teeth. “Yeah, you better.” He placed his bag on his lap and opened it up. Yuri pulled a potato chip bag and opened it. Yuri took a big whiff, indulging in what he had not had for many weeks now.

x0x

In about three miles later, both vehicles stopped before a large, steel wall. It was about the same size a military gate and was covered in rust. In large, letters at the top, written in a black substance was: “Ciao-Town.”

Yuri licked his lips, taking a bite of his chips as he looked at the sign. He raised his brow at it as from the corner of his eye, Otabek got off his bike and walked up. He tapped on the hard metal gate three times, hoping for someone to come and open the door.

Yuri looked, munching. And then his eyes widen.

There was a small, face sized door on the gate, and it opened. Whoever was on the other side gasped.

“Otabek? Is that you?” asked a man with a Swiss accent.

“Yeah; JJ and I found someone; can you open the gate for us? So the person can get settled into the community.”

Yuri knew that Otabek was talking about him. Who else could they have brought back?

“Sure,” answered the mysterious man.

“Viktor! Come over here and help me with the gate!” The man sounded like he turned his head to speak to whoever this Viktor person was.

There was a small pause, and the mysterious man called back, “Don’t worry about your dog’s poop, JJ and Otabek found someone new today!”

Yuri raised a brow when he heard that. Dog’s poop? What was up with all of the dog references? First, it was Yuri equating himself to dog crap, second the dog food, and third the dog crap, again. Only it seemed to be literal, and it seemed to have erupted from a literal dog. Could a dog be living here? In Ciao Town? Yuri wasn’t even into dogs, he preferred cats. Just like the one he used to—

His thoughts were interrupted, as he heard the loud sound of the gate going to the side, and a man was standing by. The man had blonde hair with a black undercut and green eyes and was wearing a sky blue robe over his body. Otabek had taken a few steps back so the gate could be opened.

The blonde haired man smiled. “C’mon on in,” he beckoned.

“Thank you, Christophe,” Otabek said, going back to his bike and starting it.

Yuri felt his body rock, as the truck drove over what seemed to be a strip of metal, probably what is used to help the gate reach to the other side. Yuri heard JJ honk on the truck wheel, calling out, “Hello there, Viktor!”

Yuri saw JJ wave to a man with silver hair and piercing blue eyes. The man was wearing a gray V-Neck with black, leather vest, pants, and boots. Viktor waved to JJ and called out, “Hello there, Jean!” Viktor was holding onto the handle that opened the gate, as he smiled. He saw Yuri on the passenger side of the truck and smiled to him.

“I see you there, young man.” Yuri was taken aback. By the sound of that man’s voice, Yuri knew he would not be the only Russian here. Surprising… Yuri thought, placing another chip into his mouth as the truck drove away.

Yuri looked around while sitting in his seat. He and JJ were driving down a gray, asphalt road, and Yuri saw it all. There were houses on both sides, fresh, lush bushes, thin, but tall and strong, leaf topped trees, freshly cut grass lawns, clean sidewalks, and the eventual pair walking down on those sidewalks. Just like in those movies Yuri used to watch as a child. It was so life-like; it amazed the fifteen-year-old-boy.

“Celestino should be in his office right now. He’s in charge of taking stock in all of the supplies we have here.” However, Yuri wondered about the two men they saw as he watched Christophe strut away from the now closed gate on the front view mirror.

As he rolled up his plastic bag, Yuri asked JJ, “Hey, who were those two guys?”

“Oh, you mean Viktor and Christophe?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, that was Viktor Nikiforov, a dude from Russia. He is a professional hitman.” JJ explained.

“An assassin? Ha, seriously?” Yuri cried out, wanting to laugh as he did not believe in that.

“Yeah, but he’s friendly. He likes to spend time with his dog Makkachin.” JJ explained.

Viktor was walking back up to a white painted house, holding a small plastic bag in his right hand. The bag was filled with some sort of strange brown, mush. It swished around in the air. Yuri cringed at the sight of that. Then, Yuri saw a long, black-hilted dagger on the back of Viktor’s pants, wedged within his belt. Yuri raised his brow at that. Then, he saw next saw a large, brown, fluffy dog following behind Viktor as it had its tongue out. That must be Makkachin, Viktor’s dog.

“Yeah, but oh, just don’t hurt his dog or even try to, or go near his boyfriend either.” JJ chuckled. “He doesn’t like it.”

“His boyfriend, is it Christophe?” Yuri asked. The truck drove past an eighteen-year-old girl with red hair. The young woman winked at the truck, as JJ waved back at her. The young woman saw Yuri and she blew a kiss at him. Yuri shuddered at that. Out of all of the people he was not fond of, it was women. Yuri could not stand girls or other women; he thought they were nothing but nuisances in this world.

“That was Mila Babicheva by the way. She’s from Russia too, but not associated with killing. She’s a dancer.”

“Uh-huh…” Yuri muttered.

“Anyways, no it’s not Christophe. It’s that guy you saw in the middle of the picture! Kid’s from Japan. I don’t know where he is right now, but you’ll meet him soon. Anyways again, the guy who Otabek met at the gate is Christophe Giaa…” JJ struggled in pronouncing the man’s name. “…cometti, like confetti, yeah. He’s from Switzerland and a bounty hunter. Unlike Viktor who kills, he just brings bad guys to the authorities for cash. But he can be just as sweet too, but watch out he’s a pretty erotic dude. So, keep your butt covered at night.” JJ said with a wink in his eye.

That made Yuri imagine…

He was lying on a bed, in a white colored room with a red carpet. Yuri was wearing a black tank top with a white pair of flannel pants and was barefoot. Everything, but his behind, and legs, was covered by a soft, white blanket. As Yuri had his hands lay right next to him as he was on his side, an ominous black figure with green appeared from the shadows. The figured smiled teeth completely white as it chuckled. Yuri’s eyes tighten and just when he would’ve turned to lie on his back…

SMACKKK!

A furious hit on his back side occurred, as Yuri cried out. He jumped out of the bed as there was a large roar of laughter. It was Christophe, laughing his heart out at Yuri.

Yuri made a blank, anime face, shuddering. He looked at Christophe and saw him sitting on a lawn chair, rubbing yellow lotion on his body. He was wearing a black speedo as then he lay on his stomach, reading a small novel in his hands.

Yuri breathed out a small, “Huh…” Well, JJ wasn’t kidding when he saw there were ‘a whole lot of diverse people in the community’. Yuri had to admit, these people seemed like they could trust this environment, let alone the community’s leader whose home they stopped in front of. Otabek was already there, as he had swerved around the truck as if it were a race. He was off the bike, rubbing his hair as he had taken his helmet off.

It was just how Otabek rubbed his hair, made Yuri feel like he dropped his stomach to the ground right in the truck. What the…?

JJ opened the door and climbed out. “C’mon, Yuri; we need to get you to the boss.”

Yuri sighed, opening the door.

X0x

JJ knocked on the door. “Celestino, sir?” he asked. Yuri was standing between JJ and Otabek. Oddly, Otabek was still wearing his bandana as if whatever was in the house gave him allergies. Yuri turned to him and looked at him for a few good seconds. Otabek turned his eyes at Yuri as if saying, ‘what?’ with his eyes. Yuri quickly turned away, but damn, he couldn’t take his eyes off him. Why? Yuri didn’t understand.

The door opened and JJ greeted the person who opened it. “Hello, Celestino; hope you don’t mind, but we found someone just this morning.”

“Oh, hello JJ; hmm, I see.” answered the sounds of a man in his mid-forties. “And who is this young man?” Yuri had his eyes at his feet when he felt the man’s voice speak right to him.

Yuri looked up and met the man in the eye.

“Yuri Plisetsky.” He said. “I know you’re Celestino, leader of this town. I saw your pic in the envelope one of your recruiters gave me.” He looked at Celestino with a serious tone in his eyes. Celestino was wearing sky blue shirt and white pants. Yuri had his hand on his hip, as Celestino smiled.

“Oh, well I see; if this is true, then won’t you come in? We should start right ahead with the interview.” Celestino declared as the sun shined happily on his brown hair.

“Hm.” Yuri narrowed his eyes. “Fine then.”

x0x

The office was large as an ordinary master’s chambers. The walls were painted a light sky blue, with two large white book cases on both sides of the room. An office desk was sitting on the far horizon on the room, just in front of a large, white, wooden window. On the window were white curtains that had various flowers stitched onto them, to give them a classy, but home like feel.

The floors were wooden, colored the same as sand. There were two, large, white couches and a brown coffee table in the middle, sitting right on top of an oval-shaped, oatmeal colored rug. There was lush plant on every corner of the room, giving the room also an exotic feel.

Yuri was sitting on the couch on the left, as Celestino was sitting on the one on the right. JJ and Otabek were standing behind Celestino. Celestino picked up the notepad that was sitting on the coffee table and was ready to begin the interview.

“So, Yuri… how many of the undead have you killed?” he asked him, ready to write what the boy had to say.

“About a dozen, I killed one just two nights ago.” Yuri was walking through a ghost town in the middle of the afternoon, all by himself. There were trashed up cars everywhere, trees and street signs were split in half or torn in half, and he saw at least one dismembered hand on a fence’s spike. Just when he would walk up to where a large banner hanging between two telephone poles, he saw a dead teenage girl limp right up to him. Yuri on instinct held out his machete and sliced her throat, causing her to fall onto her knees and create a pool of blood on the street.

Celestino looked down at his notepad, writing what he had just said. Celestino looked up again after he was done.

“How many people have you killed?” he asked.

“Just one.” Yuri answered.

Celestino’s eyes narrowed, just suspicious. He wrote that Yuri killed just one person on his note pad.

“Why?” He asked.

“He asked me to.” Yuri answered.

“And who is 'he'?” Celestino asked, just curious.

“My grandfather.”

Chapter Text

“I see.” Celestino said to him, putting his ulnas on his knees.

Yuri narrowed his eyes. “Why would you ask whom I’ve killed?”

Celestino’s eyes narrowed, with him smirking. In Yuri’s mind, Celestino looked like a sultry mob boss; only, the only goons he had were just JJ and Otabek, and he seemed to care more about other people’s survival than to find a relationship with someone his age.

“Is it not clear? It is just to make sure you’re not some psychopath or sociopath.” Celestino answered. “If you killed for the fun of things, other than for a mercy kill or an honor kill, then,” Celestino chuckled. “You would be staring down the barrel of Christophe’s gun.”

Yuri bit his lip. “Just because I’m cool, does not mean I am the same as a naïve child.” Celestino leaned closer to Yuri. “We question whatever we can, so we would be safe.” “I take it then,” Yuri answered. “But, don’t think I’ll be a social butterfly about this.”

“I respect that,” Celestino stood up from the couch. He turned to JJ and Otabek, “Why don’t guys get this boy settled into his new home? The white house should have an empty bunk over Minami.”

“Minami?” Yuri echoed.

“Why of course, obviously Christophe, Viktor, and Yuuri live in that house, but a boy named Minami lives with them too, and even Viktor’s boss Yakov,” Celestino explained.

“Minami’s a cheerful lad, he wouldn’t mind having someone sleep over him.”

“Uh-huh….”

“I don’t see why not, c’mon little kitten.” JJ beckoned.

Yuri jaw dropped, “What did you just call me?” he held onto his machete in his right hand as he held onto his bag on his shoulder with his left. He just wanted to pierce this guy with it, but how Celestino sounded like a threat with Christophe’s gun, he’d rather take the chances of getting butt-smacked instead.

“You didn’t want me to call you kid, so why not little kitten by how you’re wearing that Tiger shirt!” JJ chuckled as his voice was elevated to the same level as a ray of sunshine. JJ was pointing to the boy’s shirt. Even though Celestino turned to look at the window as if to ignore what was happening, Yuri could see the amusement in his eyes. Otabek placed his hand on his forehead as if to shake it. Yuri swore he could’ve heard Otabek groan from under the bandana.

Yuri’s mouth corner was pulled to the left side, “Clown-head.” By how JJ called him 'little kitten', Yuri could just imagine JJ wearing white makeup, a rainbow colored afro wig, a red sequin jumpsuit, and large clown shoes while riding a unicycle in the middle of the street.

x0x

Otabek opened the door to the white house. Yuri followed behind, as JJ was right behind him. He held onto his bag on his back, as he held onto his machete on his right shoulder. The three boys walked into appeared to be a kitchen. The walls were painted white and its floors were made of brown hard wood. It had a set of brown hard wood cupboards by the fridge and over the sink. There was a cabinet next to it, with a white granite countertop.

There, in front of the door was a large, brown wooden table with four chairs around it. He was sipping some coffee, with his hands around the cup. The cup’s reflection was within his glasses, as he looked right into it. Just when he would take another sip, the young man with the glasses looked up. His brown eyes lit up.

“Oh, hello there Otabek, what is it?” Yuuri Katsuki asked. He was wearing a navy blue vest with silky, blue shorts as he was barefoot.

“We’re just here to help someone new settle in,” Otabek explained in a stoic voice.

“Oh really? Who are they?” Yuuri asked.

“Me.” Yuri slammed his hands on the table, looking at Yuuri with his bluish-green eyes. “I know you’re Yuuri,” Yuri looked at Yuuri up and down. “Pig.”

“Excuse me?” Yuuri put a hand to his chest, just appalled by what he said.

“Vitya!” cried an old man’s voice. It was from upstairs. “Your dog pooped in my bed, come over here and clean it up!” the old man’s voice demanded, obviously not amused with what just happened.

“Hey, hey; no need for the name calling, little dude,” JJ butted in, putting his hand on the table.

“Tch.” Yuri made through his teeth.

“Um, JJ, we share the same name, how are people going to tell us apart?” Yuuri asked.

“Pfft, easy, let’s just call him Yuri-kitten from now on!” JJ solved the problem with the wave of his hand.

“You serious, you clown?!” Yuri roared at him, his mouth just as large as a tiger’s. Otabek leaned towards JJ.

“JJ?” Otabek asked the older boy, he had his hand on his hip.

“What’s up?” JJ asked, looking at him.

“Just shut up, and let’s hurry.” Otabek told him, his voice coming through the bandana, making it erect every time he spoke.

“Hey, hey man; just trying to have some fun.” JJ explained, putting his hands up.

“We’ll see you later, Yuuri.” Otabek bid and the three men walked past the table.

“See you later then…” Yuuri trailed, his fingers making scratching movements as he waved them away.

Yuuri and Viktor’s room, as well as Yakov’s room, was upstairs; Christophe’s was downstairs, so Otabek showed what room Yuuri would stay in, Minami’s room. The walls were painted green, and there was a red carpet. There were posters of various bands here and there, a couple of socks scattered, but that didn’t keep little Minami from enjoying the comic book on the bed. It was on the corner of the room, just by a window.

When he saw Otabek from the corner of his eyes, Minami’s face lit up. He looked at him.

“Oh hi, Oatie,” he chirped. “What’s up?”

“You got yourself a new roommate kid,” Otabek answered, as his hand was on the door. Otabek showed him Yuri.

“This is Yuri, or rather you call him Yuri-kitten,” he said. Yuri’s teeth were gritted as Otabek had his hand on his shoulder. “So we could tell him apart from the other Yuuri that lives here.”

“Oooh! I don’t mind!” Minami said, eyes turning wide as he sat on the bed straight up. “Hi, Yuri-kitten!” he said, twinkling his fingers at him.
Yuri took a deep breath. “Hi.” He said, in a stiff tone.

He looked at what was next to the bunk bed and saw a long sword standing by the wall. It had a red hilt with a silver sheath. A katana. Yuri had seen that type of weapon in many movies before as well. Was this kid some sort of ninja?

Minami giggled, skipping up to Yuri. “Oh, we’re gonna so much fun!”

“Can’t freakin’ wait,” Yuri muttered, his eyes darting to the other side of the room, just wanting to avoid making eye contact with this little chicken nugget.

“Well, we have to go now,” JJ was waving as his boot was on the metal pipe of his truck. “Have fun, Yuri-kitten.”

Yuri huffed like some snarling dog. As he heard the engines turn on and the vehicles leave, he walked down the hallway, on his way to his new room. However, there was something he could just not forget. The moment when he had to annihilate his own grandfather.

“Yuri…” Nikolai Plisetsky begged. He was standing with his arms at his hands, drenched in red. He had a large bite mark on his left shoulder. His mouth was dripping with blood, as several pieces of rotten meat were clinging onto it. His almost, milky white eyes were staring right at Yuri, “Please… end me… Even if the dead walk… you are still young and still have much to live for….!” His voice cracked, it turning from sick man’s cry to a gore-filled, innocent-seeking, flesh-biting growl. There was nothing more than a machete swing, Nikolai’s throat being sliced in half, and a rainbow of blood falling onto Yuri’s face.

Yuri stiffened. He closed his eyes and shook his head. He wanted to forget about it.

Chapter Text

"Ugh, I'll be right there!" Viktor cried from the living room. He was sitting on a beige couch holding his long, black hilted knife in his left hand. He was holding a large, dark gray, metal slab in his other. He was busy sharpening his knife. After giving his knife two swipes on both sides, Viktor sheathed it, placed the slab underneath the wooden coffee table. He stood up and placed his tool back into his belt. He had many other knives, but since this was the larges and most reliable, all of his knives were safe in his room, in a black leather belt, in a nightstand. He walked through the hallway that leads to the kitchen. Viktor ruffled Yuuri's hair, cooing, "Hello, my little piglet."

Yuuri gripped the cup tight, as he told him, "Oh yeah, someone new just moved into the house right now."

The Russian assassin had his hand on the wooden banister. "Oh, I know who it is, some blonde kid; I saw him just a couple of minutes ago."

Yuuri took a sip of his coffee. "Really?"

"Yeah," Viktor answered. He walked up the stairs and walked into Yakov's room. Yakov's was frowning, standing by his bed as he had his arms over his chest. Yakov looked at said, "Right here, Vitya; I was coming back from the bathroom when your dog was on my bed."

Viktor walked up to the bed, fists swinging in the air, and gasped. He looked at what was on it. There were five pieces of dog feces in the middle of the bed, piled up like a pyramid. It made the perfect white sheets look like it had a bad pimple on it. It made Viktor's eyes narrow and turns to Makkachin, who was sitting in the left corner of the room. Makkachin's black beady eyes stared intently at his owner.

"Bad Makkachin!" he chastised Makkachin, who was wagging his tail. "You know how daddy gets when you mark your territory inside of the house!"

Yakov sighed, "I suppose I should ask Mrs. Leroy for a new bed sheet set." He said, walking to the door.

"Do this again, and you're spending the night outside!" Viktor threatened. Makkachin whined, placing his fluffy head on his paws.

Yakov placed his old hand on the door frame. "If you don't get the messed up sheets cleaned up and removed, you'll be sleeping outside, Vitya!" he threatened too.

Viktor's eyes shrunk. "Wh-what?!"

Yakov was out the door faster than Viktor's mouth could drop to the floor. Yakov walked down the stairs. The old man was wearing a dark blue, short sleeved and buttoned up shirt with khaki pants and beige shoes, as his hands slowly slid down the wooden banister.

Yuuri was washing the dishes at the sink when he heard the footsteps that were walking down the stairs. He turned and saw Yakov, "Hello Yakov; um, apparently JJ and Otabek had found someone and that person just moved into his house."

"Greetings there, ah are you serious? Then, I'll have to see them sometime today."

Yuuri tilted his head. "I see."

With that, Yakov walked out the door.

x0x

Otabek and JJ were driving down the road, just by an open plain, when Otabek spotted what appeared to be a large, steel, barn shed there. Otabek pulled out his walkie-talkie and spoke to JJ, "Yo, there's something right there, you wanna check it out?"

JJ was holding his walkie-talkie as he replied to Otabek. "You sure? Who knows if there's anything inside of that shed, could be empty for all we know."

Otabek was keeping his hand on the left handlebar of the bike, replying, "Wouldn't hurt to look, even if, it'll get us away from driving around searching for a limited amount of survivors all day for a bit. Besides, your mom told me how much she wanted a tea kettle, so maybe there's one."

"True, dude." JJ sighed.

Yuri was the first person they had found in many weeks. The last time they had found anyone, he was a guy from here in the States; right now, he was helping JJ's mother cook up some orange colored rice mixed with tomatoes, peppers, and onions for lunch.

The two boys pulled up to that shed, with Otabek jumping off his bike and JJ hopping out his truck. What Yuri did not notice, was that JJ had a gun holster strapped to his thigh, with his special Glock 18 inside of it. Otabek, on the other hand, had a pair of police batons on his back strapped to his back with leather.

JJ licked his lips. Making his sure his gun was ready and loaded, he asked Otabek, "You ready?"

"On it," Otabek said, pulling his batons and using them as a pair of tonfa, holding them in front of his body for protection.

JJ smirked, chuckling under his teeth. "C'mon, my brother." He said, his feet touching the white rock laden path. Otabek swung the police batons around by the handles. The two men walked up to the shed.

x0x

"Hey," Yuri asked, his eye peering past the white sheet that was on top of the mattress on the top bunk. He was curious about Minami and about how he made it to this place. That was the reason why Yuri was asking him.

"Yes?" Minami asked, looking up from his comic book.

"Where are you from and how did you start living here?" Yuri asked him. Minami looked down at the blank corner of his comic book.

"I'm from this place called Hakata that's in the Fukuoka, Prefecture, in Japan. I had a mother, father, and an older brother; however, I came with Yuuri and his family and friends instead."

"Whatever happened to your parents and brother?" Yuri asked his chin on his right arm and left arm dangling in the air, besides the mattress.

"We were traveling around in Hasetsu because we wanted to see the famous onsen that was there, just before the disease began to strike. The onsen is –or was- known as the Yu-topia Katsuki onsen."

Yuri nodded. "And?"

"And I guess, um, when the people started to turn into the zombies, I got separated from my family. I was running, when I found this katana hanging on the wall of this building; I ran into the onsen again; the family who ran the place felt pity for me and took me under their wing until I found my parents again."

"And I assume that the same family that gave you shelter is same where that Yuuri is from?"

Minami answered. "Yeah. Not only his family was there, but also some of his associates as well."

"Hm?"

"Yuuri's roommate from college, his name is Phichit Chulanont, he's from Thailand; his dancing instructor Minako Okukawa, she's from Hasetsu like the Katsuki family, and oh, two of Yuuri's childhood friends, married couple Takeshi and Yuuko Nishigori and their three daughters, Axel, Lutz, and Loop."

"Mhm, and?" Yuri nodded and asked.

Minami took a deep breath. "Well, hm, then two days later, we heard on the news that there were some large boats leaving the town. We didn't know where they going to, but, it was probably just to get far away from the town. When it was safe to go out, Phichit-san and Nishigori Takeshi-san packed up some duffle bags and we ran through the streets."

"And were you able to find your family?" Yuri asked.

"Yes, but... um," Minami started to tear up. Yuri's eyes widened. Aw shit.

"Well, spit out man no one else is hearing." Yuri urged, gripping his fist and lightly slamming it to the side of the mattress. It was true; Yuuri had just stepped out to fold the laundry on the clothesline.

"They were dead-they weren't zombies-just dead, as if someone killed them." Minami gasped. "And they were lying on the streets, with their blood on it by some cars. Takeshi-san went over there to check their pulse, and he came back and it was true." Minami sniffed, wiping his nose.

"So maybe even though it was just starting, the people probably started to attack others in order to survive; maybe some crew ganged up on your family, killed them, and robbed whatever they could get their hands on from them." Yuri figured, looking at Minami.

"Yeah…" Minami sniffed, rubbing his nose. He calmed down slowly.

"So what about the boats?" Yuri raised his brow, turning his head.

"Oh, well um, we reached the boats, which were just several miles away from the town, but Takeshi and Yuuko didn't make it," Minami said.

"Why?"

Minami bit his lip. "Hm, well, I guess Takeshi-san got bit, and when we reached the docks to the boats, Yuuko-san told us to go on without them with their girls; I guess she didn't want to leave her husband behind and wanted to be with him when he turned. So, um, yeah. Only, that the first boat was getting packed, and the crew could only take in six more, so it was just The Katsuki family, Phichit-san, and I."

"So that Minako lady took the girls with her on the next boat then?" Yuri asked.

Minami nodded. "Possibly." And then, "Somehow, the boat landed in the US, specifically Los Angeles, California. The other boat could've landed somewhere else, as to why no one had seen Minako-sensei or the girls yet."

Minami went on to explain that was where Mari found a van with its keys inside and they rode to the Southern United States. The only times they ever stopped was for either gas and to collect food. Whenever anyone needed to go, they would just go in cans instead. They decided to spend the night one city though.

"And what city did you guys stop in?" Yuri asked.

"San Antonio, Texas," Minami answered.

"Why did you guys go south?" Yuri asked.

Minami told the rest of the story. They heard that things were getting too violent up north, with not only the zombies, but also looting, explosions, and suicides, so we went south instead, that's why. Then they rode to Houston, Texas, where they met the fated three and pet: Swiss bounty hunter Christophe Giacometti, Russian killer Viktor Nikiforov and his dog Makkachin, and the Russian's Killer Boss Yakov Feltsman.

They were driving around, hoping to find an exit, when a swarm came after them. Phichit, who was doing the driving, floored it, and quickly Mari saw a large sign that said: 'Survivors Welcome' on a two story building. Mr. Katsuki was skeptical about it, asking what if someone already answered and they and the sign-putters left.

Then, Phichit said it's better to be up there then to get claustrophobic down here. Next, they found themselves running up the stairs to where that sign was put. Mr. Katsuki furiously wrapped on the door, and it opened with someone saying get in. They rushed in, and Mari closed the door behind them. Mr. Katsuki looked around to find who let them in and saw a blond man with green eyes and thanked him. The man smiled and said it was no problem. An old man wearing a fedora and gray shirt came in and asked what happened; the man said that the sign he and Viktor put did work after all and told him to look at who they found. Yakov raised a brow. Then, he placed his hand out for the group as a greeting. Mr. Katsuki knew, even though he was used to bowing, that it was a handshake, and took his hand shook it heavily, stating that they were heavily grateful to see some new, living faces. Yakov nodded and told him his name.

The blonde man introduced himself as Christophe but can call him Chris if they wanted to. Mari raised her hand and said that there was a Viktor mentioned and asked who he was and told her name by the way. A man with silver hair, black shirt and torn pants appeared and smiled, stating that he was Viktor, Viktor Nikiforov. He looked at the entire group that appeared, especially at the young men, and said not too shabby at all.

Yuuri made a small shriek when something touched his leg. He looked down and saw a poodle with its paws on his waist. Viktor smiled and said that his name is Makkachin.

Yuri stopped Minami, "Wait a minute, what were they doing in Houston?"

Minami put a finger to his lip, "Uhhh, I don't know; but anyway," even though Minami was telling the story, he wanted to know a bit about Yuri. "Where are you from Yuri?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, let's just take a break from this story, and hear about yours, I wanna know! Such as, where are you from?" Minami put his hands under his chin.

"Hmmm… Then I guess…" Yuri began.

When the men walked up to the shed, Otabek saw a metal handle at the bottom of the greenish black door.

"Dude, seriously, what if there's nothing here?" JJ asked.

"You've been telling us to have faith and to look things the other way haven't you?" Otabek said, getting one knee. "So if there's nothing here, then we could this place as a refuge area, in case if something happens back home," Otabek explained.

JJ sighed. Otabek placed a hand on the handle, but then had trouble lifting it up. JJ pursed his lips and walked over to Otabek and got one knee as well. He grabbed the handle, next to Otabek's hand.

"C'mon, here we go," JJ gritted his teeth. "1…2…3…." Both men pulled up the handle up, making the large door roll up, but were not expecting to see what came out of it. JJ felt like his tongue could rip in half, as Otabek felt like his eyes were getting scooped out by an unseen force. Both of their hearts pounded out of their hard, well-shaped chests, as they began to run. There was nothing but the sounds of growling coming from the shed, as various arms were reaching out for the young men. They were colored gray, with signs they had either been bitten or scratched. There were over thirty zombies appearing. They were shuffling for the young men, hoping to get a bite out of them. Even though the bike was quick, it offered Otabek no protection from them. The truck was quick too, but JJ couldn't run them over because it would mess up the truck. Who would want to mess up their own, possibly their first, vehicle for crying out loud? The last time any zombies collided with the truck, JJ spent five hours cleaning them off his windshield, doors, and engine.

However, the truck did offer protection so, JJ cried out, "Yo, man, get in my truck quick!"

Otabek grimaced, as a close zombie hiss in his face, causing him to send the end of his baton at its face.

JJ closed one eye, firing at one zombie's face. He was sitting in the driver's seat with the door open, as it had come close to him.

Otabek shoved both ends into the sockets of another, before running into the truck. He dropped himself onto the seat, shutting the door.

JJ threw his head back, as his door was closed. JJ looked at Otabek, but Otabek was looking down at the seat's material.

"This is my doing…" Otabek muttered.

JJ shook his head. "No, dude, you didn't ask for this to happen."

"I suggested for us to see this place," Otabek added.

"No, you asked JUST for this, not for a bunch of zombies to come out."

"I could've gotten you killed. What would you tell your mother or Isabella that you got bitten or scratched?" inquired the young man.

"But I'm not dead or bitten," JJ told him. "C'mon dude. You know that. Even though they're surrounding us," JJ pointed out all of the zombies that were slowly tapping their hands on the windows. "We're fine; you know what Tupac said." JJ pointed his finger at him.

"Things are gonna get easier."

Otabek sighed through his nose. "Yes, I supposed you are correct, Jean."

"Well anyways," JJ leaned over to the glove compartment. "There's another walkie-talkie here that my mom put in case of danger. Maybe if someone picks it up, they can talk to Celestino and maybe he'll send someone to rescue us."

"Good," Otabek commented.

JJ opened the box and pulled out another walkie-talkie. He pressed the button and spoke into the button. "Yo, hello, can anyone hear me?"

Otabek's brows went up, watching JJ speak into the device in hopes of getting a reply.

JJ chewed on the left corner of his bottom lip, not getting anything. He heard the sounds of people, probably his mom and Leo, and the clash of some steel pots and pans.

JJ sucked air through his teeth. Damn it, he could tell his mom was cooking beef sandwiches on wheat bread for lunch!

"You don't think your mom lowered the volume, right?" Otabek inquired.

"Not sure, dude," JJ answered. He spoke a little bit louder into the device. "Mom! Dad! Anyone, can you hear me?! If I can't speak any louder, then Yuri-kitten is right, I am a clown."

"Says the guy who knew what Tupac said…" Otabek shook his head.

JJ looked at the window and saw one of the zombies had their fingers over the glass. His eyes widened.

"HELP—"

But JJ was cut off by the sounds of a wooden pole sending the zombie's head to the glass and smearing its blood on it. JJ gasped. Otabek stared intently at it as well.

The door opened as if let to JJ and Otabek out.

"C'mon!" A young voice cried out.

Not needing to hear it again, JJ raced out of the truck with Otabek behind him. Outside, a young man with cream-colored skin, soft brown hair and brown eyes was holding a long Bo Staff in his hands, fighting the zombies that were near the car.

Once JJ and Otabek were out, JJ fired his Glock into the forehead of a zombie that was by the truck engine. Otabek kicked one in the chest, shoving his right baton into its throat. The unknown man knocked the end of his Bo Staff into a third zombie's knees causing it to fall. He smashed his foot with a hesitant grimace on his face. Brain matter was sent all over the ground, but that didn't keep JJ from firing a fourth one that an arm missing and half of its hair shaved off.

The three young men ran to the gate that led to the barn shed, as some of the remaining zombies were limping after them. One of them didn't even bother to look back, running into the woods that were next to the road.

They ran past a large cluster of fallen trees when they wanted to stop for a second. JJ groaned, putting his hands on his knees. Oh man, he could go for a beef sandwich right now. Maybe with a side of rice and mashed potatoes.

Otabek looked at the odd young man and told him, "Thank you."

The young man smiled. He was wearing a long, red, poncho, with khaki pants and brown boots. The young man smiled, nodding.

JJ looked up and asked him, "What's your name kid? Name's JJ and this is Otabek." as Otabek nodded.

"M-My name is Guang Hong-Ji."

"Where are you from?" JJ asked.

"I'm f-from China; I'm kinda looking for someone."

"Well, we'd ask who, but why would you save us?" Otabek inquired.

"Because all life is precious. I saw your truck go by, I would've attracted your attention, b-but g-given what happens to hitchhikers, I-I-I-" Guang began to tear up.

"Hey, hey, kid; there's nothing to be sad about," JJ said, putting his hand on his shoulder. "You came at the right time. If it weren't for you kid, we would've been dead by now."

"Yeah, I get it." Guang nodded.

"Well, anyway, we have this community and maybe you'd like to join; we'd help you find the person you're looking for, who is this person?"

"Well, he's Mexican-American, his name is Leo de la Iglesia," Guang explained.

JJ had a look so shocked it could power all of Ciao-Town better than the solar panels.

"What the hell just happened?" Chris questioned, wearing his robe again.

"We got surrounded by a whole army of them." Otabek casually answered, as he, JJ and Guang were standing inside of Ciao-Town. As to why none of the vehicles were present with them.

"Yeah, but we found someone new again too," JJ added. He patted Guang's shoulder heavily, making Guang blush.

Guang pleaded, "Stop!" making JJ tense up. He took his hand off Guang.

"Hey, sorry!" he said. From the yellow house that was two houses away from the gate, Mrs. Leroy was talking to Yakov. Yakov was a holding a lavender bed set when she looked and saw her son at the gate. The red-haired woman's eyes lit up, running down the stairs. She ran down the street to her son.

"Jean-Jaques Leroy, what happened to you?" She cried, grabbing her son's arms. JJ smiled sheepishly. She must've noticed his truck wasn't by. "Did you get into an accident? Did someone steal your truck?"

"Mom, I'm fine," JJ said with a wave. "We ran into some of the undead, but this kid saved us." He pointed to Guang.

"H-hi, ma'am." Guang waved at her shyly.

Mrs. Leroy's eyes went wide, putting her hand to her chest. She took a deep breath, feeling better.

"Hello, young man." She greeted him.

She looked at JJ. "Can you imagine what would happen if you got bit?"

"Yeah, Otabek said that," JJ muttered, his eyes pointing the other way. Otabek narrowed his eyes, walking to the house that was a red house away from the white.

"I'm just glad you kids are okay!" Mrs. Leroy hugged her son. JJ sighed, he looked up and a girl with short black hair. Isabella. She was smiling at him.

"Hey, babe!" He called to her, waving at her. Isabella blew a kiss. Guang smiled, looking at them. He looked at the Leroy's house. A man with short brown hair appeared, asking Isabella if she wanted rice on her plate. Isabella gave him a word until Leo looked and his eyes widened.

"GUANG!" Leo screeched, running down the street.

"LEO!" the Chinese boy cried, opening his arms. Leo hugged him tightly, like Mrs. Leroy to JJ.

Leo stroked Guang's face, asking, "Dude, where have you been my little pollito?" He had a large smile on his face.

"In the woods, JJ and Otabek brought me here," Guang told him.

Leo chuckled out of happiness to the sky.

JJ sighed; he looked up as Leo put his head down. "Oh, thank god for Tupac and his quotes!" he said to the sky. Mrs. Leroy chuckled.

Guang's face turned into a confused state. He raised a brow. "Who's Tupac?" he asked, shrugging.

Chapter Text

"It was like what, um, mid-January and my grandfather and I moved to the States, specifically right in St. Louis," Yuri explained, his eyes looking to the other side, trying to remember. "You know where that is, right kid?" he asked, putting his finger down.

Minami nodded. "Yeah, it's the capital of Missouri."

"Yeah, he got promoted from his car job in St. Petersburg to work there, that's why."

"That's where a lot of people here are from!" Minami pointed out.

"Seriously?" Yuri asked, his brows going up.

Minami nodded. "Yeah, Nikiforov-san and Mila-chan are from St. Petersburg; well, Feltsman-sama is from Moscow, but he's a Russian still."

"Um, okay," Yuri responded. "Anyways, life was pretty okay there. Um," Yuri rubbed the back of his head. "I didn't really talk to anyone there, not because of my limited English or that I only spoke Russian; I loathe other people, I told that to JJ when we first met."

"Why?" Minami asked.

"Um, back when I was in school in Russia, I-" Yuri tried to explain.

Minami gasped, putting his hands over his mouth like a damsel while in great danger. "You were bullied?"

"No, you boob!" Yuri snapped at him. The boy sighed. "I used to watch kids pick on other kids when I was younger. After I saw that, I did everything I could to avoid other people, you know?" Yuri said.

While he was talking, Yuuri was outside of the house, standing on his toes, placing clothes on a metal wire. He had his side to the metal wall, when he heard a loud thump occur behind it. Yuuri turned, and shook his head. Just some lonely zombie that will just wander away, the young Japanese man thought. Christophe was walking by, and he eyed Yuuri up and down as if the kid was some big chunk of meat. Christophe wolf-whistled at him, making Yuuri tell him to shut up. Christophe held his hands up, saying what.

Phichit was walking by, holding a can of paint in his hands and a brush in another, just smiling. Yuuri grunted. Phichit was wearing a brown set of overalls and red shirt, coming back from repainting someone's house.

"It's like, where are these kids' parents? If the teachers can't tell these kids to not bully, shouldn't their parents instead?" Yuri shook his head. "Like, people are so damn stupid. They should know better!"

"Not everyone is stupid or mean to other people." Minami told him. "There are some people, such as kids, that were raised right by their parents. To give people advice, to comfort them in harsh times, to be with them no matter what. Why do you think I'm so happy to have a new roommate?"

Yuri made a 'tch' sound.

"Even if you said that you've never really talked to anyone, you're talking to me right now," Minami told him.

Yuri was taken aback. Hell, and he wasn't even thinking about it. "Damn it… But not only in St. Louis, I didn't talk to anyone back home either."

"But we're talking somewhere here in North Carolina!" Minami beamed.

"Damn it!" Yuri threw his hands down. Minami lightly chuckled, and then he asked Yuri. "Since we're talking, what else do you wanna talk about, hmm?"

Yuri wandered around in his thoughts for a second. Between wanting to learn more about Celestino and JJ, he wanted to know more about Otabek. It was weird, every ten seconds the mysterious young man Otabek would pop up into his mind, maybe because he blushed the first time he saw him when he stepped out of that truck container.

Yuri said, "Well, you got any facts on that guy Otabek? Such as where he's from, does he have any family and such?"

"Oh, well." Minami's eyebrows went up for a small second and went back down. "Hmm, let's see: well, the only few things anyone would ever know about him, is that Otabek is from Kazakhstan, this country in Central Asia."

Yuri nodded. "And?"

"And, well, let's just say that he said that his mother was the leader of this underground group back home too," Minami explained.

"So basically what you mean is that Otabek was an heir to some mafia?" Yuri's mouth dropped to the ground.

Minami shushed him. He looked at the door; a small blue blur had just barely walked by. It was Yuuri and he was done with his chore and came back for whatever reason. Minami looked up back at Yuri, "Yeah, maybe." He nodded.

"And whatever happened to his dad?" Yuri asked.

Minami scratched the back of his head. "Um, I don't know. I don't think Otabek knows either; I theorize his dad might've been in a rank lower than his mom." Minami wiggled his eyebrows.

"Oh, so his dad got lucky then?" Yuri smirked. Yuri imagined what his parents might've looked like. Yes, maybe a short man with a medium sized mustache and a tall woman with long, sleek black hair and long, precious tone earrings. Perhaps Otabek's mother smoked and she held a cigarette before she and Otabek's father copulated.

"Maybe." Minami winked. There was a small buzz, and Minami looked at his watch.

"What was that?" Yuri asked.

"Oh, um, it just tells me that it's time for work, today I'm pulling out some weeds by the fountain, care to join me?" Minami asked.

"Sure," Yuri answered.

They were soon walking down the sidewalk when they saw a young woman with black and blonde hair. She was wearing a beige shirt, and khaki shorts, smoking a cigarette. It was Mari.

"Hello there, Mari-chan." Minami waved at her.

"Hey, Minami." She told him. When she saw Yuri, she stopped dead in her tracks. Her eyes widened as if large hearts came out of them. She screamed like a girl at a boy band concert.

Yuri lifted a brow at her. "Hey, are you alright?"

Mari pointed a finger at him. "You look like this one guy with amazing blonde hair! Quick, what's your name?"

"Yuri," Yuri answered. That only made Mari put on a deadpan look on her face.

"Yeah, I share the same name with your pig of a brother," Yuri answered.

"Hey!" Mari pointed her finger down at the sidewalk. "Don't call my little brother a pig, alright? Even though he only likes it when Viktor calls him a piglet, how would you like it if someone called your family member something vulgar?"

"But even though he shares the same name with Yuuri-kun, we get to call this guy Yuri-kitten!" Minami pointed out.

Mari put her hands over her mouth as if she saw some really cute baby chick on her front porch.

Yuri felt the same way as Yakov, when he saw dog feces on his bed, not amused. Mari giggled.

"Oh you're just too much, Yuri-kitten!" the woman said, fanning her hand up and down. She had a hand over her mouth, as her silver piercings sat gingerly on her ears.

"Yeah, too much…" Yuri muttered, looking at the asphalt on the street.

"Well, I gotta rip out the weeds, and Yuri-kitten's helping me, so later Mari!" Minami said, walking by her. Yuri followed.

"Well, bye," she said, walking away. As they were walking to the fountain, Yuri shook his head. He looked at the grass that was right next to him and thought the nickname JJ gave him while they were in his new home was going to be the death of him.

Oddly, Yuri rubbed his chin, and wondered. Since Minami had a katana in what was now their room, how many zombies did he kill with it?

x0x

It was around noon, and everyone in Ciao-Town settled under a large, metal roof to have lunch. A few things had happened right before lunch. When Guang questioned who Tupac was, JJ gasped. He told Guang that he was going to teach him everything he knew about Tupac, as JJ took the boy's shoulders and escorted him to his house. When JJ did that, Leo chuckled, even though Guang blushed a bit.

"Yo, bro, listen to this," JJ said, setting a pair of headphones onto the Chinese boy's ears. He played a Tupac CD on his CD Walkman, and soon the music came to Guang's ears.

"Oh," Guang said. He darted his eyes around JJ's room. "Wow, very influential." as he was listening to 'Dear Mama' by the said singer.

"Hell yeah, son," JJ said.

Isabella was watching, her back on the wooden side of the open door. She smiled. If anyone could make friends easily and bring the best out of people, it would be her JJ. He was like magic.

After that was done, JJ took Guang to Celestino's home, where Celestino was shocked that JJ and Otabek had found another person, or rather that Guang found them instead. Celestino interviewed Guang like he did to Yuri, asking the same questions.

"So, how many of the undead have you killed?" Celestino asked.

"Um, like about seventeen," Guang answered.

"Okay, how many people have you killed?" the man asked. It was by then Leo came in. He was almost done with the day's lunch when he wanted to check up on Guang. Ever since they met at community college back in their old town, he had become so protective of Guang since he was so shy. JJ was standing behind the couch like last time, and calmly he told Leo to just wait until they were done.

"Um, no one really, I swear!" Guang threw his hands up as he elevated his voice at a high level. Celestino tensed up. Leo walked by him and JJ and calmly took Guang by his hand.

"C'mon Guang," he said. "I'm sure we can get you settled in the house that's across the street from JJ's."

Guang licked his lips, holding his staff in his right hand. "Okay…" he said. JJ and Celestino looked at each other weirdly, as Leo escorted Guang from the house.

Otabek, on the other hand, decided to mow the lawn in front of the house, as part of his weekly schedule. The next day, he would go and clean the solar panels that were in the town. Mila caught up on some sewing, helping Mrs. Katsuki, the woman who lived in the red house, repair some curtains for her window on her front porch.

As some people were biting into their sandwiches, digging into the rice and others were drinking. Guang said to JJ:

"Listen, I'm really sorry about your truck." As he was sitting right next to him.

JJ put down his beef sandwich and told Guang, "Dude, it's okay!" he sighed. "I'm gonna find some way to get it back! Alright?"

"He's right, boy," said JJ's father, who was sitting across from him with his wife. Their two other children, JJ's siblings, were sitting by them. He licked his lips, digging into his rice.

"Yeah," Guang said, as in the background, Makkachin was eating from a silver bowl that Viktor filled up with dog food from within the house.

"A toast!" Celestino raised his glass of his golden colored wine into the air. "To our new companions here in Ciao-Town, Yuri Plistesky and Guang-Hong Ji!" Yakov was sitting from across Celestino, holding the same drink in his hands. The people who were sitting at the table clapped, Mari even wolf-whistled. He was sitting where Makkachin was, across from Viktor, Yuuri, Christophe with her parents.

Yuri was sitting next to Mila when the girl stood up and lifted Yuri with her own two hands.

Yuri screamed, waving his arms around. "Damn it, woman!" He was so not enjoying this. Mari giggled at him, just looking at him. Her father Mr. Katsuki shook his head.

"Hey kid, no need for the potty-mouth!" the young woman laughed. "You're part of the family now!" she stated, as Guang was standing up. Leo asked him to, so everyone would know who he was.

"Aw crap." Otabek placed his hands over his mouth. Everyone turned his eyes to him.

"What's up?" JJ asked.

"The town's pictures," Otabek said. "We left them back at that shed."

"Are you serious?" JJ slammed his hands on the table.

"Yes! What are the chances of some psychopath finding those pictures and finding this place and storming into it?" Otabek stated.

"What pictures? They're not dirty ones, right?" Guang asked, sitting back in his seat.

"No, well, nothing too erotic," JJ answered, turning his eyes to the iconic three that were in the bed picture. JJ wiggled his eyebrows.

Yuuri blushed, folding his arms. "I told them to stop," the young man frowned. "But do they listen? No!" Yuuri turned away as Christophe raised a brow, holding his beef sandwich in his left hand. Viktor raised his brows, looking at his boyfriend's head. Yakov shook his head, taking a drink out of his wine.

Wanting to steer away from the topic, Otabek inquired, as Yuri pushed his rice around and took a small bite out of it.

"The only questions are: who would place all of those zombies that shed and for what reason? Other than it being an obvious trap." Yes, the pictures were big on Otabek's mind, but the zombie filled shed, to be honest, was even bigger.

"Yeah," JJ said, taking a bite of his rice. He licked his lips in pleasure. Man, this stuff was good. Seriously. The rice had the perfect balance of fluffiness and crunchiness within. It was as if JJ was biting into a piece of Heaven's savory delights. Leo smiled, watching him. "Who knows, whoever put those zombies there must've thought they were still human and put 'em there so they could cure them or something."

"That is idiotic." Yakov put his fork into his rice. "Even a small child would know that those fiends are untrustworthy; also take a semi-automated and blow their heads in." the old man said, sipping his wine. "Whoever thinks that deserves a royal whack to the head!"

"Maybe someone's using those zombies as a source for camouflage," Phichit added. He looked at the people he came to Ciao-Town with. "Remember back when we were in New Orleans? Minami cut off two zombies' arms off, put chains on them, and used them as a way to get through that big crowd in the town plaza."

When Yuri heard that, his mind wandered to it. He imagined the group, Yakov, Christophe, Viktor, Phichit, The Katsuki family and Minami walking through a large crowd down a vintage-lamp topped street. Minami was in the front, holding two chains in his right hand as he held onto the sword hilt in the other. The boy's eyes were peeled, looking both right and left as he licked his lips. The two zombies before him had their teeth removed somehow, so they wouldn't bite their new master. Sometimes they would jerk around, trying to get away from the boy as if they were captive slaves. In a way they were, but every time they would try to get away, Minami would pull the chain back, telling them to stop it.

"Yeah, I remember that!" Minami said, sitting up slightly from his seat. "And oh it took like two hours, we lost our van. Mari-chan had to use a bag in order to pe—"

"Okay too much, little man!" Mari cried, standing up. "At least we found another van until it broke down before we came here."

Isabella raised a brow. "How did you guys lose your first van—" that was when Makkachin barked. The old pup was looking at something in the sky, holding his tongue out like all dogs did when they saw something worthy of interest.

Viktor turned to his dog. The twenty-seven-year-old assassin asked Makkachin, "Makkachin, what's the matter?"

Yuuri looked at the dog with worried eyes. The young Japanese man's eyes looked up and he saw something white in the sky. His eyes lit up in complete shock.

"A drone!" Yuuri cried out, pointing to the device that was being driven around in the air, just several feet from the town. "There's a drone out in the sky!" the young man stood up from his seat and ran to the street.

"Yuuri!" Mrs. Katsuki called out for her son.

"Baby, get back." Viktor put his hand on his boyfriend's shoulder. He stood up from his seat, putting a hand on the hilt of murder tool.

Otabek stood up and walked to the street. He looked at the drone that was in the air. He placed his hand over his eyes, looking at it. It was odd, the way the drone moved around. It moved from left to right, back and forth, like a person driving their car sporadically when they were lost in the middle of nowhere. Otabek turned his head to where it went, as JJ and Yuri stood on his left and right side, respectively.

Yuri raised a brow, as the device went left as if to get away from the town it was over. Several of the townspeople stood up from their seats, even Makkachin, and stood in the street to see the item in wonder.

"Do you think it's the Government?" asked JJ's younger sister.

"If it was, they would have camouflaged that thing." Answered JJ's younger brother.

Celestino's eyes were narrowed up at the sky.

Otabek hummed. "I doubt it is. Wait, if that's a drone, then someone must be driving it around, and if there's someone, then that means…"

"There are more survivors out there!" Yuri completed.

"Should I shoot it down?" Christophe pulled out his gun as he asked.

"No, you loon," Yakov harshly stated.

"How come?" the Swiss bounty hunter asked, whining almost like a child.

"Because we don't know who owns that device." Yakov answered.

"It's obviously has a camera on it, so I guess the owner wouldn't like it if we shot it out of the sky. Yuuri added.

"Yeah, you're right, how the hell do you know about that?" Yuri asked the Japanese kid.

"I majored in Computer science," Yuuri answered. "So I put my hands on a drone once."

"Wow, so the pig knows something; I'm surprised," Yuri said, folding his arms, holding a suave smile on his face.

"Don't call Yuuri that," warned Viktor, pulling out his knife. He was frowning, holding his knife up close to the corner of Yuri's eye. The boy gasped for a short second. Crap! He let Viktor hear that and he was obviously not amused by Yuri calling his boyfriend that.

Celestino pulled Viktor's wrist down. "Alright, there's no need for that, Viktor."

"He's right, Viktor," Yuuri said to his boyfriend, touching his left him. "We get to call him Yuri-kitten!" he smiled.

Yuri shrieked; Viktor broke out in laughter.

Otabek walked by JJ and raised a brow. Otabek looked at his partner. "Well, I guess the thing to do now, is getting our vehicles back. We should before anything else approaches us." Like the drone. Just who did it belong to?

x0x

"Mick, Mickey, Michele!" cried a young man with brown hair, beard, and blue eyes. Emil Nekola was standing behind his friend, trying to regain control of the drone. Michele, an orange haired young man, had his tongue stuck out, recklessly driving it.

"Stop it!" Emil said to him, taking the control back. "At least with the camera, we know that there's civilization out there."

Michele folded his arms. "Just wanted to know how these things work, no need to get pissy over it."

"It's my drone, Mick," Emil said. He was wearing a blue V-Neck and khaki pants. Michele was black tanktop with brown pants. They were sitting on a log, in front of where a fire had been last night. "I paid good cash for this baby!" he told him.

"You two just stop it!" cried a black haired girl; she was Sara, Michele's sister. She was wearing a black long sleeved shirt with a white skirt. "After all, you know how Seung gets when there's loud noise."

Seung shook his head, folding his arms as he was lying in the back of their red car.

"Yeah, sis. After all, you're trying to make him more positive." Michele said.

"Boob!" he heard the Korean kid cry out.

Sara shook her head. "Now c'mon guys, lunch isn't gonna eat itself!"

Chapter Text

Even though Sara was not much of a cook, she couldn't help but think that a meal was a good way to bring people together. Even people who quarreled every now and then, such as Emil and Michele over the drone just two seconds ago. That was why she had four ham sandwiches on a picnic table nearby. They were sitting on white paper plates with lightly salted potato chips on the side because Sara knew it wouldn't be enough to satisfy their stomachs.

The four young adults sat at the table, digging into their lunch. Emil took a third bite from his sandwich when he saw a yellow leather strap in the Korean kid's hand.

"What's up with you, Seung-Gil?" Emil asked. He was sitting next to him.

"He's been having a hard time since he lost his Husky," Sara said.

Emil swallowed, trying to comfort Seung-Gil, "Dude, I lost my parents right in front of—"

Seung-Gil slammed his hands on the table, "Does it look I care?!" he looked at the Czech man with his pure animosity in his eyes.

Michele slammed his hands and leaned into Seung-Gil. "That's enough! Okay, Seung-Gil, the reason why Emil said that is to let you know that you're not alone, alright? It doesn't have to be just you, got it?" he told him. Michele sighed, sitting back in his spot.

Seung-Gil had looked down when Michele burst right at him. He lightly shook his head, as Sara took a bite from her chips.

"Fine," Seung-Gil said, patting his sandwich. "I understand, it's not just about me." The young Korean man placed his hands over his mouth and nose, just exhaling very loudly.

"It's alright," Sara whispered, putting her hand on his shoulder. Five years ago, Seung-Gil and his parents moved to Italy, because his mother and father had transferred from their old firm in Korea to there. When they moved in, Seung-Gil had so much trouble making friends there, that his father brought him the Husky to keep him company. It was around the same time that the boy grabbed Sara's attention while they attended the same school. Sara, with kindness being in her name, was determined to bring the boy out of his shell. Every day after school, much Michele's chagrin, Sara would drag Seung-Gil to their house so they could hang out; Seung-Gil would rather spend time with his Husky instead.

When his parents found about this, some friendly girl-next-door wanting to be friends with their boy, they were glad about it. They had always wanted for some friendly child to take their boy as their friend. Seung-Gil was obviously not happy with this. What became of his beloved husky? Well, while Seung-Gil was at the Crispinos' house, playing video games with Sara against his will, the dog spent its time alone in his room, sleeping until his master showed up again. When he did, the boy and the dog would spend the rest of the evening together, until it was time to go to bed. That was probably one of the only good things to erect from that situation.

Though Michele detested other dudes, he was able to make acquaintances with Emil. Like Seung-Gil, he moved to Italy with his parents, only he was from the Czech Republic. Why? That was never made clear to the Czech boy, but Emil didn't mind; he always to see new places as a kid. Michele and Emil spent much of their time together, until the death of Michele's parents. It happened a year after Seung-Gil moved into the neighborhood.

Michele and Sara were distraught and spent a whole week in their home sitting on their bed, holding onto each other. They didn't even know how their parents were killed. Seung-Gil enjoyed this time, knowing that he wouldn't have to be in the same room with Sara. However, Emil couldn't help but feel terrible for them. He wanted to help. He talked to Seung-Gil about this, and after some persuasion, Seung Gil rolled his eyes and said fine. Seung-Gil bought flowers for the two and set them on their front porch, hoping to bring some light back into their lives. Emil and his parents would come to their house every week day and leave them dinner, so they wouldn't starve or waste themselves away. It was Friday when the twins lit up and asked for the Nekola family to join them. The family was happy; the twins were again.

Now, what happened to Seung-Gil's dog and Emil's parents? They were killed obviously by the undead. Emil screamed, watching his dad get bit in the neck and his mom hold onto his hand as she teared up. Seung-Gil panicked, realizing that one undead little boy bit into his beloved pup's stomach. His leash had snapped off while they were running.

It was sad. But they found the red car and were able to escape with ease. Last night, they stopped here for the night, had a fire and a light meal, and slept there. It was… peaceful.

Emil swallowed another bite when he heard a rustle in the bushes. Two zombies. One male, one female. Both wearing bloody, torn business professional suits. Sara's eyes widened, but Emil stood up.

"I got this, guys, no need to get worried about it," he said. The young man pulled out a pair of twin pistols and fired two bullets into their skulls. Emil chuckled, watching both of their bodies go down with blood decorating the ground floor.

Emil smiled, walking back to his group. But before he could go back to his lunch, Sara told him, "Wash your hands, Emil. Now." in an orderly voice, like a mom to her child when he got his hands in green paint.

Emil groaned. "Do I have to?"

Sara raised her brow at him, obviously not pleased with his questioning.

"Fine," he said, going to the car.

"The hand sanitizer is in the glove compartment," Sara called out.

Michele looked at his sister, "Seriously?"

"Someone has to be the mom figure," Sara told him.

"Yeah, sorry mom." Emil falsely apologized.

x0x

Mrs. Leroy slammed her middle-aged hand on the counter. She, her husband Mr. Leroy, JJ, their two younger children, and Isabella were back inside of their house after lunch. The two youngest children were back up in their room, being entertained by Isabella as Mrs. Leroy told her son, "There is no way you are going out there, JJ!"

Mr. Leroy nodded, "Yes, we know that your truck is out there, but we cannot risk losing you to the zombies!"

JJ stomped his feet lightly on the ground as he stared at the ceiling. "Mom, Dad, do you have any idea what would happen if someone found about this place? That's why Otabek and I have to get our things back!"

Meanwhile, Otabek was sitting outside of the Leroys' house on their front steps. He could hear the woman and her husband talk to their son firmly. Oddly, he could also hear the sounds of Yuuri and his mother talking as the young Japanese man hung the white sheet on the line. Otabek raised a brow. It reminded him of the times he and his own mother talked.

"Mama, what is that place?" Otabek asked, hanging onto his twenty-six-year-old mother's hand. The four-year-old saw some odd building in the distance and asked his mother about it.

The long, black haired woman looked at the place he was pointing at and answered, "Oh, that my sweet Otabek, that is the mausoleum of Aisha Bibi. It is said that if you visit the mausoleum on the day of your marriage, you and your love will long together and have a happy life. You will get married one day, won't you, Otabek?" she said looking at him with her sea-colored gems.

The boy looked at his mother and shook his head furiously as an answer.

Balziya Altin stroked his cheek and smiled. "Yes, get married for mama. Visit this mausoleum and live long and happy with your love for me."

Otabek sighed, looking down at the cement sidewalk as he connected his fingers together.

"Yo, asshole." Yuri's voice rang.

Otabek looked up, "Yes?"

"I've been thinking about this, and I thought: why do you stand up for me?" he asked.

"What do you mean?" Otabek inquired.

"You know, this morning when you asked JJ to stop doing whatever he was doing to upset me and when you told him to shut up when he suggested to call me Yuri-kitten," Yuri explained.

Otabek shook his head lightly.

"Why are you shaking your head? Just tell me!" Yuri demanded.

"The first I looked at you, I looked at your eyes and they reminded me of my mom, who also had blueish green eyes such as yours," Otabek explained.

Yuri raised a brow. "Um what, how does that explain you standing up for me?"

"If you met anyone with a pair of eye color that you liked, you would stand for them as well. I did that for my mom, and I can do the same for you, Yuri."

"So basically why you stand for me is that you see your mom in me? You have some… odd priorities don't you?" Yuri folded his arms as he inquired him.

"That's right," Otabek told him.

They both looked up when JJ came out of his house.

"What's up?" Otabek asked.

"My parents say we can go, if only if we had bodyguards," JJ said.

Yuri raised a brow. "Seriously?"

JJ smiled at Yuri, "Yeah, Lil' kitten! My dad said he'll talk to Celestino, and he'll set up a meeting to find out who's gonna go with us."

Yuri and Otabek looked at each other.

x0x

"Alright, alright, everyone settle down!" Celestino said as he was in the middle of the street, with the townspeople surrounding him in a big circle. The townspeople were asking what the hell was going on, especially Christophe.

"C'mon, Cialdini, let's get this over with, Minami is in the middle of learning how to use a pistol," Christophe demanded. The man was now wearing a dark blue shirt with ripped denim jeans and brown cowboy boots.

That statement made Mari raise a brow at him in complete wonder. Christophe raised his hands up, defending himself, "What?" he flatly said. "Kid asked me to, I see no harm in someone wanting to learn how to use a different weapon."

"It's true…" Minami added, looking down at the asphalt.

"That is enough from you, all of you!" Celestino's voice demanded. "Okay, you know why you are all here." He said, looking at all of the townspeople. "I'll get to the point; we need a group of brave people to accompany JJ and Otabek on their way to retrieve their vehicles. You know why."

"Oh, so basically you guys are looking for someone to play as bodyguards?" Christophe placed a hand on his hip, cocking an eyebrow as he questioned.

"Yes, Christophe," Celestino answered. He looked at the people again, "Any volunteers?"

There was some murmuring among the townspeople, but then Guang raised his hand. "I can go with them!"

Leo's eyes widened. "No, Guang you can't!" he said, touching his friend's left arm.

Guang looked at him, "Yes I can; I have murdered seventeen of those zombies before I came here! Someone taught me how to use this staff, you have to believe me!" the Chinese man told him, looking at his Mexican friend with large eyes.

Leo looked at him with the same eyes, and asked, "Who was this person? What did they look like? What happened to them?"

Meanwhile, Celestino asked, "Anyone else willing to? Christophe? Viktor? Obviously, you two have the most experience with weapons, so why not?" The bounty hunter and the assassin looked at Celestino as Viktor folded his arms.

"I would… but…" Viktor began, looking at Makkachin. "I have to take care of my dog," he said.

"I shall go, sir." Yakov offered, walking up to Celestino. "I still have my Thompson in my closet, so it should be no problem escorting these children to their vehicles."

Celestino nodded and called out, "It's Guang-Hong and Yakov, anyone else?"

"Meh, why not," Christophe stepped up. "I need to find more lotion anyway,"

Minami raised his hand up, "I'll go too! C'mon, after all, you're gonna need another person who can use a melee weapon, what if all the bullets run out?" he added.

"Alright, it is settled," Celestino stated, as Yakov left the circle back to the white house to collect his weapon. "Yakov, Christophe, Minami, and Guang-Hong shall be the protectors of JJ and Otabek on their journey."

Leo groaned, "You cannot be serious." The man shook his head and held his forehead in his hands.

Guang bit his lip, "It'll be okay… I promise." He told his community college friend before walking away.

x0x

"Hey, hey, Emil, take a look over there," Mickey asked, pointing his finger to a cluster of zombies at a steel shed. He was sitting right next to Emil in the passenger seat of the car.

"What's that?" Emil asked.

It was after lunch, and after talking about the strange civilization that Emil's drone caught on its camera, the group decided to locate it. Maybe they could find a nice place to stay for some time.

"A whole bunch of zombies, butthead," Seung-Gil told him.

"No, what are those zombies surrounding?" Emil corrected him.

Sara looked at the cluster, and she figured out what it was. "It looks like a truck," and then she saw a small bit of silver right next to it. "And a motorcycle?" she inquired.

"Now who would leave those two perfectly good trinkets right there?" Emil asked.

"Should we check?" Seung-Gil folded his arms.

"Hmm…" Emil hummed. He turned the car to the shed, making Michele jump.

"Emil!" Michele pointed his finger at the ceiling.

"What?" Emil said to him, as they were driving up the path to that shed. "Those are two perfectly okay things, if we can get those zombies away, we could find something." Emil stopped the car halfway.

"Hand me the flare that's in the glove compartment, please." He asked his friend.

"What are you going to do?" Mickey asked, with his arms now folded over his chest, looking at him.

"I'm gonna lure those zombies away with some light, okay baby?" Emil explained.

"Fine…" Mickey opened the glove compartment and pulled an orange paper cylinder from it. The cylinder was the flare. He handed it to Emil.

"Thank you," Emil thanked him and opened the car door. He walked out and whistled as hard as he could to get the undead fuckers' attention.

"YO!" Emil waved his arms to and fro at the zombies. The zombies turned around, some of them still biting their teeth as if they were biting into some meat.

"Over here, bitches!" Emil jumped. He activated the flare and chucked it far into the plain. The zombies growled, limping to the flare as Emil ran back into the car.

Emil chuckled, restarting the car. "It's so weird, some zombies eat brains, but these guys have none based on what we know right guys?" he said, turning to the back seat. "You think it's because they think if they eat some, they get their brains back?"

Seung-Gil shook his head. That made zero sense, so much, that even a complete dimwit would understand that.

However, when Emil stated the word think twice, Michele couldn't help but remember something that happened just many weeks ago.

x0x

Viktor chuckled in his throat, "My, I wasn't expecting you out here, Mr. Michele Crispino," the Russian Assassin narrowed his cold, blue gems at the younger man. "How was raisin? I suppose you didn't drop the soap did you?"

Michele growled, frowning right at him. "It's called 'prison'; besides, you're the fucker that got me put away, two months ago!"

"You two boys know each other?" asked Mrs. Katsuki.

Viktor flipped his hair, folding his arms out of irritation. "This is Michele Crispino from Italy; he's a spy and a brilliant one too. He has been known to steal information from various crime groups from all around the world, and sell that information to those groups' rivals for money. I was sent to assassinate him, right Yakov?" Viktor turned to his boss, who was standing by Christophe.

Yakov nodded. "Yes, I did. But you took pity on him, didn't you?"

"That is correct, so instead of shoving his face into some mechanical saw, I called Christophe and he arrested him," Viktor explained.

"The opposite of what I asked, Vitya," Yakov commented narrowing his own sea colored gems at him.

"Your death will be quick and simple, Nikiforov." Michele hissed as he was still pointing his twin Berettas at him. Sara, in a fit of panic, ran up to Michele and grabbed his arm, pleading with him, "Mickey, no! It doesn't have to be like this!"

"You should be thanking me, naivnyy," Viktor spoke to him as if Sara had not pleaded with her brother.

"Shut up!" Michele cried. He fired at least three shots at him from each gun, determined for him to die.

Yuuri screamed, waving his hands in complete panic.

"Wow, that guy has lungs!" Emil commented. He was looking out the left side of the car, in the back seat of it.

Phichit's eyes went wide as he covered his mouth in shock; Mari ordered Minami to get down quick. But before any of the bullets could reach Viktor, the man pulled out his special knife and deflected the bullets away to both sides, without them hurting anyone else and as if they were just small butterflies. Viktor's eyes exhibited zero soul, zero remorse as he looked at Michele.

Minami looked up and muttered "Cool…" he saw what Viktor did and was taken aback by it.

"Did you honestly think those little toys will be the ingredients to my downfall?" Viktor coolly inquired, as Sara's eyes were widened with terror. She griped at Michele.

"Foolish child," Viktor commented, his voice now turning just as hard as stone. He sent about five small knives at Michele, which made both him and his sister screech as they barely dodged. Seung-Gil's eyes widened, as he was looking through the back window of the red car.

Michele grunted, looking right at Nikiforov. "Just you wait, pretty boy, the streets will soon be painted with your fucking blood." he turned to his sister and told her, "Let's go." and the two siblings ran back into the car. Sara held her car door open just the slightest, wondering if anyone in that group had said anything about what happened.

Yuuri gasped, asking Viktor, "Um, how come you didn't go after him?"

Viktor smiled, "He should be glad he has siblings and had loving parents."

x0x

Michele gripped his fist on his pants. How dare Nikiforov call Michele a CHILD?

Whatever. The Russian asshole had stupid hair anyway.

x0x

It was about time to go, and the people were ready to give their goodbyes to the group that was going to leave. The Leroy family and Isabella were hugging JJ, with Isabella giving JJ a kiss on his cheek for good luck. JJ gave her a kiss on her forehead as a sign of thanks.

"Come back safe babe," she told her boyfriend.

"Stay beautiful," JJ answered, winking at her. JJ smiled. He patted his little brother Nathan on the head. Young Nathan smiled.

"Bye JJ, kick some zombie butt out there!" he cheered.

"Will do, kid." He said. Young Nathan ran up to Otabek, who was wiping his tonfa on his pants.

"You too, Otabek!" he told him. Otabek gave the kid a pat on his back, as a sign of thanks. He walked to the gate, where Yuri had his arms folded as had his back against it.

"You're ready to go aren't you?" Yuri looked at Otabek.

"Yeah, kid. I'm surprised you didn't say anything, did you?"

"Yeah, because I'll be basking in a hot shower soon," Yuri said, walking away from him as he waved. It was when Yakov stopped Yuri in his tracks, looking at him with his usual frowning face.

"I've heard about what the people have been calling you; I prefer to call you… Yura." The old man pointed at the boy's chest with his right pointer finger, as he held onto his Thompson in his left.

"I take it you already said goodbye to your employee?" Yuri referred to Viktor, who was giving Christophe good luck on his journey. The pig was standing next to the assassin. He was giving to good luck to the chicken nugget as well.

"Yes, young man, I even told him to keep his pooch away from my room," Yakov walked away.

The bounty hunter smiled, looking at Yuuri. "I'm gonna miss you too, Yuuri." He said, hugging him. Viktor was okay with him hugging his Yuuri, but if things got too far, then… Viktor would have to pull out his knife collection on him.

Minami was skipping happily, running to the gate with his sword in hand.

The boy giggled, passing by Yuri. "Bye, Yuri-kitten!"

Yuri wasn't even mad at that point at all. He was kind of expecting it from him.

Leo took his friend's hand and stared at him with warm eyes. "Now, once you come back, you're gonna tell me who you lived with… okay, pollito?" he asked Guang.

Guang nodded yes. "I will."

"Alright then." Leo nodded. In just one second, he gave the Chinese boy a kiss on his lips. "Goodbye."

Chapter Text

The six men were walking down the road in a round throng. They were just a mile away from Ciao-Town, when JJ asked Guang-Hong, “Hey kid, can I ask you something?”
Guang-Hong tensed up and looked at JJ, “What is it?” he answered.

“How did you meet Leo?” JJ asked him. “We know where you met him, but how?”

That was when Guang-Hong heard the interested purr from Christophe, “Oh, this I’d like to hear!”

Yakov shook his head, looking like as if he wanted to roll his eyes.

“Zombie!” Minami cried out, pointing to one that was in the distance. It was a former teenage girl with messy brown hair while wearing a dirty gray and white striped nightgown. She had a large bite on her arm as if some large zombie bit into her.

The five older men would’ve pointed their weapons at her, but Minami laughed, pulling out his katana. “I got this!” he ran up to the zombified teen and shoved his sword right through her collarbone. Minami’s eyes wandered down to his chest, where there just two small stains right on his black shirt.

“Oops,” Minami chuckled, rubbing the back of his head. “Guess it got a little messy here.”

JJ shook his head, “Whatever. You mind telling us, Guang?” he asked as they were still walking.

“Well… I was starting my sophomore year in college…” Guang began. “I was running through the building on my first day and I bumped into Leo. Um, we both apologized to each other and I told that I was looking for class A-135, a history classroom, and he said he had the same class as I, and offered to help me there. I was reluctant at first, but he showed me his schedule showing that it was true and we ended sitting next to each other in class. After class, I asked him what his name was, and he told me what his name was and I told him mine and I told him thank you for guiding me there.”

Christophe awed. “Nice…” the bounty hunter chuckled.

Guang-Hong sighed, “Yeah,” as he looked at his staff poking at the ground. “Um, by the way, how did you become a bounty hunter? JJ told me before we left.”

“Wh-what?” Christophe placed a hand on his chest. “Whatever do you mean?”

JJ made a ‘tch’ sound, “Dude, it’s my job to tell the newcomers about the people in the community, Christophe, alright?”

Christophe pouted, “Foo…” folding his arms.

Guang-Hong made a light smile. “C’mon, I’m sure you can tell us the story.”

Minami commented, “It’s true, he told me and Phichit-san once, I wouldn’t mind hearing it again!”

“Yes, delight us, Christophe…” Yakov commented though he might’ve sounded sarcastic about it. “We’re dying to hear.”

“Well, if you guys don’t mind.” Christophe rubbed his head. “Well, back when I was a kid, I had an uncle who was a bounty hunter. He caught a lot of bad CEOs and politicians in his career. I told him I wanted to be a bounty hunter too, and since he never had any kids or even got married, he passed his skills onto me; soon I caught some criminals, gave them to headquarters, and soon I was swimming in millions right after. Good times… very good times…”

Yakov theorized that wasn’t what Chris meant only by ‘good times’. Like Viktor, Chris probably did some very sultry things while on his missions.

The car appeared behind the truck and motorcycle, with Emil coming out of the driver’s side. There were some zombified torsos hanging within the shed, but that didn’t keep Mickey from coming out. He looked at the truck with Emil, but couldn’t help but look inside the shed. He wanted to see what was in it. The young Italian man looked above and saw some cut off body parts, legs, arms, and even one torso hooked on the ceiling.

Mickey swallowed. He flinched only once when he stepped onto something very red and very soft. Undead remains.

Mickey almost barfed, looking away from what he stepped in. He had killed some zombies with his guns and kicked them in the face with his boots, but never stepped into one. He looked at the left corner of the room. Michele narrowed his eyes at it and he gasped. He shook his hands before him as if he were denying something being told to him.
It was a circular saw. Michele shook his head, letting the flashbulb memory of his almost death reign over his mind.

Michele grunted as a boot pushed him to a wooden table. Michele gasped when he saw a circular contraption right in front of his face. Michele realized it was a circular saw. What the? What was going to happen? His purple eyes shrunk when he saw his attacker turn it on. How? By stomping his boot on the button by it.

OH SHIT!

Michele felt his heart explode as the saw spun around and around quicker than his house dryer. The man grimaced and cried out as the boot urged him to go further. Michele sweated, screaming at the top of his lungs. His attacker did not seem to be affected by it, as Viktor remained perfectly emotionless. His eyes were the perfect shade of dark blue.
But then, there was the sound of a phone chiming. Viktor looked at it and saw it was coming from Mickey’s pocket. He stopped the saw for a short second and picked the phone up. Michele muttered, “What the?” he looked behind, but Viktor placed his hand on his cheek, keeping him from looking.

Viktor was looking at his phone! What the fuck was this guy?

Michele felt like if the seconds had sounds, then they would sound like loud thunderclaps. This was becoming too dramatic for him. Then, Michele cried out, as Viktor dragged him away from the saw. Viktor shoved him to the floor.

Michele spitted, asking Viktor viciously, “What the fuck are you doing?” But Viktor did not respond, shoving his foot on Michele’s chest. It was as if Viktor was telling him to be quiet. Viktor tossed the younger man’s phone back to him. It fell to the floor, just an inch away from Michele’s ear. Michele looked at the phone and his hand went for it. He looked up at Viktor and saw that the man was dialing some number on his own.

What?

Michele, wondering what made Viktor do this, picked up his own phone and saw the text messages.

The message was from Emil. Sara was in the hospital. Sara was practicing an Axel, but when she took off she landed on her ankle and bruised it.

Michele’s eyes widen, but he gasped when he heard Viktor speak for the first time.

“Hey, Chris… You might not believe what I found for you. Can you come over here and take him into custody?” There was a small pause. “Good. I’m in the brick building between 5th and Ivy Avenue. Bye.” Viktor tapped the screen on his phone and ended the call.

“THE FUCK????” Michele screeched at him.

The assassin narrowed his eyes at him and grabbed his neck. Viktor told Michele in a very, unsettling but soothing voice. “It’s not polite to yell or swear.”
Michele began to choke, not liking how this guy was touching him. Michele’s purple gems gazed and he swore he did not like the smile on this man’s face. It was twisted as if some monster was smiling at him before eating him alive.

Viktor let him go, but he wasn’t done with him yet.

Michele didn’t understand what happened next, but he swore he felt something metallic on his wrists in a few minutes. He also felt something black fall over his head, as if to block his sight.

“C’mon, bub, we’re going for a ride.” purred a Swiss accent into his ear. Michele struggled, but it was no use, he felt the same boot on his chest push him away.

Michele cried out. The next two things he knew: he was in a car trunk and that he wanted revenge off Viktor.

So badly.

“Mickey?” Like information in the brain, Emil’s voice retrieved him and brought him back to the real world.

“Wh-what?” Mickey asked his Czech bud.

“Just let it go. That’s all in the past; it doesn’t matter anymore.” Emil told Mickey; it’s like he saw the other man flinch when he saw that contraption.

“He could’ve killed me, Emil.” Mickey stated, looking at his friend’s eyes.

The Czech man sighed, rubbing his hair with his right hand. “It may seem like its hard now, but you’ll get over it, I swear.” Emil told him. “It’s not like Nikiforov had a happy life either.”

“Yeah... maybe.” Mickey said, though he couldn’t even imagine what life Nikiforov had before he was a professional murderer.

While this happened, Seung-Gil looked at the motorcycle and saw a long envelope just near the handlebars. He grabbed it and opened it up. The Korean kid’s eyes lit up. “Hey, look! Pictures…” Seung-Gil said, pulling out two white squares in his hands.

Sara was by the door, eyeing the zombies that were still around that flare. Sara could tell it would die out soon, so they had to make this quick.

“Let me see,” Emil said, taking the first picture. Emil blinked. The man scratched the side of his beard at an almost high speed.

“What up?” Seung-Gil said, curious. Though he didn’t know much, he sensed that Emil had something in his mind. He could always tell whenever someone had something on their mind. He learned that after various shopping trips with his mom when he was younger.

“Holy crap…” Emil began.

“What? What the hell is it?” Mickey asked, looking at the photos.

“HOT CRAP!” Mickey cried, throwing his fist down. He snatched the picture out of Emil’s hands. Mickey panted once, saying, “Nikiforov!”

Sara walked to her brother’s side. “What? What about Nikiforov?” she asked, touching her brother’s arm.

“We know there’s civilization out there, but what if these pictures come from the same place? That could mean Nikiforov is right there as well!” Mickey cried.

“So?” Seung-Gil said, putting a hand on his hip.

“So? Dude, we can’t go there! He could kill us like he almost killed me!” Mickey answered viciously.

“Hey, hey… Mickey… please.” Emil placed both hands on his shoulders. “It’s not just Nikiforov who’s in this picture, okay? From the looks of it,” Emil looked at the picture, “looks like the group he was with came to that place too.” Emil took the photo with both hands. “Wait… I know this guy! The guy in the middle… I had him as a classmate back in college! I didn’t get a good look at him, but it makes so much sense now; he’s the one that screamed.” Sara was behind Michele’s back, looking at the picture in wonder.

“Wait, what are they doing with him?” the girl asked. She saw how the two guys on the sides were ferociously hugging Yuuri.

Michele saw how Viktor had his head nuzzled into the younger man’s chest, and he asked Emil, “Quick, what’s the pig’s fucking name?”

“Mickey!” Sara cried out of irritation.

Michele ignored his sister.

“I think his name is Yuuri Katsu…uuuki.” Emil answered. He looked at Mickey with his blue gems. “What are you planning?” he inquired. Deep down, he could tell Mickey was thinking up a way to back at the Russian murderer.

However, before Emil could get an answer, he heard Sara order, “Um guys, look!” The three young adult men looked at her.

Sara pointed to the horizon. “There’s other people!”

Mickey and Emil pulled out their twin guns and pointed to the wave of people that just arrived.

There were six males in front of them, as Seung-Gil and Sara backed away.

Two were holding guns.

One was holding police batons.

One was holding a sword.

One was holding a staff.

And the last was an old man with a larger gun.

The one with the Glock 18 demanded, “Who are you people? Best make that answer quick, because the man with the large gun is in a bad mood.”

The old man said, “True, I just ruined my best shirt fighting off about seven of those undead creatures before coming here.” There was a large blood stain on the man’s shirt, going from the right shoulder to the right side of his waist.

“Not before you guys,” Emil asked. “Who are you guys, where did you come from?”

JJ eyed the picture and envelope that was on the floor. “Hm… I see you guys got acquainted with the pics.”

Minami looked at Michele and pointed his sword at him. “Hey, I’ve seen you; you were that guy who tried to shoot someone we know.”

Yakov turned his eyes to Michele. “Yes, Mr. Crispino. How are you? Have you been stealing photos of people’s ex-spouses still? Of course you haven—“

“Shut the hell up, old man!” Mickey interrupted, holding his guns at him.

Yakov punched Michele.

Sara gasped, “Sir!” she cried out at Yakov. Yakov narrowed his eyes at her, “Young lady, he should know not to arouse an elder’s anger. I know you are trying to speak up for him, but he shouldn’t have addressed me in that manner!”

It was this time, Minami turned around. He saw a cluster of the undead walk around in the plain, but he quickly caught something else in his eyes.
“Um, guys, someone’s coming!” Minami cried, turning back around and pointing at something in the distance.

Yakov was the first to respond. He turned around. The old man’s eyes blinked and he pointed his Thompson at a Black Cadillac Escalade that was by the gate. Wait, they didn’t see that while they coming here. Where did that come from?

The bounty hunter rubbed his blonde hair out of stress, “Oh shit, it’s the people who own this shed!” as Guang-Hong held his staff up and twirled it, ready for a fight.
“Hands up in the air and no one move!” cried a teenage boy’s voice.

“Great, what a way to jinx all of us!” Seung-Gil commented to Chris. Seung-Gil swatted the bounty hunter’s arm out of annoyance.

“Who are you?” Sara demanded as she saw a pair of male triplets right before them. Each of the triplets was wearing plain black baseball caps, black hoodies, beige pants and black boots. The only difference between them was that they were wearing different colored shirts.

“My brother said no one move, little miss,” said the triplet in the middle, wearing a green shirt. His brother on the left and his brother on the right were holding 9mm Heckler & Koch MP5s in their hands.

“Knees down, NOW!” ordered the triplet on the left. He was wearing a red shirt and appeared to be eldest of the boys. He did not look very happy however.

Yakov was defiant. There was no way he was going to be ordered around by some teenager. Just because someone had a gun did not mean they were the rulers of the world.

“Everyone, get to your vehicles, now! Even you Mr. Crispino and company! It doesn’t matter where, just run!” Yakov ordered.

Otabek grabbed Guang-Hong’s hand, rushing him to his motorcycle so they could get away. Minami picked up the envelope and pictures, as JJ opened up the truck for him to get in.
Otabek rode down the path with Guang-Hong behind him, past the three boys. The first triplet was obviously not happy, and fired one shot at the passing vehicle. Otabek dipped to the side slightly, dodging the bullet. Guang cried out, covering his head. The first triplet ran after them firing at them.

The triplet on the right fired at the red car, hoping to hit one of the tires. One almost hit Sara, making the young woman scream out of terror.

“Sara!” Michele cried, opening the driver door.

“I’m fine!” she cried. She sat inside, but a bullet pierced the door window. She closed the door and covered her head as she curled up. Seung-Gil did the same, looking at the window behind him. He noticed the right triplet. He was wearing a blue shirt, but the strangest thing he saw was his eyes. They were brown, but soulless. It was as if he was born with his eyes that way. Wait, there was something else that made him different from his brothers, the green shirted triplet was wearing a small, dream catcher necklace. Why?

Minami was in the backseat of the truck, as Christophe was next to him. Yakov was next to JJ as he started the truck.

“Start it now, child!” Yakov demanded.

“I am!” JJ cried at him.

JJ found himself looking back, but his narrowed when the third triplet shot his truck’s side mirror. JJ screamed at that triplet to eat crap, as the middle triplet went after Michele’s car. The truck went away like the other two vehicles, with its attacker behind them.

x0x

“Yo, hitman’s boyfriend, where’s the goddamn bathroom?” asked Yuri as he walked into the living room where Yuuri was. Yuuri was lying on the couch, reading an old computer book. He looked up to Yuri and quickly the young man’s eyes widened with horror. Yuuri gasped, pointing at Yuri; the kid was wearing only his underwear.

“Are you naked?” Yuuri stammered.

Yuri shrugged. “No duh. My clothes are back in mine and the nugget’s room, so? Where’s the dang bathroom? I want to take a hot shower.”

“Y-Yeah, b-b-b-but—“ Yuuri tried to make out the words, but Yuri beat him.

“C’mon, you and the assassin are boyfriends, didn’t you guys already bang by now? You should be okay with seeing someone naked by now.” Yuri asked, holding his hands up.

“H-Hey!” Yuuri blushed madly. “That’s none of your concern! Besides, you’re too young to be even thinking about that, kid!”

“So you two did do it, didn’t you?” Yuri inquired with a crazed smile.

“Will you just take you damn shower already?” Yuuri snapped at him.

Yuri put his hands in front of the older male. “Hey. Just asking. No need to get fussy over it. Now where is the bathroom?”

“On the right next to Christophe’s room. There’s a closet right in front of it, you can pick any towel you want,” Yuuri explained.

“Oh why thank you.” Yuri said, thrusting his hips a little. Yuri walked away.

Yuuri went back to his book. The young man sighed. But even if he stared intently at the Excel symbol on the paper, he couldn’t help but think.

About the time he and Viktor made love.

For the very first time.

“Vi…vi…viktor…” Yuuri moaned, as their shadows danced through the motel room windows.

But that also brought another thought, Yuuri’s eyes lightly shook.

His first kiss with Phichit.

x0x

“Yes!!” Yuri laughed as he was standing in the middle of the showered. His back was being kissed by the water’s sweet warm touches. He squeezed a pink bottle of shampoo into his hand and plastered it onto his head, smiling.

If only his grandfather was still here. He would’ve loved to see his grandchild so happy. If he was not bitten a month and a half ago.
Oh.

Grandpa…

Rest well, Yuri thought.

Chapter Text

"God damn it! They fucking got away!" cried the eldest triplet, as all three vehicles had fled. Casey Wolfgrick took his cap and slammed it into the ground. His brothers were standing behind him, with his first younger brother placing a hand on his hip.

"What do you think we should do now?" Oscar Wolfgrick asked.

Casey looked at this brother. "Duh, go after them! The Ringleader would be pissed to find out some dumbasses opened the shed and would love to do things with them…"

Oscar rolled his eyes and for a short second, felt defiant. But he knew how his older brother was. He followed Casey back to the Cadillac with their younger brother Ian following them.

"Then what about the batch that poured out?" Oscar asked, opening the door to the passenger seat.

"Get 'em later… or maybe nab a couple while on the road. The Ringleader wouldn't mind."

x0x

JJ slammed his hand onto the radio. "That little imp!" he cried. It startled Minami a little, his eyes elevating.

Yakov was looking at the road, when he lightly chastised him. "Young man that is no reason to be upset."

"Yeah, b-but, it's my truck!" JJ answered. "How would you feel if someone shot your vehicle?"

Yakov pinched the bridge of his nose. "I have been shot at many times before; if you are like me, you wouldn't feel anything at all after a while."

"What are we going to do about those guys?" Christophe asked, his thumb directed at the red car behind them with Minami looking. "Honestly, if you ask me, I think two new survivors a day is enough! Like obviously, can you imagine if Crispino and Viktor met again?"

JJ threw his head back on the head rest. He wanted to know, "Okay, what's the big deal between Viktor and the guy we bumped into?"

Yakov told him the story.

JJ placed his left hand on his lap, watching the red flap of Guang-Hong's poncho billow the wind. The boy had his staff in his lap, his right hand grabbing onto it as he had his cheek on Otabek's back.

"Why did you send Viktor after Michele then?" JJ asked.

Yakov told him that Michele found pornographic photos of his ex-wife Lilia; where Michele found those photos or how they were taken without Lilia's, or anyone else's knowledge, was unknown. Michele was going to give them to a Mafioso somewhere in Michigan; Yakov was rivals with that Mafioso and he sent Viktor to kill Michele before he could give those pictures to him.

"Damn." JJ said as a reaction. "So basically, those photos were probably for blackmail?" JJ asked the old man.

"Yes, a very good chance." Yakov sighed, watching two zombies chew on a deer as they drove past it.

"Ew…" Minami muttered. Though it was unknown if it was for the blackmail part, or that those zombies eating that poor animal.

"Whatever happened to your ex? Did she survive?" JJ asked.

Yakov placed a hand over his mouth. "We were in Ireland and before we left for the States, I got a phone call from her: she said that she was staying in London, and after that, I lost all contact with her. Even if she does survive there and manages to reach the States, I'll never see her again is what I've concluded."

JJ shook his head. "I'm so sorry, sir." The young man said. He patted the old man's shoulder. "I'm sure you two were great friends still." He told him.

"True, young man." Yakov said.

"Wow…" Christophe commented.

"I feel the same way." Minami agreed with the bounty hunter.

JJ made a small cry, seeing Otabek make a turn into a road that no had seen. There were a few of the zombies, about eleven on the horizon. JJ did the same as Otabek, turning his vehicle. The turn made the two passengers in the back seat collide into each other, Christophe falling into Minami's shoulder. Minami was shocked, his katana almost flying out of his hand.

JJ was following Otabek now, but Minami questioned, "Hey are they gonna follow us?" as he pointed to the folks behind them.

"Shit." The Canadian cursed. JJ turned to Minami. "Don't know, bud. Don't know." JJ rubbed his face. His hand went for the walkie-talkie that was on the seat. "I need to check in with my mom. I need to let her know that I'm okay, well… that we're all okay." JJ corrected himself, referring to everyone that was in the truck.

JJ spoke into the device. "Mom?"

x0x

Michele was rubbing his nose, looking at Emil. Damn, for someone who was over the hill, they knew how to pack a punch. Michele could tell that at least one part of his nose was damaged. "I don't suppose you want me to let go of this, right?" he told him.

Emil's brows elevated as they knitted together. He looked at the truck and when he saw they were being pointed at, Emil could tell that they were talking about them.

"Tch, I have no idea." Emil answered, as Seung-Gil rubbed his arms.

Sara pointed to the horizon. "Zombies!"

Emil pulled his guns out and opened the car window. He fired two bullets from each gun, sending one into a zombified construction worker's shoulder, two into farmer one's bitten neck, and another into a chubby motorcyclist's stomach.

"Hell," Emil swore, closing the window and looking at his guns. "We're gonna have to stock up on bullets sometime. I don't think we have much left in the trunk either."

Seung-Gil looked behind and saw that the Black Cadillac was moving up to them. "Aw shit, those guys are coming after us, now."

"Oh my god," Sara muttered. She was scared. What if these guys captured them? What would they do to them? She hoped they wouldn't feed them to the zombies! Emil groaned, looking at his guns. He had just used up four bullets by now! Though two came from each gun, Emil knew he had to use them sparingly.

x0x

Yuri looked down at his stomach as he turned off the water. He was completed with his hot shower, as he smoothed his hands over his kidneys. He would be sure to enjoy another one later this week. After drying his legs and thighs, placed his underwear on and wrapped his towel around hair so it would dry.

He walked into the living room, where Yuuri had his legs over Viktor's lap. Makkachin was over their laps as well, bobbing his tongue up and down.

Viktor took a good look at him and commented, "Where have you been?"

"Paris, France. No, taking a shower, where do you think I was?" Yuri wittingly answered.

There was a knock. It came from a door that Yuri didn't notice. It was located in the living room's bottom right corner. Yuuri got off from the couch, raising his arms up. "It's probably my mom," he said.

Yuuri opened the door and he smiled when he let his mother in. "Hi mom," he said.

Hiroko smiled, holding an orange box of laundry detergent in her arms.

"Hello Yuuri, how are you boys acting?" she greeted and inquired.

"Fine." Yuuri answered. "We were just talking about things." Hiroko looked at Viktor, who was looking right at her with his arms on the top of the couch.

"Viktor, have you been watching over my boy?" Hiroko asked the assassin as she placed a hand on her hip.

Yuuri groaned. "Mom… nothing's happened, no one's tried to hurt anyone here." Yuuri remembered what happened at lunch. "Well, not yet."

"Yes, he's right Mrs. Katsuki. I've been taking care of your son," Viktor answered. Yuri had a brow raised at that. That was when Hiroko turned to Yuri and asked him,

"And you young man, how has your first day here been like?" pointing at Yuri.

Yuri made an 'hmm' sound, looking at the woman. He realized he was partially naked and covered his underpants with his hands. "Um, pretty okay… I guess…" he gave a small smile, rubbing his blonde hair. There was something odd about this boy, Hiroko thought.

"Did you come here by yourself?" she asked.

Yuri raised a brow, "What do you mean?"

"Well, you're a young man in your mid-teens, you didn't come here with your mother or father?" Hiroko answered with a question.

"No, I've been on my own since the outbreak started." Yuri stated.

"Where are your parents?"

"Why the hell do you care?" Yuri stomped his foot lightly on the hardwood floor.

"Hey, my mom's just asking you an innocent question!" Yuuri said, shrugging. Yuri rubbed the bridge of his nose as Makkachin panted and whined. The poodle made a circle on the couch, sitting on his daddy's lap. Yuri sighed, patting his feet on the floor.

"Do you really want to know?" Yuri asked Hiroko.
Hiroko nodded.

"I…I… don't know, I think they're still in Russia. I came here to the States with my grandfather in January. My grandfather got bit… and… I had to mercy kill him. Happy?" Yuri admitted to the woman.

Hiroko put a hand to her chest. "Are you serious?" she asked him. "How was he bit?"

"It was a week into the outbreak, and I guess he went out to get something and someone attacked him; when I got up, he was bleeding from his neck, and I think he hurt my cat as well." Yuri explained which made Yuuri gasp. Makkachin whined as Viktor hugged him.

"What the…?"

"Yeah, I know." Yuri said. "He asked me to kill him, and I picked up the machete that on the counter and slashed his throat with it."

After that happened, Yuri spent the next whole week sitting inside of the bathtub, chin over his knees. He counted the tiles on the walls, chewed on his nails, made small braids in hair until that week was up. When it was, he found himself packing everything he could, clothes, food, matches, Band-Aids, into a small bag, and walked out the front door, weapon in hand. All there was left was Yuri's old school workbooks, the family's furniture, and Nikolai Plisetsky's decaying body.

Which ought to be covered in flies and other bugs by now, Yuri thought.

"Anyways, does it bother you that your son is dating a pro-murderer?" he asked Hiroko; meanwhile, Leo was standing outside of the house, with his hands on the banister of the back porch. He waited anxiously for Guang-Hong; the moment he saw him at college, he knew that the Chinese boy was perfect for him.

"Wh-what?" Hiroko stammered.

"Aren't you afraid that Viktor could take his anger out on Yuuri, knowing his job and ability?"

"Now listen here, I would never hurt Yuuri, got it?" Viktor told Yuri. Viktor placed his right leg on his left knee and looked at him. Yuri had his arms over his bare, cream-colored chest.

"Yeah…" Yuuri added. "He protects me. He always has before we reached here, right?" Yuri was probably just asking that because of what happened at lunch.

"Yes, even if I were to hurt Yuuri, I would drown myself in remorse for what I've done." Viktor said.

"Yes, no need to worry about that." Hiroko said.

Yuri shook his head. "Whatever, just saying." He said. Yuri walked away, taking off the towel and wrapping it around his waist.

x0x

Mrs. Leroy was reading a book on a green one person couch when she heard a voice speak. It was coming through the walkie-talkie as it was right next to her.

The woman snapped the book shut, placing it on her lap. She picked the device up and answered. "JJ? Are you okay, hon?" she asked, almost as if she was out of breath.

"Yeah mom." JJ answered. "How's Isabella? Nathan? Amy? Dad?"

"Everyone is fine, dear; what happened? Did you get into some trouble?" Mrs. Leroy asked.

JJ sighed, biting his lip. He was too scared to say it. "We found the cars, mom, and we're riding in them right now, we're all okay. No one's hurt."

Mrs. Leroy put a hand to her chest. "Good…"

JJ rubbed his head. "Yeah, um well… I think we should be back soon… bye mom, love you!" he said.

"Love you too!" Mrs. Leroy said, ending the call between them. Mr. Leroy appeared, holding a hedge trimmer in his hands. It was his turn to trim the trees by the fountain.

"What happened?" the man asked his wife.

"It was JJ. He said that they found the cars and are riding back home with them right now." she answered.

Mr. Leroy rubbed his head. "Thank god," he seriously did not feel like losing his eldest child right now.

"I know."

x0x

"Alright," Casey ordered Oscar, who was behind in the back seat. Oscar was loading up a crossbow that he had in front of the seat.

"Oscar, shoot the tires!" Casey ended.

Oscar, without a question, lifted the crossbow from under the seat and aimed it at the red car's right tire. He fired at it, sending one bolt in the middle of the row, just by the tire's middle crevice.

Seung-Gil almost bit his tongue off, feeling the car be delayed by the bolt that hit them. The Korean cursed, his arms grabbing onto Emil's seat. Emil glanced, and screamed in his throat. Michele gritted his teeth, driving the car past the road that Otabek and JJ drove down. Sara braced herself, watching her brother fuse the car windows with two zombies as they swerved off the highway. Emil covered his eyes. Michele, with cortisol rushing through his bloodstream, let go of the wheel as soon as the car was stopped. He butted his head against the car wheel, letting a long beep radiate through the air. The beep attracted some of the zombies, but Michele did not care.

"Damn it!" he cried. "Why the hell is this happening to us?" he demanded, screaming at the sky, as if God would answer his cry.

He looked at Emil, and before he could say anything to him, he heard Sara kick her shoe heel into a zombie's face.

"Back the heck off!" she cried, her black hair lightly touching the seat.

"Sara!" Michele cried. "Quick, get back!" he ordered, pulling out a gun.

Sara backed away as told. The zombie shoved its arm through the bullet hole, making it larger because of its force, hoping to tear into someone. Michele fired at the zombie's arm, causing black blood to erupt as well as the zombie's arm to fall onto the floor. It splattered all over the seat, and on Sara's shirt.

Sara didn't even cry out, she expected it after watching her brother play action video games for so many years.

Seung-Gil shut his eyes as Sara put her back on him. The zombie let out a gore filled cry, swishing its long, dirtied gray hair in the wind.

Emil grimaced, looking at the arm that was on the floor. "Oh god… we need to leave now!" he cried, as a zombie wearing a blue dress harshly tapped on the windshield.

"Seriously?" Seung-Gil cried.

"Yeah, seriously, c'mon, get out and get anything we might need from the trunk!" Michele ordered.

The four young adults raced out of the car, but the Cadillac was stopping right by them.

"Hands up!" Casey ordered as soon as he hopped out of the driver's seat. He was walking right up to them.

Michele was not going obey this kid. With one swing of his right fist, he pretended that Casey was Nikiforov and sent him to the ground.

x0x

Otabek stopped the bike in the middle of the road. Guang-Hong blinked, looking around their surroundings. There were about three buildings and a white water tower on their left. The first building looked a factory, painted white, with chipping paint. On the side it had "Meyer's Fruit Can Company" painted on the side with faded blue paint. The other two buildings looked like might've been just apartment buildings, nothing special about them, economy-wise.

"What do we do here?" Guang-Hong asked as Otabek took off his helmet to rub his head.

"Rest for now." Otabek answered.

Guang-Hong gripped his Bo staff tight. He could tell that Leo was getting worried about him right now. Damn, it would be nightfall once they came back. Guang-Hong climbed off the bike, around the same time JJ stopped his truck.

"Are you alright, Jean?" Otabek asked the Canadian as he stepped out.

"Yeah, we're okay." JJ said as the back doors opened, showing Minami and Christophe. Yakov came out as well, holding large gun over his shoulder.

They heard Michele scream, and a few gun shots just away from them. Guang-Hong held his staff up, Minami brandished his katana, and Christophe held his gun up.

"Guys, you know what: ya'll were right to ask those questions! About what are we going to do about those guys and if they're going to follow us back home!" JJ said referring to Christophe and Minami.

JJ pulled out his Glock, "What are we going to do about them, is the least we can do for them!" JJ ran.

"You fool!" Yakov cried out.

Guang-Hong saw a zombie wearing a camo-colored camisole and black shorts limp up to them. Guang-Hong shoved his staff through its skull.

x0x

Casey groaned rubbing his face after Michele punched him. Ian came to his rescue, by delivering a backward kick to Michele's gut, making the man collide with the car.

A zombie grabbed Seung-Gil, making him cry out. The Korean stepped on the zombie's foot, hoping to make it get away.

Sara picked up a stick and shoved it through the zombie's gray, mushy skull, killing it and sending it away from Seung-Gil.

Emil pleaded with Oscar, asking for him and his brothers to please leave them alone. Oscar pointed his Koch at him, shaking his head at him.

"Hey man, I try to be a peaceful person!" Emil said to him, but Oscar did not care. Oscar fired one bullet, not to hit Emil, but to startle him. He did, and Emil was sitting on his butt. Oscar placed his boot on Emil's chest, pointing his gun at him.

"No! Stop, please!" Emil cried and then he tried to preach to Oscar. "Is this really what you want? Have you not had the time to think about what you are doing?"

"Oh god, if you keep on talking like that, you'll look like a big jackass in front of everyone, jackass." Oscar insulted him. He pulled out a pair of handcuffs from his belt and latched them onto Emil's wrists.

"Emil!" Michele cried out, watching his friend get nabbed by this kid.

Ian pushed Michele back as if to tell him to not to intervene. Oscar dragged Emil by the arm, shooting two zombies that tried to get near the group. The top part of Emil was frozen still, his feet automatically moving on the ground.

"No one move!" JJ ordered, pointing his gun. He had run up to them.

Casey turned around to face him. He raised his brow at him. "Yeah, like silly little words will save your life! Put your gun down, it's not even strong enough to outlast mine."

"You think your large gun will stop me, but you're a coward, kid!" JJ snarled at him.

"Shut up!" Casey struggled to figure out a comeback. The boy's eyebrows were skyward, as his chest tightened a small bit.

"Oh I'm sorry, did it hurt your damn ego?" JJ falsely cooed, tilting his head left to right. "No, you're more of an Id, kid."

"JJ!" Christophe called out, running to the young Canadian's side. Minami ran to their side as well.

"Shit!" Casey swore through his teeth. He looked at Minami and his eyes lit up for a short second. Emil was still frozen in Oscar's grasp. Oscar was inspecting Emil up and down; he had already removed Emil's guns and had them wedged within his belt.

"Emil!" Sara cried to him. "You let him go!"

JJ saw how Casey was looking at Minami.

"Hey, what are you looking at him for? He's no one you can hurt!" JJ stated.

Casey kicked JJ in the crotch. It made JJ groan in pain, making Christophe forget about everything else and kneel to his side to help him.

"JJ!" Minami cried, holding his katana down. He didn't notice Casey tackle him, but Minami cried out when Casey had his knee on his crotch and his hands on the smaller boy's wrists. Minami's sword fell out his hand, landing in the middle of the road.

Guang-Hong, Yakov, and Otabek came running. When Guang-Hong saw Casey pin Minami to the ground in a very sultry manner, he couldn't help but drop his jaw in terror.

"No!" he cried out. Otabek grit his teeth, running to Minami's aid. But the young man was shot in his left shoulder, by Casey.

Minami didn't know what to do since his only line of defense was on the ground; Casey was able to let go of his hand and attack Otabek without Minami interfering. Otabek cried out, falling to the ground on one knee as he let go of his right baton and covered his wound with his right hand.

"You dirty son of a-!" Otabek cut himself short, grimacing at the ground.

Yakov let go of his Thompson, grabbing Otabek's shoulders in hopes of helping him. Otabek let go and saw large messy spot of red all over his hand.

No!

Oscar shoved Emil into the back of the Cadillac, as Michele cried out for him.

"MICKEY!" Emil cried. It was no use. Oscar pulled out a syringe and shoved into his neck. Emil felt drowsy in about two seconds, letting the drugs flow through his neck.

Seung-Gil gasped; Sara felt her heart beat rapidly.

"Let me go!" Minami cried at Casey. "You're not cool! You…" Minami struggled with the word. He swore in his life to never curse, ever. His mom told him that if he cursed, it would get him nowhere in life, but Minami had to do it; just once he would be done with swearing forever.

"What?" Casey hissed at him.

"Asshole!" Minami told him and spitting in his face once.

Casey slapped him across his young face. Minami didn't care however. He gritted his teeth and bit Casey's cheek.

The eldest triplet grabbed his neck and pulled out his own syringe, and stabbed it into Minami's neck. Minami was pulled into the darkness.

x0x

"You boys be careful now!" Hiroko asked, as she walked through the door.

"Will do, mom… bye…" Yuuri bid, holding the box of detergent in his hands. He was running low, and when he told his mom about it, she was glad to send one over to him.

Yuuri was thankful. The Japanese boy closed the door.

x0x

A leather moccasin stepped on a cluster of leaves, as a bayonet stabbed a zombie right in its temple.

There was a pant, and Minako rubbed her long hair. She turned around to the dead SUV that was right by the train tracks.

"It's okay girls, time to come out," she said.

Through the left passenger door, three girls popped out. They were holding some maps and bags, following their new guardian on their journey to survival.

Chapter Text

"Jean, no, damn it!" Christophe cried.

JJ groaned, putting his hands over his crotch. "I'm fine!" JJ grimaced, sucking air through his teeth. Fuck!

That was Chris realized something. Minami was missing from them. "Damn it!" Chris swore.

He saw Casey drag Minami away, and pointed his gun at him. He fired two shots at the eldest triplet and Casey got onto his knees, letting the two bullets almost touch his side. Casey fired at Chris, but the bounty hunter dodged, being right next to JJ. Chris ran up to Casey, delivering a kick to his left side, making him groan in pain.

"You dick!" Casey spit at him.

"You're a bigger one! You're the one who's taking my student!" Chris delivered a punch to him. That was right. Minami was learning how to become a marksman under Chris. Chris could still remember the time Minami asked him he could teach him how to use a gun.

Yuuri just told Chris to go bother Phichit instead, as he was walking around Ciao-Town by himself. That was when Minami walked up to him, asking if he could teach him how to use a gun. Chris asked how come, and Minami answered why.

Chris nodded, and it was their little secret, until what happened at the meeting in the middle of the street. Twice a week, they would spend an hour outside of the house with Chris teaching Minami how to use the gun properly, from aiming it and reloading it, fast. Minami was getting better with every try. How come Minami didn't have a gun with them right now? Chris and Minami figured that the trip wouldn't take too long, but they were wrong.

But Chris would try to make up for it, by saving Minami's life.

Casey touched his face, and saw blood on his hand. "Shit…" he cursed.

Chris chuckled darkly, "Don't worry, shit will look far handsome than you once I'm through!" he said. Chris delivered a kick to Casey's abdomen, making the boy fall back. Casey groaned, but the boy ran forward and pulled up Chris's pants and bit into his leg.

Chris groaned in pain. Ian came behind Chris, picking up a long stick. He twirled it around, throwing it up into the air and catching it in his hands. Ian smacked the back of Christophe's head with it, making him cry out in pain. Chris grabbed Ian's arm and planted him to the ground. Ian groaned. Chris grabbed him by the dreamcatcher necklace and demanded for Ian to get up and fight now! Ian slapped Chris across the face.

Chris fell on his butt, tearing the necklace from Ian's neck. The youngest triplet grabbed Minami and with the help of his brother Oscar, the three placed Minami by Emil. Minami was just as immobile as Emil. None of them were aware of what was happening. The triplets piled into the car and left. The bounty hunter's eyes went wide. Chris roared, aiming his gun and firing at the tires of the Cadillac. They only made a few cracks in the glass and couple of dents on the metal, nothing more. Chris ran after it, seeing red. Chris picked up a zombie's arm and threw it at the window. No effect. The arm fell to the ground like all of the other undead corpses. Mickey, Seung-Gil, and Sara were frozen stiff; they weren't able to do anything, other than watch their comrade and some other survivor be whisked away by these psychotic triplets.

"Mickey?" Sara called out. She called out again but there was no answer; even Seung-Gil looked worried about him.

Michele was gone.

Sara fell to her knees. No, first Emil, and now her brother.

x0x

Mari and Isabella were walking down the sidewalk, talking to each other. Nathan and Amy were going to play with a Frisbee outside with Mila, giving Isabella some time to herself. Ever since Mari came to Ciao-Town with her family, she bonded with Isabella, talking about things such as boys, jewelry, and their past lives to the point where Isabella was a friend to her. She couldn't remember that last time she spent time with another female, other than her mother.

When Isabella asked Mari about the time they lost their first van Mari answered, "Um, we spent the night outside of New Orleans, and when we woke up, Yuuri and the dog were missing."

Isabella looked shocked. "Oh my god…"

"Yeah, obviously my mom got worried, and she called out for Yuuri, and Viktor got worried for the dog, and we all decided to go find them."

"What happened after?" Isabella asked.

"Um, when we found Yuuri and Makkachin, we found someone else, but that person was already bitten," Mari said.

Isabella stared with large eyes. "Are you for real?"

Mari nodded. "Yeah, we were running down the streets of New Orleans; my mom called out for Yuuri as Viktor checked a bar to find Makkachin. My dad wondered where Yuuri could've gone; Viktor came out and whistled for the dog; Yakov told him that bringing that beast was a mistake but Viktor didn't care. We heard something in a corner on the right, and we went to go look; when we did, um, there was some guy asking Yuuri to help him, but he was bitten."

"Are you serious?" Isabella said.

Mari nodded. "Yeah, that was where Yuuri did his first murder."

"Please… please… help me…" begged a man with odd hair, looking at Yuuri with a desperate look on his face. Yuuri was backing away with wide eyes, shaking his head back and forth.

Mrs. Katsuki put a hand to her chest, looking at what was happening.

Chris and Viktor had their weapons pointed at the strange man, when they both looked at each other.

"Is that Georgi?" Chris asked Viktor with a curious tone in his voice.

"It is…" Viktor answered.

Mari looked at the two men, "You know him?"

"Yes, his name is Georgi Popovich, he is the underboss's bodyguard." Viktor answered; he and Chris looked at him, which made the man look back. The man gasped.

"Viktor, Christophe… you're here," Georgi smiled. He held his arms out, showing a sign that he was no harm to them. He had a pair of twin pistols in his belt, but they were both empty. "I'm so glad to see that both of you are alive."

"What happened here, Georgi?" Viktor asked him.

"I was here for the weekend with Anya, but when the virus hit, we were forced to stay here." He said. He began to tear up. "Anya got bit, and I had to end her." The man wept, burying his face in his hands.

Viktor took a step forward, feeling sorry for the man, but Makkachin growled. He barked, taking his owner by surprise.

"Makkachin!" Viktor chastised, Makkachin running. The dog stood in between them, barking at Georgi with contempt in his eyes. Georgi frowned at the dog.

"Bad boy, that's enough!" Viktor commanded and the dog stopped.

Mrs. Katsuki stepped in, asking Yuuri, "How did you come here?" in a concerned voice.

Yuuri swallowed. "I woke up to someone screaming, and I thought they needed help so I ran and the dog followed."

Mrs. Katuski swallowed, "And you left without telling anyone of us?"

Yuuri stammered, "I-I-I…" It was at the same point that Yakov walked up to Georgi and lifted up his shirt. There was a large bite-mark on his stomach.

Georgi gasped.

"Care to explain what happened here, Georgi?" Yakov demanded.

Georgi spitted it out. "I was lying on a bench and one of them bit me."

"Was that why you were asking that young man to help you? You thought he could help heal your wound?" Yakov inquired vehemently.

Georgi nodded. "I thought he might have some medicine on him, but—"

"Once you get bit there's no way you can get help!" Yuuri cried, he was face to face with him. "You're doomed!" he placed his head in his hands, crouching down. He muttered something quietly, "Just like Takeshi…"

"I see then…" Georgi looked down. "There is no hope for me." He picked up a steel shard from the ground and pointed it at his heart.

"Hey," Christophe grabbed the man's wrist. "It doesn't have to be like this."

Georgi hissed at him. "What else is there?" he pulled his hand away from him.

"If you ask me, it's-"Georgi started to cough, letting some black blood fall from his mouth. Chris backed away, and Yakov and Viktor followed suit.

Makkachin growled.

Georgi looked at the ground, which was covered in his blood. "What…?" he said.

"He's turning into one of them!" Minami cried out, pointing to him.

Mari made him put his hand down, telling him to not call out anyone out like that. She pulled him close, hoping he wouldn't see.

Georgi looked up. Chris and even Viktor looked scared. The man's eyes were starting to turn red when he looked up.

Georgi dropped the shard. He tried to speak but, most of his words were unintelligible. Yuuri whimpered; the Japanese kid shook.

"Georgi…?" Viktor asked, holding his hand out for his friend.

Georgi coughed again, letting out another ball of black blood fall from his tongue. It was very greasy looking and wet, and it made Phichit want to gag. He didn't want to imagine barfing blood himself. Georgi's eyes turned cream white, and his sclerae were pure red. He felt his heart pound.

Georgi was one of them now. Yuuri opened his mouth, but nothing came out.

"Yuuri, get back now!" Mr. Katsuki demanded as the whole group took two steps back. No effect. Yuuri was frozen. The now zombified Georgi took advantage of it, his fingers curling and his voice turning deep and scratchy. He turned to Yuuri, slowly, with extreme contempt in his eyes. Yuuri's brows went up as his eyes grew small.

With a small growl, Georgi reached his hand out for Yuuri, not for help, but for his flesh now. Georgi growled, throwing his arm at him. It snapped Yuuri out of his trance, making him step back twice. Yuuri found his back touching one of the stores' wooden pillars and fell.

"YUURI!" Mrs. Katsuki cried for her son. Yuuri felt the dirt from the ground collide with his pants, as his hand touched on a screwdriver. Yuuri looked at it for a short second, only to look back and see Georgi very close to him. Yuuri was the only person close to him, so he seemed to be the most reasonable human to go after. The man hunched over, but-

"GET AWAY!" Yuuri screamed. He shoved the screwdriver right into Georgi's forehead. The tip only went in, but it gave Yuuri enough time to kick Georgi down and pull the screwdriver out and shove it into a different part of his head. Blood emerged from Georgi's head, it splashing onto Yuuri's face.

"UGH!" Yuuri cried out. He kept his hand on Georgi's stomach, shoving the tool into his head for the third time.

Yuuri stabbed him for about six more times, his heart pumping rapidly. His legs were stiff in place, and his teeth were clenched. Blood covered part of his face from his ears to his blue-rimmed glasses. He lifted his head up, and wiped his face with his shirt sleeve, letting it be covered with blood. As soon as he noticed, Yuuri looked at it with disgust.

He looked at the group, and saw the utter shock on all of their faces. Even Viktor, who held his knife in front of his face, looked shocked.

"Oh god…" Isabella said, looking at the sidewalk.

"Yeah, Yuuri started to cry, and he ran to my mom for comfort. Once that was done, um, we hid in one of the hotels in the town and stayed here for the night." Mari explained.

"And then what happened?"

"In the morning, Yakov made it clear that if anyone heard anything anytime in the day, they should not go alone, and tell the group, and maybe send two or three people to investigate." Mari explained.

At that moment, Mila caught the frisbree thrown by Amy and fell, but laughed it off. This was the first time she ever had fun in such a while. Her boyfriend was devoured by the zombies, and she was taken in during the third week of the apocalypse.

"In the morning, um, Minami went to the balcony, and he heard something in the next room. Chris was sent to him to look, and they found two zombies chained to the bed in that room. You know what happened, and when we came out of that plaza, we found a red car nearby. A guy was taking gas from another car and putting it into theirs; then, the guy looked up, and he pulled out his guns and asked if we were infected or not."

His eyes landed on Viktor in one short second. Michele gasped in horrified shock and pointed his Berettas at him. "Assassino!"

Viktor chuckled in his throat, "My, I wasn't expecting you out here, Mr. Michele Crispino…"

x0x

Yakov set Otabek to the ground, tearing his scarf and then his sweater off. Yakov grimaced, seeing the bloodied hole on the Kazakh's shoulder. Otabek was sweating, not feeling comfortable obviously. Guang-Hong was watching, wondering if Otabek was going to be okay.

"Will he be alright?" the Chinese boy asked.

"Silence, I need silence right now." Yakov demanded. Yakov picked up Otabek's shoulder and felt nothing but pure skin on the back. Otabek stomped his heel, just not taking it.

"There seems to be no exit wound behind, we'll have to take him to one of the houses so he can recover." Yakov described. He looked at Guang-Hong. "Help me lift him into the first house, now."

Guang-Hong muttered, as he stepped behind Otabek's head. "Well… okay… b-but… if we're gonna take out the bullet, we should also get the wound cauterized."

"Exactly," Yakov said, picking up Otabek's legs. "Now, lift him!"

Guang-Hong crouched down and lifted Otabek's arms. Guang-Hong felt his arms. They were so hard and stiff, just as tough as stones on a large mountain. It made Guang-Hong's stomach grow warm. But then he realized something: the kiss Leo gave him before he left the town. Guang-Hong shook his head in his mind. No, the boy thought. He didn't know. He figured since Leo kissed him, it would be wrong to fantasize about someone else after that happened.

Otabek groaned, feeling extreme pain. He would be sure, once he got better and grabbed a gun from the armory back home, to get his revenge off that gunner.

Yakov burst opened the door to the first house, as Guang-Hong was behind him. He was holding onto Otabek on his arm, helping him stand.

"Alright, bring him in," Yakov said. Guang-Hong did so, as Yakov looked for a table in the room, it seemed to be a kitchen, given there was a white stove adjacent to him. The walls were sandy brown bricks, with white cement in between; there were a few pictures of chickens and cows on the walls, but other than that, it was no other humans inside.

Yakov found a table that was in front of a sink. It was dusty, with a silver bowl and at least two bloody handprints on it. Yakov swiped the bowl and some of the dust away and beckoned for the Chinese boy to place him there.

Otabek was placed there, and after that Yakov asked Guang-Hong, "Go around, see if you can find some bandages," he checked if the stove worked. A small blue flame appeared. Yakov snapped it off, "and maybe a fresher shirt because he cannot put his first one back on."

Guang-Hong nodded, licking his lips. "I'll try."

Yakov nodded. "Good."

The boy ran off.

Meanwhile, JJ was sitting in the middle of the street, holding his forehead in his right hand. The pain was gone, but the memories were still fresh in his mind. Chris groaned, and this time not from sexual activity. How was everyone back home going to react to this? Not only that, Christophe couldn't even imagine what those triplets were going to do with Minami once they brought him back to wherever they came from. Christophe stood up, brushing his pants off. Chris walked up to JJ, asking if he was alright.

JJ shook his head. "Nope," he said. He laid on the ground. "I think I'm gonna tell my mom what happened."

"How can you possibly do that?" Chris asked him.

JJ rose up. "Hey, I can't hold this back. I need to tell someone what happened, or else if we come back with a damaged car, Otabek injured, and that kid missing, it's gonna raise some serious questions, alright? Who knows what else might happen, right?"

Chris rubbed his hair. "Yeah, I suppose." He realized he was holding a dreamcatcher necklace in his hand. He must've take it from the kid!

"Alright," JJ sighed, getting up. "I'm gonna go to the truck and what I need to be done." He muttered before leaving.

Christophe parted his lips. He looked at where the red car was and Sara sitting on the car trunk with her face in her hands. Seung-Gil was sitting on the ground on his knees, scraping lines on the dirt. Christophe turned around. He noticed Minami's sword on the ground. Weird, those guys didn't bother to pick it up and take it with them. Chris picked it up and followed JJ.

Back where Yakov was tending to Otabek, Guang-Hong opened a closet door that was in green room. Guang-Hong made an uncertain noise, seeing there was a dead little girl with her arm bitten on. Her head was caved in, and she was covered in cobwebs. Oh damn. Someone must've killed her once she was bitten and left; probably by a babysitter or her grieving parents. The Chinese boy closed the closet, wanting to forget about what he just saw. The boy raced to a bathroom, and by his luck he found a roll of bandages sitting inside of the mirror chest. He ran back to Yakov, holding out what he found.

"Found some," he said. Yakov was standing in front of a stove, holding a small butterknife over it. Otabek was moaning. There was a bottle of vegetable oil, still good, by his head. Yakov had made him drink some.

Yakov nodded. "Good." He raced to Otabek and told him to please hold still.

Otabek nodded. With a hard sigh, Yakov dug the knife into the younger man's shoulder. Otabek moaned, feeling the bullet leave his body. Otabek gripped the table, his fingernails digging into the wood.

"It's almost out…" Yakov said, the bullet being scooped out by the knife. Guang-Hong tensed, feeling something awful in his stomach. When he took some air, he grimaced, smelling blood in the air.

"And there." Yakov said, taking it out. The bullet dropped to the floor. "It's out now, relax."

Guang-Hong wondered what they were going to do now. He theorized Otabek wouldn't be able to ride his bike since he was still hurting, so they would have to put him in the back for his safety. That brought him a thought about his bike. Maybe they could tie it to the truck's back and let it ride behind them.

Yakov found match by the stove, and lit it with the blue flame. He turned to Otabek. "Alright, this will hurt… but I guarantee it will be over before you know it." Yakov placed the match over the wound, cauterizing it.

Otabek cried out. Guang-Hong cried out, running to his side. He covered his mouth, hoping to muffle his screams of pure agony. A few screams erupted from in between his fingers, but as Chris entered, Yakov was done.

"There..." he said.

"What happened?" Chris asked them.

"He just saved Otabek's life." Guang-Hong answered.

"True…" Yakov said as he grabbed the bandages and wrapped them around Otabek's shoulder, just to keep it safer. He looked at the Chinese boy, "How did you know about cauterizing a wound?"

"I was studying to become a paramedic, when I read about it in a book in a library." Guang-Hong answered.

"Wise field of study."

JJ knocked and let himself in. "Hey…" he said. "I called and my dad picked up, I told him what happened."

"What did he say?" Yakov asked.

"Um, he went to Celestino and he said that he's gonna ask for us to discontinue looking for survivors." JJ answered.

Chris sighed. "Damn, did he say anything about Minami being taken?"

JJ nodded. "Shit… um, he says he wants us to report back ASAP. He passed the walkie-talkie back to my dad. I think he might want to arrange some sort of rescue mission for him."

Meanwhile, Sara tip toed up the steps, with Seung-Gil sitting at the bottom of them. She didn't know what to do. Maybe she could talk to these guys and maybe they would let them stay for a while at their base and figure something out.

"Excuse me…" Sara asked as her eyes were past the door.

"What is it?" Yakov snapped at her.

"Um, is it okay if my friend and I followed you back to your base?" she asked.

JJ and Chris looked at each other. JJ looked at her, "Well um, we told over walkie-talkie to discontinue looking for survivors."

"Only for a short while, please. My brother went missing and I don't know where he might be, and I wonder what he's doing right now too."

x0x

Michele knew what he was going to do: get revenge off that psycho-killer. Michele ran up to a wall, and figuring if he walked through the door, Nikiforov would see him. Michele couldn't have that. He wanted to surprise attack the man, just like he did to Michele back in Michigan. Damn it, Michele wasn't even doing anything, he was just delivering the package he had to a man there; when Nikiforov caught up to him, he didn't even give the Mafioso what he wanted. That memory made the Italian's blood boil.

He ran to the side of Ciao-Town, and saw a crevice in the wall.

Yuuri stepped out of the door walking to the clothesline. His attention was instead taken away by some banging sounds.

"What the?" Yuuri muttered. He raised a brow and saw it was coming from next to the house. It seemed to be coming from behind the wall. He walked to it, curious. Odd, a zombie banged on the wall hours ago, but not that hard.

Toshiya, who was on the porch, took notice and asked his son, "Yuuri, where are you doing?"

"N-Nothing dad, I'm just gonna go see something." he said.

Yuuri walked up to where the banging was occurring. He inspected closer and saw a medium sized crevice. It was blocked on the outside with some leaves. What the…? How did this happen? Someone must have left this part of the wall undone. They were lucky no zombies have tried to break through. Yuuri reached his hand out, and a tanned hand grabbed it.

Yuuri screamed, "HEEEELPPPPP!"

Toshiya's eyes widened when he heard his son scream. Viktor's eyes turned into dark blue. Both men ran to the Japanese male's rescue.

"Just shut up, you bitch!" Michele hissed.

Viktor recognized that voice. Michele Crispino.

"Mr. Crispino," The Russian assassin hissed. "I see you're still alive. Hands away from the boy!"

Michele hissed at Viktor. "Fucking Nikiforov!" he squeezed through the crevice, pointing a gun at Yuuri. Toshiya gasped.

"No one move! I'm getting my revenge off you, Nikiforov." Michele declared; he frowned.

Viktor growled, placing his hand to his knife. He felt his teeth grind, them wanting to tear into Michele's neck. No one goes near his boyfriend and gets away with it.

"Why should you be upset? It was Christophe who took you to the authorities, not I!"

"I just don't like you!" Michele cried at him. He tackled the assassin. Viktor pulled out his knife, crawled away started slashing at him.

x0x

Minami was sniffing, lying on his side. He was blind folded, with his hands handcuffed behind him. The boy struggled, hoping to get himself free, but it was no use. He was trapped. He kicked back, and felt another pair of legs behind him.

"Huh?" the boy muttered. He hoped it wasn't a zombie. He didn't have his sword with him!

Minami flinched, hearing something metallic open right before him. He tried to peek through the blindfold, but was met with: "Why hello there, boys. Welcome to Maverick!" said by a man with brown hair and blue eyes.

Minami whimpered through his open mouth.

Chapter Text

Minami was standing up. The cuffs were removed and he asked who the man was in his best English. It was the same that he used to talk to Yuri with.

“I am The Ringleader, and I am in charge of this town you are just a fence away from.” He said. Minami noticed a large, brown wooden face just right behind the man. He had a square jaw and beige, long sleeved, rolled up, shirt with a white one underneath, manila pants and brown combat boots. His hair slicked back, but wavy.

“Why do they call you The Ringleader?” Minami asked with a terrified tone. The man walked to Minami and touched his arm.

Minami flinched, swatting his arm away.

The Ringleader chastised him. “Hey, there’s no reason to be like that!”

“Of course there is!” Minami snapped at him. “Some crazy dudes tackled me, pinned me down, slapped me, and even put some weird drug in my body, and you tell me to not be like this!” Minami stole a glance from behind him and saw that Emil was still out cold.

The Ringleader chuckled. “Casey, Oscar, and Ian? They’re not bad boys, well maybe a bit antagonizing, but they reason why they’ve been doing that is because before this happened they were training to join the army after twelfth grade. The reason why they drugged you, if the army didn’t work, they would study to become doctors instead, so they never leave any knowledge go to waste.” He took Minami’s arm and made him walk with him.

“Why do they call you the Ringleader?” Minami asked.

The man looked at Minami intently, “Because of the cement ring that’s around us boy, which keeps us safe from the undead.” The Ringleader answered.
“Then what about that guy?” Minami asked, turning to Emil. “What if he wakes up?”

“I wouldn’t worry about him for a while; in a few hours he’ll be up. C’mon, we should get you to a doctor to make sure you’re not holding any illnesses or something.”

The doctor was a man in his mid-thirties, with copper hair and brown eyes. He smiled at Minami and took a good look at him. After that was done, The Ringleader showed Minami around. Maverick was half as large as Ciao-Town. It had a suburban neighborhood on the left, and a bunch of other places on the right. Minami knew they had to be a few regular houses behind them. Minami and the Ringleader walked through a large strip of grass that was in the middle of the highway. Minami looked up, and saw a lifeguard’s chair. He saw a brown wavy haired girl, holding a sniper rifle on her lap on it too. She looked to be about sixteen years old. She was donning on sunglasses, a green croptop with a longer shirt underneath and denim capri pants. Maybe she was a police officer’s daughter or something.

“This right here is basically the main center of Maverick. You can get anything you need right here, supplies, food, you name it, they’ll find it for you.” The man explained to Minami.

Minami hear some murmurs behind him and he figured that the residents were talking about him. The boy turned around and saw two people pointing at him and wondering where he came from.

“When can I leave?” Minami asked.

“Why? To go back there, where the dead can eat you?” the man answered.

“So I can go back to my real home!” Minami told him. Ciao-Town.

The Ringleader chuckled. “Your real home? You mean to tell me that there’s a whole different community out there other than this, kid?”

“Yes.” Minami told him.

“Well, let me cut you a deal kid, if you can tell me where you’re from, I’ll consider sending someone to let your folks know that you’re okay.” The man smiled at him. “For the meantime, you’re staying here. Casey! Send this boy to one of the buildings!” The Ringleader bellowed.

No! Minami thought. He felt someone grab his arm. Casey Wolfgrick. He was looking at the Japanese boy with serious eyes. Casey jerked him away and let him to his temporary home.

x0x
Otabek groaned, aiming to sit himself up on the table. He used his arm to support himself and in half a second, he was sitting up. Chris was sitting on another chair backwards with his arms on the back when he noticed. “You feelin’ alright?” the bounty hunter asked.

“What time is it?” the Kazakh asked.

“Don’t know… probably past one by now.” Chris said. Ever since all clocks had been put out of service, people had to rely on sun dials to tell time.

“Here.” Guang-Hong said, holding up a large, blue shirt in his hands to Otabek.

“What’s it for?” Otabek asked.

“You’re still shirtless.” Guang-Hong pointed out.

Otabek covered his chest with his right arm. “Damn it…”

“Yeah,” Chris snorted. “That’s kinda the best thing about operating on someone, well, as long as their body is luscious and hard like yours.” It was true. Otabek had a six pack so hard that they made the Kazakh look like a battle-hardened warrior.

“Be quiet, Christophe…” Otabek muttered. He whipped the shirt in the air and placed it on.

“Where’s everyone else?” he asked, his chest now covered.

Guang-Hong looked at the living room, and said, “There...”

Sara was talking to Yakov on a couch; Seung-Gil was looking at the pictures that were left behind. JJ had taken the liberty of collecting some things from the house, blankets, pillows, sheets, since they were going to have even a few more people move into the community for a while at least. He was outside right now placing them in the back of his truck.

“You’re sitting up,” Yakov turned to Otabek. “How are you feeling?”

“Shit obviously.” Otabek said monotonously.

“No need for that tongue, young man.” Yakov warned him. He walked up to him. He turned to the group, “Now I hope everyone is ready. We are bound to return back home.”

The bike was tied tightly to the truck’s back by the time the group was in it. The batons were picked back up by Chris and were given back Otabek. Otabek thanked him as he nodded.

JJ and Yakov were in the front, Sara was on the right, Otabek was in the middle, and Christophe was on the left. Seung-Gil agreed to ride in the back. Guang-Hong was right by him, holding onto his staff as they sat on some of the pillows and sheets.

As the truck moved and the passengers rocked inside, Otabek looked down. Damn… this wasn’t supposed to happen to him. He was the heir to his mother’s mob. Now, somewhere inside, he felt like he let his mother down. Otabek touched his beaten shoulder. It would take weeks for it to heal. He could still remember the time his mother asked him to leave when the undead stormed into their base in New York.

“Otabek… please run, run far away.” Balziya demanded her son, holding his arms in her hands.

“Mum, I-I-I—“ Otabek was stunned. He couldn’t leave his mother. They were standing on the right of the warehouse, just behind some crates. Otabek and Balziya could hear men scream and cry as well as the sounds of zombies tearing into them.

“Go!!” Balziya demanded. He turned her son around. “Just get on your bike and leave. Even if there are people out there, don’t stop. Just get somewhere very far away. Please.”
Otabek asked her one last question, “Will I ever see you again?”

Balziya bit her lip. “If the heavens allow it… we will see each other again.”

Ever since that night, Otabek rode out of New York, on the bike that he purchased himself before the apocalypse. He rode all night, all day, and all night again. He never stopped for anything, only for gas. He thought some people tried to ask him questions or tried to flag him down, but he didn’t stop for them, just like his mother asked. He realized why his mother asked him to not. So things like this wouldn’t happen.

Shit. But it did.

Otabek rubbed his head. So many thoughts were racing through his mind about his mother. That his mother was killed after he left; someone bad took her; her body was being used for nefarious purposes.

Guang-Hong attempted to make small talk with Seung-Gil, but the Korean tuned him out.

x0x
Michele dodged Viktor’s knife and sent his fist to his face, hitting Viktor in the nose. Viktor cried out, dropping the knife. He then punched the Italian in the eye after. Toshiya and Yuuri ran. Meanwhile, Nathan, Amy, and Mila were standing shocked; they stopped their game to watch what was happening. Mila ordered the children to run back home quick. She didn’t want them to see this, or risk them getting hurt if either one of the men came closer and accidentally hurt them with their weapons. The Leroy children obliged running back to their house.

“I let you go because I felt sorry for you! How many times do I have to repeat that?” Viktor demanded, touching his nose. Damn it, out of all of the times he didn’t have his other knives, it had to be right now. He could feel blood dripping from his nose. There was no matter however, after fifteen, long years of combat training, Viktor could defeat Michele at his own game, or at least come out with minimal wounds.

“Asshole!” Michele hissed. He fired gun at him. Viktor dodged, grabbed it, and kicked it out of his hand. The gun fell to the ground but Michele pulled out his other, pointing it at Nikiforov.

Viktor chuckled, “Dear Mr. Crispino—“

“Enough shit!” Michele cried.

Viktor did not care. He continued, “I’ve had vengeful victims’ relatives and comrades try to kill me before; hell, I was kidnapped once too, but even they are smarter than you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re nothing new or special.” Viktor said in a blunt manner.

Michele’s chest tightened. Burn, his mind sang. No, he needed to stay strong. He noticed something odd, very odd about Nikiforov.

“How come you’ve never picked up and killed with a single gun?” Michele inquired.

“What?” Viktor answered, he was not expecting it. Michele tackled the assassin again and pointed his gun at his face. Viktor grabbed Michele’s ears and headbutted him. Michele slapped Viktor twice, one slap on the left cheek, and another on the right. Viktor cried out, cursing in Russian. Michele punched him in the eye twice. Viktor grabbed Michele’s neck and pushed him to the ground. Michele kicked him the crotch. The assassin cried out, falling to his side. The Italian chuckled.

“Still got my gun!” Michele cried out at him. He pointed it to in between his eyes. But before he could even put his finger on the trigger, a long board collided with Michele’s head. Michele’s eyes closed as soon as contact was made.

For someone as dangerous and experienced in combat as Viktor, he was surprised. He looked at the other man’s body, it was face flat on his chest; Viktor looked up and saw Yuuri holding a board in his hands.

“Yuuri?”

The science major did not respond, he removed Michele’s body and lifted his boyfriend up. Yuuri touched his boyfriend’s face and asked him, “What has he done to you?” he demanded. Toshiya came by, and he looked both disgusted and concerned for Viktor.

“He just hit me a few times, it’s nothing; I’ve been through worse.” He said.

Yuuri didn’t take it. He flustered in the inside and half as much on the outside. “Worse?! Worse?! I heard that gunshot, Viktor!” he hissed through his teeth, grabbing his boyfriend’s arm. “Not only could you have been killed, it could’ve attracted more the zombies here too!” Toshiya appeared next to Yuuri and said, “Yuuri, it’s been done.” to him.

Yuuri placed his hand on his forehead. Toshiya began to escort Viktor to the town doctor’s quarters. Yuuri followed behind. Some of the townspeople appeared, and some were shocked at what happened. Especially Phichit, Mari, Isabella, Hiroko, and Celestino. Mari had a hand over her mouth as Phichit and Celestino walked to Michele’s body.

There was some wild murmuring, and Celestino bellowed, ordering for everyone to go back home now. He needed a break from all of this. Too many things were happening. All he wanted was for everyone to work together to survive, but it seemed that everyone was far away from that. It was a very good idea that he asked for JJ and Otabek to discontinue looking for survivors.

Michele’s hands were tied up and he was situated in the doctor’s quarters, where Viktor was on a bed, being treated by the doctor there. Viktor’s nose was split up and he was bleeding from his nostrils. He was bleeding from his brows as well. Michele had around the same condition also. Some finger marks were on his neck.

Once Viktor was taken care of, the doctor asked for him to just rest for the night here. Viktor said fine. Yuuri and Toshiya, who were by Viktor’s side the whole time, decided to leave, believing it was for the best. Before they left, Yuuri kissed his killer-boyfriend’s forehead goodbye and said, “Love you.”
“Love you too.” Viktor bid. Yuuri left.

Yuri was standing outside of the house, wearing a white shirt and blue shorts that he found in the closet. He asked what happened, and Yuuri stated that someone broke in and things happened. Yuuri walked up to his room and shut the door. Yuri realized that he was completely alone in the house now.

The group came back, and immediately Leo raced up to Guang-Hong, hugging him as soon as he was off the truck. Seung-Gil rolled his eyes, shaking his head.

When they were in college, Guang-Hong was standing in a long, food court line get his hands on some Lo Mein, when he saw Leo waving right at him. Guang-Hong thought it was mirage; no one had ever waved at him like that before. Most people didn’t know that he even existed, but he wasn’t picked on by anyone either. Guang-Hong smiled at him and Leo asked him how he was doing. The Chinese boy said he was okay, and Leo brought him to a table where he could sit and talk with his friends.

After that, they spend a few more days together, eating, chatting, and laughing at the food court. They kept on smiling at each other when they were in their history class together. They found each other on Instagram and talked to each other whenever they could outside of class. They didn’t even tell each other where they even lived at that time.

One night, Guang-Hong had finished up some of his homework when he got a message on Instagram. It was Leo and he wanted to tell something to him. The Chinese boy asked what it was and Leo spilled it. He liked him. A lot. As a lover.

Guang-Hong didn’t know what to think. He didn’t what to think, and he told Leo that and he went to his bed. Guang-Hong wasn’t ready to be someone’s lover yet. The next morning, he went to class and Leo wasn’t there. The Chinese boy did his best to not think about it and carried on with the lesson.

It was around the same time that a mysterious virus was spreading from different regions of the world, causing many people to be hospitalized fast. He heard from his teacher there was a rumor that it came from a nuclear testing-site, but the government had not confirmed that. Heck, nobody knew where else it might’ve come from, but eventually, the virus would cause people to attack others within a heartbeat.

The same one where it led everyone who was still alive to this point.

On the same day everything went to hell, Guang-Hong was on the bus when he bumped into Leo again. The boy was shocked, wanting to where Leo was this whole time, but Leo told him to run. Guang-Hong still considered him to be a dear friend to him. A zombie slammed itself on the windshield of the bus, eating the driver. Everyone ran, and even though Guang-Hong called out to Leo, they were separated.

Guang-Hong didn’t know what to do. He had lived with his grandmother, but when he came home, she was dead. He had to live the city, quick. So he ran, eventually learning how to use the bo staff.

Leo and Guang-Hong were walking around. Guang-Hong told him, “I was walking through the woods, when I came across a cabin and someone called out to me; I couldn’t hear them, I guess was under some trance when they hit me on the head with a big stick. I woke up, and I was chained to a bed; a lady was standing above me. She asked me what I was doing around her home. I told her I wasn’t doing anything, just wandering around. She looked up and after a few seconds, she left. I didn’t know what happened next, I woke one morning and saw her staff by the bed. I was realized that the chain wasn’t locked.. I didn’t think it was locked the whole time I was there. I picked up the staff and out of nowhere, she appeared. I hit her but she overpowered me. I lied on the bed for a few more days, when she asked me who I was. I told her, and she said her name Xiao Yi You, someone from China like me.”

“What was she doing there?” Leo asked.

“I don’t think she told me.” He said.

“We talked for a bit; she said she was a pediatrician who learned combat with a staff. She knew how defenseless I would look out there, so she taught me how to fight with a staff. We trained outside for days, and at one point, she told me that all life, no matter what, was precious. It was when a zombie came and pinned her down. She was bitten, and asked me to run. I couldn’t. I killed the zombie and then her and went to go find you.”

That was why he was so shocked when he saw Casey pin Minami down like that. It reminded him of his teacher’s death.

When Mari found out that Minami was taken, she swatted Christophe across the head for it. Over the past many weeks, Mari had to be a big sister to Minami, keeping him safe from harm. She thought Chris could protect him, as to why she let Minami go through with it.

Yakov, when he found that Viktor was in the infirmary, was pissed. Yakov stormed up to Viktor, demanding that how did he get hurt like that. Viktor pointed to Michele and Yakov found out how. Yakov told him, “You should’ve killed him when you had the chance back in Detroit, Vitya!”

“Yes Yakov, but his sister got hurt! Who knows how she could’ve been living!” Viktor argued.

“That is nothing, Vitya! You’ve had targets’ relatives come after you before and all of a sudden you felt sorry for someone because their sister got hurt? That sounds wrong!”

“I know, just I really wanted for him to be happy for what he had, Yakov! I never meant for his sister to get hurt by my daggers when we were in New Orleans!” Viktor told him.

“That doesn’t matter; you should’ve done what you were told.” Yakov rubbed his head. “Vitya, listen, you’ve been the closest I’ve ever had as a son to me and—“

“And Lilia?” Viktor inputted, remembering her and soothing touch on his twelve-year-old back.

Yakov sighed. “Yes, even Lilia. But if you had just done as told, we would still be here… but you wouldn’t be like this.”

“Yuuri already chewed me out for getting hurt.” Viktor told him.

“I figured that boy would have.” He said. Yakov was running out on what to tell him. “How long are you going to stay here?”

“The doctor said I should stay for the night, but I think he want me to stay a little bit more.” Viktor answered.

“Fine; just don’t get into these types of things again, Vitya.” Yakov rubbed his head.

As he walked out, Yakov put his hand to chest, it evolving into a fist. It hadn’t been the first time he punched someone in the face out of rage. “Lilia!! Take him to the car!!” he asked his ex. She was holding a beaten child on her breast.

Yuri was standing by the window when he saw Otabek. “What’s up with you?” he asked.
Otabek looked at him. “I got shot, what does it look like?”

“Um, sorry, just wanted to know what was up with you. You looked kinda off.” He told him. “You know, I imagined you being the type to grab a bullet and pound it into dust, but I can’t seem to trust my instinct now, can’t I?”

“True…” Otabek narrowed his eyes at him.

“Who did that to you?” Yuri asked, pointing to his shoulder, which Otabek had his hand over.

“Some kid with a large gun.” Otabek told him.

Yuri looked puzzled. “Uh-huh, yeah.” In a rather non-believing tone.

“I’m not lying. Some teenager shot me.” Otabek asserted. He was not playing these games, especially with some self-made orphan.

Yuri figured that the chicken nugget hadn’t appeared. “What happened to Minami?”

“The same kid who shot me and his brothers took him, along with some other survivor.” Otabek said.

“Are you for real?” Yuri inquired, leaning forward to him. “What’s gonna happen?”

“Don’t know. Hell, where don’t even know where Minami’s being held right now.” Otabek told him, walking away. Yuri watched him go.

The sun was setting and Phichit was holding a pillow under his arm. He was zipping up a backpack when Mari walked in, “Where are you going?”

Phichit sighed. “To spend the night over with Yuuri. He could really use someone right now.” He said.

“You for real?” Mari asked.

“Yeah, it’s what friends do.” Phichit said. He walked out.

Phichit walked up to the white house and knocked. Yuri answered and asked what, and the Thai boy said that he wants to spend the night with Yuuri.

Yuri raised a brow and Phichit just walked in.

“Yuuri.” Phichit knocked on his door, wanting for his attention. “Come on, open up. We can sleep—“ Phichit paused himself. No, he didn’t need to remember of when they were together. They didn’t even have sex when they were together. The Thai boy rephrased it. “Let’s just hang out together for the night. I brought my pillow. We can talk, have pillow fights, and stay up like we did in college.” he said.

The door opened. “Are you for real?” Yuuri asked him. He had a brow raised. Phichit looked down and saw Makkachin by Yuuri’s feet, wagging his tail.

“Yeah, Yuuri; c’mon, you’re my friend.” Phichit told him.

“Fine.” Yuuri said, letting him in.

“Thank you.” Phichit told him.

It was dark when Sara knelt down to Michele. He was still unconscious, but as if it were magic, as soon as Sara was nearby, he opened his eyes.

“S-Sara?” Michele panted. He realized his hands were tied behind by his back to a steel peg under a counter. The Italian was shocked. “What the?”

But she only frowned. She wanted to slap him, knee him, and punch him to bits until he was nothing.

“Emil told you to let it go, but you didn’t. You just had to go against the assassin, and guess what, IT GOT YOU NOWHERE!” Sara cried out to him. Michele shut his eyes as if acid had gotten into them. “Do you have any idea how worried I was for you??” Sara shrieked, placing her fingertips on her chest. “Because of your wrath you left Seung-Gil and I alone back there with several strangers!”

“S-Sara… I…”

“SHUT UP!” she cried. She covered her mouth, looking the other way. There was nothing, but the sight of Viktor sleeping soundly as he was just unaware of what was happening.

“You’re lucky those people were nice enough to bring us back here, but don’t get your hopes up. We’re not staying here for long.” Sara told him. She left, her hair swishing in the air.

Michele threw his head back. He bit his lip and closed his eyes. He dreamed of himself as a farm boy, watching his best friend get taken away by three bad imps.

At least three zombies were clawing the back of the community about two days later. Celestino was walking around, when he saw a brick with something attached to it. The man pulled it off and saw it was a note.

“Dear Town Leader, or whoever it may concern,

We have one of your folks.

Don’t worry, the boy is not hurt.

He’s with us, talking care of some of the folks back in our town.

He’s a nice kid.

Is it okay if our communities face-to-face?”

-The Ringleader.

Chapter Text

Yoooo.
Um, I lost the next chapter of this fic. How, I have no idea. But... I do have some text somewhere on a different file. So until I rewrite the chapter again, this is going on a hiatus for a while. I'm also a little sick and I have some volunteer work to do for school. I guess that's life for you.
See you soon! <3333333

Chapter Text

Weeks.

They had been on the road for weeks. Ever since they got off that boat in Seattle, Minako did everything she could to keep the girls safe.

Since Takeshi was bitten.

"Shit…" Takeshi swore, looking at the puddles of blood that were on his palm. Phichit had his hand over his mouth, his dark gems shaking at what he just witnessed as he was sitting on the street. A large bitemark was on Takeshi's side. The man pushed Phichit away from getting bitten by one of the former merchants. Sadly, that zombie took the man for a meal instead. He and Phichit were at the far back of the group when that zombie appeared. Takeshi did his best to kill it, but it managed to bite him when he was on the ground.

Since Yuuko asked them to take their girls and go on without them.

"Please…" the young woman begged; her hands were on her husband's shoulders. "Just leave! Even if the world is ending, just get the girls far away from here….!"

Lutz cried, "Mommy! Please…" she teared up, along with her two other sisters. Sadly Lutz could not take control Yuuko urged them to go again. Yuuri's face was shocked; Minako wrapped her arms around the girls, telling them that it was okay.

Since they were just so close to the boats!

Minako took one last look at Yuuko. She smiled, sadly. It would be the last time that anyone would ever see her smile. Heck, Minako was the last person in the whole wide world to see it.

"And the boats were just ahead of us!" Minami breathed with his katana on his back.

"We can only take six more people, the last four will have to get to the next!" the sailor cried.

Minako grimaced, looking at the train tracks that were before her. She could still remember the way Hiroko reached out for her as Yuuri called out for her as the boat was sailing away.

The first few weeks were rough. When Minako and the girls were in Seattle, they hitched a ride on a train, which only lasted for three days. Minako held onto the girls on the bed, as the train rode. Minako swore she heard at least two of them cry for their parents. She sighed, saying in her mind that it would be okay.

Would it?

The train stopped in Idaho. The four women traveled through Utah and Colorado, either hitching rides or walking, with Minako keeping a high eye on the girls. So they wouldn't be bitten by the undead or be taken away by some burly survivors. Even though they were smart, it was always a good idea.

"Sensei?" she heard Loop.

Minako turned to her. "Yeah, what is it, dear?"

Loop was holding onto a map with a small bag on her back. "Look, there's a motel right by us." She was pointing to a white painted motel with two stories. It looked almost trashed, with a couple of cars still in the front parking lot and few bodies littered around, but it would look the same if the dead weren't walking regardless.

Minako opened the middle door that was on the higher level. They figured it would be safe if they were above, as to why the girls entered the room. Lutz looked around the room, "We should take a look around, still."

The other two girls nodded as Minako said, "Right." With that, Axel closed the door as Loop looked in the drawer that supported the still TV. Minako looked at the nightstand and bent down to see what was under the bed. The woman turned her head and saw something odd.

Two bottles of wine. Minako remembered the times she drank. Toshiya had to order a cab to take her home every time she had too much to drink. They looked like they had been emptied by now, as Minako picked one of them up. Lutz came out of the bathroom, stating, "The sink still works. Maybe we can stay here for the night."

"True, I'm probably in the same boat as you guys; we could all use a bath." Minako knelt down to her.

Loop chuckled, as she was standing before the other sink that was next to the restroom.

Axel was on the bed, examining it. "This bed stinks though… like sweat?"

Minako's eyes scanned it. She saw a few white stains on the red bed set. "Quick, Axel, get off!" she ordered the child as if acid was all over. Axel did as so, hopping off the bed.

"What's the matter?" Axel asked her, as the girls stood behind their guardian.

"Something nasty is on it," Minako explained. As if that wasn't enough, the woman pulled the blankets to cover the stains to find a latex piece stuck on them.

"Oh god, girls, let's go to the next room." The woman told.

"Why?" Lutz asked.

"Because it's too dirty for us in here." Obviously. Minako got the strangest thought. Even though the zombies lurked, she thought some other survivors broke in and…

She figured what happened next.

She didn't want the girls' innocence to be taken so quickly.

The four women opened the door to the next room, and it was cleaner. It had a few bags here and there; they were an old couple's luggage, but still. After the room was inspected, Minako pushed a drawer to block the door so they could be safe. After the girls and she were bathed, Minako slept on the left bed and the girls on the right.

Why did Minako take the girls on Yuuko's behalf? She seemed to be the type that didn't want any kids, let alone be married to anyone. She did want children. But sadly, all of the men she dated either left her behind or cheated on her, leaving her to be a lonesome woman.

And these girls were the closest to offspring she could ever have.

Even if they were situated somewhere in South Carolina.

After so many long weeks of traveling.

Chapter Text

He was about twenty-six, with dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and brown peach fuzz. Dylan Wester placed his hand over his eyes. He looked at his wife, a young woman with long, dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. She looked just as anxious as he.

"I just hope the note didn't get dirty," Samantha said.

The man gasped, as the rock was thrown over the wall like a cheap paper plan being thrown by a child.

"Looks like someone got the message," Dylan told his wife. The man pulled off the paper. Samantha strolled to her husband’s side, reading it along with him. Dylan’s eyes took in the information.

To whom it may concern,

I don't know who you are; nobody here knows who you are; but why do you want to meet face to face? How can we trust that nothing has happened to that young man? How can we trust that you will not set fire onto us? How can we trust that you and possibly your people are not psychopaths? Maybe if you show us that the young man is alive and unharmed, we can meet face-to-face. Maybe.

“Damn,” Dylan commented.

Celestino had his ear against the wall, hearing what the two unknown people had to say.

“They seem awfully paranoid,” Samantha commented.

“Like we can blame them; we ought to go to my uncle right now,” Dylan said, putting the paper in his beige tanktop.

“Aw shit,” Dylan swore under his breath. Two zombies were limping right up to them. One was wearing an apron, possibly a butcher, and other was wearing a white frilled nightie. Dylan pulled out the pipe from his belt and swung it at the second zombie and crushed its head in. Samantha picked up the rock and threw it at the first zombie, sending it to the ground.

“C’mon, let’s go now!” Dylan told. The couple left in their Cherokee, but sadly many zombies were around.

It was around that time Seung-Gil came to the doctor’s quarters. He was holding a bundle of fresh clothes under his arm. When Seung-Gil told the doctor that he came to give them to Michele, the doctor nodded and went to untie Michele’s hands.

Michele hissed at the doctor for a small second, but the doctor told him, “Son, I’m only here to help you.”

Viktor warned the doctor, “Doctor, you should be very careful. He might grab you,” in a very sardonic manner; one could hear the acid falling off his tongue.

Michele snapped at him, “Shut up you knife-nut asshole!”

Viktor laughed. “Oh dear child, is that the best you have?”

“That’s enough, both of you!” the doctor snapped at them. Meanwhile, a legless zombie managed to crawl through the same crevice that Michele crawled through, snarling and chomping its teeth.

Seung-Gil sighed. Once Michele was standing, Seung-Gil gave him his new clothes, a white shirt and a pair of jeans. With everyone turning away, Michele changed out of his clothes. The Korean sighed and bid himself goodbye.

The doctor said he needed to go check on something, so he left, telling both boys to behave.

Viktor chuckled.

“Commie,” Michele commented at Viktor. Even though Emil was on his mind now and not he, he disregarded the assassin still.

Viktor’s eyes turned into its dangerous color. “The world will be better without you, you sorry sack of horse shit.”

Seung-Gil walked down the sidewalk, his eyes looking right at nothing. That was when his eyes narrowed, feeling some odd sensation in his throat. It felt… itchy. Like something was cutting it up while sitting on his tongue. His chest puckered like a piece of thread being pulled too tightly on a piece of fabric. Seung-Gil placed a hand on his chest and heaved. He bent down and gave another cough. Only a stream of saliva poured down. He gave out another cough and an odd wad erupted from his mouth. It looked almost clear, with a few specks of green and… Blood…?

Impossible, Seung-Gil figured. His eyes pulsated. He looked up, but when he did, he saw someone run up to him. It was Celestino.

Seung-Gil gasped, not liking where this was going.

Celestino looked at him with a concerned look. “Young man, what are you… doing…?” Celestino looked at the ground and saw the blood. Seung-Gil had looked at what was on the grass along with him. “Are you alright…?”

Seung-Gil didn’t know how to respond, as to why he just shrugged.

“Come on,” Celestino beckoned, touching the young man’s arm. He was going to get him some medicine.

The Ringleader looked at the note. “I see now,” he said. He was standing in front of his nephew; he passed the paper right back to him.

“What are you going to do now?” Dylan asked him.

“Well, if they want that boy back, I say he is to be brought back to where he’s from. I know what you’re gonna say, Dylan, what if they shoot at us first; I’d say, we will still have guns on us until otherwise. I just think if we do this, we’ll gain an ally and Maverick will be stronger than ever.”