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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, black backpack, 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 backpack 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 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 backpack 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 belongings 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 eyes 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 on 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 bookcases 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 was 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 to 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.”

“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 smirked. 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 hardwood and a set of the same 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 on his chest, just appalled by what he said.

“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 to 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 needed to forget about it.

Chapter Text

“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 by what just happened.

"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 largest 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 was frowning, standing by his bed as he had his arms over his chest. Yakov 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. 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 into 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 Killer's 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 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 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.

x0x

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 to the young men. They were colored gray, with signs they had either been bitten or scratched. There were over thirty zombies appearing and shuffling for the young men, hoping to get a bite. 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 on 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 as the old man was holding a lavender bed set. When she looked and saw her son at the gate, her eyes lit up, running down the stairs.

"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 and 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 in 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

The next day

"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 stuff, 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.

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 souls, 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 lead 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 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 your 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. Viktor was sitting on his knees before him, holding his legs up. Viktor was looking down at him, as Yuuri had his back on the bed, his arms above him.

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

His first kiss with Phichit.

The two boys were sitting on a stone bench, under several trees. They leaned closer into each other, Yuuri's eyes closed under his glasses. Phichit's lips tasted like lemon flavored boba tea and were very soft.

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…

There was the old man, standing in a grassy field. Everywhere around him was surrounded with hundreds of small, beautiful flowers. He was smiling. He was dressed in a light brown coat, holding his hand out for Yuri. The sun's rays were shining around him, making him appear as if he came straight from the heavens.

Oddly, Yuri smiled.

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 backpack, 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 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

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 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 on 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 just wanted a moment. 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 taken 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 a 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 a 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 we should stay where we are, so Otabek can get healed. 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 tiptoed 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 then she would 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 going?"

"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 on 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 and slashed his chest.

x0x

Minami was sniffing, lying on his side. He was blindfolded, 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

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.” He dragged Michele to the outside, opening the gate to Ciao-Town and leading him outside. He might've not had his special dagger, but Viktor knew many other ways to kill him.

--------

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.”

Chapter Text

Yuri was standing in between the two houses, when his green eyes saw a few things lying on the grass. They were just two guns and a black hilted dagger. Wait, Yuri walked up closer to them. He knew that dagger, it belonged to that hitman. Yuri heard a zombie growl and holding its arms out for him, wanting him as food. Yuri cursed, picked up the dagger from the ground, and shoved it into the monster's skull, emitting black blood.

"Crap!" the boy cried, pulling himself away. The zombie was now lifeless, Yuri escaped.

Yakov was drinking a cup of tea as Phichit was eating some cereal. Yuuri was patting Makkachin on his head. He smiled at him, tilting his head as he spoke some words to him.

Yuri burst through the door, his left leg in the air.

Yakov set down his cup of tea onto a small plate. He asked, "What's the matter with you, Yura?"

Yuri slammed the weapons on the table, "There was a zombie outside!" The slam was so hard that it nearly made Yakov gain a heart attack.

"Are you mad?" Yakov cried. Yuuri saw the dagger on the table and gasped. Phichit looked at the Berretas and his eyes lit up.

"Whoa," the Thai boy breathed, picking a gun up. Yakov told him to put it down. The boy did so, pouting.

Yuuri staggered over and picked up the dagger. Makkachin stared at it with him and barked. His eyes glistened as his tongue stuck out. Yuuri admired it as the tip shined. Yuuri turned the handle and gripped it tight. The pommel was silver; the quillons were round, but silver like the rest of the dagger.

He noticed the blood on it and he asked Yuri, "You killed a zombie with this?"

"Um, yeah, I don't see the big deal behind it," the boy shrugged.

"Viktor hardly ever lets anyone touch it," Yuuri told.

"Um, how long has he had that?" he asked, pointing to it.

"Eleven years. Given to him for his sixteenth birthday." Yakov told him. Yakov knew that today would be the day that Viktor would come back from the infirmary. The old man had sent fresh clothes to Viktor, since his boyfriend would be catching up with Phichit.

Yuuri knew the story, so there was no need for him to listen. Viktor told him that he was sixteen when he killed his first person, a corrupt policeman.

"Well, if you're gonna gawk at that thing, I'll finish my walk." Yuri said, walking to the door. "Young man," Yakov told Yuri, grabbing his wrist.

"What the?" Yuri looked at the old man, "What gives?"

"You probably shouldn't go outside," he said. "Another could come through."

Yuri pulled away. "Yeah, it's not like they still have their smarts and shit." He said.

"Language," Yakov hissed at him.

"Don't care." Yuri answered, walking out the door.

Yuri shoved his hands into his pockets, keeping his head held up high. Damn it. He should've packed his MP3 player so he could listen to his favorite songs while walking but where would he charge it? Wherever he went, electricity was gone.

"Can I please get some help here?" asked Otabek. Yuri paused.

"Hm?" he hummed, not expecting to see him there. It was weird, Yuri figured the voice Otabek had would be used to give harsh orders but it wasn't. Otabek was using it to ask politely for help.

"Help." Otabek restated the word. There was a small bag of trash on the sidewalk. His arm was in a sling and he was holding another bag in his left.

Yuri groaned. "Oh fine," he bent down and picked up the bag.

"What are you doing with these?" Yuri asked Otabek, looking at the bag.

"Taking them to dumpster that is by Celestino's home." The older male said. He beckoned him to follow.

Yuri threw the bag over his shoulder. "What happens to all of the trash when the thing gets filled up?" he asked Otabek.

"Hm, Celestino probably burns them himself." Yuri looked the side and imagined it. Celestino was standing in front of a large pit, with orange waves of fury flying up in the air. Yuri could see the fire right in his eyes, as his hair moved in the wind, almost like a war general in the aftermath of a fought battle.

Little did the boys know, a pair of zombified hands was looming over the wall. A jumble of zombies was under it, acting a ladder for the first one. The two boys placed the trash in. The zombie fell over and with its growls it caught the boys' attention.

The two gasped, as the corpse fell next to them and another two soon after. Otabek dove forward, dragging Yuri away from them.

"What the hell, man?" Yuri hissed, touching Otabek's chest. It was hard but the older boy said, "Zombies!"

Yuri looked and knew he was right, "Shit! My machete!" he cried.

Both boys ran to the white house. Phcihit and Yuuri were washing the dishes, when they had their eyebrows raised at them. Yuri and Otabek ran into the room and Yuri snatched his weapon from the wall. Both boys ran back, and saw that the zombies were walking around Celestino's house.

Yuri swung his machete to the first zombie, shoving it into that zombie's shoulder. Otabek clapped to the second one, hoping to get its attention. The two brought them to the street. That zombie limped to Otabek, but he kicked it away. The zombie fell, and Otabek crushed its skull in.

Yuri was still swinging at the first one, slashing its neck off.

"You wanna take that one?" Otabek pointed to the last zombie that was limping for them.

Yuri didn't need someone to ask him, with all of his brute force, he shoved his machete into the last zombie's skull, killing it. Damn, Yuri had murdered fifteen of them by now. The two boys heard some footsteps and looked.

Mila, Leo, and Guang-Hong were running up to them, they had seen what happened.

Leo demanded, "What the heck, you two; we were talking when we heard you guys."

Mila looked at the bodies. "Oh my god…"

"Mila, please," Otabek wanted to talk her out of it.

"You didn't let me know?" Mila pouted. She was able to hurt a few zombies by shoving a hatchet into their faces, right after her boyfriend was devoured. She would've brought her hatchet along if she had known.

Yuri rolled his eyes. "Tch, they were too soft anyway," he said. He didn't have time for Mila. The boy frowned, swinging his fists.

"Hey," Mila called out to him. Yuri turned to her, "What?"

"What's your deal, boy?" she asked him. "Something you don't like?"

Yuri spitted at the ground. He knew what he didn't like. Guang-Hong grimaced.

"Yeah, those with boobs on the planet."

The Chinese boy gasped, putting a hand to his chest, blushing.

Mila looked shocked. "Are you insisting…? You don't like girls, son?"

Yuri casually answered, "Pretty much."

Leo averted his chin away.

"There's a damn good reason why," the boy inched closer to her. Mila raised a brow at him, staring him down.

"Nothing but ungrateful skanks! Always wanting money and acting like Alpha Bitches!" Yuri cried out. He had seen that while he was in school as well, girls griping at their boyfriends for bringing the wrong food or type of necklace for them.

"If you were my son or my younger brother, I'd tell you this," Mila grabbed his shirt. "Not all women are gonna be the same! Some girls and women are grateful for what they have; I'll start with myself, I'm grateful that I have a roof over my head! It may not be much, but it's still a roof! I'm grateful I've met survivors who still have their humanity and still have a great sense of humor. Not only that, I've talked to Mrs. Katsuki and told me that she was grateful that her group and she found a place where they can call home! How do you respond to that?"

Yuri had his head turned to the side, even though he didn't want to care about, he think about everything she said.

"Damn…" Yuri hissed with his teeth gritted.

"Exactly, now let me ask, if you such disgust towards women, what are you even here for?" Mila asked him.

Yuri's mouth turned into an exponent sign. "A hot shower…"

"Is that it?" Mila asked him. "I can tell your little thing against chicks will soon fade away, but is that really it?"

"I have to agree with Mila," Leo said. "You should really consider about that, more stuff. JJ told me what you told him and Otabek."

"Clown-head…" Yuri hissed at the ground.

"Hey, that's his job!" Leo told him. "He has to tell the community people about the newcomers so we can know about each other more. I feel you don't have to trust us, but like Mila said, you're part of this group now… so well, you get the deal."

Yuri knew he had a point. He knew what he said to Celestino on his first day here. But… He was contradicting himself… what could that mean…?

He was changing… by so much or so little.

"Yeah… whatever…"

It probably had to do with the church he slept in. That's why he was changing.

Leo sighed, folding his arms. "Alright…"

"With all this said and done, I suggest we take those corpses and burn them." Otabek stated.

"Yeah, or else the elderly woman right by will complain about the stench." Leo said.

Otabek, Leo went over to the pick up the corpse that Otabek crushed, as Yuri and Mila went to pick up the one that Yuri slashed. Guang-Hong went to last one, taking it by its feet.

While the five young adults were sending the corpses to the pit, Yuri thought about Minami.

"Um, aren't you guys worried about Minami?" Yuri asked them. "Some kid that got kidnapped two days ago?"

"I am still," Otabek stated.

"Same," Guang-Hong agreed. Leo and Mila did too.

"How come no one's thought of any thought of rescue yet?" Yuri questioned, throwing the dead zombie into the pit.

"Do you keep on forgetting, fool?" Otabek said. "I got shot, and two men had gotten into a scuffle two nights before. Reason why is because we are still trying to recover ourselves. Not only, there's no notion about where Minami is either."

"Yeah, you know to be honest, I kinda like the way Minami nicknames you…" Yuri smirked, as they were standing away from the pit.

"Oatie…" Yuri smiled, almost chuckling.

Leo and Mila did the same, having odd grins on their faces as Guang-Hong blushed.

Otabek groaned.
-------
"How did this happen?" Celestino demanded, looking at Seung-Gil's ankle. A long, faint gash was on it with a touch of purple and black. They were in his office.

"I-I couldn't sleep last night, so I went for a walk, " Seung-Gil said. "And I think one of them scratched me…"

Celestino clasped his hands over his mouth. He didn't like this. It had to do with that crack in the wall.

"Boy, what were you thinking?" Celestino snapped at him.

Seung-Gil couldn't answer, turning the other way. "Maybe it was just a piece of metal…"

"Piece of metal nothing!" Celestino interrupted him, "You have researched the symptoms right? Hot flashes, reddening eyes, massive amounts of phlegm…. Boy, you've experienced one of the symptoms!"

Seung-Gil looked down and shook his head. This is what he got for being an airhead and zoning out. This is what he got for not spending time with other people and striving to make friends.

Celestino shook his head, saying. "There's a theory going around on how much time you have left, depends on your health. If you're a bodybuilder, then you have more than twenty fours of life, or if you're obese, you got like twenty minutes!"

"I avoided the junk food and I usually walked around a lot." Seung-Gil brushed a hair onto his ear. "Should this be told?"

It was at that point Seung-Gil heard Sara call for him. She was wearing a white cardigan with a light blue dress with a series of pineapples printed on it.

The Korean walked out of the office, walking to her.

"Oh thank god Seung-Gil," Sara told the boy, touching his arms. "Where were you?"

Seung-Gil bit his lip. Celestino was on the porch. The Korean pulled his pant leg up and showed Sara his wound.

The young woman gasped. "Seung-Gil!" she cried. She felt her eyes water. Oh god…

"What's gonna happen to you now?" Sara demanded. Meanwhile at the same time, the doctor returned and quickly he saw that the room was empty. There were no smashed windows or things tipped over. Not a single drop of blood was on the floor boards either. Viktor could've gone back to his house, but Michele…? The doctor looked twice as the quietness reigned over the room.

Fearful, after all he did tell them to behave. Even if they might've left and gone back to their respective groups, the doctor cried, "Fuck!" and rushed out of the room.

The Korean muttered, "Amputation."

Celestino pulled up his left pant leg and looked at his own prosthetic leg. The Korean would be in the same boat as he. There was no way Sara could stop it from happening either.
-------
"Fucker!" Michele cried out, as Viktor was dragging him down the road. "LET ME GO!" Viktor had his hand on his arm, not listening to him.

Michele knew this wasn't supposed to happen. He was just supposed to walk out, pick up his guns, collect Sara and Seung-Gil and go look for Emil, but the assassin had other plans for him.

"DAMN IT!" Michele cried out.

Viktor averted his blue gems at him. With no emotions on his face, he pushed Michele down to the ground, leaves touching his shirt.

"Quiet child," Viktor hissed at him. If Christophe was the town's 'executioner', why wasn't he? Viktor had to chuckle if that question ever came to his ears.

Easy.

Too spend more time with Makkachin and his new boyfriend, Yuuri.

Viktor placed his boot on Michele's chest, not caring about the stain that would appear on his shirt. "My boss wanted your death," Viktor knelt down and pulled his shirt up. "And I shall give it to him…" making Michele face him in the eye.

Michele grunted, Viktor pushing him forward while holding onto his shirt.

Viktor noticed a shed that was buried in the woods, and while keeping his hand on Michele, he inspected it and found a long bale of rope in the corner. An idea flashed in his head, grabbing it.
-------
Minami was standing by the wall, his arm against it. There was no way he could escape. The gates were guarded at all times, there was no way he could break into the armory; and even if, he didn't know much more than a semi-automated. The same gun that Christophe wielded.

That was why he had been living here for the past two days. Emil was faring well and they learned why there were zombies in that shed. The Wolfgrick Triplets managed to round up some of the zombies that were set free from the shed. With Ian's skill with a knife, he was able to carefully cut off their jaws so they wouldn't bite and trim their hands so they wouldn't scratch anyone either. They were placed behind a steel bar as they had small red targets placed over their foreheads. Minami was sitting on a set of steel bleachers with several other children. The kids were walking and laughing with each other, some kids playing with water guns, as Minami pretended he still had his sword in his hands. If he did, he would just go up to those zombies, slice their heads off and amaze those kids. The children's laughter and chatter came to a close when the door opened and the same girl Minami saw came in. She had her sniper rifle over her shoulder and a hand on her hip. "Alright, kids," the girl told the children. "Gonna show you all how to defend yourselves against these greasers!" the girl removed her rifle and spun in her hands. The children cried, standing on their seats. The girl aimed her rifle at the first zombie's head and fired. Nothing but the sounds of the zombie falling down and blood squirting everywhere reigned, as the children cried out of joy more. Minami was still sitting down, looking at the kids that were enjoying themselves.

A man with a gray moustache and beard smiled at Emil, as Emil was holding a basket in his hands. He was tasked by the old woman he was staying with to collect some peaches for her when the old man beckoned him to come over.

The man chuckled, saying, "You know, I haven't been to the Czech Republic since 1968, when I went there for my honeymoon with my first wife," the man said.

Emil smiled. However…

Minami's gut told him that Emil was missing his comrades as well. They were kind of in the same boat.

"Hey, I haven't seen you here around all that much." said a voice, with a bit of twang and teenage male.

Minami averted his head, "Huh?"

He was about his age but taller. He had dark, slicked back hair, natural tanned skin. He had glasses as clear as the air. He wore a blue shirt, jeans, and black converse.

"Those triplets brought you here, didn't they?" the boy said again.

Minami nodded. "Yeah," thinking back to the time that Casey slapped him.

"Well, if they ever hit you, let me tell you this, they'll get what's coming to them. What's your name?" the boy asked.

"Minami Kenjirou." Minami told him in the best way he could.

"Uber cool. That's Japanese isn't?" Minami nodded.

"My name is Elliot Martinez." the boy smiled. "Are you here with anyone, Minami?"

Minami shook his head. "N-No… Well, if you count that guy with the beard…" he pointed to Emil.

"Other than that…" Minami told him, as Elliot could hear the accent in his voice.

"Where's your family?" Elliot asked.

Minami sniffed. "They're dead…." he said. "their bodies are probably decayed to the bone back in Japan…"

Elliot widened his eyes, "I'm so sorry…" he said to him. "My father walked out on my family when I was young, leaving me, my mom, and my younger brother behind. I don't know where he is now… that's if he's even alive." The boy said, lifting his hand up.

"Are your family here right now?" Minami asked.

Elliot nodded, "Yeah, just in a brick house right by." That was when Minami saw Ian walk up to the gate.

Wait.. where was he going? He was one of those triplets that attacked them. He couldn't tell if he was the same triplet that apprehended him, but if he was going to Ciao-Town, Minami couldn't bear the sight of him attacking anyone there.

Minami frowned, marching up to him. "What are you doing?"

Ian would've hopped over the gate.

"Ian will retrieve necklace from cheese head." He told him very emotionlessly as Minami stared into his soulless eyes.

Cheesehead?

Minami frowned. "How dare you call my mentor that!" It's just a patch of blonde hair. "He's a badass bounty hunter! He might even know more than you, fool!"

The newly formed group was running down the stairs, holding onto everything they had. Yakov was in the back, ordering everyone to run as quick as they can. Makkachin was running beside Viktor, as he held his dagger out. Phichit was holding onto a wooden plank, as Mari was holding onto both Minami's and Yuuri's shoulders.

Once the group reached the bottom, a zombie limped right toward them, holding its dead arms in front. It would've torn into one of them, but Christophe lifted his gun and fired. He shot it in between the eyes. Another one appeared, but Christophe shot its knee and forehead, killing it.

Ian didn't care. He just hopped over the gate. Even though his brother told him that it wasn't worth retrieving the necklace back, he was wanting to. His Algonquin boyfriend gave it to him before he vanished.

Minami grunted, "Damn him!" Elliot came over to him.

"I wouldn't mind him," he said. "If there's anyone just as stoic as he, it is Anna… she's the Ringleader's niece." So that was her name? Minami didn't catch it before but know he knew.

------

Michele had his lips parted. His arms were above him, as his wrists were tied to a long cord to a tree branch. He was shirtless, only with his underwear covering him. He was drenched by some old water that Viktor retrieved from a fountain that was right by. Even though it wasn't cold, Michele could feel that Viktor wanted to humiliate him. A zombie was coming nearby, with half of its face torn off by who knows what.

"Pray, child." Viktor whispered into his ear, Russian accent searing right through it.
"You see, Michele," his mother told him, as they were sitting in a pew, before a large cross. "Just put your knees on the pew and put your hands together." They were in a large church in the middle of the town, where Mrs. Crispino wanted to teach her son all about God.

Little six-year-old Michele had his knees on the cushions. "Like this, mama?"

His mother smiled, her copper hair shining in the sun. "Why yes, son." She turned to the cross.

"Now, just open your heart to God. Whatever you have to say… He will listen." she told, facing the horizon.

Michele closed his eyes, smiling. "I can feel Him hearing me."

"Now, stay very still and very quiet and tell Him what you have to say from your heart." She said.

"It's the only thing you can do while you're still alive," he said.

Viktor walked away, his eyes remaining dark blue.

Michele swallowed, feeling the zombie come by.

Michele looked up, shutting his eyes. He remembered his mother asking if it was hard and the small child shook his head.

------

"Now whenever you're in danger, just pray to God and he will come to you, He always does."
------
Too bad it wouldn't work in his favor.

Emil was right.

He was a foolish child.

He should've just let it go.

He would've gone after Christophe but…

He should've just let it go.

Viktor walked past a tree, his arm swaying in the air. He looked down and remembered when Michele called him a commie.

How dare Crispino call him a COMMIE?

Because he was Russian?

No… as Viktor looked down.

His ribs grew and shrunk, as his fists tightened.
------
"YOU DAMN SLUT!" a large, burly man screamed. A hand grabbed a bottle and collided it with Viktor's eight-year-old face. Glass and wine spilled, it falling onto the floor as some sat on Viktor's clothes.

Viktor flinched slightly, blood falling down his face. His left eye twitched, feeling some of the wine swim around his eye.

A rough hand pushed him against the wall. The former communist screamed in his son's face, his breath laden with wine. Silver peach fuzz touched Viktor's chin.

"YOU'RE WHY YOUR MOTHER IS DEAD!" the man screamed, spit flying to both sides of Viktor's neck, grabbing a handful of his shirt.
------
Viktor looked the other way. He needed to let it go as well. The assassin took a deep breath. A small, circular contraption was sitting by a tree, just very quietly. It was green with a shine over it. It had a small glass piece on the left corner too.

Viktor muttered, "Yuuri will probably repeat what I just told him-" but he was interrupted. The small glass beeped red about six times, as Viktor was just two inches away from it.

Viktor's eyes caught the light. His face grew six lines of stress. What the? He thought about it further and figured what the device was. He had seen it before in some of his killing missions.

"Oh shit, a min-" Viktor's chest grew tight, jerking his arm forward. He began to run, but a cloud of smoke erupted from the mine violently. Dirt and leaves flew everywhere, as the Russian was sent flying. Even though Viktor only grunted, it did not protect him from what was ahead. A spike was erected in the dirt, hoping to piece into someone. Unfortunately, it did, as Viktor fall on top of it causing him to scream.
------
"Damn it," the doctor slammed his foot on the floor. "Those two boys are missing and someone is infected!" he cried, as Sara and Seung-Gil were standing at the door.

Seung-Gil placed his arm before Sara. "Don't worry about it…Take care of important matter first, stopping the virus before it hurts anyone else."

The doctor sighed, "Fine… lay on the bed. I will fetch some anesthesia. This will be a very tough process."
------
"Everything is well packed and ready leaving, sir." a man wearing a military helmet said to the Ringleader. Several jeeps were lined up, as some snipers were waiting to leave.

"You should be well safe for your trip." He said.

"Very well," The Ringleader told him. Dylan was fussing with his younger sister about something.

"What do you mean, there's no more benzodiazepines?" Dylan told her.

Anna huffed. "I looked, there's no more in the bottle."

"What's the matter here?" The Ringleader asked them.

"We ran out of benzodiazepines." Anna told her uncle.

"Are you two serious?" the man inquired her.

"Yes, that was why I was asking Dylan if he could go get some over there." Anna said in a cold tone.

"Alright, girl, I see where you're getting at." The Ringleader patted his niece's shoulder. Dylan folded his arms, leather gloves touching his bare, muscles.

The Ringleader looked at his nephew. "Dylan, I'm instructing you in getting that medicine. Just try to ask. Alright?"

Dylan nodded. "Yeah, Uncle." He said.

"Alright, now, see if you can get that little Asian feller over here." He told him,

The man nodded. "On it," and ran off. Minami was eating a piece of milk candy that Elliot had when he ran up to them.

"Kid…" Dylan walked up to Minami.

Minami looked at Dylan. "What is it?"

"Come with us," Dylan beckoned.

"Are you taking me home?" the boy asked. He was nervous. What if they weren't? What if they just wanted to get rid of him so they wouldn't have another mouth to feed?

"Hell yeah," Dylan told him, extending his arms. "Now come on, you'll be riding with me and my uncle." He said.

Minami tensed, he didn't know what to do. Minami gasped, as Dylan took him by the arm and left. "Wait, if we leave, we don't leave without that Czech guy; he deserves to see his comrades too!"

"What?" Dylan questioned. "Fine."

Once they reach the cars. Dylan talked to his uncle about the Czech man. The Ringleader said fine, as Minami and Dylan got into the Cherokee, he went to go get Emil.

Once everything as explained to him, Emil sighed but then nodded. Soon, several cars were coming out of Maverick to Ciao-Town.
-------
There was screaming, as Sara covered the Korean's mouth as the doctor was working. The doctor was wearing a plastic mask as he grabbed onto his leg. Seung-Gil was crying, covering his reddened eyes. His chest was caving in and out. He was sawing the skin layer away, determined in getting the infected leg off.

Chris was pointing his gun at a target, while Ian Wolfgrick had his back against the wall. He held onto his Koch, wondering where that Cheesehead was. He heard a Swiss voice and figured it belonged to that cheese head. Ian's brown eyes simmered. He pulled off a hook sword and grabbed onto a metal bar. He stood on it, not wanting to make noise. He turned his body around, the hook part latching over the metal.

With a deep breath, Ian jumped, his boots landing on the grass.

He smirked. He held his gun out, looking for Chris. He took a few steps and he had to hide a few times, but found him.

Chris would've pulled the trigger, if Ian had not pointed his gun at him.

"Do not move." He ordered.

That was before JJ was outside, looking at his truck's smashed window, when he heard a loud noise coming seven cars behind the walls…

Chapter Text

"What the?" JJ inquired, looking at the gate. Now what could be going on outside… JJ thought about it, and figured, probably the people that took Minami. Who else would come here?

JJ pulled out his gun. Mr. Leroy saw what he was doing from the window. He grabbed his own rifle from the wall rack and walked outside, asking, "JJ, what are you doing?"

JJ turned to his father and pointed to the gate. "Somethin' out there!"

Mr. Leroy walked up to his son. He looked at the gate with a serious look. Something in the back of his mind was telling him that he could see a toxic force behind.

"JJ, go back into the house." The man asked his son.

"What are you going to do?" JJ asked.

Mr. Leroy swallowed, "Go in, and do not let anyone out, you hear?"

JJ nodded. "Yeah," and went into the house.
====
Minami clicked the button to his seatbelt, releasing it. He was sitting next to Dylan, just eager to be back. He wanted to meet his old group members again, to sleep in his new bed again, to shoot with Christophe again, to wake up to the smell of coffee again. Minami's hand went for the handle, but Dylan stopped him.

"Hey, hey! What are you doing?" Dylan demanded.

"Seeing my home again," Minami said. Dylan grabbed his hand.

"No, not yet," Dylan admonished with a hard tone. Minami didn't like it, however. "My uncle has to talk to these people first,"

"Screw your uncle!" Minami hissed at him.

Dylan's eyebrows went up, looking right at Minami. His teeth gritted, grabbing Minami's arms. Leather gloves piercing right his shirt and skin. Emil had his head turned to them. He didn't like this. Not one damn bit.

"Listen, you don't talk about my uncle like that. My uncle is a great leader; do you not remember how he welcomed you into Maverick? How he ordered the troops in the back to kill those zombies so we could get you to your home safely?" Dylan told him.

Minami grimaced, not caring about what anything that the man said."Let go!" Minami pieced it together. If Dylan said that the Ringleader was his uncle, and Anna was the man's niece, then Dylan and Anna had to be siblings.

"Do you, you little nugget?!" Dylan said.

Emil pleaded, "Both of you please stop!"

Emil's words were unheeded, as Minami slapped, unintentionally, Dylan right in his face.

Mr. Leroy went to the face hole and opened it slightly, demanding, "Who's out there?"

"Good day!" cried the Ringleader.

"What do you want?" Mr. Leroy offered said as a response.

The Ringleader stepped out of the Cherokee and asked, "Are you in short of a little Asian feller?"

It didn't take long for Mr. Leroy to figure out who that 'little Asian feller' was.

"You mean as in the boy with blonde hair…" Mr. Leroy began. The Ringleader finished off his sentence with, "with a piece of red coming out of his head like a rooster? Yeah, we got him! And some other feller with a beard."

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion: Dylan's face was being pointed to the side as Emil covered his mouth. Minami looked shocked for one second, but Minami looked at his belt and saw the pipe in it. Minami snatched the pipe and ran out of the car. Something in the back of his head told him to run while Dylan was knocked down. And not only that, maybe take his weapon, that way Dylan could not retaliate.

"I was told by the leader of this community about a letter, I take it that was you folks?" Mr. Leroy took one look behind him and he noticed that some people were outside, watching and listening.

Toshiya was on the front lawn, taking care of some fertilizer when he heard it. Yakov was on the porch of his house, just curious as to who was out there. Yuri and Otabek were sitting on the sidewalk as Yuri was looking at Otabek's wound.

"Why yes, my nephew—" The Ringleader would have finished his sentence, if it were not for Minami running past him.

Minami's hair was whipping in the wind, as The Ringleader held his hand out for him.

"Hey!" he cried out for him.
====
Christophe chuckled, his eyes turning to Ian. He was grinning ear to ear with such amusement like food residue on a dirty motorcyclist's teeth. "Why, that has to be your average attempt ever at threatening someone, such as me."

Ian growled, "Ian is serious!" He wasted no time and he fired one bullet at Christophe. Christophe ducked, firing his gun at him. Christophe fired one shot, but Ian ducked and pulled out his hook sword. Ian swung it at Chris but the man rolled back, jumping up and landing on his boots.

Christophe fired at him twice; Ian deflected those bullets with the sword with two swipes. The youngest triplet's face was riddled with nerves popping out with absolute rage. The bounty hunter kicked the sword out of his hand. It landed on the grass just in front of the white back porch. Chris kicked the boy's chest with his other boot and sent him to the ground.

Ian grunted, landing on his backside with his nose to the sky. Ian pointed his gun at the elder man and fired once, the bullet making a small tear in his shirt sleeve. Mari was watching on her back porch and then ran back into her house.

Chris grunted, eyes wanting to pierce right through Ian's face. "God, you may just a kid, but damn you're the meanest slinger I've ever met." He thrust his crotch at him twice.

Ian's eyes narrowed with pure malice as he smiled. "Diligence is Ian's best virtue."

"Christophe thinks your worst sin is chatting too much though." The Swiss man said. Ian's brows went up as the rest of his face was stoic as a statue. Christophe kicked Ian in the chest, making the teen cry out as he landed on his left side.

"TOMFOOL!" Ian cried at him, sending one swing to his legs.

"Help!" Minami cried through the gate, hoping somebody such as Mr. Leroy would let him in. The man gasped.

The Ringleader would've mouthed what the hell was going on, but a block of fuming testosterone ran by him.

"YOU LITTLE SON OF A BITCH!" Dylan hissed right through his teeth, his face searing hot like an iron.

Mr. Leroy struggled with the gate, telling Minami, "Get in, quick!"

Yuri stood up, watching the scene go by. "Otabek, the nugget!" he told him. Otabek was more preoccupied with the strange sounds that were occurring from close by though. Gunshots.

Minami struggled to squeeze right through, but Dylan had his hands on his shoulders, wanting to unleash his wrath on top of him.

Minami was screaming, asking for someone to help. Dylan was being pulled back by his uncle. The Ringleader had his chin throwing to the side, telling Dylan, "Dylan, stop no!" Several other men came from the cars to aid their leader.

Ian stood up, holding his other hook sword in his hand as Christophe was on his knees. Christophe craned his head at him. The bounty hunter exhaled, shaking his head at him.

"My, my, little one. I think I know what you are here for…" he said. "It's that necklace, isn't it? The one with those, little, baby feathers on the bottom?"

"It was a gift to Ian, cheesehead." Ian told him.

"Hate to break it to you, it's gone; burned." Christophe told him.

Ian felt his heart pound, chest caving in and out like a balloon. He screamed, alerting everyone that was at the gate. Minami gulped as both uncle and nephew looked at where the screaming came from.

"That sounded like one of the triplets…" The Ringleader said.

"The fuck they doing here?" Dylan managed to take a few deep breaths, calming himself down a tad.

Christophe had his hands on the grass, looking at Ian with amusement. He did not know it, but Yakov, Yuuri, and Phichit were watching through the door. Phichit and Yuuri walked away, as Yakov turned his back to them.

"You know, there are hundreds of zombies all over this country and all you care about is some necklace?" Christophe inquired, crawling right up to Ian like a cat. Christophe missed his cat, she ran away while the zombies were swarming all over Switzerland. "My god," he shifted his head. "You're wasting your time."

"Cheesehead BURN necklace; Ian thinks Cheesehead is vermin!" Ian slashed at Chris, making the man throw his back to the ground to dodge. It only made a small gash on his nose though. Chris looked at the handcuffs that were jingling in Ian's pants pockets. He was probably planning to use it on him so he can torture him or something.

Chris slapped the hook sword out of Ian's hand. He pulled out the cuffs. As a bounty hunter, he kneed Ian's back and latched the cuffs onto him. Ian was under his arrest.

"From the way you wield your guns and weapons, you'd be worth about: three and a half hundred thousand in American dollars. About nine thousand less in Swiss francs." Christophe told him. "That's more or less the least bounty set for any criminal, kid."

Ian gritted his teeth. Casey was right. He couldn't imagine the look on his face when he found out about this. That's if these guys would spare him. If Ian came back dead then Casey would revive him and kill him all over again. Damn it.

Minami was running down the street when Yuri held his arms out. Otabek was looking at him.

"Minami…"Otabek breathed.

"Hey man, what the hell happened to you?" Yuri cried out.

"I was taken to this place called Maverick, but the people there scared me…!" Minami called out. He looked so shaken as if he had seen a ghost.

"It is okay now," Otabek told him. "You are back to where you belong, Minami." He opened his arms to him. "Will you hug me now?" he asked him.

"Oatie…" Minami quivered. He looked at his injured arm. "I'm sorry, I got you hurt."

"Come, child," Otabek ignored his words and took him into his arms.

"So you ran all the way here, wow…" Yuri stated.

"Yuri-kitten!" Minami cried out, pulling him into his arms as well. Yuri was taken aback. His eyes enlarged.

"Minami?" said Mari. The three men looked at the red house and saw Mari at the door. The woman smiled, she knew it was Minami.

"Mari!" Minami looked up at her.

The woman raced down and held onto her pseudo-adopted younger brother in her arms, making the hug larger. Guang-Hong beamed, telling Leo to look forward. They were on the porch. Leo jaw dropped. They both ran to where the large group hug was. To think where many undead corpses were passing by, there was a community occurring, surviving and thriving, and with large group hugs.

Dylan frowned, still not liking how that kid slapped him.

"What did he do?" The Ringleader asked.

"Uncle Alroy, he smacked my face." Dylan said through gritted teeth. His uncle mouthed, "What…?"

Mr. Leroy raised his brows.

"He also has my damn pipe!" Dylan raised his brows twice. The man squeezed through the gate, but Mr. Leroy stopped him.

"Hey, hey…" Mr. Leroy warned him, concerned about his safety. "God has a penalty for wrath, right boy?" He looked at the Ringleader, "Right sir?"

The Ringleader nodded.

"What is the deal here?" inquired Celestino, walking up to them.

Mr. Leroy gasped, looked at Ciao-Town's leader. "S-Sir, there's someone here to see us."

"And I assume they are The Ringleader?" Celestino asked in a stiff tone, chin up. "If they are, he may pass." He said.

The Ringleader past through, as Dylan folded his arms and stood next to him. He had a smile on his face, wanting to make a very good first impression.

"Why good day, sir." The Ringleader said, holding his hand out for him. Celestino inquired him, "I take you brought that boy back here safe and sound?"

The man chuckled. "Why yes, as long as my nephew doesn't tear into him." Dylan grunted at him.

"Trying to make small talk here," The Ringleader said to him.

"I see." Celestino said, looking away from where the group hug was occurring. "The name is Celestino Cialdini. I used to be in charge of a construction group before." He introduced himself to him.

"Alroy Wester." The Ringleader said. "You may know me as The Ringleader mentioned in the note that was sent here. I used to work at the Texas Capitol before."

Celestino hummed. "Is this your nephew?" he asked.

"Why yes, Dylan say good day."

"Good day, name's Dylan Wester, sir." The man said.

"You all wanted to meet face-to-face, right?" Celestino asked. The soldiers that were in the back had squeezed in, just in case.

"For what reason?" he asked.

"Alliance… The community I'm in charge of, Maverick, will fall at one point, so why not search for an alliance with another group, that's if they're willing?" The Ringleader raised his brows at him.

"Well, I'd say that will take a lot of talking, but don't think we will be very trusting of you. Our community has had a couple of problems in the past few days. You know." Celestino told him in a very casual tone.

"Okay then, should we talk somewhere? You got an office somewhere we can negotiate in?"

"I do." Celestino said. He turned to Mr. Leroy. "Mr. Leroy? You mind joining?"

"I don't," Mr. Leroy said, his Canadian accent lacing through his words.

The Ringleader grew white. He pulled out his switchblade.

"What the?" Celestino raised his voice. Mr. Leroy held up his gun to the Ringleader. Dylan's held his fists up for a fight.

"Y'all got a Canadian here?!" the man bellowed.

"Do you have a problem with that?" Celestino hissed. "It's not cool to be racist you know." He said.

"I almost got PENETRATED by a Canadian once!" The Ringleader cried.

"Please!" Emil cried, coming in between them. He saw what happened. "Let us act in a peaceful manner."

"Sir," Emil said to him, "Please, anything that has occurred in the past is long gone. We must take this opportunity to coexist in a civil manner. Have you forgotten what the world is in, right now? There might never be a cure for the virus!" He looked at both of them.

"To be honest," Dylan began, "I have to agree with beardy over here. Virus probably caused by nuclear stuff or something; we all got loved ones somewhere. My sister would be furious if something happened to me. If she ain't on her rag." He said.

"Fine," Celestino said. "Sir Ringleader, step into my office, will you?"

The said leader smiled, in a forced way. "Why of course," he turned to some of his soldiers. "Go get that triplet, and get him onto the last car, and use that last to take him back, will you?"

"Yes sir!" the men said. They went to find him.

The two men went to Celestino's home. Dylan walked to Mr. Leroy and asked, "Pardon, is there a doctor here?"

"Why yes," Mr. Leroy nodded. "What do you need?"

"Benzodiazepines."

"Alright, don't make any trouble with him; he's right down the on your left." Mr. Leroy said.

JJ was watching his dad and Dylan. As Dylan walked down the street, JJ stepped out.

"Gonna go see that guy," he told his family, walking out. Mrs. Leroy felt Isabella's hand on her shoulder.

As JJ followed him, the soldiers told Chris that they would take it from here, and oddly thanked him for restraining him. Ian was placed in the back with his weapons.
====
Seung-Gil felt like a statue, his leg now long gone. The doctor placed it in an orange hazard bag, hoping to store it away. Sara was over the Korean, wanting to cry. She leaned down and kissed his forehead.

It was dirty work, but it had to be done as the doctor placed the leg in a cooler.

There was a knock, and Sara saw a man with peach fuzz through the window.

"Um, doctor…" she said.

The doctor turned and he grew suspicious. Grabbing a scalpel, he went to the door.

"May I help you?" he asked.

Dylan nodded, "Yeah, do you have any benzodiazepines?"

"What for? I do not tolerate drug addicts." The doctor told him.

"I'm not one, sir." The man said. "It's quite the story, but, I've got no more back home, it's for someone."

"Who?"

"My younger brother." Dylan answered, gnawing on his leather glove.

"Benzodiazepines are used for anxiety, seizures, and panic disorders, what do you need it for?"

Dylan leaned into the doctor. "My brother has catatonic schizophrenia." It was at the same time, JJ followed him.

Oddly, Yuuri was walking right by, Emil appeared as well. He was looking for his comrades.

Yuuri tapped JJ's shoulders when he asked, "Um, Jean, have you— Emil Nekola?"

Emil pointed at him, "Yuuri Katsuki… the guy from college!"

Chapter Text

Celestino, Mr. Leroy, The Ringleader and his eight men were situated in the office.

"Have a seat everyone," Celestino said, sitting at his desk. Mr. Leroy was standing next to him. Only six men could fit into the couches, so some stood behind the couches, looking at Celestino.

The Ringleader sat in a chair, his arms on his knees.

"If you did work at the Texas State Capitol, how did you wind all the way up here?" Celestino inquired. "I assume you are Texan." He said.

The Ringleader nodded. "You assumed right. I was born in Texas and lived there all my life, 'til this shit started. I was at a family reunion in Waco, and at around four in the afternoon, um, one of the caterers had gotten sick and started to chew up some of the family members," The Ringleader chewed on his lip, figuring out how to explain the story.

"It's a pretty tough tale I'll tell ya…" He chewed on a nail.

"I managed to escape with my brother's children and in law," The man told and then he chuckled lightly. "We were on the road for weeks, until the army found us and put us in this piece of land; they told us they would come back but um, they never did."

Mr. Leroy could guess why.

Everyone in the room could guess why.

"Um, let's see, there's this large ring around the community, keeping the zombies out. Um, the group that we were in had two people who were able to cement buildings up. There were many bricks that were left behind in this warehouse not too far. And um, someone suggested building a ring around the area and I was one of the people that agreed. Um, days went by and many people helped out. One day, a wave of the undead appeared and people ran, and I felt this shock of courage and I declared that if we fought together, we were able to win. We did, and after that, I was given praise for what I said. At first, I felt overwhelmed, and people suggested I became leader. It took a lot of persuasions, but I took the job as leader, eventually becoming a successful leader."

"And how did you come up with the name Maverick?" Celestino asked.

"Um," The Ringleader rubbed his fuzz. "I remember back when I was young my brother was a maverick, meaning free spirit, and since he disappeared several years ago, I named it after him in memory," he said.

"How about you?" The man asked. "How did this place come to be?"

Celestino leaned in further to him. "I had just gotten back from the hospital: my left leg had been amputated."

"My god, how?" The Ringleader asked.

"I was on this platform next to this building being built when a steel plank accidentally knocked me off. I fell three feet down, and even though it wasn't that deep, my leg got pierced by a metal pipe. It burned like hell. I was rushed to the hospital. I didn't want to live with the hole in my leg so I asked the doctor to cut it off."

"So the day I was coming back, I saw this man eat his girlfriend alive. The virus was already taking over at that point. Um, the driver who was driving me home got bit. Fortunately, I saved by Mr. Leroy here." Celestino turned his head to him.

"Isn't that right, Mr. Leroy?" he asked.

Mr. Leroy nodded. "Yes, sir."

Celestino continued, "Apparently, he and his family were living in the same neighborhood as I, which is the same place we are currently in right now. Do you mind telling a bit about yourself, Mr. Leroy?"

Mr. Leroy nodded, "Why yes, I worked as a shooting instructor, I hailed from Canad—" he paused before starting again, "My family migrated to the US a few months ago for a new start, my son's girlfriend's parents split and we took her in for the time being. When the zombies struck, we had no idea what to do. Our story is the same as y'all's: Celestino had knowledge about welding, people around the neighborhood helped put up the walls you see around, more people came by and we were good as gold. An attack occurred, Celestino thought of a way to fight 'em and he became leader at that point. Some folks disagreed and left, leaving us with a pretty small number."

"Bringing up the need for more inhabitants. Who was gonna help keep this place safe from harm? Mr. Leroy would've gone and recruited more folks but he had to take care of his wife. That was when his son volunteered to go look."

Mr. Leroy sniffed. "Yeah, my son had very good people skills, and we talked about it for about two days, and it was hard but, he became the recruiter for this place."

The Ringleader nodded, "Fascinating."

"Do you have any kids, sir?" Mr. Leroy asked.

The Ringleader scratched his head, "I had a boy with a girlfriend when I was twenty-one. Kid ought to be about twenty-two by now." The man changed the subject.

"To alliance business," The Ringleader told him. "You see, we're running on some stuff. Mainly medicine, some vegetable seeds, and maybe some paint. If you can lend us some, that would be great. Heck, we could help each other if a killer crowd ever comes by. If your place gets invaded, you could pile up some folks and send them over to us, there's a lot of space for them."

"Well, that sounds like a decent offer," Celestino said. "Hope you don't mind, there are some things this town use as well. Livestock. Chickens, cattle, pigs." Celestino's hand snuck under the desk, to where a Walther PPK laid under.

"Why of course, we got several pens full of them—" The Ringleader said, but before he could finish, Celestino whipped out the gun and—

BANG!
--
"I never would've figured you'd still be alive," Yuuri told Emil.

JJ was standing right by them; he knew that this was a reunion. He did see Leo and Guang-Hong have a charming reunion, but—

This was different, far different from that. It was like two polar opposites meeting, things appeared strange between them.

"I saw you in a picture a couple of days ago," Emil told him, "The one with a blonde guy and Ni—" Emil stopped himself.

"I know," Yuuri told him. He folded his arms. "I still can't believe you would take a photo of that," Yuuri turned to the Canadian. He swatted the young man's arm. "How rude!"

JJ flinched. "Sorry, you try taking photos with having doors closed on your face!" he walked to the doctor's quarters and kept his back on the door, watching that man.

Yuuri could tell who Emil was searching for. "What are you looking for?"

Emil felt desperate. "Michele… and my comrades." He didn't know what happened after he was taken; he was out cold for corn's sake! He didn't know Michele ran off. He didn't know he left Sara and Seung-Gil behind. He wanted to know if they were okay. While he was staying with the old woman back in Maverick, he had nightmares about them getting shot to bits by unknown assailants. That also brought him another thought: the drone!

He thought maybe they took it with them; he hoped.

That statement made Yuuri frown like motherfucking hell. He wanted to explode, remembering what happened several days ago. At the same time, break down and cry. He remembered the first night Phichit stayed over at his house, he heard Yuuri moan something in his pillow. Even Makkachin felt sad, lying by their feet.

"Hey, Yuuri, it's alright, the doc is a pro," Phichit told him, lying on the bed next to him. "He'll have him fixed up in no time!"

Emil saw the look on his face. "Something the matter?"

Yuuri folded his arms. He pointed to the doctor's quarters.

Emil walked in the direction, with Yuuri right behind him. It was like Yuuri had a weapon in his hand and Emil was some sort of medieval prisoner. Emil saw Sara and his eyes lit up.

"Sara!" the Czech man called out. The doctor and Dylan were by the cabinets, with the doctor looking around for the medicine.

"Emil!" the young woman called out, standing up from the stool. She held her arms out and Emil wrapped his arms around her.

"Are you alright?" Sara asked him, looking at his body like a concerned parent. She was not expecting it. She thought Dylan was just part of some group that just needed some medicine and that would just be on their merry way after.

Emil nodded, "Yeah." He hugged her again. "Are you okay, they didn't do anything to you right?" he asked.

Sara shook her head. Emil looked at the bed and that Seung-Gil's leg was missing. Half a roll of bandages was wrapped around his leg.

"What the HELL happened to Seung-Gil?" Emil demanded.

Sara grabbed his shoulder, "He got scratched by a zombie. He asked the doctor to cut the leg off."

Emil could not believe that for one fucking second. Seung-Gil's arms were flat on the bed as his eyes slowly moved to see the Czech man. Seung-Gil felt so ashamed. He felt he let the group down with his idiocy. When he was sleeping in the red house, he just walked outside of the house. He had been sleeping on the couch. Sara was sleeping like a rock in some other room away from him. He didn't bother to tell anyone. Awake or not, who other than Sara, would even care where he was going? They had known each other for two days!

"Where's Mickey?" Emil asked.

"The doctor says he disappeared," Sara told him in a somber tone.

Emil felt his chest being pounded to a pulp after she said that. Wait, the doctor said he disappeared?

"Sara, please don't tell me—"Emil paused himself, placing his hand on his chin.

"He did," Sara told him.

Yuuri was in the middle of the room, he saw that his boyfriend was not here. He felt something on his face and walked out.

Emil gripped his fist. His mouth twitched.

Michele you DUMBASS! He screamed in his mind.

Emil stomped on the floor, making Sara jolt. It grabbed the attention of both the men that were standing by the cabinets.

The doctor turned around, as he held onto a white bottle in his hand. "What is with all of this commotion?" He looked straight at Emil.

"Young man?" The doctor asked. "Is there something wrong?"

Emil looked at him, "Please doctor since you said that Italian man disappeared, do you have any idea where he went?"

The doctor shrugged, he didn't know why they both left, but somehow he just didn't care. "I wish I could say the same for that damn Russian, both of them fools to leave. Not even the zombies would be able to find them."

Emil turned around.

"Emil?" Sara asked him. A part of her questioned why the hell wasn't she concerned about finding Michele? Duh, because of the state Seung-Gil was in!

"I have to find him!" Emil said. "Dead or alive! That's what a friend would do, right?"

Sara's tongue touched her lip. She shook her head. "We're not staying here for long. I told Mickey that."

Emil rubbed his head. Now there were two problems within the group. Finding Michele, and finding a place to call home! Shit, so many problems were piling up! What were they going to do for transportation? Their car has a hole in the tire, the windshield is cracked, and the keys are probably lost. There was also the matter with Seung-Gil! They would also have to find a wheelchair for him too! Emil wanted to tear out his beard!

"Damn it!" Emil cried out.

Meanwhile, the doctor pulled out a small bottle of Xanax, "Here,"

Dylan took the bottle. "Thanks."

"Considering that your brother has catatonic, I also advise that you also take a different type of medicine. There are other medicines that can also lessen the symptoms." The doctor pulled out two bottles of antidepressants and mood stabilizers.

"In case if you run out of the first bottle, these should help." The doctor said.

"Thanks," Dylan said, holding them in his hands. There might not be a cure for catatonic schiz, but he was glad there was a way to make his brother better.

"Take care of yourself and your brother, son." The doctor said.

"Will do," Dylan said, walking through.

Dylan walked through the door, with JJ taking his back off the door. He narrowed his eyes at him.

"You look like a big dude," JJ said to him.

Dylan stopped. "What's it to ya'? Looks don't matter."

JJ stuffed his hands into his pockets. "I'm awfully curious: how did your brother get that type of schiz?"

The older man explained, "I don't have any idea, I didn't major in psychology."

"How did you brother get it?" JJ said again.

"I said I don't know!" Dylan told him, raising his voice.

"Hey, hey…" JJ put his hands before him.

Dylan didn't have time for him. He walked away. Next thing on his list, getting his pipe back.

"God, why does everything have to be so hard?" Emil said, outside. He kicked the porch. Sara was right next to him. He could feel the tears prick his eyes.

Sara remembered the time when her mother said something about perfection. "Not everything can be perfect or easy. If it was, then life would be dull. We wouldn't have the story to tell." She remembered when she broke her ankle. It might've been painful, but at least she got to interact with others.

Emil stared at the ground. Sara had a point. He took a deep breath. "Yes, I suppose that is true."
--
The solider that was standing by the right-hand couch fell dead. Celestino narrowed his eyes at them.

The Ringleader backed up. His soldiers raised their guns at him, as the Ringleader stood up.

"What the hell?!" The Ringleader demanded. "Is it so hard to have a decent conversation? After everything we've both been through?"

"Sorry, there was a red stain on him, probably a scratch mark and he didn't even notice," Celestino said.

Keeping his eyes on Ciao-Town's leader, the man ordered his men to check him.

Two soldiers looked at the dead man and it was true.

"He's right, sir. This guy got a scratch on his waist." One soldier said.

"He must've gotten it while fighting the greasers off." The Ringleader muttered.

"Just like you said, we could help each other out," Celestino said. He smiled. "Just how I helped you have one less soul to watch over."

"Are you insulting me?" The Ringleader said. The soldiers looked at him.

"Did I say that?" Celestino told him. "Sorry, at least ya'll won't have an infectee back home."

"True… so this alliance, do you want this?"

"Why, we would love your stay the fuck away from us." Celestino bellowed, standing up from his seat.

The Ringleader was taken back. He chuckled a little. "My my—"

"NOW!" Celestino cried out.

The Ringleader took a few steps back. The soldiers were taken aback just like him. Not knowing what to do, The Ringleader asked his men to leave behind him. As they left through the office door, the Ringleader looked at Celestino one last time, silently as the corpse was being pulled behind them.
--
"The hell you looking at?" Mari had her arms folded at Dylan. She was standing before Minami. When he saw Dylan come right by, the boy hid behind her as he told her who that man was.

"I'm here for my pipe," Dylan said. He pointed at Minami. "This little chicken nugget took my pipe from me."

"Is that true?" Mari said. She had her hands on her hips.

Yuri was watching with Otabek, Leo, and Guang-Hong.

"Yeah, right after he slapped me across the face!"

"Well shoot," Yuri muttered, smirking.

Mari didn't know about that. She turned to Minami. "Did you do that to him?" she asked.

"He yelled at me and threatened to hurt me, and not only that, one guy was wanted to hurt Christophe too!" Minami explained.

Dylan didn't care about that, he marched up Minami. "Pipe, please." He forcefully took it from Minami.

"Hey, you don't touch someone like that," Mari told him. She pointed right at him, "How would you like it?"

"Listen, I already have my own problems," Dylan said, putting his hands in order for her to get away.

"You're about to have a problem with me!" Mari said.

Leo stepped forward to intervene, but Otabek put his hand on his shoulder.

"Oh, I'm sorry; I didn't know the kid would have someone like you!" Dylan said. "Besides, even if I wasn't married, I still wouldn't bang you."

That was more than enough for Mari to tackle him.

"DAMN IT!" Dylan cried, falling to his side. He felt the cap of one of the medicines fall. Mari was seeing red, no one talked to her that way.

Mari had her hands on his chest, wanting to strangle him. She was screaming, yelling at him. Leo tried to grab her, telling that those were just words but Mari –unintentionally—hit him in the nose.

Guang-Hong gasped, as Yuri cursed.

Leo groaned, holding his nose. Guang-Hong escorted him to the house.

Dylan kicked Mari back and stood away from her. The Ringleader came running, grabbing his nephew's arm. He told him that they were leaving, as the men ran through the gate, which was still open. Shooting a pair of evil eyes at Mari, Dylan flicked her off. Mari was not going to take that, she chased after Dylan, causing both men to run from her.

"Mari!" Yuri heard Hiroko cry, seeing the woman run from her house.

"Get back," Otabek told him, keeping him from getting bumped over by her.

"Oh shit…" Yuri said. "What do you think made those guys run off like that?"

"Not sure… not too sure." Otabek said.
--
Assassins did not make mistakes. Such as these.

With a hearty grunt, Viktor pushed himself up. He gripped the grass, with gritted teeth he managed to get his body away. Viktor swore under his teeth, feeling blood pour from his stomach. He took deep breaths, sitting on his behind as he silently screamed through tongue and teeth.

Viktor placed his hand over his wound. It was covered in his own blood.

The Russian cried out, shaking the blood from his hand away.

With an agonizing wince, Viktor used the tree as a support beam to stand up. He ripped his black shirt open when he heard a growl come for him. Zombies. Two of them, but none of them were Michele. Viktor could've sworn there were a few more just by.

Viktor cursed. Tearing his shirt off, he wrapped it around his waist, covering the wound. He sent his left boot at the zombie's jaw, causing a chunk of flesh to fall off. The other zombie held his arms out for him, but the Russian grabbed its neck and snapped it in half. He threw the body over the other zombie, crushing both of their heads with his right boot, making sure they wouldn't come back. Two other zombies were coming for him, but Viktor grabbed that zombie's arms and pierced its head through the same spike that stabbed him. The new zombies latched its arms around his waist, causing Viktor to grab its own and throw it over him, digging his thumbs into its throat.

Viktor remained perfectly emotionless.

A jeep of men was passing right by, and one man noticed Viktor fighting. The jeep stopped.

"Didn't know John Cameron Mitchell was still alive," one the men commented.

The zombie's neck was torn in half, with its own blood over the Russian's hands.

"Should we go over to him?" one man asked.

"He's got his shirt around his body for some odd reason." Another man said.

"Well, c'mon!" a third man said.

The three soldiers hopped off the jeep with the other two left.

Viktor shoved the fifth zombie into a tree trunk, crushing its head like a watermelon with his own skull.

"Hey, buddy!" one of the men called out.

Viktor looked behind and saw those men. The memory of the night he was taken came back. Dark blue sapphires narrowing, he didn't want to make the same mistake again.

Everything was quiet in his ears, grabbing the middle man's shoulders and sending his head to the horizon. He felt a raging wave of hands shove over his chest, as the driver screamed. Viktor punched both men, telling to leave him alone as blood came from their mouths. He grabbed one man's neck and dug his fingers into them, killing him. He felt a pair of hands grab his arms and pin his face to the ground.

Viktor screamed at them in Russian. He felt his belt be pulled off from his waist.

"What the hell is he saying?" the man holding his hands down asked.

"Don't know but, he's not bitten. Just a stab wound, it needs to be sewn up." Said the man tying Viktor's wrists with his belt.

Viktor kept on screaming at them, but the driver appeared at his head. Viktor looked up and saw the driver's look. Not amused. The man held a cloth in his hand. He knelt down, and with a dark squelch, Viktor had nothing but black hold onto him.
--
The Ringleader drove back with his men, with Dylan spitting at Mari.

Mari fell on her knees, with Hiroko behind her.

Dylan turned to his uncle, telling, "Uncle Alroy..."

"Assholes. All of them. It's like being civil is nothing to them." The man said.

Dylan sighed. "We gotta do something about them."

"We will, boy."

Chapter Text

Two days passed, and the trio was ready to leave. Christophe and Yakov were kind enough to retrieve a shopping cart for them so they could carry Seung-Gil and their supplies in. Emil and Sara went with JJ and Mr. Leroy to get their things from their trashed up car. Bullets, clothes, and medicine, and Sara's menstrual pads.

Hey, a girl has to have them.

Emil's drone was recovered and was not damaged, fortunately.

The next day, Emil went out with Guang-Hong and Leo to find Michele. Before they did, Sara expressed what the possibility of bumping into Nikiforov was. Emil said that Nikiforov wouldn't hurt anyone other than his target, right, before leaving. Michele's head was hanging down with his hands above him. A single bite mark sat on his shoulder, as a wide waterfall of blood flowing down to his waist.

Damn it, Emil had covered his mouth. Assassin's work.

After Leo wrapped up Michele's body, the three men noticed the corpses that were defeated. There were right by them. Emil chewed his lip; they were killed by Nikiforov, but the assassin had vanished for unknown reasons.

Sara only squeezed out one tear as his body was in the middle of the town. Emil gave her one of his guns and with a deep sigh, the young woman shot Michele before he could reanimate. Yuri was there watching the whole thing. Yuri sort of felt sorry for her, as he was watching with everyone else. When Michele's head gained a hole, he looked down. After Michele's head wound was cleaned, his organs were removed and burned by Yakov. Michele was clothed again and cremated and whatever was left of him was placed in a jar by Celestino.

When they were at the gate, Sara received a sisterly hug from Mila and a kiss on her forehead by Hiroko. She looked up and saw the window to the white house. There, was the emotionless face of Katsuki Yuuri. Wait, he was the only missing from the 'funeral' for Michele. Eyes dull, he turned away, closing the blinds.

"Thank you," Emil told the townspeople. "All of you. You have been the kindest survivors we've ever have to encounter." He had Michele's guns in his belt along with his own that he had received back from Maverick. Michele's ashes were sitting promptly on the front basket, straight.

Celestino nodded. "Mrs. Leroy?"

Mrs. Leroy nodded, walking over to them.

"May the Lord watch over you children wherever you go." She told them.

The gate was opened by Chris, and without looking back ever, Sara and Emil pushed the shopping cart out, leaving them behind.

For good.

Minami looked at Chris's scratch, as they were sitting on the couch with Phichit. Phichit sighed; he would give anything to have all of their old entertainment stuff back. He missed taking selfies, he missed going on Instagram and chatting with online friends there, and he missed video games.

As Phichit stared into some old, dirty sci-fi comic, Minami said to Chris, "I'm really sorry that happened to you." before pouting.

"Kid, it's fine," Chris said, ruffling the nugget's hair. "Besides, I already got one of those nuts down, and I'll make sure they're down before they could even look."

Minami smiled. "Yeah, like you said, they probably wouldn't be even worth that much; not even the zombies would want to bite into them."

Phichit looked over at them and smiled. "Wow, that's pretty confident of you Chris."

Chris laughed. "Yeah, I know!" he fluttered his eyelashes.

"Yeah, I'll admit, when I heard you refer to yourself in third person, I thought it was lit!" Phichit said.

Chris looked right at him, "You for real?" he asked.

Phichit opened his mouth to laugh. "Hell yeah, son! He probably still has that burn right now!"

Minami cried out in laughter. "Yeah! It'll take more than Antarctica to help him recover!"

Meanwhile, Ian was shooting zombies up with his Koch, face turning into a twisted, somber frown as landed on his knees. Why the hell didn't he listen to his brother? It would've saved him the trouble of being defeated by a far more experienced gunslinger for crying out loud!
--
Sara folded her arms, looking down. Emil still had his hands on the bar, when Seung-Gil spoke for the first time. Normally he would speak once, maybe only one line each day, but during the past two days, he didn't do squeak as a cough. It was odd for him.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

Sara let out a deep sigh. "Just still a little…" she covered her mouth.

"It's fine," Seung-Gil told her. Seung-Gil struggled to sit up. "He's never gone."

Sara lightly smiled. The Korean had a point right there. "Of course. Now that I know that Mickey didn't turn, I should be able to get over him."

Emil patted her head. "Atta girl."

Sara looked at her companions. "Now the question is: where are we going to stay for the night?"

"Good question, first, we'd have to make sure it has running water, it's not messed up, and it's empty," Emil said.

If there was something just that perplexing as a shelter holding zombies in it, it having other humans in it already. Usually, they'd either murder any other humans for entering their home, let them stay for the night and make them leave in the morning, or they'd merge and survive as one.

Sara, Seung-Gil, and Emil hoped for at least the second option.
--
Yuri was digging in the closet searching for a new pair of socks. JJ, Otabek, Guang-Hong, Leo, and Mila were out by the wall, looking zombies to snipe out with guns. Otabek asked him to come along; when Yuri said he would, after he found a fresh pair of socks. Otabek asked why, and Yuri told him, "Because the ones I got are loaded with holes! And I totally dis holey socks."

Otabek raised a brow at him and Yuri could tell it reminded him of the wound that was still on his shoulder. Yuri tensed up a tad, rubbing his back. Otabek turned around and said fine, leaving Yuri be and leading him to this spot. Yuri pulled out a box when he saw an odd contraption at the back.

"What the?" the boy muttered, taking it out. It had a small screen with a knob on it. It had like a pad-like object connected to it with a long wire. Yuri had seen it in a military movie once. It was a ham radio.

Yuri held it in his hands, looking right at it. Yuri checked it to see if it was void of bugs and it was; he placed it on the bed and swiped some of the dust off. Yuri looked at it for half a second and walked out the door with it.

"Um right there…" Guang-Hong said to Leo, pointing to a zombie that was wearing a pair of camo print pants. Mila had her hands on the wall standing on a platform right by them.

JJ was standing by the corner, looking at Otabek's arm.

"Damn son, when will this heal?" he asked.

"Doctor says in a few weeks. He said I just have to take a few medicines and I'll feel better." He said.

JJ nodded, and it around the same time that Yuri climbed up, holding the ham radio in his arms.

"There you are kitten, what took you so long?" JJ said.

Yuri growled slightly, telling him, "Before I forget to tear your heart out, I found something in the closet."

JJ leaned closer to him. "Oh, what is it?" as Mila turned to see what was happening.

Yuri showed it to him. "A Ham radio. I don't think it belongs to Minami. Why anyone would keep this in their closet is beyond me though."

"Oh, you serious?" JJ said, kneeling to it. Mila joined in as well.

"Whoa, does it still work?" Mila asked.

Yuri shrugged. "I don't know." It was at that point, Leo fired one shot with a pistol with a silencer on it, killing that very zombie. Otabek knelt down and looked at it. He used to watch men use that radio before. Whenever his mother ordered her troops to go on certain missions, they would use it to ensure that the mission was being carried out with ease and no one was captured or hurt.

"Let me look," Otabek said, his hand turning the knob. In two seconds, a beam of static erupted from the radio, taking everyone aback.

"Holy crap," Yuri commented. "You're a whiz at this crap aren't you?"

"You think my head is filled with rocks?" Otabek told him.

"Oh, can you see if you can find someone out there?" Mila asked.

JJ turned to both of them, "Guys, are you for real? You guys know what happened with those Maverick people! We can't risk any more unexpected crap!"

Mila groaned. "JJ, it's just a ham radio; not a Ouija Board! Besides, who knows, maybe we can get in touch with someone halfway around the world!"

"That is true; we have no idea how the rest of the world is handling the virus," Otabek suggested.

Yuri folded his arms. "I have to agree with Otabek here. Normally I'd stay away from this type of crap, but." He said.

Otabek's mouth moved oddly, and he picked up the radio pad. "Hello, is there anyone out there? Can anyone hear me? Over."

There was a small static line for about two seconds when something spoke.

"Please…" the voice spoke over. "..help!"

"The hell?" Yuri said. He would've reacted the same way to a Ouija Board responding!

"Shh," Otabek made.

"Are you people, for real?" Leo asked them. Guang-Hong was holding the pistol in his hands, looking right at them. Not wanting to hear an argument, the Chinese boy turned back to the zombies, shooting one with shoulder-length brown hair and black hoodie in the neck.

"Ya'll are not serious about helping whoever's on the other end right?" the Mexican-American told them.

"Yo, church-pants, unless you want another mark your face, I say let us be. Frankly, we're still young and we don't want to rot away like these worm-cakes, you want that?" Yuri pointed at him with his eyes narrowed at him.

Leo shook his head.

"Alrighty, now sod away with your little boyfriend, alright?" Yuri said, turning back to the radio.

Guang-Hong blushed. "What?"

JJ shook his head at him. "Enough."

"We don't have much ammo left, and there's a whole herd around us!" a man in his early thirties said.

"I hear you, over," Otabek told the mysterious man.

"Shit man, what if it's those Maverick dudes?" JJ told him.

Yuri huffed. "Yeah, what a way to lighten up the mood, clown-butt! Doubt they would need help though."

"What if it's someone who's truly in danger?" Mila asked.

"Where the hell would we find them?" Yuri asked. "They're probably in Wisconsin for all we know!"

"Not to mention there's no way the town would let any of us go all the way there to help," JJ stated.

"Quiet!" Otabek said, still holding onto the pad. He spoke into it, "Hello, where are you, over?"

"Please, we're just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina."the man said.

"What…?" JJ breathed. Why the hell was everything so conveniently placed?

"Please, we need help!"

It was at that time Nathan appeared. He looked up at his older brother JJ and asked, "Hey, what's going on?"

JJ looked at him. "Nathan, dude, it's nothing!" he told, out of his safety.

JJ turned to Otabek, "Dude, turn it off! It could be a trap for Christ's sake!"

Otabek did as told, turning the radio before another call for help could be heard.

JJ asked Nathan, "What's up? Does mom need anything?"

Nathan told him, "She says it's almost time for lunch. That Katsuki lady is helping her make it!"

"Alright, I'll be right there!" JJ said. Nathan left.

Yuri looked at the Canadian, "How do guys have enough supplies to feed a whole town? Does your mom cook for everyone seven days a week? You said Celestino is in charge of keeping stock of all the supplies right?"

JJ sighed. "Apparently, Otabek and I hit the jackpot once, a week before you came around, so yeah; yes, he still is; he makes sure no one sneaks in the middle of the night to steal anything and is in charge of the paint and other hardware stuff."

That seemed logical enough for the Russian boy.
--
"Yuuri!" demanded Hiroko's voice. Even though lunch went by smoothly, Yuuri was not present. It worried his mother to no end. She could understand that he did not attend Michele's funeral because he attacked him, but this was odd for him to miss eating with his companions.

He hadn't done that in the past two days.

Yuuri was sitting at the corner of the bed, holding the dagger in his hands. He turned it around, remembering what it was used for as his mother knocked on the door.

"Yuuri!" the woman cried out again. Yuuri turned his head to the door, his eyes looking half-lidded.

"Open this door, you need to come out!" his mother told him.

Makkachin whined, putting his paws on Yuuri's shoulders. It was as if he was asking Yuuri to unlock the door. Why should he? He was feeling too somber right now. Every time Phichit put his clothes on and left, Yuuri locked the door, leaving him and the dog alone in there. His boyfriend kept some dog treats inside of the nightstand, so whenever Makkachin got hungry, the science major would feed him some.

Yuuri stood up, walking over to the door. Once it was unlocked, Hiroko had a shocked look on her face. The woman stormed her way in, asking, "Yuuri, what has gotten into you?"

The thoughts of who Yuuri was during the entire apocalypse.

He was nothing more than a weak little boy.

A weak little boy who cried because of just a few bloody splotches on his face.

A weak little boy who needed protection.

A weak little boy who didn't even deserve a slap in the face for being one.

"Someone has to go out and look, mom." He said to her.

"And sitting here alone in this room is the answer?" Hiroko told him.

"Even if I had the guts, I can't afford to trouble anyone here to accompany me," Yuuri told her; the oddest thing was, Yuuri was not crying. There was no need to anymore.

"Yuuri, your boyfriend is a very strong man. His boss told us that once, one morning."

Yuuri knew what she meant. Their second van had broken down, somewhere in the middle of some highway. They were just close to leaving South Carolina. They had no real destination in mind. It was just survive, like everyone else's ambitions.

A herd appeared. Everyone ran, Hiroko clinging to her husband as Chris fired at some of them. Yakov told him to knock it off and run. Viktor and Yuuri ran in the opposite direction, away from everyone else. Not even Makkachin followed them. The group was on separate sides, and before they could disappear into their respective sides, Hiroko called out for Yuuri. When Viktor put his hand on Yuuri's shoulder, she had no choice.

"Watch over my son!" the woman cried as Phichit smashed a shirtless zombie with his plank.

What was left of the group was able to find shelter in some bar, with Minami sleeping under the counter and Phichit on the floor by him.

"Vitya is strong." Yakov said, standing outside of the bar with Toshiya and Hiroko. "But, without disrespect, with him lugging some civilian boy behind him... it may slow him down."

That was before they were found by JJ and Otabek. Minami sliced off a zombie's head with his katana. He was fighting along with Phichit and Christophe, with their backs touching his so they wouldn't get separated. Phichit dropped his plank. A zombie would've gotten to him but— a bullet pierced through the air, killing it and preventing him from getting killed.

It wasn't easy keeping Yakov away from punching JJ in the face, but they were convinced to come to Ciao-Town with them. By Otabek. He was able to save the Katsuki family and the dog from getting eaten by driving his motorcycle over, jumping, and crushing those zombies with it.

"Someone has to try though…" Yuuri told him.

Hiroko made a firm line on her face. She didn't know how to continue this conversation. "You're only going to lose yourself. Those days are gone. So what he vanished? Move on, for goodness's sake!" the woman pleaded with her son with a stiff tone in her voice.

Yuuri did what he could after Hiroko left.
--
"Shoot them; shoot them!" chanted Sara, standing by the cart as it was parked in front of a tree.

"Damn it!" Emil cried, firing his twin guns at two zombies. Apparently one looked like a large butcher and it held onto a cleaver, wanting to cut into them. Emil killed the one on his left, shooting it in the forehead and making it fall.

The large zombie threw its cleaver over its head, aiming at Emil, but the Czech man fired at its arms and knees, hoping to at least bring it to the floor.

The large zombie cried out, letting the cleaver fall out of its hands. It fell to the side, just as wished. Emil stashed the guns into his belt and picked up a rock, beating its face into oblivion. Blood flew everywhere, as Sara covered her eyes. Seung-Gil covered his face with his arms, lips smacking.

Emil took two steps back, his shirt covered in some of the blood.

"Are these things starting to evolve?" Emil asked no one in particular.

"Don't jinx us!" Seung-Gil said.

Emil dropped the rock. "I know man, but—something tells me we're probably near some town."

"Then we should find somewhere quick, we can't be out here after dark!" Sara urged.
--
It was over six thirty when the trio stumbled onto a couple of buildings, ones that were still functional prior to the attacks. One looked like a meat market, insulating that was where the cleaver-zombie appeared from. The other two were on the other side of the street, looking like some sort of hunting store and gas station.

"There, we can stay there!" Sara said.

Seung-Gil asked, "You sure?"

"Yeah, it's a hunting store. Surely there has to be something in there, right?" Sara suggested.

"Other than the zombies…?" Seung-Gil said.

"Tents, blankets… anything maybe even a car?" Sara said.

Emil hummed. "Hm, yeah." He said, looking at his guns. Like he said, they needed to find more bullets soon.

The door had a cart one side, keeping it open, and allowing the trio to enter. The store was just as any type of store in the cities out there. Some of the merchandise piled on the floor, some shelves trashed up and beaten, a couple of bodies lying around, and hell, there was one fire on top of the fifth checkout aisle conveyor belt.

The trio was fortunate that there was some lighting left in the store, making it easier to look around. They strolled past an outdoor chair set, past the children's equipment area, and a large portion of the store, when Sara pointed to a clean spot just by the fishing boot aisle.

"There, that looks like a good spot." She said.

It looked like it didn't have one speck of blood or body part on it. Yeah, that would be a good place to stay for the night.

The cart was parked in the corner and after twenty minutes out again in the store, the trio had some sleeping bags laid on the floor. Seung-Gil was in the bag in the middle, sleeping with his head on his arms.

Sara was looking at a calendar when she looked at him. Oh shoot, they'd have to look for a prosthetic leg for him too. But where would they find one for him? In fact, they doubt there would be any time to teach Seung-Gil how to walk again, with not only the zombies, harsh weather and wild animals as well.

Emil came out of the restroom, zipping his jeans up.

"There's still running sink water, fortunately. And the bathrooms aren't as dirty as I pictured." He said, propping down to his bag.

"Good to know," Sara said.

"I'm sort of worried about that fire we saw," Emil stated. "What if it spreads all the way here?"

Sara shook her head. "As if it'll reach all the way here overnight, besides, it'll probably die out soon." As luck would have it, something strolled past the fire, like a shadow in a hardwood cabin.

Sara looked at the hallway between the various fishing boots. Something cerulean appeared, and the young woman gasped.

Emil asked her, "What's up?"

The young woman turned to the Czech man, "It looked blue," she said. Sara's hair shifted once, hearing something in the air. It did not sound anything she would like to hear.

"Silly little girl." It sang, with a touch of pure malice and mocking.

"Look at you." It laughed. "A pathetic thing that just lost all of her family."

The young woman grasped her arms, not liking this. Emil placed a bullet into his gun, intending to locate what was out there. Michele would go and check too!

"I'm gonna go look, you stay here, alright?" Emil told her.

"No, Emil, stay right here!" she pleaded, grabbing his arm.

"Why?" he asked. "If we stayed here we'd be sitting ducks for crying out loud!"

"What if it killed you?!" Sara cried out.

"Surely it has to be one thing!" Emil shot back at her.

A pair of moccasins trod on the cream colored floor, as a swish of creamy orange waltzed in the air. Whatever it was caught both the young pair's attention, looking right at it. The pair looked stunned, looking right at each other as they didn't know how to respond.

"Um, hi…?" Emil said to the unknown figure, as it came close to them. He awkwardly smiled. "I'm sure you got a kick out of our little scene," he said.

"You call that a scene? Son, do you how many monsters I had to kick down?" said a brunette. She had three little girls right behind her.

Chapter Text

[3:23 A.M.]

That was what the clock sang as Yuuri threw his legs over the bed side. Yuuri turned his head and whispered, "Makkachin, Makkachin, here boy." hoping to get the dog's attention. Makkachin quietly lifted his head up and with his tongue bobbing, walking over to Yuuri. The dog looked as if he was asking what's up when the young man whispered, "We're going to look for your owner, okay boy?"

Yuuri had a smile on his face, as if telling the dog that everything would be okay.

Makkachin let out a small whine, tilting his head at him and appearing as if he doubted Yuuri.

"Oh c'mon, boy," Yuuri said, tilting his head back at him. Yuuri rose up from the bed and opened up the nightstand. There, coiled up and sitting still like a baby in a crib was Viktor's knife arsenal. Yuuri took it and set it on the bed, unrolling it and smoothing it out.

"Come here, sniff it," Yuuri whispered. Makkachin wagged his tail, looking at Yuuri with his beady eyes.

"Don't you want to find your daddy?" he said.

It looked like Makkachin gave in, padding over to Yuuri's side and sniffing the blades.

"That's it, there you go, Makkachin." The young man said, "I need you to follow his scent."

Once that was done, Yuuri patted Makkachin and knelt down on the bed. Under it was a packed up backpack. It was filled with the necessities: flashlights, a bottle of water, a few granola bars, matches, and strapped to the side was Viktor's prized knife.

Makkachin looked almost surprised.

"After my mom left, I got some stuff from the kitchen; I know she wants me to move on but— I'm done being this weak person, boy. I got to shape up. I need to find Viktor." He said, putting his shoes on and putting the backpack on his shoulder.

Yuuri wondered whether or not he should take his boyfriend's arsenal with him. It could mean one or two things: he'd end up losing it and Viktor would go ballistic or there would be no zombies around and it would just be extra weight on him that he didn't need. Yuuri mulled it over, looking at the arsenal and he decided.

He picked up two medium sized daggers that were one inch shorter than the one on Yuuri's bag. Yuuri placed those within his belt just like how his boyfriend does. Taking one sigh, Yuuri crouched down and pulled the note that was under the nightstand and placed it next to Phichit's head. Yuuri was glad that Phichit was a heavy sleeper; he might've not liked his loud snoring back when they were in college, but at least he wouldn't catch him sneaking out.

Yuuri opened the door, and with Makkachin walking out with him, he closed it behind him.

"Sh, be extra quiet, boy," Yuuri said with his hand on the railing. Everyone in the community should be sleeping by now. Like Leo and Guang-Hong. They were sleeping in the same bed with Leo's hand over the Chinese boy's hand.

With a deep breath, Yuuri walked out the front door, never taking one look back.

However, Yuri was peering behind the wall, just baffled by what he just saw. Without even bothering to wash his hands after using the bathroom, he ran up the stairs to Yuuri's room.

Yuri burst opened the door, jumping on the bed, landing on Phichit.

"Yo, yo, hamster-face!" he called out, grabbing Phichit's and forcing to wake up.

"Wake up!" Yuri cried, lightly slapping the Thai boy's face.

Phichit frowned, stirring as he woke up. He woke up and looked at him.

"What's up?" The Thai boy said to him.

Yuri hissed at him like an annoyed cat. "The pig! He's gone!"

Phichit sat straight up, looking absolutely worried.

"Yuuri!"
--
Yuuri had his flashlight out, lighting his way down the road. As soon as he walked through the front gates, he evolved his walking into a run, hoping to get as much ground covered and without the possibility of anyone following him.

His hair soared in the air, as he knew that it would get cold very soon. Not like it bothered him. It reminded him of back home in Hasetsu, running through the cold wind as a way of exercising. It would just be running and doing a couple of jumping jacks by the beach and return home; other times, it was running and then getting some skating practice done at the Ice Castle that was in Hasestu too. Yuuri loved it.

As much as he missed his own friends.

Yuuko and Takeshi.

Yuuri frowned, looking down at the road but at the same time…

He felt happy.

They were in a better place.
--
Makkachin barked, stopping by a spot beside the road. Yuuri stopped beside him, careful to not trip.

"What is it, Makkachin?" Yuuri asked him, kneeling by the dog. The poodle sniffed the spot intensely as if he was picking up some bad omens around him. Makkachin looked up at his human companion and barked.

"You mean his scent stopped here?" Yuuri asked.

Makkachin turned around once and directed his head to something in the distance. He brushed his foot on the ground and whined. Yuuri looked to where the dog's head was pointing at, and he hoped that it wasn't the worst. He couldn't imagine the idea of his boyfriend dead. Licking his lip, he took one last look at Makkachin and walked forward, flashlight showing the way for him. The leaves crunched under Yuuri's feet as he came in front of a shed. It was opened and since it was Yuuri dismissed it. Viktor couldn't be in there. It looked too trashy and knowing how he was, Viktor would've rather slept in some leaves or in a tree.

Yuuri strolled past the trees for a few seconds, when he came across something odd. It looked round. He saw that it had a few pieces of metal, plastic and wire string by it. It was a mine and it was used. Yeah, Yuuri nodded, holding it as his knees were bent. He remembered his teacher giving a lecture about how they were built as to how he knew what it was.

Only what could have set it off? Yuuri pondered. Yuuri would've turned around but—

A thick hand came over Yuuri's mouth, keeping him quiet. Yuuri felt his heart jump, feet kicking the air as whoever was silencing him wrapped an arm around his waist. The young man screamed through the thick hand. The person who was holding onto purred into his ear, "Shhh, little boy; there's nothing to be afraid of."

Yuuri fumbled for the dagger in his belt.

Makkachin padded to his direction, paws touching the grass.

When he saw what was occurring, the dog barked angrily. The attacker turned his head and awed.

"Is this your little puppy-doggy?" he said. Yuuri pulled out the knife and gave the man a small nick, slipping his hand away from his mouth.

"Makkachin, run! Get help!" Yuuri cried out.

The man had howled in complete pain. Makkachin barked. The dog knew it was out of his own safety so he ran, leaving Yuuri.

"You damn little piece of crap! Look at what happened!" the attacker cried out. "Now my friends and I are gonna have to punish you for that!" The man shoved Yuuri down to the grass and causing the knife to fall out of his hand. Yuuri screamed at the top of his lungs, kicking as the large man was over his body. The same thick hand covered his mouth, and his was crotch was kneed, causing Yuuri to groan in pain. Everything was growing warm around his face.

He knew he was going to get back lash for going out on his own but— this was too much for him!

"Don't cry you brat," the man said, from the side a pair of feet came, the person in front looking impressed with the large man had found.

"Did you catch something, lumpy?" the man in front said to the large man.

"Yeah, and apparently he's an Asian!" the large man said. He had Yuuri's flashlight in his own hand, looking right at Yuuri's face. Yuuri had tears flowing down his face. He hoped Makkachin made it back to their community and got help.

"Oh shit, seriously?" the leading man said, kneeling by the large man's side.

"Yeah." The large man said. "But he scratched me!"

The lead man looked at Yuuri and he looked he was going to hit him right in the face.

However, he didn't.

The stranger knelt down very close to Yuuri. His breath radiated all over the young man's face like the flashlight.

"Well, I could go for some Asian food, right after we pepper him, right everyone?" the man called out to his group. He got several cheers in response.

Yuuri gasped under the hand.

"Tie him up, make sure he doesn't run off." The leading man said, standing right up.

No!

Chapter Text

[Dear Phichit,

Please don't think badly of me or let my parents and Mari know about this. I'm sorry.

I have to go.]

Toshiya felt like a bullet pierced right through his important veins, holding the note in his hands and standing on his porch in the early four in the morning. Phichit and Yuri were standing in front of him, Phichit rubbing his arms.

Phichit and Yuri had debated on whether or not they should tell Yuuri's parents what happened. They could not imagine how they would react, especially Yuuri's mom, who entrusted them with her son. It was around that time that both Christophe and Yakov had arisen and the latter asked what the hell was going on, leading them to knocking on the red house's door.

"We're going after my son." He said. Toshiya snapped his fingers at Christophe. "You! Get some guns on the double!"

--

Yuuri was sniffing, his back against the cold, bluish-green wall as his chest was shrinking and inflating every second of every minute.

He had been taken against his own damn will.

In other words, kidnapped.

Stupid!

Stupid!

Stupid!

Stupid!

Yuuri wished he could just bang his head against the wall, but he couldn't. His hands were chained above him, hands clasped together as a black zip tie was bound around his elbows and another around his ankles. There was no need to gag him. Yuuri did not have the power to say anything, especially with how these dudes hovered over him like a flock of vultures over road kill.

What were they going to do with him?

What?

Yuuri started to cough, saliva streaming over his chin like water over a fall. He could hear those men talk profoundly about him in the other room, their voices going higher than others.

"Put him in a noose and let him hang; that way we don't have to clean the basin like we did last time with the last batch." A man with a touch of Southern twang in his voice suggested.

Last batch? Yuuri thought in his head. What the hell did they mean by that?

"No, no," disagreed another man, possibly younger than the other. "Just tie him to a table naked and cut into him. Their screams always bring satisfaction to my boys."

What the hell…? Why him naked? What did that guy mean by his 'boys'?

"You're twisted, you know that?" said a third man.

"That's enough out of all of yous!" cried a fourth man, and by the way he spoke, Yuuri could tell it was the leader. Whatever they were going to do with him was most likely clearly his call. Yuuri bit his lip, as some tears were slipping down his face.

"This is what we're going to do with him; throw him into the furnace. They're always better crispy."

Yuuri screamed silently at the top of his lungs. Maybe it was better, that way they wouldn't cut his tongue out or something or beat him into oblivion. Oh god. He had seen this type of thing before on TV. There were these people who trap humans, skin them alive and roast them over a large fire.

Cannibals! DAMN CANNIBALS!

Yuuri felt snot roll down his nose over his nose before he sniffed it back.

--

"C'mon! C'mon! We need to go faster!" Toshiya yelled as he, Yakov, Christophe, Phichit, and Yuri were traveling down the path, each one of them holding a weapon in their hands. Yakov was with them so he could tell Toshiya how to handle a gun; Christophe couldn't let his Russian friend down; Phichit wanted to make sure that Yuuri was alright, and as much as Yuri would hate to admit it, he would hate to see the pig get eaten by any zombies.

No one else needed to get involved with this. Minami had already through too much with those Maverick people, the Leroys did so much for the community and Hiroko… oh, Hiroko…

As a husband, as much as Toshiya didn't want to find his son dead, he didn't want his wife to get hurt either!

"Mr. Katsuki; I must warn you to keep your voice down!" Yakov told him. "Not only bullets may attract them!"

"That doesn't matter one bit Mr. Feltsman!" Toshiya told the older man. He held a small Smith and Wesson Model 442, one Chris had in his stash, in his hand.

The men were in the middle of the street, as they had paused.

Phichit was in the way front, holding onto a hammer that he got from the kitchen, looking at the horizon with a flashlight too.

Phichit took one step, his black gems narrowing. The light was on the ground when something brown and furry ran down it.

"Um, everyone, look!" The young man cried out, turning to his group. Christophe and Yuri did as told, as Toshiya and Yakov looked right after them. Yakov placed his hand over his eyes, muttering, "Is that the pooch…?"

Barking erupted, as Makkachin appeared right in front of them.

"It's just the dog," Phichit said. He turned to Makkachin and got on one knee to him, clapping his hands to him.

"Come here, boy; come here," he said. Phichit rubbed Makkachin's nose out of loving care, and stroked his head, fingers getting lost in the fur.

"Then he should know where Yuuri is!" Toshiya declared. True, Yuri did tell he saw Makkachin go with him to who knows where.

Makkachin barked, turning away and going back down the road, tail flapping around in the air. It was like he wanted to them to follow him because he knew where Yuuri was being barked once, as the men followed him.

--

Yuuri could hear the sounds of a furnace being shuffled around by a poker, as he heard some of the men talk through that door. Yuuri whined, looking up at the ceiling. Fuck! He felt like a weak little boy, but this was what took the motherfucking cake! Fuck, no matter how high as being the valedictorian at his college graduation could keep him from something as low as this!

"Hey…" suddenly, an odd voice called out to him. It was as smooth and sweet as honey as it flew into his ears.

"What?" Yuuri whipped his head to where the voice came from. The young man's hair swished in the air, and as soon his eyes made contact, he felt his heart grow as hard as stone.

Her brown hair was rolled into a perfect cinnamon bun behind her head, with two white sticks through it. Her eyes were as bright and welcoming as the sun as her smile looked like it could bring the zombies back to their original state.

Her kimono was white, with a red sash and black ropes and a v-shaped line going across her chest. She had her arms up, taking the form of a goddess as the white triangle sat on her forehead.

Yuuko.

As a ghost.

"Don't give up on your hope; your old life may be gone… but this is just the beginning of a new one."

Somehow that was true. Yuuri longed for his previous life, what would've been his career as a games developer and a computer programmer, his life at the onsen as a child and as a young adult, his friends, but— he was able to survive a massive outbreak, found a place he and his family could call home, and—he made love for the first time.

"I don't want to die a virgin…" Yuuri told the Russian, his arm around the older man's waist. They were both holding wine bottles in their hands. They were sitting on the carpet, looking at each other's eyes.

"Take me, please…" Yuuri asked him, his hand over his bare chest. Yuuri's shirt had gotten ripped in half by zombie's hand before he grabbed a wrench and shoved into its eye. Viktor had given him his shirt to help him cover himself. Yuuri told him it was fine, but Viktor said that the zombie's finger was still clamped over it and Yuuri saw that it was true and whipped the shirt off.

Yuuri gave a series of sorrowful chuckles, making his knees curl right into his chest.

--

The men stepped through the woods, beyond where Yuuri was taken away. Phichit spun his body around slowly, trying to look for something of interest. Toshiya was looking at the dagger that was oddly left behind on the ground. It had some fresh blood on it, insinuating that it was used and discarded by who knows what, recently.

And it probably wasn't discarded carelessly like some child that leaves a toy behind.

Yakov was walking by his side, making sure nothing would get close to him. Both men looked up when Phichit called out, "Hey over here!"

Phichit was standing before a shed-like building with a door on it. "Looks like it leads to somewhere. Probably where Yuuri is!" he said.

Makkachin barked as if to agree with him.

"Then let us not waste any time then!" Yakov declared. "Open the door!"

--

Yuuri's hands weren't bound but a black blindfold was over his eyes. His glasses had set to the side as if they were nothing. There were two men holding onto his arms, as Yuuri struggled to get out of their grasp but it was no use.

Yuuri felt a cold chill course through his blood. He parted his lips several times as a pair of feet walked up to him.

"Now don't you worry baby…" said the leader as he patted his head very softly. "…You'd be set free real soon!"

Yuuri could hear the snaps and crackles coming from a fireplace that was embedded within the walls along with someone shoving some coals into it as well. Probably by the same guy that covered Yuuri's mouth.

By 'free' he did not mean by as in untying him and letting him go back to his survivor community. It had to be worse than being triggered by a gun by some stranger.

"Please…" Yuuri demanded lightly in accented English. "Don't do this please… it's never worth taking a human lif-!"

POW! SLAP!

The leader literally punched him in the face and then backhanded him. Yuuri felt a bruise erupt over his eye and his face be turned to his right side.

What was worth now? Other than guns, weapons, and a tank of gas?

Nothing much now.

Yuuri grimaced, feeling the pain burn over his cheek like a match over a piece of paper.

"Alright, fellow Night Crawlers… let us be thankful for this bountiful harves—" the leader began and would've finished if were not for—

"FREEZE!" cried a man with blonde hair and a semi-automated. Chris!

Behind him were Yakov, Yuri, Toshiya, Phichit, and Makkachin, who all had their weapons pointed at them.

"You's all under arrest!" Christophe declared.

There were a few chuckles emitted from the leader, who just shook his head. The man had black hair and hazel eyes, with a beard similar to Christophe's.

"Well, well, do you hear that boys? Looks lik—" the leader began again, pointing at their new guests.

BANG!

Christophe fired, and the leader found himself screaming, holding his shot hand. A fraction of his pointer finger had been blown away by Chris' gun, meaning that the Swiss hunter was not playing games with him. His men looked shocked, but the two men did not let go of Yuuri. Even the large man backed away.

"YOU PSYCHO!" the leader cried. "You'll pay for that!"

Christophe aimed his gun and fired it at the large man's forehead, killing him on impact. A smirk of insanity flashed on his face.

Another man came running up to them, holding a pipe in his hands. He was screaming, but Yuri rushed and slit the man's throat open with his machete. It was like how he killed his own grandfather, but this dude was no friend of his.

A small war erupted in that room, with both sides coming right at each other. First, the two men that were holding onto Yuuri raced up to Toshiya and Yakov, wanting to hurt them. Second, Phichit took the liberty of grabbing Yuuri and racing up the stairs, but Yuuri told him about his bag and the large dagger on it. Phichit cursed, and told Yuuri to stay where he was but he said he needed to get it himself. Yuuri ran away from him.

Toshiya delivered two shots to one of the men, giving that man a nick on his arm and a shot by his shoulder. The man cried out, but he was put down by Yakov with a bullet to his heart after he killed the other man. Yakov asked if Toshiya was okay and the latter nodded at him as if saying he was.

Yakov nodded back.

Yuri was chasing some lanky dude around the room, eventually chasing him into the room where Yuuri was kept in. Yuri was laughing, feeling his blood pump and grow hot like a skillet. Yuuri was standing before a large door, looking over the bag he was holding onto. Yuuri figured that was where those men held onto all of their left-over meat, but Yuuri did not want to check it out.

Yuri cursed while smiling, stabbing the lanky man in the back, letting his blood coat the ground. Yuuri looked at Yuri and that man; he wanted some of the action too! Yuuri, with a hearty sigh, pulled out the black dagger and kissed it.

Give me strength.

Yuuri walked over to the lanky man and he planted the lanky man's hand on the floor and shoved the dagger into his hand. The lanky man screamed as Yuri looked jawdropped.

Yuuri raised the dagger and sent into the lanky man's pinky, cutting it in half.

Back in the main room, Christophe fired another bullet to the leader's other hand, causing about two-fifths of his hand being blow away by him. The leader screamed in pain even louder, loud enough that the zombies' eardrums would get shattered if they still had them.

"STOP!" The leader cried at him. Toshiya and Yakov looked away from the bodies and looked at the leader. Toshiya narrowed his eyes at him; this man was responsible for his son's disappearance and would've been for his death too.

"Dad?" Yuuri asked his father. The men that were in the room turned to him.

"I'd like to end him," he said. Before Toshiya could object, Yuuri walked past him.

"I'll take care of this, Chris," Yuuri told the hunter, who was going to end the leader's life.

Yuuri knelt down, and with his eyes staring right at the leader's face, Yuuri stabbed the black and silver dagger into his throat, ending his misery. This is for hitting Yuuri across the face. Blood gushed from the leader's throat and some of it landed on Yuuri's hand.

Yuuri cringed a tad, shaking the blood away.

--

Samantha walked through the door that led to the kitchen. The young woman yawned, turning her head to the living room. There, sitting at the desk with her sniper rifle was her young sister-in-law Anna. The lamp was on, as the girl was clearly placing bullets into it.

"What are you doing?" the young woman said to her.

Anna turned to her sister-in-law, her look almost frowning.

"What does it look like?" she said with a bad tone.

"Your brother and your uncle tell you, you're not allowed to shoot, past midnight," Samantha said.

"That doesn't mean I can't at least polish up my gun," Anna told her.

"God, Anna. Why can't you be more like other girls? Why are you even messing around with that?"

Anna gripped the rod of her sniper rifle and looked at her sister-in-law with dark eyes. "It's not like I have interest in what my brothers do." Dylan had majored in Physics, and her other brother— Rory, had interest in NASCAR if it were not for his current condition. He was currently lying in his bed, arms over his face as his knees were pointed to the ceiling. Dylan gave him some pills with water before calling it a day. Apparently, he and Uncle Alroy were discussing how to get back at those Ciao-Towners.

"Besides, I'm helping them fight them, no matter what."

Anna narrowed her eyes, looking at the bullet in her hand.

Shoot the Asian skank that almost hurt her brother.

--

Yakov, Toshiya, Chris, Yuri, Phichit, Yuuri, and Makkachin were walking through the woods, none of them taking one look back. They left the door open, in case if any zombie wanted to have an early snack.

Yuuri was looking down at the ground, just like he would when he was still a kid in Japan. He could tell that his father was angered with him.

At least he was able to kill someone before they killed him. Damn Night Crawlers.

Toshiya paused.

As if on cue, everyone else did. The air felt chiller than it should. At least one zombie was around, its jaw wedged to the side as its wife beater shirt was stuck on its chest like a second skin. No one paid any mind to it, as the zombie didn't seem to either.

"Yuuri," Toshiya said. The air blew by his robe, as he held the gun in his left hand.

Yuuri parted his lips into a perfect 'o'.

"I am heavily infuriated with you. I have never felt this way towards anyone, not even towards Mari, you understand me?"

Yuuri nodded. "Yes, sir…"

Toshiya turned away. "Good." And he started to walk again.

Oddly, by their luck, Otabek was by the gate, watching them with lit up eyes. It was almost five in the morning, just several hours away from the rest of the town waking up. He had his arm by the door gate, as everyone went back to their respective homes.

Yuri was the last one to enter.

"What happened?" Otabek asked him.

Yuri had his machete over his shoulder. "Apparently the pig left his pen and got taken by some carnivorous guys. Hamster-face and I told his dad and we left to save him."

"Cannibals?" Otabek asked. "Are you serious?"

Yuri scratched his head. "Yeah, seemed like it. Swiss Hunter apparently shot a guy's fingers off, can you believe that?"

"That sounds… quite uncanny." Otabek said.

"What do you mean?" Yuri said.

Otabek leaned in closer to him. "I've seen bad men get their limbs cut off by my mother's troops, usually with sharp stuff." He said.

Yuri felt his stomach be pulled down. "Are you for real?"

Otabek nodded. "Do you know anything about your own mother?" he asked.

Yuri looked down, trying to remember.

"Margosha!" Nikolai said on the phone. Seven-year-old Yuri was sitting on the couch, watching some kiddie show. He was too young to understand what was happening. "Yes, it's hard now… but you'll find a place. There has to be one that is looking for an accountant!"

"Not much.. 'cept that she was an accountant or something." Yuri said.

"My mom had an accountant keep track of all the money that her group made," Otabek told him.

"Oh really? What happened to them?" Yuri asked.

"My mother shot him for stealing her bra," he said.

Yuri blushed bright red.

Chapter Text

In the morning, of course, Hiroko came, pounding on the door of the house. Damn, Yuuri was not surprised that his father told her what happened. Hell, he wouldn't even be surprised if Mari was told about what happened, either.

Yuuri was at the table, arms over his chest. He could still feel the texture of the thick chains around his wrists. Yuri was at the coffee pot, pouring himself a cup of coffee. Yuri placed a teaspoon full of sugar and poured it in. Oh, how he missed this. Drinking coffee like a teenage girl does when she's going to school. Even though there was no liquid cream, Yuri stirred the cup and took a sip.

He said to Yuuri, "Pig, your mom." As he leaned back on the counter. "She probably won't quit."

Yuuri rubbed his nose. "Yeah… what will make her quit?" he said, going to the door.

Yuuri opened the door and Hiroko stormed right through.

"How can you be so foolish, Yuuri?!" the woman cried out. Never in her life had she ever been like this. Just like Toshiya.

"They're dead now, mom," Yuuri told her.

"It doesn't change the fact that you were taken, no—not taken, the fact you left on your own, Yuuri!" Hiroko told them, poking her fingers into his chest.

Yuuri bit his lips, turning away. "Figured…"

Hiroko raised a brow. "Figured what?"

Yuuri's tongue moved around in his mouth vigorously. "It doesn't change anything..."

Would she believe him if he saw the spirit of Yuuko before him?

Hiroko sternly told him, "You also could've caused the death of your father as well,"

And sitting with him in the belly one of the Night Crawlers if someone fucked up.

Mari was outside, looking through the window into the kitchen. It might have been to peek at Yuri, but it was the opposite. She wanted to know if Yuuri was okay.

"I just wanted to do things by myself; I don't know they would be cannibals," Yuuri said to her.

"You don't know?" Hiroko echoed. "Yuuri, we already lost so much due to the virus! The onsen, our other family members, our old town. I swear Yuuri if we lost you, it'll be because you didn't have the audacity to say something! Didn't you hear me? You're only losing time on this!"

"What time is there?" Yuuri asked her.

Yuri was watching. He could feel his pain; three days after the virus struck, he and Nikolai were upstairs, hearing the cars crash and people scream out of pain and fear. He and his granddad were arguing about what they should do.

"Grandpa, listen, on TV it said that there's an evac happening at the Busch Stadium, all we have to do is just pack some stuff and we'll be gone!" Yuri told him.

"And risk getting caught in traffic and risk the possibility of getting robbed or eaten by them, Yurachka? You know what happened to the neighbors next door." Nikolai said.

A family of four was rushing out of their garage in their red Prius, and just when they would take a turn on the right, a wave of zombies crawled over them, tearing the doors open. Yuri heard screams, and just when he heard the cry of a little girl, he turned away, holding Puma Tiger Scorpion in his arms.

"Grandpa, it shouldn't happen to everyone…" Yuri tried to reason with him. His grandfather was the only person he would give his full attention, care, and kindness to, but they had to do something! Who knows what the government would do with all of the cities out there if they stayed here.

"We have to leave!" Yuri told him.

"We should be grateful that we're still alive," Hiroko said. "So darn foolish of you, Yuuri…"

--

JJ was brushing his teeth, looking at his mirror. He was shirtless, wearing on a dark blue plaid pair of pants on his person. It reminded him of the old days before the world went to hell. Every morning, he'd make sure to wash his face and brush his teeth before he went to school. Now, JJ felt empty, but his father suggested that his kids keep on brushing their teeth, even in Armageddon. Or else they'd be close to death than they would want to be. JJ spat in the sink, wiping his mouth when he heard several coughing sounds coming from his younger siblings' room. JJ wondered the heck was going on, as he went out the door. He walked through the hallway and found Nathan lying on his bed coughing up something terrible.

"Nathan, are you alright?" JJ asked his younger brother.

His brother gave two small hacks, shaking his head. JJ, like a bee, inspected his brother's body, swearing, "Damn," hoping nothing touched his brother's body or else his mom would grow a panicked fit about it.

Nathan was on his side as JJ had lifted his shirt over his back. He gave another hack, as JJ grew worried.

The door opened again, and Isabella and Mr. Leroy came through. Isabella was helping Mrs. Leroy cook breakfast when she went to go check up on JJ, and Mr. Leroy had gotten back from a meeting with Celestino. Apparently, they were discussing the possibility of an invasion from Maverick along with some other gunmen, such as Christophe and Yakov, who did have careers with marksmanship after all.

"What's going on?" Mr. Leroy asked in a stern voice.

"I got a bad throat dad…" Nathan told his father.

Mr. Leroy walked over to him, looking at him.

"Oh my…" Isabella muttered.

Mr. Leroy felt his son's head, feeling that it was a tad warm. The man swore, standing straight up.

"How did this happen?" Mr. Leroy asked, hoping to get an answer. "Did you go out at night, Nathan?"

"I just woke up with it," the boy said. "It hurts really badly."

"Get up son, I need to get you medicine," Mr. Leroy said. "Put your shoes on."

Nathan did as told, following his father out the door.

As soon as they were gone, Isabella looked worried. She stepped over to JJ, who was sitting on the bed. She sat right by him, putting her hand on his shoulder.

"What do you think got him sick?" she asked.

JJ sighed, scratching his head. "Damn, the smoke from the burned up body, probably…"

"I need to make sure Amy is okay too…" JJ said, walking out of the room. It was his job as the firstborn son, in case if his father was gone, he'd have to look over his family.

Little did he know, Nathan was not the only one who was suffering from the mysterious illness.

--

Guang-Hong was coughing, sitting at the table with his staff by his chair. Leo was hovering over him, hand over his forehead. Leo was massively worried about him.

"Oh my poor little pollito…" his eyes were growing glassy. He sounded a lot like a concerned mother when her child got sick. Guang-Hong's nose was runny, as his eyes looked almost red as if he were crying.

Leo escorted him to the bedroom, hoping to take care of him there.

Mila was walking out of her room, hoping to get a cup of coffee.

"Hey, what's up?" Mila asked them.

"Guang-Hong's sick," Leo told her, like a mother again.

"Leo," Guang-Hong told his friend, softly. "There's no reason for you to treat me like this, I was studying to become a paramedic remember? I can take care of myself."

"Studying?" Leo echoed, putting his hands on his hips. "Guang, that's nowhere close to helping you!"

"Leo," Guang-Hong used the same tone. "It's nothing too major, all I need is some medicine and I'll be fine." He walked down the carpeted hall, going to the restroom where Mila told him there was medicine if he needed any.

Why is Leo so worried about me? Doesn't he know that the zombies should be the higher priority? Well, there are the walls, but…

Guang-Hong walked into the bathroom, hoping to find some cough medicine. If not, then maybe he could make a remedy that his grandmother showed him in case if there wasn't any over the counter medicine.

He had been sick several times before, surely over a week, it would go away.

Leo balled his fists. He wanted his Guang-Hong to be safe. He could still remember when the time Guang-Hong asked him why he kissed him before he left to accompany that small group. It was about time for bed and Leo and Guang-Hong were on the bed together.

"Did you honestly think I was joking about liking you?"

"Leo, we're heading back to this?" Guang-Hong asked.

"Guang, I've been alone all my life, my parents are divorced. I need someone, please." Leo told him, touching his arms.

"I'll think about it…" Guang-Hong said.

--

Knock, Knock, Knock.

There was a pained look on Viktor's face, standing before the glass of the sound booth, hoping to get someone's attention. His chest was heaving in and out, as two small drops of sweat were falling down his face. His hair was in a frenzy, as his lips were parted in a perfect line. He was shirtless, with a large patch over his stab wound. He was given a pair of sweatpants and boots, but obviously, it could not help protect him from the uncomfortable texture of the army cot he spent the nights on.

He had been knocking away since he woke up this morning since he was able to regain the feeling all over his body. The first thing he saw when he woke for the first time in Maverick was that he was on an operating table, arms clasped down to his sides. The door opened and closed, and Viktor saw a doctor come to him with a warm smile. He waved, but Viktor demanded to know where he was and thrashed around, but the doctor called for help and a nurse came in with a syringe. The Russian was screaming that he would kill him in the worst way possible, but Viktor's eyes turned into a tint of bright blue, insinuating distress.

The doctor calmly told him, "This is just to help you, son. Many people including The Ringleader demanded this in case you grew frisky."

The syringe was injected into Viktor's arm, causing him to fall into slumber. He awoke the next day, with another pair of blue eyes staring at him. Viktor flipped him the finger at least once before falling back to sleep, still under the effects of the medication.

Viktor had a plan now, and he was going to use it.

"Oh fuck…" said a man with military garb on. He was coming down the stairs, buttoning up his shirt. What he was doing upstairs was something unfamiliar to the assassin, but he didn't care.

"What do you want?" the guard asked.

Viktor lifted a bucket and pointed to it.

"It's full? Fine… I'll empty it…" the guard said. He walked to the door and unlocked it with a key. Once the door was opened, Viktor smirked. He threw the urine that he poured in there onto the man, smiling evilly.

The man gasped, covering his face with his hands. "DEAR GOD IT'S IN MY EYES!" Viktor kicked the guard down, making sure he wouldn't stop on his way to freedom.

The guard cried out, but he didn't have time to retaliate because Viktor snapped his neck with his boot.

Nobody fucking imprisons Viktor Nikiforov without his consent, or ever.

At the top of the stairs, a young brunette with her hair up and wearing a pink lace nightie gasped. She saw the dead body. Eyes soulless, Viktor walked up to her, whispering something in her ear, "The weak have no place in this world. If you can't carry a weapon, then you are worthless. If you are worthless, then what's the point of being here in this world? Or any world at all?"

The young woman fell on her knees, feeling hot tears erupt from her eyes. Viktor walked away.

He hated hurting women, he really did. At least physically.

Viktor rushed out of the house he was under, looking both ways. Apparently, not many people were out yet, giving him the advantage. He turned to the left, gaining the attention of at least one old vendor. The man's brows furrowed, wondering what was going on.

He found himself at an open end, where two of the men that had apprehended him were standing in. One man looked up, and he alerted to his partner what was happening.

The second man frowned; he was the one who knocked out Viktor, for killing his brother. "How the fuck did you get out?" Viktor picked up one of the circular saw blades that were on the wall and hurled it at that man's neck. The second man gasped, grabbing it as blood dripped down his neck.

"Damn you!" the first man cried out, pulling out his gun and firing at him.

Viktor turned away, running down the street.

Oscar was munching on an apple, getting ready to do some target practice with his crossbow, when he saw Viktor running.

"STOP HIM, WOLFGRICK!" the man cried, seeing his face red.

Oscar dropped the apple, picking up his crossbow and pointing it at Viktor.

"Stop now!" Oscar demanded, with a voice of a detention center officer. "Or I will fire at you!"

Viktor had to laugh at him. Viktor performed a camel spin and kicked the crossbow out of Oscar's hands.

"Fuck!" the teenager cried out, his hands feeling the fury of Viktor's leather boots.

The man shot at Viktor twice, but the Russian ducked, bringing the teenager along with him. Viktor lifted Oscar by his shoulders, and with his fury, Viktor swung his legs at the man, in the face. The man cried out, sitting on his side and holding his face out of pain as large gash existed on his face.

Oscar cried out, demanding for the Russian to put him down, but Viktor shook his head. He threw the teen to his right, right into a bush full of thorns, giving one large grunt.

Viktor looked at the gun that the man had dropped, looking right at it with contempt. He was never a fan of guns. Ever since the death of his paternal aunt at the hands of an attack, after the suicide of his mother. His aunt Katiya was the one who was willing to watch over him and take care of him at the hands of his abusive father.

His friends, Georgi and Christophe, were; one man he knew Masumi, was more of the type to fight with his words other than even a mere kitchen knife.

Viktor had always preferred knives, going back to when he was about eight years old; knives lasted forever. So much than a gun could shoot a deer.

Viktor kicked the gun away, and then he saw the crossbow. It looked so fascinating, the assassin had seen it so many times before, but he was never given the chance to hold one. Viktor picked it up, examining it.

"You son of a bitch!" the man cried, getting up, wanting to attack him. He wanted to fucking tear his neck out with his own bare fingers, just like he did with his companion. Viktor turned, and with his brows furrowed, Viktor launched one bolt.

One bolt that ripped through the air.

One bolt that was aimed at the man's eye.

One bolt that was quick and silent like any blade in the midst of an attack.

One bolt was pierced through the man's eye, emitting blood as he screamed.

Oscar was watching, face filled with terror.

The man fell to his knees, no more sounds coming out of his mouth as Viktor took one look at Oscar and smirked, as he pulled out the bolt.

That was his crossbow now.

Damn, the crossbow was the combination of a gun and dagger. Viktor could hold it the same way Christophe holds his semi-automated and it could get some blood on the tip as well.

What was Oscar going to do now?

Casey was going to murder him, just like with Ian.

"I can't believe this!" Casey bellowed at Ian, red in the face. Ian was sitting in a wooden chair, right in the middle of their apartment.

"You shitted on everything, Ian!" he said. "You make us look weak!"

Viktor was running down the street now, holding his new weapon on his person now. He needed to get out quick.

The assassin was looking both ways, his silver hair swishing around and around in the morning sun. It reminded him of his old assassination days. Once, he was hopping from roof to roof, after slashing the throat of a yacht owner in a small gas station in Milan. He was so glad he had these skills, even at this time.

In hopes of hiding, Viktor saw an open door. Whoever was in there, he can either kill them with ease or psychologically torture them, like he did to that girl. He didn't know it, but that girl was on her knees, holding her bloodied wrists as she was over her boyfriend's body. She took the knife and stabbed herself in the stomach with it.

The Russian ran in, not taking its surroundings. Sadly, he bumped into someone and Viktor fell on his backside, dropping the crossbow.

The person who was before him turned around. He was about a decade and a half older than Viktor, with hair like his but thinning out and no bang. He was wearing a long, black garb on his person, looking perplexed as who might've touched him.

"Who's there?" the man asked. He looked at Viktor and his brows furrowed. He saw the crossbow in his hands.

"Young man! You put that down immediately!" Father McKormick called out to him, as Viktor pointed the crossbow at him.

"Why should I?" Viktor said. "I am a trained killer, after all."

"Don't you know anything from the bible?" Father McKormick said to him, gray eyes looking at him, terrified. "Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death, Lev 24:17."

Viktor chuckled with pure malice; he grabbed the priest's collar. "How sad, no one has put me to death, but you seem to be of use."

"What are you doing? This is the house of the Lord!" Father McKormick told him.

--

"Minami," Phichit said to the boy, who was eating some oatmeal on the couch. "You've been in this house for who knows how long, dude." He poked Minami's shoulder.

"Yeah?" Minami pouted. "So?"

"I think it's time you went out for a bit, don't you think?" Phichit said. How could he say that? Just several hours ago he was watching his old college friend slit some guy's throat open, all while he did nothing to contribute. Maybe he just wanted to be the one who stayed sane and positive throughout the mess. In fact, for how long? How long would this remain? What would they all do if humanity was restored somehow? Would they be all still living here?

"And do what?" Minami asked.

Phichit pouted. "Hm, maybe we can play with a ball right outside, like in those American movies."

"I don't know…" Minami folded his arms.

"Hey, where's that bubbly Minami we all know in love?" Phichit said. He could still remember the time when they were driving outside of Houston with their new companions, Minami asked, "Is there any music in this van?"

"Kid's right, where're the CDs in this thing?" Christophe said. He was in the back with Minami, Viktor, Makkachin, Yuuri, and Yakov. While Yuuri and Viktor were talking about how easily attached Makkachin was getting to Yuuri, Mari found a blue, padded CD case right by her. She was the one driving while Phichit was next to her, wanting to take a break after driving for so long.

"It's right here, here, ya'll check while I'm driving." She said.

Christophe took the case as Minami was looking at it with him. Christophe opened it and apparently, he only found three CDs in it.

Minami looked rather blank, stating, "Guess these guys didn't have much music in their soul."

"Hey, hey," Christophe said, looking right at him. "Just because there are only three of these things doesn't mean they don't have much on them." He looked at the first CD and saw that it had: 'Earth, Wind, and Fire' scribbled on it in black marker.

"Oh sweet!" Christophe pulled out the CD. "Let's hope these people had 'September' on this thing!" he said, passing the CD to the front.

"Here, put this on!" he asked Phichit.

"Alright," Phichit said, the van passing at least two zombies.

The CD was put in, and as Hiroko had her head on her husband's shoulder, the sounds of a drum being lightly played rang in the air.

It was 'September' alright, making Christophe get giddy. He loved the heck out of this song.

Viktor snorted, as Yuuri put his head in his hands, wanting to laugh. Toshiya smiled, "I know this song! I used to dance to it, right, Hiroko?" he said to his wife.

Hiroko smiled, "Why yes…"

Phichit snapped his fingers, shaking his butt to this song. Mari wanted to laugh.

Yakov groaned. "Oh you kids, is 'Boogie Wonderland' there too?"

"Come on, man, we need that Minami again, dude!" Phichit said.

Minami sighed. "Yeah, I guess." He stood up from the couch. This talk reminded him of that boy he met in Maverick. He wondered how he was doing, he hoped he was okay.

Phichit squealed. "Yay!" he said.

--

Celestino sighed, putting his forehead in his hands. What was happening? Those damn Maverickers. He couldn't handle the idea of those people storming in again and gunning down several lives. Several innocent lives. Some of the kids that were here didn't even make it through school. That Yuri boy should be in his Junior year of high school right now.

That was why he called all of the experienced gunners to his office, in hopes of what they should do. It was sort of difficult, but it was suggested by Yakov. If one couldn't fight, then take flight; meaning that they should evacuate the community and move somewhere else before those guys came.

Celestino went along with it, and before the meeting adjourned, he told everyone to start packing everything because they were going to leave the area before the Maverickers showed. Somehow the man pitied The Ringleader, his brother was somewhere out there and he's raising his son for him. In that case, where was that boy's mother at? Surely no one would want to miss anything about their mother, especially who they were.

What was he doing? Celestino didn't have time for this. So he got up and went to his room to pack up some items.

--

Phichit and Minami were laughing, them playing with a basketball that was in Minami's room.

"You two look like you are having fun," said Otabek, walking up to them. Yuri was standing by him. Over the time that was happening, Yuri found himself enjoying Otabek more and more as much as the latter was getting better with his arm. The sling was off now, but the bandage was still there.

"Oatie and Yuri-kitten!" chirped Minami, holding his arms up.

"Nice to see you two, little nugget," said Yuri.

"What are you doing?" Otabek asked.

"Playing basketball, even though there's no basket…" Minami pouted. "You want to play?"

Yuri and Otabek looked at each other.

"Why not?" Yuri shrugged.

The ball was tossed at him and Yuri bounced it around.

--

Viktor looked in the mirror, now donning on the cassock from the priest he took captive. He smoothened out the top, hands over the chest. It was billowy as Viktor smirked.

Viktor swore he could hear the sounds of that kid calling out to some of the other people. He was also sure that the Ringleader guy was with them too and he wanted to stop the psychopath that was terrorizing their home. Viktor picked up the crossbow he was holding onto, as Father McKormick's body was on the floor with a cord around his neck and tied to the rolling chair.

He was still alive, just sleeping.

Viktor would've walked past the door if something had not caught his eyes. They were sitting in a glass cabinet just next to him. Viktor took a good look and his eyes lit up. A pair of machete kukris. The priest might've not had much use for these since they were in a closed community, but Viktor placed the crossbow on the priest's desk, opening up the cabinet. Viktor pulled out the kukris, holding them over his head. Nice, they looked almost new.

Viktor smiled, twirling them in the air.

Yes, he could use these for fighting against those zombies and anything that might come his way.

--

"Is everything ready?" The Ringleader asked as he was standing at his desk. Dylan and Anna were on his sides, Dylan on his left with his hands behind his head and Anna on his right while she was loading up her bullets into her rifle.

"Why yes, sir." Said the same man wearing a helmet on his head.

Samantha was at the corner, holding onto Rory's wheelchair as she looked at them with such somberness in her eyes.

"Sam?" Dylan said to her. He was in a black shirt with denim pants.

Samantha looked at him, "Yes?"

"It's gonna be okay baby." He told her.

"It's not worth hurting someone for something they did on accident." She told him.

"We Westers look out for each other," Dylan said. He turned to his family. "Right?"

Anna said, "Damn right, we strike soon." Her hair was done up with a green, knitted bow around her head. She was wearing a black tank top with ripped jeans.

--

"Hey," Christophe said to the four boys that were playing around.

"Yes, Christophe?" Otabek asked.

"Cialdini wanted me to tell ya'll this, but, he wants all of us to pack up." The bounty hunter said.

Otabek knew why. "Those Maverickers?" he shook his head.

Minami began to tear up. No, not again!

Yuri put his hand on his shoulder to comfort him. "Hey nugget, ain't nothing gonna happen to you! You still got your friends here!" he told him.

Phichit patted his back. Minami sniffed, toughening up.

"Yeah, I suppose that's true…" Minami said.

--

However, what they did not notice was the pair of binoculars that were spying over them. There was a large bus with several tents dotted around it; they had just arrived the night before. On a rock was a man donning military wear.

"Do you see anything?" Balziya Altin asked, sitting in a chair. Her hair was in a bun with several bangs on the side.

"Ma'am, apparently, there are houses with other humans there." Balziya's assistant said to her.

"Is that so? Allow me to see." Balziya stood up from her chair. Her assistant gave her the binoculars and she looked right through them.

She took a few breaths, moving the binoculars around. She blinked, but then she saw something she thought she would never live to stay the day. There, in the middle of that community was her son, Otabek.

"My boy!" Balziya cried out. She dropped the binoculars, causing her assistant to catch them before they fell.

"Ma'am, is there something the matter?" he asked.

"My son!" Balziya bellowed, looking at him."My son, Otabek is still alive!"