You don't have a gun. You've never needed one! And it was always fairly clear among your peers that gun ownership was risky and not worth it and probably a sign of unfortunate political tendencies.
Right now you wish you'd been a little more unfortunate in the past, so you might be less unfortunate now. You're hiding in the ruins of what was once a very nice little town square, with a charming old-world theme and shops with matching storefronts. It's a bit hard to see the niceness now, with a fire still guttering in the stores on the far side of the street, and the wreckage of a terrible car crash—at least four vehicles, maybe more—where the little decorative clock tower ought to be.
You're scavenging for food. You had so much at home before everything went wrong; for the first day after the power went down, you were still pretty comfortable. After that...people started to get restless.
You managed to flee when the looters broke in, but you didn't take much with you. You're on your own, hungry, frightened, and you know that the little tourist shops on Main Street are a bad place to go looking for unspoiled food but...but maybe that means other people won't have picked everything over yet. And you want to stay in town for at least a little bit longer. It's the only chance you have of meeting up with anyone.
The sound of gunfire makes you start in panic. Your heart rate soars, and you scramble for a hiding place, crouched in the shadowed darkness of the lavender-themed gift shop you'd been exploring. There's another gun shot.
"There's more where that came from, you bloody ruffians!" you hear from outside. You catch your breath. You know that voice. "Don't let me see you devils around here again!"
You're on your feet and running for the door before you can think twice.
Jake spins, pistols at the ready, when you push through the door and dart out into the street. You both freeze.
"Jane," he says. He holsters his guns. He has a black eye and a bandage wrapped around one arm that looks like it might have been made from an ex-sleeve. He gives you the fiercest, proudest smile you've ever seen. "I found you!"
Don't cry, you're telling yourself stupidly. Don't cry, you're already worrying about dehydration.
You throw yourself at him and he catches you. Your glasses get shoved back awkwardly into the bridge of your nose as you bury your face in his chest—you didn't realize he would be so tall, goodness—and cling. "You came after me," you say.
"Bloody right I did," he says. His hands come to rest on your back, ever so carefully. "Are you all right?"
You sniffle and nod. "I am. I've. I've been having a pretty awful time of it but I'm all right and now you're here, and." You look up; for a second the reflection off his glasses makes you not sure, but then he tilts his head a bit and you can see how he's looking at you, too. There won't be a better time than now.
You stretch up on tiptoes and kiss him.
He makes a little surprised noise and for an instant he goes entirely still and you think you've ruined your chance. Only then he recovers and he hugs you so hard you squeak, and your teeth bang together as he kisses back but you don't think you mind.
He's breathless when you pull back. "So when you said—just friends—"
"It was a load of bollocks," you tell him. "I panicked and I just—I'm so glad you're here." You slump into him and he's real, warm and solid, and you think when you lean your head against his chest that you're hearing his thundering heartbeat in time with your own.
Your stomach growls, rather ruining the moment.
Jake laughs, hearty and delighted and entirely unconcerned. "Sounds like we might need to put romance on hold for a bit," he says. "How's the hunting in the woods around here?"
"For a sportsman of your caliber?" you say. "No challenge at all, I imagine."
"Then we'll eat like kings tonight!" Jake promises, grinning down at you. You can't help returning the smile.
You're going to be all right.