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"Blackbird's Song Is Over Now."

Chapter Text

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 it. 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 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 even older 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 blue-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 to 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.”

--------

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 because Emil was right. 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 he? 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. "What the hell is he saying?" the man holding his hands down asked. "Don't know," the man who took off Viktor's belt tied his hands with it. "Flip him over!" Viktor felt several leaves his back, looking at the sun beaming on them. His shirt was peeled off. "Is he bit?" "No, it looks like a stab wound, it just needs to be covered!" The tier stood up.

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. Sara didn't want Emil to leave; she said what if the Russian killer got to him? Emil stroked her hair, saying he's probably asked to not harm civilians, 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 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.

"There's one that has a lot of hair..."

"Don't be silly!"

"Do you think the one in the middle is dead?"

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

[6:43 A.M.]

That was what the clock sang as Yuuri threw his legs over the bedside. Makkachin padded over to him and licked his face. Yuuri smiled, rubbing the poodle's face. "Good morning, Makkachin."

Makkchin let out a small bark, shuffling his paws on Yuuri's lap.

"What is it, boy?" Yuuri asked. "You want to go for a walk?"

Makkachin licked his face again, causing him to laugh. "Fine, a walk it is." he jumped off the bed and walked to the window. Yuuri looked perplexed as Makkachin shuffled his paw on the glass, it pointed to the window.

"You want to take a walk, right outside?" Yuuri asked him, walking the window. Makkachin circled Yuuri as if he desperately wanted to.

"Fine," Yuuri said; he went to the bed and grabbed the backpack that he kept under there. There were the things he packed up before leaving Japan: a flashlight, some matches, a map, a compass, and a rain poncho inside. Since Makkachin wanted to go out through the gate, Yuuri picked up the large dagger and strapped it to the backpack.

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 and posted a small note near Phichit's head. [Went to take Makkachin for a walk; be back soon.]

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.

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

Yuri wandered into the kitchen, rubbing his eye. He saw Yuuri and asked him, "Katsuki, where are you going?" he asked.

Yuuri froze. He turned to him and said, "I'm going to take Makkachin for a walk, I won't take long."

"Outside?" Yuri asked, "Way outside?"

"Yeah, why are you so concerned? Is it because of what happened to Otabek?" Yuuri asked him.

Yuri tensed. "Wh-what? No, what are you talking about?" Over the time that was happening, Yuri found himself enjoying Otabek more and more as much as the latter was taking medicine for his arm.

"Do you want to come with me?" Yuuri asked.

"Why would I?" Yuri said.

"Well, you've looked often curious about Makkachin." Yuuri looked at him.

"Yeah, like how long has he been alive?" Yuri said.

Yuuri let out a long exhale,"More than a decade, I suppose. Do you want to come?" Yuuri echoed his question.

"Yeah, I guess," Yuri said.

Yuuri smiled, "Great, I'll meet you at the gate."

Yuri placed some clothes on and had his backpack and machete with him. The two boys left without a disturbance.

Yuuri's hair blew in the wind, 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 because they were in a better place. Only God knew what was happening in Japan; zombies were mostly likely swarming every city there and possibly very little survivors there too.

"Katsuki," Yuri said.

Yuuri turned to him, "Yes?"

"I know what you're thinking of; Minami told me about your friends," Yuri told him.

"Yeah, figured he would, after all, that's what he is, until well..." Yuuri sighed.

"Yeah, poor kid," Yuri said, looking at the side. "How were your friends like?"

Yuuri bit his lip, "Well, basically the only two friends you could ever ask for in the whole wide world. One that was sweet both inside and out but also very strong; the other, he may look mean type but, no matter how much he pushes you down, he's just one big cream puff."

"For real?" Yuri said.

"Yeah," he turned to him, "Believe it or not, Yuuko might've been the type to swoon over you like my sister does."

Yuri frowned. "Stop it."

"It's true," Yuuri said. "Her girls would've taken photos of you too."

Yuri groaned, "My god..."

"I mean, look at me, once they hid my closet and tackled me in my sleep," Yuuri told him. He could still remember the time when everyone was holed up in the onsen; Lutz was by the window, holding a phone between the blinds.

Yuuko got after her. "No, you may NOT take photos of the zombies!"

"But mom, there are a lot of people posting pictures of people with the virus online," Lutz tried to argue.

"Lutz, those people were at risk of getting the virus as well! Do you want that?" Yuuko told her, pointing right at her.

"Speaking of tackle, was the dude... big?" Yuri asked.

Yuuri didn't know what to say, "Uhm, you could say that... yeah, he was. I mean, look at his hands, they were like baseball mitts!"

"Do you have a pic of them or nothing?" Yuri asked.

Yuuri's tone went low. "No..."

"Damn, son," Yuri commented as he shook his head. "Though, can you imagine if they were still alive?"

That was a good question, imagine if. "They'd be with their girls, Takeshi having his arms around them as Yuuko hanging onto him."

How would they have reacted to Yuuri being boyfriends with an assassin? How would they react to a bounty hunter who tans almost naked? How would they react to the town?

Makkachin barked lightly, wagging his tail as he was looking at something. Both boys looked at where Makkachin was looking at; there, was a long chain tied to a branch with someone at the bottom, face turned white and wearing a smock.

"Shit," Yuri said.

"Probably someone who got bit and decided to end themselves," Yuuri said.

"If there's that, then there ought to be crackheads like them around too," Yuri said.

running into the trees. Yuuri called out, "Makkachin!" going after him. Yuri followed suit.

Yuuri strolled past the trees for a few seconds, when he came across Makkachin sitting by something circular. He saw that it had a few pieces of metal, plastic and wire string by it.

"What's that?" Yuri asked.

Yuuri looked at it and then picked it up. "It's a mine! Like the ones they use in the movies!" Then he remembered his teacher giving a lecture about how they were built and used.

"Damn," Yuri said.

"Only what could have set it off?" Yuuri asked.

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 HELL?" Yuri cried out, enough to attract the undead.

The person who was holding onto Yuuri purred into his ear, "Shhh, little boy; there's nothing to be afraid of."

"You put him down!" Yuri cried, raising his machete.

The attacker, who was about 6'7 and bald, turned his head and awed at Yuri. "Who's this? Your boyfriend?"

Oh, that triggered the blonde. He might not have considered Yuuri to be a close friend, but he didn't want anything to happen to him. Yuri charged forward and gave the man a nick on his arm, releasing Yuuri. Yuuri dropped to his bottom and scrambled to where Yuri was at.

The man groaned, feeling immense pain on his bleeding arm. "You damn little piece of crap! Look at what happened! Now my friends and I are gonna have to punish you for that!" Both Yuri and Yuuri backed away slowly, Yuri holding his machete in front. His heart was pounding; he swore that this guy didn't even shower prior to the world's end.

"Run!" Yuuri cried; both boys ran, with Makkachin behind them. The large man caught up to Yuuri and covered his mouth, turning him around and kneeing him. Yuri turned, exclaiming, "Katsuki!"

Yuuri managed to tear the man's hand off and he screamed at the large man, "Get off!"

A sea of feet came as if to investigate what was going on. Yuri looked, swearing; if it were, either way, bad people or zombies, there was no way that he and Katsuki could fight their way through them. Neither one of them were skilled marksmen like the men back home! Yuri looked at the dog, "Pooch, go and get help!" Makkachin obliged, running back to the community.

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

"Yeah, two of them exactly; one of them is an Asian!" the large man said. Some of the people that were behind them looked Yuri, one of them leering right at them. Yuri tensed, feeling his blood turn cold and disgusted.

"Oh shit, seriously?" the leading man said.

"Yeah." The large man said. "But his little boy toy scratched me!"

"Oh really?" the leader took a step, walking up to Yuri. Yuri screamed in his throat, "Back the hell off!" holding his machete in his hand. He swung several times at him but the man grabbed his neck. The man added force, making Yuri extremely uncomfortable. His knees buckled, feeling something awful in his stomach. He could feel this guy's cold fingers on his neck!

The leader smiled, tilting his head at Yuri. He looked mocking and he chuckled. "Well, I could go for some Asian food, but unfortunately, our mine was triggered by another force, so sad. Looks like we'll have to pepper them, right everyone?" the man called out to his group. He got several cheers in response, a lot looking as excited as if they were in an exotic bar.

The leader let Yuri fall to the ground. Yuri coughed, calling out, "You hug your mom with those damn things?!"

The leader paid no heed, pulling out a pair of brass knuckles. The bumps on them were dull but looked deadly...

----

Phichit had been sleeping peacefully, dreaming about his hamsters that were long gone, when he was awoken by the sounds of Makkachin scratching on the front door, heavily. Groaning, he had rubbed and would've gotten up, when he saw the note next to his head. He was awfully perplexed by it, going down the hall, to the stairs to answer the door. Why would Yuuri leave a note saying that he was going to walk Makkachin? He had gotten his answer, once he saw Makkachin whimpering sadly and the gate OPEN! Christophe and Yakov had also woken up, wondering what the heck was going on. Christophe had also noticed that Yuri's bunk was empty too! Phichit had panicked.

Toshiya took a deep breath, holding the note in his hands after Phichit had told him what might be happening to Yuuri and Yuri.

"You!" Toshiya pointed at Christophe. "Get some guns on the double! We're going after my son and that boy!"

----

Yuri had panicked, swinging his machete at that men, but two other men pinned him to the down and let their leader punch several parts of his body, hoping to weaken him.

Yuuri screamed silently at the top of his lungs, watching. He hoped Makkachin got back to the community quick, was Yuri was screaming and crying, his hair getting mixed with the dirt and leaves. Who were these people? Why did they target innocent survivors like the two boys? The leader got up, laughing.

"What are we going to do with them?" The large man asked.

"Why ya'll know; strap the food down while they're naked, and cut into them. Brings pleasure to my boys." One man in the group asked, a smile on his face.

Yuri cringed; why cut into them naked?

"No, you boob," the leader said. "Do what we always do, set 'em on fire. They're always better crispy."

No, no, Yuuri had seen this once on TV before. These people would skin these other people alive and put them on a spit over a fire. Once that was done, they'd eat them too. He knew exactly what these people were. Cannibals.

Yuuri shook his head vigorously. No, no, no! 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 the empty side, where the voice came from 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 into humans.

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 finally found someone to love.

"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 had an odd smile on his face, turning down the ground. Yuri looked at him, what did he look at?

----

"C'mon! C'mon! We need to go faster!" Toshiya yelled as he, Yakov, Christophe, Phichit, and Makkachin 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 friend down and it was his job as a bounty hunter to stop bad things from happening; Phichit wanted to make sure that Yuuri was alright and not harmed by any zombies.

No one else needed to get involved with this. Minami had already gone through too much with those Maverickers, 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. Phichit looked up and saw the corpse that was hanging from the branch. Phichit clasped his hands together, just appalled. What drove this person to take their own life...?

Makkachin barked, hoping to get the men's attention. Phichit asked the dog, "What is it, boy?"

Makkachin turned away and went down the road, tail flapping around in the air. It was like he wanted to them to follow him because he knew where the two boys were at, as the men followed him.

----

Yuri and Yuuri were being held onto the large man. Yuri's mouth quivered, not liking where this was fucking going. Two men that were on both sides of the leader were holding onto some gas tanks.

"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, Toshiya, Phichit, and Makkachin, who all had their weapons pointed at them. Yakov and Toshiya were frowning and Phichit looked absolutely worried about Yuri and Yuuri, and Makkachin was panting, looking the same way as Phichit as well.

"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; the two men that were holding onto the gas tanks looked shocked and even the large man whimpered.

"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. Yuuri and Yuri found themselves taking two steps away, Yuri almost tripping and falling behind.

Another man came running up to them, holding a pipe in his hands. He was screaming, but Yakov whispered something in Toshiya's ear as he pointed at the man, making Toshiya fire at him. The man was shot in the forehead, causing him to fall.

A small war erupted in that space, causing both sides to run at each other. First one of the men that were holding onto the gas tanks ran at Toshiya and Yakov, wanting to hurt them. Second, Phichit ran to where Yuuri and Yuri were, asking them, "Are you okay?"

"I'm feeling like massive crap right now!" Yuri said to him. Phichit held his hands out for them, "C'mon, I need to get you guys out of here!"

"No!" Yuuri protested, pushing Phichit's hand away.

Toshiya delivered two shots to that man, giving him a nick on his arm and a shot by his shoulder. The man cried out, holding his shot shoulder. Yakov shot the other man who was holding the other gas tank and fired at the injured man, killing him. Toshiya asked Yakov, "Are you alright?"

"I am, and always will be," Yakov answered.

Yuri picked up his machete, turning to the Yuuri. "You wanna help fight these guys?"

Yuuri, with a hearty sigh, pulled out the black dagger and kissed it. "Yeah,"

Give me strength.

Yuri chased a lanky young man around, eventually the lanky man running into a tree and falling. Yuri put his foot on his chest and slashed his throat. He might've killed his grandfather by slashing his throat and felt sorrow from it, but this dude was no friend of his. While the lanky man was killed, one young man, younger than everyone else, ran away, his green eyes never taking one look back.

"Where do you think you're going?" Yuuri said to the young man, holding the dagger in his hands. Makkachin was right by Yuuri, snarling at him. Yuuri did not look amused. He felt that his voice was shaky when he said it. He never did anything like this, getting after someone when it was him getting the one chewed out for little to no reason.

The young man did not move. "Somewhere where you won't find me!" he picked a wad of dirt and flung it at Yuuri, causing Yuuri to cover his eyes. Yakov lifted his gun, pointed it at the young man, and sent one bullet towards his back. The young man fell, screaming. Yuuri looked at Yakov and asked him, "What was that about?"

"The first few kills are hard, but once you learn from experience, you get accustomed. Don't chat too much with your target." Yakov said. "He's all yours."

Yuuri ran forward towards the young man, standing over him. The young man was whimpering and crying, clawing the ground with his bare fingers. Yuuri shoved the dagger into the young man's knife, causing the young man to choke on his blood. Yuri had followed, and he cursed once he saw Yuuri cut the young man's pinky finger in half.

Christophe had fired another bullet to the leader's other hand, causing about two-fifths of his hand being blown 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. As some zombies were growing attracted to the sounds of combat, 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 two old men 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 Yuri. 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, 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 before 7:30," 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. If they stayed around too long, then the zombies that were coming by would love to get some breakfast out of them.

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. One zombie donning on a wifebeater loomed by, oddly it didn't seem to have any interest in the humans that were just by.

"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?" Toshiya looked at Yuuri with such burning heat in his eyes.

Yuuri nodded. "Yes, sir…"

Toshiya turned to Yuri. "And you, young man," pointing to him, "I don't know where your parents are, but you should be ashamed of yourself as well. Wandering off all around this world alone, to begin with, knowing the dangers we have seen now." he chastised menacingly. Yuri had a dazed look on his face. Apparently, he did have a point. Yuri only grunted, turning his head away. God, he hated this type of shit.

----

Oddly, by their luck, Otabek was by the gate, watching them with lit up eyes. It was almost time for the rest of the town to wake 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. "Pig and I left to take the dog for a walk and got ambushed by carnivorous guys. Hamster-face might've 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. 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 and that young man over there were taken, no—not taken, the fact you two left on your own!" 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.

"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. "I'LL KILL YOU IN THE WORST WAY POSSIBLE, YOU HEAR ME?!" Viktor screamed, but his eyes turned into a bright shade of 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. Otabek's 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!"

Chapter Text

SLASH, went Viktor's kukri as he beheaded a fifth zombie. The Russian was running through a 'busy' road, meaning there were about sixteen or seventeen more zombies right in front of him. Viktor huffed as he knew his stamina going down at this point at his age of twenty-seven. But how? Viktor ran a lot for exercise other than on missions, played with Makkachin in the yard, and swung his knife around for practice; most likely because of his new home-life in the Ciao-Town. Or was it hereditary?

Hereditary…

There was another word for it, yes: genetics. It came from a group known as family, and then each family has a— father… No. Viktor held onto his head, feeling something in the pit of his stomach.

No, no, no. Viktor couldn't think about that.

So instead of thinking, Viktor raced forward to the closest zombie that had its arms up, slicing its head off. Blood emerged and appeared on the blade, causing Viktor to whip the blood off, cleaning it. Another zombie was running towards him, faster than the last one. Viktor assumed that this zombie was a former athlete, slicing its body in half.

Viktor smirked, but damn, this would be more fun with Christophe. He wouldn't mind having someone to fight these zombies with. Christophe would shoot his gun into the zombie's heads without any care in the world.

It was at that time, Viktor found a few cars in the middle, blocking the road, causing Viktor to curse. Seeing no other way to get through, he hopped onto the first car, cassock billowing in the air. Viktor jumped off, letting out one grunt.

----

Mari was sitting on the front porch, arms on her knees, lost in her mind.

"Hey, are you okay?" she heard Isabella speak to her. She looked up and saw her up in front of her.

"Oh, just shaken up a little," Mari said to her.

"Because of what?" Isabella asked, taking a seat by her.

"Well, not what my brother did, it's because of what happened days ago, especially the guy that was rude to Minami."

"JJ told me about him, he said that his brother has catatonic schizophrenia," Isabella said.

"Catatonic schizo-what?" Mari had a looked shocked look on her face, just confused about her friend had told her.

"Catatonic schizophrenia," Isabella repeated. "It's basically a mental disorder that keeps someone from moving or interacting with others." Her tone turned almost worried, "Can you imagine how it's like to be that person?"

"Not to mention it's also the end of the world," Mari sighed. "And to think that guy was doing that to help his brother." Mari then thought about that man harder, gripping her fists. He was nothing more than a drama king with god awful hair. Seriously, what mother gave birth to him?

"Hey, hey," Isabella said, putting her hand on her shoulder. "There's no reason to be like that. We have to focus on our own survival right now. Have your parents been told what to do?"

"Yeah, I think they're talking about it right now," Mari said, turning to the house. She could sense her mother move her arms up and about at her father while they conversed.

"You're really lucky to have your parents, still, right?" Isabella told her. It was true, even if Mari was thirty they were still up and about unlike the elderly parents one would see on TV.

"I guess…" Mari scratched the cement a couple of times with her shoe. "You miss yours don't you?"

"Yeah, I didn't even get a phone call from them saying that they were okay or asking if I was," Isabella said, tucking a hair behind her ear.

Mari rubbed her back, "It's okay…" comforting her.

----

"It was amputated," said the little girl in purple, looking at Seung-Gil's missing leg as she was sitting in front of him.

Seung-Gil looked up from his book and looked at her. "That is true; what is your point?"

"Did your doctor give you extra bandages?" Axel asked him.

Seung-Gil had a perplexed look on his face, turning his head but keeping his eyes on her. "Um, not really."

Axel gasped. "If you don't have extra bandages and if the ones on here aren't changed, then your stump could get worse."

Seung-Gil narrowed his eyes at her, "What?"

"It's true, if you change your bandages regularly it could help your stump a lot more," Axel said as her hands between her legs.

"You're little; you shouldn't know this just yet," Seung-Gil stated.

"Frankly I do and I know it might look like a mushroom if it's not redressed," Axel told him.

"Where did you obtain this information?" Seung-Gil demanded.

"I was on a train when I saw this man getting his bandages changed after his arm was amputated. I think he jumped off." Axel said.

Seung-Gil made a strange hum sound, looking right at her. "How did that man get his arm cut off?"

"Um," Axel rubbed her head, as the cart passed by a couple of trees and a few trashed up tents.

That was when Minako stepped in; she heard the conversation between the Korean and Axel. She was helping push the cart, as Sara was looking down at the ground. Emil was holding onto his drone's control pad when he heard. "The staff heard some growling in that man's suitcase; they took it and when he wanted it back, it opened and the man got bit by the head in it."

That was when Sara looked up. Even though she had a bad feeling about this woman and the little girls, she thought, what? Did other people care about their family and acquaintances so much that they would do that when they got bit?

"Was that how?" Seung-Gil asked her.

"What…?" Axel said.

Minako nodded, she was awake when it happened. When the man's arm had to be amputated so he wouldn't turn, Minako turned her head back to the pillows.

"Axel, did you wake up at one point?" Minako asked her.

Axel pouted, "I might've, but I have to ask, where the heck are we even going? We just got up and left."

"We're just going to find out if there's a safe place to stay in," Minako said.

Emil was showing off his drone to Lutz and Loop, who were aweing in wonder. They had never thought of, in fact, no one had at this time, ever to use a drone to help with their survival. Emil turned his head to his head to her saying, "True, after what I've said correct?"

The night the two parties met, had started off with an odd start, with Emil and Sara looking almost perplexed, not knowing what to say to the mysterious woman that just manifested before them. Emil had rubbed his head, giving nine as an answer, when Minako shook her head. Emil had shrugged, Minako walking closer to them.

After they had told each other's names, they talked. They talked about how long they've been on the road to if there was a community to stay in. Emil spoke about the two he spent his days in: Maverick and Ciao-Town. Comparing and contrasting them, as if he was trying to find a better choice for them. Ciao-Town had group lunches, people who knew how to cook and sew, people who were fighters and fought zombies before they came there; basically just one big retirement home. Maverick had basically more a farmer's market theme, vendors all around, a shooting gallery, and several fruit trees. However, both were bad in their own right. Ciao-Town was not so welcoming nowadays for reasons; Maverick had extremely violent people when pushed and some who were just emotionless.

"Is that why you all left?" Minako asked him.

"Yes, you could say that if you wish," Emil said, sighing.

"So, you meant to say we should just make up our own establishment?" asked Axel, looking right at Emil.

Emil looked at her, "Yes, it could be," he then rubbed his chin, staring at the sky. A bird or two birds flew around as if to mock the humans that were on the ground. Emil envied them as they were the lucky ones; they didn't have to fight through the massive armies of flesh just to get to their destination.

"Um, M-Mister, your drone!" cried Lutz, pointing to the drone that was falling down from the sky.

"Ah!" Emil cried, regaining control over it. "That's better," he said.

"You know, you remind me of someone else who also used to wield a drone," Loop said.

Emil's brows furrowed as Minako looked right at her, "Really, who?"

"Well um, his name is Yuuri," Loop said.

Emil paused with the whole group stopping as well. There were just two or three zombies ahead, looming around a gray Toyota Camry that was tipped over on its side.

"Y-Yuuri?" Emil echoed. "Y-You mean as in…?"

"Katsuki!" Minako jumped up, rattling the shopping cart. The sudden rumble annoyed Seung-Gil, who was trying to enjoy the book that he found, The Hunger Games.

"Do you know where he is?! Or rather, how do you even know about him?" Minako asked Emil, walking over to him. The Katsukis was always on her mind and on the girls' minds as well. Even though, she had no leads or clues as to where they might've gone. Anything from them would've been nice; she wanted to know if they were okay.

Emil told her, "I had him as a classmate in college, in Detroit."

Minako nodded.

"I'll admit, he was not the chattiest person, but um," Emil remembered the times he saw Yuuri around the university. Yuuri walking down the halls with a book in hand, talking to a guy named Phichit, or him reading a book either on a bench or at a table, alone. "He's back at that place we were in, Ciao-Town!"

"You best better not be lyin' to me, boy!" Minako said to him, putting her hands around his neck.

Emil made a small shriek, holding his hands right up. "I assure you, ma'am, I'm not, but it is not worth going there, believe me."

Minako stared at him with heat-filled eyes. Oh, she wasn't going to take it, pressing her fingers hard against his neck. "Don't say things like that!" she cried at him.

"Sensei!" Lutz cried.

Sara tensed, grabbing the gun that was in the children's seat and next to Michele's ashes and pointing it at her.

Minako tilted Emil's back to the ground, causing Emil to choke out. He lost control over the drone, causing it to fall to the ground, making at least two dents. Seung-Gil cradled the book in his chest.

"Let him go!" Sara cried at Minako. She was not going to lose any more of her party members to wrath. "Now!"

Minako hissed through her teeth, just hearing Sara behind her.

"Sensei, please!" Loop ran up to her and tugged on her leg. Not only that this wasn't right, it also was attracting the zombies' attention towards them! Minako looked up, letting go of Emil. She pulled off the bayonetted rifle off her back and fired at the first zombie that came by, her face scrunched. Another zombie appeared, holding one arm out as its right ankle was twisted and its left hand was missing two fingers.

Realizing that there needed to be more group participation, Sara stepped forward, firing that very zombie as Minako raced up to the last one. The older woman kicked the third zombie down and bashed the butt of her rifle into its skull, emitting black blood. Her hair swished up and down, crying out as she bashed into the skull again, and two more times. She turned around, biting her two lips.

Axel covered her mouth as Emil rubbed his neck, asking her, "Are you alright?"

Minako panted, looking as if she was coughing up blood.

"Sorry, it's just that, the Katsukis have been family to me, especially their boy," Minako explained, rubbing her arms. She remembered Yuuri and how he would always spend time at her studio when he was younger mainly just to lose weight; his father would often say he was getting chubbier by the day.

Emil smiled, going over to pick his drone. "Yes, I could understand that," His mother would dote on the Crispinos whenever the time called for it. "You and I are gonna get along just fine after all of this, aren't we?"

Minako broke out in laughter, "Yeah, I wouldn't have it in any other way!"

Seung-Gil's mouth quirked up, "As much as this is heart-warming, I want for everyone to please be aware of any more that might appear," he said, eyes gleaming with fierceness.

"Why's that?" Lutz asked.

Seung-Gil averted his head to her, "Because, even though they're rotting away, the undead's walking speed is becoming quicker and no one wants that, correct?" The group shook their heads.

"Good." Seung-Gil said.

----

"Yes, yes, Hiroko, I got the deodorant and shoes in the bags, no need to shout anymore!" Toshiya called to his wife, holding onto some bags as he came out of the house. Toshiya couldn't still believe that the whole town was complying with this after he had appeared back from a scuffle against a cannibal group and they were going out into the wild. He couldn't tell anyone else that he and several others did. Yakov wouldn't like it and there would be more stress among the community.

Celestino was by the gate, talking to Mr. and Mrs. Leroy and JJ.

"We have to be stealthy about this. There might be arguments but, it has to be done. You're a family, so it would make sense to go in front, so the women and children will have to sit in the back, and the men will have to follow behind." Celestino said.

"Otabek has his bike and a spot, so maybe someone can bunk with him," JJ said.

"That is true," Celestino rubbed his chin.

"There's also the issue with gasoline," Mr. Leroy said. "Where will we locate it?"

"We shall locate it, no matter what the cost may be." Celestino slammed his fist into the palm of his hand.

"What's the big rush?" Mrs. Leroy asked. "How come we have to leave today? My younger son is ill!"

"The longer we stay, the more time those Maverickers have to get rid of us all…" Celestino explained. "But you are correct Mrs. Leroy. We must take the time to settle down. We shall leave in the morning."

"Only where will we go?" Mr. Leroy asked.

"My guess is the city."

----

"Ma'am, what are you doing?" Balziya's assistant said to her. Balziya found herself loading a cartridge into a large machine gun.

"Why leaving to collect my son, he is my child and I am his mother, that's final!" The woman said, holding her gun in her hands.

"B-But what if a swarm were to come here?" the black haired man asked. "What if those people do not wish to open their doors?"

"I have been gone from my child for so long," Balziya stated.

Her assistant placed his hands on her shoulder, just like any other advisor there is. "Please, there is no haste. Perhaps young Otabek is at ease with these people. Did you not see how he was cooperating with them?"

Balziya sighed. It was true. Her Otabek never got the chance to grow up with other people his age. Maybe there was no rush after all, what could happen?

----

Yuuri was sitting on the bench on the front porch, holding something in his hands. It was before lunch, and he just wanted some air before going to eat. That was if he even felt welcome there, knowing that he had sit by his parents who were just disappointed in him.

Toshiya and Hiroko were on the porch at their own house, looking at their son. He looked almost morose. Hiroko felt something odd in the pit of her stomach; she felt pity for her son.

"I'm going to talk to Yuuri," she said to her husband.

Toshiya tugged on her arm. "I will go as well, I must see my son."

The couple walked up to the white house, to Yuuri.

"Yuuri," Hiroko said, causing Yuuri to look up.

"Mom…?" Yuuri trailed off, sniffing. "What is it…?"

Hiroko sat by her son, as Toshiya sat on his left. "Listen, Yuuri, your father and I saw how you looked, knowing that we that hurt you. It's just that we just felt so worried about you. Heck, just as we were on our way here when the group was separated."

"I know. Makkachin just wanted to take a walk that was all." Yuuri stated.

"But why would the pooch want to go outside?" Toshiya asked.

Yuuri rubbed his head. "I guess he just wanted me to clear my mind, that's all."

"Like we can blame the dog," Toshiya said, touching his son's knee.

"Yeah, he just wanted to help, but that's not why I'm gloomy…" Yuuri rubbed his head, still looking at the photo in his hands.

Hiroko wanted to know what he meant, blinking at the photo. "Who is that?"

"Huh?" Yuuri raised a brow.

"There, in the photo," Hiroko repeated. There, was a picture of a woman with her hands clasped together. Her long, red hair was streaming over her breasts, as her head was tilted and her blue eyes were looking innocently at the camera.

"Oh um, Viktor's mother," Yuuri mentioned softly. "I found it in the drawer and wanted to look at it."

1969-1991

"Oh my, she's been gone for that long…?" Hiroko inquired.

"What happened to her?" Toshiya questioned.

"Viktor told me she jumped off a balcony. I couldn't help but feel sorry for her…" Yuuri said.

"Why?" Toshiya asked.

"I feel like, Viktor didn't tell me much because she died early but, she didn't have to. Like maybe if someone stopped her, then maybe she would've loved him more and," Yuuri snorted, just thinking about it.

The woman was holding a machine gun in her hands, her red hair waving in the air as she fired at the massive army of zombies.

"Who knows, she would've survived this mess too." Yuuri ended.

"That is true, only, what made her commit suicide?" Toshiya wondered.

Yuuri shook his head. "Her husband was a big dick."

Hiroko swatted her son's arm, "Yuuri!"

Toshiya covered his heart. "Boy, boy, I know you're just scratching the surface with him, but my goodness..."

"Yeah, wherever that man is, I hope he gets his organs ripped out," Yuuri said.

"For hurting her?" Toshiya's brows were facing up.

"Yes, and for hurting Viktor as well when he was a kid too," Yuuri stated.

Hiroko found herself letting her son lay his head on her shoulder.

----

Otabek was looking over his bike when Yuri appeared. The boy had his hair tied with a hair band he found on the counter in the bathroom.

"Hey, Otabek, what are you doing?" Yuri asked him.

Otabek looked up from his bike. "Looking over my bike, you are aware of what will happen tomorrow morning correct?"

Yuri turned his head, feeling something in his eyes. "Yeah, it reminds me of the times I spent out there, alone." Then, Yuri placed a hand where that man punched him, wincing.

Otabek looked at Yuri's stomach. "You okay?"

Yuri made a strain in his throat, thinking whether or not he should tell Otabek about it. Yuuri had looked at it and he did give him some medicine, but it was only one little pill. It wasn't enough to heal his pain.

"One of those guys hit me in the stomach, with brass knuckles…" Yuri said.

That was when Otabek went over to Yuri's side, lifting up his shirt. There were a few marks on his stomach. "Damn, are you serious?" Otabek said.

"Um, yeah!" Yuri said. Otabek poked one of his fingers into the wound, making Yuri groan. He swatted Otabek's arm. "Seriously?"

"You're hurt," Otabek told him. "How else could someone help you?"

Yuri huffed, shaking his head. After that, Otabek asked Yuri to come into the house and got him some soothing balm, placing it over the wound as Yuri was on the couch. Yuri winced, kicking his legs around, as Leo came by, eyes looking curiously at them. He had been preparing some trail mix for the road. Yuri told him what was he looking at and to piss off. Otabek told him to be nice.

The town was traveling down the road that next morning, holding onto nothing but their belongings and weapons. The entire Leroy family was in the truck, as there in the women and kids in the back, as planned. Yuri had his hands over his chest, pouting. This crapped quite a bit. He was forced to next to Mila, who had her arm around his shoulders. Minami giggled, sitting across from him as Hiroko, Isabella, and Mari was chatting away. The only man who was in there with them though was the doctor, whose elderly mother riding with them.

The doctor was soothing the poor old woman, as she looked down. Yakov looked at her, and she reminded him of Lilia. Oh, where could she be? London wouldn't be able to hold for so long. Yakov could still remember they got married. They attempted to have kids, but it was impossible. Lilia didn't have the power to create one in her body. Darn shame. Yakov envied Mr. Leroy and Mr. Katsuki; life was able to give them gifts that they could cherish for the rest of their days.

Or for as long as they didn't get bit.

Christophe pulled out a cigarette and lit it up. He took a long drag, smoke going towards Yuuri, who was keeping an eye on Makkachin.

"Christophe, please," Yuuri frowned, waving his hand in the air.

"What do you expect? I haven't any of these in years. That reminds me, you're one of those nerd-geeks, how come you haven't thought about a possibility for the cure?" Christophe asked.

"Uhm, my family was ahead, alright! Besides, where we would even go to find it, most hospitals would've been crowded at that point." Yuuri was nervous, but Makkachin rubbed his leg, insinuating that he was there for him. Yuuri rubbed the poodle's fur. Poodles were intelligent creatures, for real.

---

It was nighttime, and several trucks were lined outside of Ciao-Town. A small bomb was planted on the front gate by Ian, who was running away from it. The bomb exploded, making the gate easy to open. Several people with guns quietly crept through, looking around for anyone that was walking around.

Casey was in front, holding his Koch in his hand, standing in the middle of the street. He turned both ways and signaled the men that were behind him to advance to the houses. One man looked through the window of the yellow house, looking for activity.

Another managed to break the lock on the red house, quietly walking in.

Casey placed his Koch on his back, opening the window that was behind the white house. He landed on a bed in some plain room. There was no one.

Casey then found himself entering the two teenage boys' room, his gun pointed at the bed. He noticed the lump under the sheet. The eldest triplet pulled it off, holding his gun, but there nothing again. But wait, he noticed a flashlight on the bed. Casey picked it up and turned it on.

Haha, you thought I was in bed? You suck ass, pussylicker! was what was written on a note on the bed.

Casey grunted, stomping his foot. He grabbed the note, marched outside, and shot it up. "FUCK!"

"Shut up, Wolfgrick!" The Ringleader told him, waving at him.

"Ain't no one here," said Dylan, twirling his pipe. Anna was by him, holding her rifle.

"What do we do now?" a man asked. Then, Anna felt something come over her foot, causing her to fire once from her rifle accidentally. Dylan pulled out his flashlight, and discovered it was just a mouse that startled her.

"Fucking idiot!" Casey cried at her.

Casey stomped over to her, pointing his Koch at her.

The Ringleader was seeing red, grabbing Casey and putting him in a headlock. So many thoughts were raging through his mind, yes, they needed to attack Ciao-Town but no one hurt his family! Casey struggled, feeling his face grow white as his arms flailed around. He stomped his foot, but one man rushed forward. He had a thought in his mind but at the same time, he couldn't bear to see this happen!

"Sir!" the person cried, pulling them both away.

"What?" The Ringleader cried.

"I have a solution for the problem. Just set all of their homes on fire. That way they'll have no defenses whatsoever." The person said, clasping his hands together. His hazel eyes were staring right at him.

"Is that true?" The Ringleader asked him.

The man nodded.

"Very well, you may retrieve the gas tanks. Make sure nothing stands anymore." The Ringleader said.

The man ran off, going back to the trucks. The Ringleader's eyes glimmered. Once they were done burning down the houses, they would go after those townspeople.

A gas tank was handed to each person in the group, even to the Ringleader, starting with the red house. The man dumped the gas all over the porch, mouth hard. He had not felt so much excitement since his days as a teen.

Dylan spread gas outside the infirmary, thought about the cabinets. The Maverick doctor could use some of the stuff from there, breaking in.

Anna spat on the Leroys' floor, holding her gas tank. How sad, some weak, stupid, girly-girls were living here. Anna raced out.

The Ringleader held up a match, and with no remorse in his eyes, he flicked it into the gas puddle, and an army of flames rose.

Chapter Text

The community of Ciao-Town spent two days on the road. When the group had stopped to rest just a little, Minami and Yuri found a spot to talk. They were under a lush tree when Yuri popped his knuckles saying, "I would've loved to have seen that person's face if they saw the note we left behind."

Minami chuckled. "Yeah, imagine if it was one of those triplets!"

"Speaking of which, I'd like to take a crack at that Casey-asshole." Yuri popped his knuckles. His hair was down with a small braid behind his head.

That made Minami almost somber, looking at the ground. There was at least one ladybug lying on a leaf, minding its own business. "Yeah…" he muttered.

"Yo, what up?" Yuri lifted his chin up.

"I'm sorry, it's just I kinda met someone and I hope they're okay…"

Yuri was curious. "And who would that fool be?"

"His name is Elliot… um, I met him before I left Maverick." Minami slowly looked back up to him.

Yuri placed his hands on his hips. "Well, if anything, if he's on those soldier idiots side, I'm gonna castrate him hard!"

"What? No, he can't be… his mom would probably get after him." Minami shook his hands.

Yuri looked at the ground. Why was everyone talking about their moms all of a sudden?

---

Once it was night time, the group had settled at a rest stop. It was medium-sized, with just a lobby and two bathrooms. There were some cars lying around, giving some people joy, knowing that if there were cars something had to be found in them. However, it had been late, and the men were exhausted. So they had slept there, some of the younger ones sleeping in their respective bathrooms. Yuri had his arms folded, holding his machete on his shoulder, Minami had snored away, lying inside of a stall, and Mila was in a fetal position with several paper towel sheets under her.

The next morning, JJ woke up. He had been sleeping under the counter, feeling his back almost stiff even with the blanket on the floor. Isabella was lying next to him, her hair covering her ear. Her eyelashes looked fluffy and her lips looked plump as she slept. That was one thing JJ loved about her. His parents were right by, his dad's arm hovering his mom's body. JJ had to smile.

He wondered where Nathan and Amy were, turning his head and saw Amy lying on the bench. JJ was relieved, but Nathan was nowhere in sight.

"Oh darn it," JJ quietly swore, standing slowly so he wouldn't trip over Isabella or wake her up. He stepped over her, looking around the lobby, searching for his dark-haired pale skinned younger brother.

JJ opened the bathroom door, looking inside. Nathan wasn't lying on the floor, especially since JJ saw him fall asleep on the floor just near him last night. JJ looked over at Yuri and raised a brow. He sort of expected for Nathan to be lying on the Kitten's lap, but he didn't. Instead, he found Otabek sitting by him. Yuri didn't seem fazed by it, so JJ left, trying to figure out where his brother may have gone.

"Nathan?" JJ asked, peering into the abandoned office. There were several papers scattered about, but no Nathan.

"Jean," called out a voice, quietly.

JJ whipped his head, pulling out his gun, pulling out his gun

It was Phichit, holding his hands up in front of him. His face looked almost panicked, assuring JJ that he was harmless.

"What's up?" JJ asked.

"Your brother's with Yuuri, Yuuri had taken the dog out and he saw your brother out there," Phichit explained.

"What was Nathan doing outside?" JJ had a concerned look on his face.

Phichit rubbed his head, "I have no idea, he looked kinda bummed out," He and JJ turned their heads to where Nathan was. He was sitting next to Yuuri, looking at Makkachin.

Nathan told Yuuri something, looking almost as if he was muttering to him. Yuuri soothed his back and drew him into a hug. JJ swore he could hear his younger brother sniff. Yuuri shushed him, maternally. Nathan sat his legs on the young Japanese man's lap, Yuuri placing his chin on his head.

What could have gone on with Nathan? JJ pondered. JJ walked over to Nathan and Yuuri, kneeling down and asking, "Nathan, dude, what's the matter? Why were you outside? You know you're sick man."

Nathan sniffed, snot coming back up into his nose. "I know I am, but I couldn't sleep on how sick I was and I had a bad dream…"

"Dude, why didn't you go to mom and dad?" JJ asked out of concern as he was on his knees.

Nathan shrugged. "I don't know… I figured that they needed some time together."

That was true. Mom and Dad hadn't spent time together, even if there were no more traffic, taxes, phone bills now. Keeping up with a community was a hard puzzle to put together.

"Nathan, I'm your brother, you can talk to me about anything you know that, right?" JJ told him.

Yuuri narrowed his eyes. "That's sort of a disappointment to me." He folded his arms at JJ.

"What do you mean, Katsuki?" JJ had a brow raised at the older man.

"I mean, you supposed to be there for your family but it seems to me you're only there sporadically," Yuuri told him, looking right at him.

JJ had his hands up. "Hey, hey, man, I had supplies and other survivors to tend to man, I didn't have time,"

"That's not an excuse. Look, I don't look much, but I still connect with my mom and dad. Why do you think my mom and I talk by the clothesline?" Yuuri leaned closer to him. He had a serious tone in his voice.

JJ's mouth looked like an exponent sign. "What have you done? You do nothing but sit on your ass." JJ's voice was no longer a whisper; it was a normal volume now. Mrs. Leroy had her head up, looking to where the voices were coming from.

"That's not true," Yuuri said. "At least I have my friend from before this here. What of yours? Or were you just too darn brash to save any of them?"

Nathan was looking back and forth at them, "Stop please…" he told Yuuri. "Everyone else is waking up."

"Hey, just because you finished college and I didn't, doesn't mean you get to talk shit, dude." JJ was standing up, waving his arms up and about.

"I am just voicing my opinions out here; do you know how much crap I've been through as a kid?" Yuuri spat out.

"Oh yeah, because of that you can't help your bitch-ass for anything either!" JJ said to him, looking at Yuuri with disdain.

Out of rage, a silver tip was brought up to the bridge of JJ's nose. Yuuri was standing eye to eye with JJ, his other hand up in a fist.

Phichit held onto his chest. "Yuuri…" it was around that time many of the other people were waking up.

"You're underestimating me…" Yuuri hissed at him.

"Oh, dude…" JJ was smiling. "How come you haven't done for your boyfriend?"

Yuuri was taken aback. No, no, no. "I wouldn't know where to look. My mom told me to move on anyway."

"Oh, so basically you're giving up on your boyfriend who is a major psychopath?" JJ sassily told him.

SLAP!

"YUURI!" Phichit cried out.

Celestino, Chris, Mr. and Mrs. Leroy, and even Yuuri's whole family came and stood by. JJ was holding his left cheek in his hand. He winced, looking straight at Yuuri. "What the fuck, man?"

"Shut up," Yuuri told him. For one second, Yuuri's eyes had a mixture of both regret and none. One-half of his eyes were frosted over, and the other was glassy.

Mari looked at Yuuri, walking up to him. "Yuuri, how can you do that?!"

Yuuri shook his head slowly. "Because you don't insult anyone like that –not just my boyfriend— ever!"

Mari didn't like it. "Yuuri, do you wanna shit our chances of having a roof over our heads if we come back?! What are we going to do on the streets?!"

"I'm sorry, Mari. It had to be done." Yuuri told her. He heard whimpering. He looked and saw Makkachin with his eyes glazing over, wagging his tail slowly. He scratched the air with his paw as if asking why he did it. Yuuri bent down and rubbed his head. Yuuri let two tears fall, wiping them away quick. He looked up to Mari, who had Phichit right next to her.

"I love dogs. I'm not taking care of Makkachin because his owner has gone missing. It's because he could be the last dog out here and believe or not, animals will become extinct at one point. So I intend on having Makkachin close to me as much as I can." Yuuri told them.

Celestino was marching over to Yuuri. "You realize you just hit someone's child? My god, this action is no better than Ted Bundy's acts of cannibalism!"

"That's Jeffery Dahmer." Yuuri corrected.

Phichit shook his hands. "You know what, dude, that doesn't matter," He looked at Yuuri, "Yuuri, you gotta go apologize to him, now."

Yuuri folded his arms together. "Yeah, like his damn parents want me around him right now." Yuuri could sense the pure disgusted look on Mrs. Leroy's face right now.

Meanwhile, Otabek and Yuri were walking down the lobby, chatting with each other. Yuri scratched his head, asking Otabek, "Who's Ted Bundy?"

Otabek shrugged.

It looked nice outside, and there weren't any zombies around. If there were, then they'd probably be stopped by the cars outside.

Yuri sighed, looking at the horizon. There was nothing but leaves, papers, and trash bags flowing around, where certain tourists used to ride along. Now… it was nothing but a picture in someone's mind.

"Damn…" Yuri patted his thighs. "When do you think this will all end?" he asked Otabek, who had his arms crossed.

"Perhaps when someone offers a solution to this matter. That's if there is a scientist who is still alive…" Otabek stated.

Something about the way Otabek spoke, it touched Yuri in a way he never he would imagine. The way he talked was poetic as if he was listening to Shakespeare right now. That reminded Yuri of his grandfather, whose voice was as pure gold. Yuri rubbed his nose.

"Is there something the matter?" Otabek asked.

Yuri placed his hand over his heart. "It's like a song… A really good song, one that you'd wish would never end, but somehow, that song is over now…"

Otabek exhaled. "Yes, I could imagine. Yuri…"

"Hm?" Yuri hummed.

"Was there any career you had interest in? One you would've had if the world hadn't gone down?" Otabek had his eyebrows turned down.

Yuri turned his lip to the left side. He had thought about what to do with himself long and hard. He had taken many online career quizzes at school, but he told Otabek, "Shit, I had no idea. I guess… I would've taken interest in urban explor— Oh my god, there's one of them right there!" Yuri pointed to a zombie that had balding brown hair, tattered shirt, and holey brown pants, it holding an ax in each hand.

Otabek pulled out his batons, going for the undead creature. Otabek slapped it with the end of his right baton, sending blood to the side. The zombie snarled, swinging its ax at Otabek but the young man dodged. Otabek kicked the monster's stomach, sending it away.

"C'mon, Yuri, help me here!" Otabek cried.

"On it!" Yuri held his machete out, swinging once at the monster's chest.

The zombie roared, swinging its other ax Yuri, causing to bend his back away. "DAMN!"

Yuri charged, sending his machete into the zombie's stomach. "End him, Otabek!"

In that instant, Otabek shoved that zombie down, with a guttural cry. He shoved his batons into its eyes, sending brain mass everywhere. Yuri had his arms folded, watching. Well, that was an interesting way to start off a morning. Neither Yuri or Otabek had anything to munch on. That's if Mrs. Leroy or Leo would let them near the food. There were rules. They all ate at the same time, no buts about it. If they were going to be on the road they would as well find ways to preserve their food.

Otabek was grunting like an angry animal, teeth gritted. Otabek punched the zombie several more times, his cries growing louder and louder. It had gotten the attention of both Guang-Hong and Leo, who were both looking through the glass doors.

Yuri knelt down by him, touching his shoulders.

"Okay, Otabek, that's enough! C'mon, SpongeBob, Destroyer of Evil!" shaking him.

A panel of glass appeared on the side of the road, just near the rest stop. The sounds of an engine turning captured Yuri's attention, looking up. There was a large vehicle, long and wide enough to probably fit everyone in the rest stop.

A goddamn bus.

"Either I'm hallucinating from the zombie scent or that's real," Yuri said, pointing to the bus that was by.

Otabek looked up, wondering what he meant. Then, all of his blood went cold in the best way.

Exiting from the doors and walking away from the steps, was Balziya Altin. The woman was dressed in a brown-wool shirt and a long, white skirt.

"M-Mum?" Otabek stuttered.

"Who?" Yuri had his lips pursed up, just confused.

Otabek let a whole smile appear on his stoic face. He stood up, ditching Yuri. There was Balziya, having a smile on her face as well. She held her arms out, wanting her son to hug her.

Yuri called out for Otabek, asking, "Where are you going?" as Leo and Guang-Hong stepped out of the rest stop.

Otabek didn't care for what Yuri had to say because unlike him, he had a mother to hug right now.

"MUM!" Otabek cried; his arms wrapped around his mother's back. He felt the pain from his shoulder, but that didn't matter right now. He stroked her back, as Balziya nuzzled into her son's shoulder, taking his scent in. He hadn't touched her this way since New York just several months ago. Before he headed off into the wild all by himself like a runaway from prison.

Balziya had some tears falling down her face, rubbing her son's back. "Otabek… dear god, I thought I would never see you again, dear." Her heart was growing small and big every second. She hadn't felt this way since the day she gave birth to him in the family house.

Yuri was watching just impressed. God damn.

Guang-Hong had his hand over his heart, just awing at them. Leo smiled.

The two held onto each other for just a few more seconds, as Balziya's assistant come through the door, slowly. He saw the two and he had to smile. There was nothing better than seeing his mistress so darn happy in her entire life.

That was when Celestino's figure appeared through the glass. He was curious as to what was happening and why someone was crying outside. He pushed the doors, letting himself out. He walked past Guang-Hong and Leo, who were watching.

The mother and son pulled each other apart, with Balziya looking at Otabek's companion. She had such curiosity in her eyes. "And who is this boy right here?" she asked her son.

"What, me?" Yuri pointed to himself.

Otabek took two steps far from her. "Mum, this is Yuri Plisetsky. He is from Russia and he's been alone all this time."

Otabek wasn't lying when he said his mother had bluish green eyes like his. They were sparkling, they were sparkling so much that Yuri jaw-dropped. Wow…

"During this entire outbreak?" Balziya couldn't believe that for a second. Someone like him would've been devoured in just the first day. Balziya was sauntering over to him, just wanting to see him up close.

Yuri knew he had to answer that question. "Why y-yes, I am Yuri… ma'am…" he answered, chuckling just a little.

"Who is this woman?" Celestino asked. Neither one of the three saw him there. Yuri backed away, crying out.

Balziya had her chin up. "I am Balziya Altin, leader of the Kazakh mafia, the Angels of Fortune."

Otabek stepped beside her. "My mother, sir." He said, taking her hand.

Celestino looked at her up and down, before stating, "I see." He had his gun behind his back, slowly reaching for it. He couldn't risk another disaster with another group. "I am Celestino Cialdini. Your son has resided within my group for many weeks now, and I must say he has been very helpful."

Balziya looked at her son, just holding a proud look her face.

"He has helped several people from the wilderness and brought them to safety," Celestino stated.

"You have all resided here in this facility? It seems too small for many people here." Balziya looked at the window the rest area. She saw some figures inside, some standing and talking with each other, other humans.

"Oh no, ma'am, I assure that we haven't. You see, we had to flee our own home because we feared of being destroyed by another group."

"Another group?" the woman echoed. She had her brow up, arms crossed.

Their figures could be seen through the glass.

----

"I perfectly see now," Balziya said, sitting on the bench with Celestino right by her. It was hard to figure whether or not Celestino should tell the woman what made the other group want to hurt them. However, Otabek persuaded him that his mother was a reasonable woman. So with a sigh, Celestino let her in. Her assistant came in after them, wanting to make sure she would be safe. He had told her everything. He told her everything from the zombies they kept near them, the kidnappings that occurred to one of their residents, the unknowingly infected soldier and the damn Ringleader that was in his office. The Ciao-Towners were around in a big circle, them taking in their discussion.

Yuri was standing by Otabek, his left knee propped up. He looked up to Otabek, wondering what was going on his mind. Otabek looked back at him and nodded. Yuri nodded back, turning his head back to the talking pair.

"Should these people catch up to your community, you are all within damnation," Balziya stated. She could tell there were children around and an elderly woman.

"Why yes, I believe it is certain." She stood up. She thought about the soldiers she had lost over the past few months. She had only about nine men and women left, but they did have large guns on their persons though. They had much grenades and ammunition as well. Not only, there were some people here such as Christophe and Guang-Hong that were able to fight massive hordes and people that had medical training too.

"If what you say is true, my group and I will help combat and evade these vermin."

Chapter Text

She was so beautiful on stage.

Opening her auburn-lips and letting the notes pass through like air coming out of a cottage window. Her chin was lifted up to the stage lights as her right hand was over her heart and her left arm was directed at the audience.

Her eyes closed, lips pursing up. "…le tue mani, lue tue gambe…" she was walking down the stage with ease, no amplifiers or even roses to disrupt her performance.

The small boy that was watching her smiled, sitting in the third row in the seventh chair. He held his chin in his palm, tilting his head at her. The young boy felt the marks on his face, his fingers sitting on the strands of hair. His heart jumped, staring great and wide at them.

No… no… he couldn't think about this, not when his aunt was about to reach the end of the song she was singing for him.

So he sat up straight, his blue gems lighting up. His aunt Katiya twirled around, her ash blonde hair flowing in the air. She had a piece of her cream, shoulder-revealing, dress in her right hand, it flowing around like her hair. She had a smile on her face, it so large and bright that it could bright up New York City at night.

She knelt down promptly, hands clasped over her hearts, eyes closing. "Partiamo insieme…" She tilted her head to the left.

When she sang the last line of the song, she slowly picked one knee, and held her arm out one last time, for the lone audience member that was watching her. "Oro sono pronto…"

She stretched out the last note with ease and perfection.

The small boy stood straight up, clapping his hands for her. He laughed, jumping around. Katiya laughed as he, coming closer to her nephew. "You enjoyed that, dear?"

The small boy nodded vigorously, standing on his tippy toes to embrace her. "You're a great singer, Tsyotsya, greatest singers out of them all," he told her, hugging her. "I wish I could sing just like you."

Katiya hugged her nephew back, telling him as they pulled away, "I know dear, but even if you can't, I'm sure there's something out there in this world you will be great at."

The small boy looked at the ground for two seconds before looking at his aunt, "Are you sure?"

Katiya nodded, "Yes, Viktor I—"

Sadly she was interrupted.

There was a large bang at the door, followed by a large shout. It was so loud enough it could rattle the entire theater.

"WHERE IS HE?! KATIYA!" It was coming from a man. Though, a large and frightening one that no one would want to meet in a dark corner.

Viktor cupped his hands over his mouth, knees trembling and appearing as if he needed to urinate. He felt his blue gems grow small as they were on the door.

"It's him…" Viktor whimpered to his aunt.

Katiya knew she had to do something quick. "Go through the backstage dear, I'll make sure he won't find you." She lightly tugged on her nephew's dark green sleeves, looking right at him.

Viktor nodded, turning away and running up to the stage. Katiya exhaled nasally, watching her nephew run to the back of the curtains. She then heard the door open violently. Her head turned, seeing her fuming older brother marching to her. He was red in the face, like always.

Viktor shuffled through the various chairs and costumes, determined in getting away. He would wait out in the alley like he always did when his father was in rage. His silver bob flopped around, him knowing that if he looked back it would cause him stress. Suddenly, he stopped, grunting. He had almost tripped on a rose gold sash that was tangled around his leg.

While Viktor struggled to get himself free, he could hear his aunt argue with his father. Viktor knew it was the same.

"You can't blame him for what happened!" Katiya blared at her brother. She had her finger pointed at him, her hair shaking in the air. "You could've gone and gotten help but no!" she cried. She shoved her brother away, not wanting him around her.

Nikhil was fuming, hand gripping his Magnum. He was staring at his sister, brown eyes burning with heat. His teeth gritted, shoving his sister as if they were kids in the sandbox again.

"That's NOT what I am here for!" Nikhil roared at her like a lion.

"Then what?" Katiya retorted, her voice sounding like a harsh whip.

The doors burst open again, but this time there were men. Some men dressed in black, holding guns and Molotov cocktails. What the hell?! Katiya took two steps back, demanding to know what was going on. She didn't need to be here.

"Nikhil, why are these people here after—"

Those were her final words. One man shot her with his AK-47. Bullets going into her torso, causing her to tumble down like a building. Nikhil knelt behind a seat, firing his magnum at the terrifying men. As Nikhil grunted, Katiya was holding onto her stomach. Her breath was becoming shorter and shorter. A cocktail was thrown at the stage, so Nikhil would not be able to find an easy escape.

Katiya had blood seeping through her stomach, on her left…

Nikhil didn't even stop to care.

----

Viktor's eyes opened. What just happened? Why did he remember her? Oh gosh, as Viktor rubbed his face. He had slept on a wide and thick tree-branch, hoping to catch some rest after losing his stamina the night before. He facepalmed, elbows on his crotch. He could remember her song, Stammi Vicino. She was fonder of songs in Italian and French; she believed those held more emotional value than anything else. That was what made her magical in Viktor's eyes.

Viktor held his face up, feeling something coming down his faces. Tears.

Why was he crying?

He missed her.

----

"I'm sorry, Yuuri," Christophe stated, wagging his finger at him. "But I agree with Phichit. You have to apologize to him now."

Yuuri inverted his chin, shaking it. "He should be apologizing, not me."

Christophe came closer to him, touching his backside harder than he even should. Yuuri cried out.

"You're going to apologize to him even if it touches you in the wrong way," the bounty hunter purred. "Why am I doing this? Not only do I catch wrong-doers, I also prevent them from causing any more harm. Like right now." Christophe turned his cheek around harshly.

Yuuri grimaced, feeling the pain on his rump, telling him, "S-Stop!"

Christophe let him go, knowing that he won. "Good, now go." Meanwhile, Celestino turned his head and after a few seconds, he walked away.

Yuuri rubbed his backside, walking over to JJ. Isabella was looking at Yuuri with a disappointed look on her face. She shook her damn head.

Mr. Leroy had his hand on his son's face, as JJ was boring his eyes into Yuuri's.

"Is there something you want to say, son?" JJ asked him.

"I'm sorry for hitting you and that you're so intrusive," Yuuri said.

JJ smiled. "That's what I thought."

----

Viktor climbed the tree, using his kukris to help him to get down. The cassock flipped up like a flower, as Viktor landed on his foot and knee. He brushed himself off, looking to and fro, wondering if there were any zombies he should be aware of. None, however…

There was a click, coming from a shotgun. A chubby woman was boring his eyes into Viktor's head. She was wearing a green denim jacket, gray shirt, and torn green pants. Viktor stood still, knowing what would come after.

"You're the sick fuck that killed my little girl. And know I'm gonna kill you!" the woman snarled.

Viktor looked at his kukri, sighing. When would he ever catch a break?

Viktor spun around, cassock billowing in the air. He sliced the woman's throat in half without any care in the world. The woman cried out, dropping her shotgun to the ground.

So sad.

Chapter Text

"Is that them?" Casey asked Oscar, who was looking at those vehicles with a pair of binoculars. They were next to the road, just lying on the slope.

"Yeah, it looks like they got someone to support them," Oscar reported.

Casey was curious, rubbing his chin. "What's happening now?"

Oscar looked through the binoculars again, "Hm, I see… a woman and a guy talking."

"You for real?" Casey turned to his brother.

Oscar rested his right arm on the grass, as the wind blew. "Yeah," as in the air, there was some growling and snarling behind them. In the trees were several mangled corpses tied to some trees by their necks. Some were missing their arms, a leg or two, and one was even missing about half of their head, which was filled with worms and maggots.

The corpses provided a wall protection for the boys, ensuring that no other zombies could sneak up on them and eat them.

The other soldiers have scattered around and hidden the area, some pointing their guns at the rest area or shooting any zombies that were wondering around.

Oscar eyed the pair, and then his brain quickly lit up. Oh shit. He recognized the guy that was talking with the woman.

"Hey, it's the same guy that you shot days ago," Oscar told his brother.

Casey raised a brow and then took the binoculars from him. He looked through them and went, "Huh, guess he did make it out alive after all. Let alone still has his arm with him. God, how far can that guy with just a pair of police batons?" That did remind him of the guy with the Glock 18; the same one who said that he was a coward with a large gun. The same one who called him an 'Id'.

Casey knew it had to be why he had nightmares of that smug-looking fucker.

"You're nothing more than more a shit-pile, hiding under all that armor." The voice said as a foot was on his chest, looking at him with his gun pointing at Casey's forehead.

It didn't help Casey much since the mystery guy came into view. He was standing by the guy he shot, talking to him. Then, the mystery guy turned his head to where Casey was; blue eyes boring into his. Casey felt his stomach shot out of his body, dropping the binoculars. Small puffs of air erupted from his nose.

"What? Is he too much for you, Casey?" Oscar inquired his brother as if he were taunting him.

"Just fuck off," Casey told him. "Not fucking having it."

Casey looked through the binoculars again, and then his blood turned cold.

A blonde gunman appeared right by them, telling the guy with the batons something that he couldn't comprehend.

Wasn't that the same guy that Ian went up against to get his necklace back? Casey rubbed his head, swearing. He hated to admit it, but how the blonde told him that shit would look even more appealing than Casey, the boy was somewhat disturbed by his words.

----

Meanwhile, Christophe had his back turned, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it. He took the cigarette without hesitation into his mouth, which he exaggerated so much that it looked like a small cave on his face. After a few seconds of sticking it out in the air, Christophe released it, sending a cloud of smoke into the air.

That was when Mari marched up to him, demanding, "Did you steal my cigarettes, Giacometti?"

Christophe held his hands up as if saying not all of them. He held two cigarettes in front of her. Mari grunted rather loudly, almost like a rabid dog. She snatched them, stomping away.

----

"Shit, it's the broad that wanted to pound Dylan," Casey pointed out, looking at the cigarette woman.

Oscar had his Koch out, "You want me to shoot her out?"

Casey put his hand before him, "No. That's Anna's shot. Besides, we haven't gotten any signals from The Ringleader yet."

Ian appeared from the left of his brothers, holding his Koch on his back.

Both boys turned to him, with Casey asking, "What have you found?"

"Ian has only found the corpse of Ms. Kenzie and several bandages." The youngest triplet reported while pulling a series of rotten bandages from his jacket.

Casey stepped up to them. He took a good look at them, but something was uncertain. There was so much blood on them that if Casey morphed them into a circle, it looked like it came from a leg instead.

"No, this is someone else's. It's not from the guy that was in the sound booth." Casey told him, throwing the bandages down.

"Father McKormick's gonna be disappointed at least as shit," Oscar stated. He could still remember when he found that poor man being strangled by that cord in his office. If Oscar hadn't cut him free, the man would've not survived and the shirtless perp would laugh at them, even if he was ever found.

"Well, well, what do we have here?" purred a thick accent, coming towards the boys. The Triplets spun around and saw two men before them; the blonde man and a man with a taupe ponytail.

The blonde pulled out his cigarette and blew a drag.

"Well, look who it is, the shit-boy," the man smirked, tapping his paper roll. Ian took two steps back, holding onto his heart. No, no, no. He can't be across from him again!

Casey's breath hitched, pulling out his gun and pointed it at the man's forehead.

Christophe laughed, throwing his head back. Casey's ribs grew and shrunk. He gripped onto his Koch tight, not wanting to be taken down so easily by this cheesehead.

Christophe's face turned serious for one second, eyebrows turning down to his nose. With one swing, he punched Casey's gun out of his hands. Casey cried out, hands going for his gun, but—

"Oh no, you don't!" Chris's leg stopped him and it went forward. Casey felt like a string pushed him back, as the force of Chris' leg almost made him fall to his side. Casey grunted, cursing at the bounty hunter.

Casey's brows were pulled down aggressively. His teeth were gritted, looking as if he had rabies. "How the fuck did you find us?" he thrashed his fists around.

Chris poked his cheek, tsking at him. "Dude, everyone can hear you three curse like no one's business. You think you'll only attract the dead?"

Celestino smirked, folding his arms. "You kids know nothing about this world. God, it makes me sad." His eyes were laced with pure acid, staring right at the boys as he tilted his head at them.

Christophe leaned in closer to the boys. "You know, back in the normal world, I'm not allowed to shoot at minors." He placed his fists on his hips. Then, the tone of his voice changed, his left hand going for his semi-automated.

"But we're not in the normal world, now are we?" Christophe cocked his brow at them, pulling out the gun and pointing it right at them, especially towards Casey and Oscar. Oscar had his right arm across his chest, fist balled up and tight. He frowned at the bounty hunter.

"You," Christophe looked at Ian. "I've already dealt with, so you're pretty much spared from it all, but don't get your hopes up." His sardonic-looking emeralds looked straight at Ian's two older brothers. "Your fellow triplets are coming with me."

Casey's throat sounded like it was getting clogged.

"You two going to pay what you did to my friends; especially to that poor little boy you took and the other you totally mutilated!" Christophe told, turning his gun at them. That nugget? Casey thought. Shit, he thought he was done with him for good! What could that kid even do with him? He looked like he couldn't even slice butter in half with that sword of his, even if it's top quality!

"You there, emotionless one," Celestino pointed at Ian. Meanwhile, Christophe pulled some zip-ties, grabbing Casey's hands. He hadn't arrested more than one person in a long time. He was in Philly, cuffing both a mob boss's hands and feet so he wouldn't run and tie a chain around his younger assistant's body with her hands cuffed. At least Christophe was able to get them off the slick road, which was dangerous, even that night.

"You go tell The Ringleader that he better hurry up because two of his troops are going on a wild ride with us." He turned away from Ian, his hair whipping.

----

When Yuuri stepped into the bus with Makkachin, he looked around. A man with a clean face and holding onto a medium-sized machine gun took note of Makkachin.

"A dog!" Everyone else was taken aback. No one had seen any dogs or any other animals for the past few months since they were either fighting or traveling. One woman, wearing a long braid with a knitted headband on her head cupped her mouth, just taking in Makkachin's soft fur.

Yuuri asked his sister, "Do you think this will work?" turning to her for just a short second.

Mari hummed, her eyes looking at the seats. "Something has to. I'd rather be on some shoddy bus than be forced to read months pamphlets in the toilet."

When Otabek set foot on the bus, the driver and everyone else had the same reaction.

"Dearest Otabek, you are alive and well!" the man at the wheel said. He had a set of cornrows on his head, hand over his heart. Some of the women came up to Otabek and hugged him, telling them how much they missed him and how much he's grown. What could Otabek say? They were like friends and family to him.

The group had split into two groups. The Leorysroys' rode obviously in the truck, right behind the bus as Mr. Leroy drove. Only two people rode in the back, them being Guang-Hong and Leo. It seemed logical. Nathan and Guang-Hong were still sick, and Mrs. Leroy had some medicine for them. The rest rode on the bus, where they could just calm down and get to know the Angels of Fortune there.

And where Balziya, Otabek, Yuri, Minami, Yakov, and Celestino could interrogate Casey and Oscar. They both had their hands both with zip ties in front of them.

First, Otabek slapped Casey across the face swiftly with no remorse. It caught the attention of Toshiya. He was curious about what was happening, but it was better to not get involved so he looked at his wife, who was crocheting. "It's like high school all over again, isn't it, dear?"

Hiroko made a five double crochet cluster with her peach yarn. "Why yes." She could remember the days of her past. Oh how much she longed for them. She closed her eyes and pretended that she was a teenager, sitting on the bus while fiddling with several yarns and hooks. Then, she thought of the times she would be around her friends, just chatting and showing each their works to each other, admiring them.

Hiroko opened her eyes.

Friends.

Something sharp poked at her heart making her feel almost sorrow inside.

"I miss her, Toshiya..." Hiroko's eyes were pointed the leather of the seat in front.

Her husband knew who she was talking about. "Minako?"

Hiroko nodded.

Yakov grumbled in his thick accent at the two boys. "You boys ought to be ashamed of yourselves! Do you understand how much trauma you brought to this boy?" he referred to Minami. Casey darted his eyes at Minami, who was sitting by them with his left knee on the seat and right leg sticking out. Minami had a hard look on his face. Yuri was next to him, smirking at those two. He cried at them, "Losers!"

Yakov held his hand up at Yuri. "Yura, now is not the time for that. Please allow me to continue." He turned back to the two brothers. "Not only could you have hurt him, you two could have hurt yourselves!" He was pretty sure these boys knew where Viktor was too, as Phichit had his head turned at them, listening and watching.

Balziya brushed her son's once-was damaged shoulder. "Just like how you've damaged my child – MY CHILD!" she cried at that them. When the two boys were being escorted into the bus, Otabek had grabbed Casey, asking if he remembered him. Balziya had questioned what was happening and Otabek forced Casey to tell him what he did.

Casey had his teeth gritted, and the more he had it, the more Otabek pressed his arm for an answer. Casey finally admitted what he did.

Balziya gasped when she heard what Casey did to her son.

Oscar had his eyes on her, pulling his chin down.

Balziya stepped up to them, wanting to let them know what she had on her mind. "Once we arrive in the town of Charlotte, we will make sure your punishment is well executed."

Casey tightened his wrists, looking at Balziya. "I don't give a damn about you. The women can just die. Even a woman that stays in the kitchen can stomp you into the ground."

Otabek hissed at him, shoving Casey to the back of the bus. "Shut your fucking mouth. Do you know how great it is to have your mother? Where the fuck is yours?"

Phichit cupped his mouth. Oh dang. Yuuri had been talking to the same man that pointed out Makkachin, telling him that his boyfriend's dog, when he looked at what happened. He heard what Otabek said, and remembered the picture of Viktor's mother in the arsenal.

"Hey, hey," Mila was walking up to the group in the back. "That's just overfilling the cup." She touched Otabek's back. "Maybe you should just lay off them for now. Besides, we don't know anything about them, where they're from or like what you said where their parents are either."

"Are you suggesting we commence small talk with them?" Otabek inquired.

----

Mrs. Leroy passed a small plastic cap to Guang-Hong through the back window. The liquid was red and was thick like velvet, enough to help heal the Chinese boy's ailment. Guang-Hong thanked her, gently taking it from her. Guang-Hong took from one sip to downing the entire thing in one second. The boy scrunched his face, shaking his head around; oh that was just strong.

"I'm done," Guang-Hong said, passing the cap to Leo.

Leo chuckled in his throat, holding the cap in his hands. He saw something metallic and he squinted at it. A sign, especially one saying how many miles were left to the city.

Leo didn't know if this was right. There could be several armies or the undead there, or worse.

Gangs. Street gangs to be exact. They'd be able to grab one of them from the dark if they weren't careful enough. Judging how lonesome Yuri looked, it had to make Leo wonder how he was able to navigate from city to city, all alone with zero supplies, without stopping in front of some brute that wanted him as his bride.

"What do you think will happen once we reach the city?" Guang-Hong asked his friend.

Leo scratched his head. He was right, what were they going to do? "I don't know man. Who knows, we'd probably be in the suburbs or something,"

Guang-Hong rubbed his arms. "Those places could be raided out by now, given what's happened in all of those survivor movies."

"There has to be somewhere that no one's touched," Leo countered. "Someplace that's probably underground for all we know."

"That's true," The Chinese boy said. He looked down for two seconds, before asking Leo, "Leo, where were you when everything happened? How come you weren't in class before the zombies struck?" Guang-Hong wanted to know. He had to know. Leo would have to tell him one way or another, sooner or later.

Leo looked at the metal surface of the truck. He confessed, "Um, my mom had gotten sick with the virus. My grandmother wanted me to stay with her since I was her only child, and my dad was in Alabama with his second wife." His father was a full-blooded, dark-haired, Mexican man, while his mother was a brunette American.

Guang-Hong didn't expect that. "Oh… he remarried? Have you ever met your stepmom?"

Leo shook his head, "No. Not really. My grandma wanted me to stay far from my dad as possible; she even threw mud all over him and his wife when they tried to visit."

"Mud? That's not very nice, how can your grandma do that?" Guang-Hong said. At the same time, he felt somber. His guts were twisting and turning, blood just as cold as ice-water; his toes curling into his socks and boots. This reminded him of his own grandmother, who probably died of shock once she saw people chew on other people.

"I guess she was a tough woman or she didn't like people who were unfaithful to others," Leo explained.

----

Mila looked back at Otabek, who was sitting with his mother again. He looked at Casey, her eyes laced with seriousness now. She brought up a finger to the boy as if she were some strict teacher. "For the record, I've already given this lecture before, and I'm not having it twice. You don't know the person you're standing next to. It's not cool to downgrade them like that, you know."

As Mila walked back to her seat, Yuri chuckled right at those two triplets. "Yeah, red-headed woman served your ass sideways."

Casey only turned himself away from him.

"It seems so erringly possible," Christophe said to Yakov, sitting by him. They were behind Yuuri and Phichit. "Crispino's body was found tied to a tree meaning Viktor left him there, those Maverickers rolling by and taking that kid back, and Viktor not returning, it only makes me think he has snatched by them."

Yuuri whipped his head around, looking intensely at Chris.

Christophe swore, smiling at Yuuri as he waved at him. "You heard that didn't you?"

Yuuri nodded, then he said, "You know, when I was out there with Yuri, I found a mine that was used. Now that I think it's the same where Crispino was found, I can't help but think Viktor set it off." Yuuri thought of what his mother told him. Viktor was strong; nothing could tear him to pieces.

"He could not have been taken by those cannibals." Yakov theorized. "Vitya would have murdered them in an instant if that happened. Judging by what that child told you, Christophe, about a shirtless perpetrator, Vitya is most likely still out there, somewhere."

Yuuri rose up from his seat. "Then we have to look for him! I still have his arsenal with me and Makkachin's missing him too!"

Yakov placed his hand before him, "No child, not when those people are after us. If we were to find him and those people found us, the outcome will be disastrous."

----

Viktor didn't know how long he could keep up. Once again, he was on his knees, hands touching the ground below him. Fuck, as Viktor punched the ground. In the day, Viktor slew through more than ten zombies, their blood getting on his face and body. Viktor hated it. It reminded him once of when he was crawling through the swamp in the Amazon, evading drug traffickers. He came out so mud-laden that once he came back home, Lilia made him stand outside and ordered a cleaning crew to rinse him until he was stench-free.

Just when Viktor could turn away, his hand felt something moist. Viktor turned to his hand, hoping it wasn't zombie guts. It wasn't, it felt like water. Viktor smelled it and it was fresh water, unlike the dirty he was in years ago. He looked up, a saw a full river in front of him.

Holy shit. Viktor looked into the water, making sure there were no zombies in it. Viktor took a handful off the water and washed his face. The blood was coming off, it landing on the cassock.

Viktor rubbed his eyes, sighing in relief. He could feel the blood on top of his fingers collide with his eyelids, but it didn't matter. Viktor could always wash it off. He grabbed another handful of water, pouring it over his silver hair. Oh god, oh what Viktor could give for a shower. He hadn't showered in several days either. He thought someone might've bathed his body after his surgery, but it was unlikely. The assassin combed his hair, letting the water go in deeper. Viktor shook his head, and just when he could pick a third, he heard boot-falls behind him.

Several guns were aimed at Viktor, as he looked around.

"Don't move, boy. We've got your surrounded." One man with a rifle demanded.

"There's no way you're coming out this heap alive!" cried out another.

"He's probably from that Ciao place," a third gunman stated, eyeing Viktor through his scope.

Viktor was curious. How did these people know about Ciao-Town? Wait, did they do anything to…

"Too bad, it's burnt down to the ground, there's no place for him to hide."

Burnt down? Then that means – "MAKKACHIN!"

Viktor grabbed one man's rifle, kicking that man back. Viktor twirled the gun in his hands, shoving the front into his eye. The other men fired at Viktor, but he used the stuck rifle as leverage and lifted himself in the air. He landed back down, using the body as a human shield. Several bullets pierced through, but Viktor threw his kukri at the shooter's neck. Another gunman came running at Viktor, but he lifted his leg and kicked him down. The Russian stabbed him several times as the other men circled him while he was down.

----

Leo and Guang-Hong were talking until Leo heard something in the air. Gunshots.

Wondering what was happening, Leo demanded Mr. Leroy to stop the truck. Mr. Leroy demanded why, as he pulled the truck over. The bus driver saw this, and stopped the engine, coming out of his seat.

He asked what was happening, as Mr. Leroy and Leo were coming off the truck. Christophe and Yakov were curious, standing by the exit.

"I heard gunshots," Leo told the man. The driver folded his arms, wondering if he was for real. Once the Swiss Hunter and the old man heard gunshots, they came out of the truck.

"Are you for real?" Yakov asked Leo.

"Yeah, it sounded like they were coming from that direction." Leo pointed to the trees.

More gunshots were heard. Christophe pulled out his gun, wondering if he should go and investigate. Yuuri peered out, wondering where Chris was since he saw him come out.

"SHOOT HIM! KILL HIM! He's caused a lot of deaths!" Viktor grabbed that man's neck and dug his teeth into it.

Yakov looked at the trees. He could've sworn he heard some shouting.

"I shall look and see!" Yakov said, going to the horizon.

Yakov walked through the brush, ignoring the branches that poked into his skin. He was lucky he had his Thompson on him too. He brushed a cluster of leaves away when he felt like he could have a heart attack.

It was Vitya… but with his teeth bleeding and a man under him. Yakov, not knowing if his own pupil had turned or not, run back to the bus.

"What happened, Mr. Feltsman?" Mr. Leroy asked him, as Christophe was next to him.

"Are the Maverickers there?" asked the bounty hunter.

"VITYA!" the old man cried. "I FOUND VITYA!"

Christophe gasped. Yuuri ran back in, grabbing Viktor's arsenal and running out, with Makkachin following.

Phichit looked spooked, following Yuuri out too. Yuuri ran past Yakov and Christophe, the latter asking, "What the hell are you doing?!"

"YUURI!" Phichit cried out, following his friend to the bushes.

Yuuri ran through them, hair whipping in the air. He didn't care if the branches slapped him, nothing was coming in between him and his boyfriend! Phichit wanted to make sure Yuuri would be okay though as his friend.

Phichit was out of breath, holding onto his heart. He didn't remember doing all of this running in a long while. Makkachin was yelping, the Thai boy's foot on his paw.

"Sorry boy," he said to him, getting off him.

"VIKTOR!" Yuuri cried out, watching the scene. He was standing before those remaining men, Viktor, and the river. Viktor wasn't hearing him though, kicking one of them in the face. Just when the Russian could slam him into the ground, he was shot in the arm. Blood spewed out like pus from a zit.

"VIKTOR!" Yuuri cried out again. Phichit fell on his knees, holding his head. Mkkachin growled in pure anger. His teeth frothed, pulling one paw up. His tail was stiff. In other words, he was fucking pissed. Makkachin ran through the river, not caring about the rock and water that got him wet. Makkachin barked like he did at Georgi, pouncing on the man that shot his master. Yuuri ran through the river, going over to Viktor's side. Everyone from the bus and truck appeared, some looking shocked and perplexed.

Chris came running, as Makkachin was tearing into the master-shooting man's face. The man screamed, wondering, how a poodle can kill anyone.

"Boy, Makkachin, stand back!" Christophe told him. "I said stand back!" the hunter drew the dog away, killing the man square in the forehead with his gun.

Yakov looked at the remaining man, aiming his Thompson at him. Yakov shot him in the forehead too.

Minami and Yuri and had their weapons up, seeing a few zombies come to them. "There!" Minami cried.

The two boys ran up and beheaded some of them, with Guang-Hong joining. He sent his staff into a zombie's neck and sent it into its stomach.

Yakov looked back up when, Yuuri cried, "Layoff, who are you?!" at an unknown person.

It was Father McKormick. He was dressed in a crisp white shirt, wearing a pair of black slacks and black dress shoes. Yuuri was looking at him with curious eyes. The priest had a harsh, but somber look on his face.

Viktor was moaning. He was on Yuuri's shoulder after Yuuri had put him on his lap. "Don't come close, you're not welcome here!" Yuuri dug into the arsenal, pulling out Viktor's prized dagger. Yuuri stood up, slashing at Father McKormick, but he pushed him away. He looked at Viktor and picked up his arm. He needed to deal with him for he's done.

"I am against all methods of violence, including that of mutilating another person's face, but you, young man, are due for a lashing!" FatherMcKormick tugged on where he was shot, his nose in front of his eyes.

----

The group of seven entered into the city as the cart's wheels squeaked. Sara had her hands on the cart, her hair done up in a ponytail. Oh, this was just shite. The group had come across a family of zombies and even though Emil told everyone to be quiet, Seung-Gil moaned, stating he didn't feel so good, getting the zombies' attention. Emil told everyone to run, going in the opposite direction.

Sara tripped, letting go of Seung-Gil's cart, causing Seung-Gil to fall out and roll in the grass and land by some stones. Fortunately, Michele's urn didn't fall out, so they didn't have to worry about him. When Minako, Emil, and Sara picked up the Korean, Seung-Gil's bandages were unpeeling, meaning they were too dirty now. Emil had to remove them and wrap up Seung-Gil's stump with a shirt that was hanging off a branch just by. It was a bloody mess. Emil could've sworn he saw some black spots in his blood too.

Minako held her rifle before her, asking Emil, who was right by the cart.

"What do we do?" Minako asked him.

"Let's find a hospital, look for medicine and supplies for Seung-Gil."

Seung-Gil was growing pale. He threw his head to the side and puked some blood. Lutz went, "Ew..." at it.

Something was behind them, the group turned around and saw a large zombie with two chainsaws in its hands.

Chapter Text

"Oh, crap…" Emil muttered, looking at the monster that was looking down at them. Its shadow loomed right over Emil and with a small portion of Sara and Seung-Gil.

"It's got to be joking with all of us…" Sara muttered. She, Emil, and Seung-Gil had seen the zombie with the ax, there can't be any more like these!

The large zombie emitted a guttural cry, as part of its face torn off and was missing a small portion of its left thigh.

"It's not and now run!" Minako cried, running away.

The triplets darted into an alley, just between an empty newspaper box and a trashed up, beige Lincoln, right behind her. Sara grabbed onto the cart, getting herself and Seung-Gil away. Emil ran behind her, his hand on her back, hoping to keep her steady.

The monster stomped its feet, right foot and then left, on the street, making the gravel pop up. Its teeth were gritted, as it went for the humans that were close by, them being the trio. Emil, Sara, and Seung-Gil ran into a street, Emil hanging onto the cart. With hairs flying, Seung-Gil curled into his chest, letting out a dark grunt. He had his hands on his chest, as if he were choking, in which he was. He threw his head to the side and let another blood puddle, only it was thicker, darker, and some pieces of phlegm in it too.

No.

The doctor cut the infected leg off; Seung-Gil thought he would be free from it.

Emil turned around, feeling the vibrations of the large zombies' steps becoming more violent towards them. His legs were stiff, left leg before his right.

Emil stopped, the cart going past him a few inches before Sara did. His eyes were locked on the corner. The Czech pulled out his guns, pointing them at the corner. He looked at Sara and the cart, which were passing by some cars. He saw a building with its door open too.

"Sara!" Emil cupped his hand over his mouth.

The young woman paused, looking at Emil. "How come you're not running, Emil?"

Emil had something in mind. "Go into that building, quick! I'm gonna try to fight that thing!"

Without even bothering to wait for Sara's reply, Emil firmed his lips. However, he turned one last time. "I'm gonna need one of Mickey's guns for this!" he thought it would be a good idea, have of Mickey's gun and give the other to Sara, in case if she got into trouble of her own.

"Are you for real?" Sara demanded as her hand was gripped on the handle. Seung-Gil was looking, his face growing white a paper sheet.

"Yes!"

Sara had hard a time deciding whether or not, looking at the ground. Maybe it was for the better.

"Here!" Sara took two steps, holding the gun in her hand. She tossed to Emil, hoping he wouldn't get shot accidentally by it.

Emil gripped it, nodding at her in thanks.

Emil figured the best thing to do, was to hit the knees, but what if those saws cut into him?! God, Emil hoped those things had gotten dull over time. There was a garbled roar, the monster right in front of Emil.

Emil fired at the head, hoping maybe brain loss could stop it. Some pieces were scattered in the air, but the large zombie charged further towards, not wanting to go down just yet.

Emil ran backward, going past a few cars and orange and white fences, his laces going up in the air. He sent one bullet to the arm, causing some skin to fall off, another to the knee, causing the monster to hunch over a little. Emil wanted to go for the hands. So he fired at the right, it spacing off the thumb from the right hand.

The large zombie swung his right chainsaw at him, wanting revenge off him for that. Emil cried out, seeing the chainsaw almost nick his navel. Emil hopped over a fence, landing on his side and rolling over. He was one knee, aiming at the face. The large zombie launched the saw to Emil, causing the young man to cry out, sprinting away. The young man cursed to himself. He saw a car, red and with its windows smashed, connecting with an eighteen wheeler. Emil got it: height advantage!

Emil trod on the metal, sending one bullet to the zombie's eye, causing it to come out.

Yeah, bitch!

The large zombie clashed the two saws onto the white box, causing it rock around. Emil waved his arms around, his stomach feeling about caved in and empty.

Emil fired the left gun twice at the head, wanting it to just die. The zombie slashed at the box once, twice, thrice, making more cries, each one getting louder. Emil hoped that wouldn't bring more zombies forward, but figured that it was better to unleash gunshots than to hear more zombies come by. So the young man used Mickey's gun and shoot twice into the large zombie's skull. Bone and matter burst out, causing the large zombie to slowly fall, right chainsaw coming out of its hand.

Emil looked at it, seeing its blood drip out, but remembering he learned from horror movies if he wasn't sure if something was dead: double tap. Emil saw a cement brick on the truck hood and with all of his might he dropped it onto monster's head.

Emil sat with his legs over the side, shoes touching the scratches it made.

It was no time for a mere victory cheering because Emil still had to find his companions and a place for them to stay.

"Girls, stay back," he heard Minako. Minako appeared by the zombie, just away from the blood behind them.

"You managed to kill this thing?" the woman asked Emil, who was looking down at her.

Emil rubbed his head. "Yeah… I think its better if the chainsaws are thrown away. Chainsaws take gas, and there would be no time to find gas for them anyway."

"Emil!" cried out Sara, running down the street, waving to him.

"Sara!" He stood up, hopping down to the hood and sliding off it.

"How come you're not hiding?" he stood in front of her.

"Seung-Gil is coughing really badly," Sara told him.

----

Seung-Gil was lying on the ground, head on a rolled up shirt that Sara found. Some of his blood was laden on his face, as his arms were stretched out. Emil was walking up to him, his brow pointed up. Minako and the girls were right behind, but the woman asked them to stand back. Sara was touching her arm, as Emil knelt down to Seung-Gil.

"Seung-Gil…"

"This is where I shall perish…" he told him.

"Is this some sort of joke?" Emil pondered. He looked at Sara.

"I touched his forehead, it was pretty hot."

"You can't be joking about this type of stuff," Lutz said, looking past Minako's leg. "It's unethical and kinda a waste of time…"

"It's not," Sara told her firmly. "If he were joking then some yellow paint would be leaking out." She referred to the Korean's growing yellow eyes.

Seung-Gil groaned. "It hurts so much," he turned his head around. Sara knelt down by him in haste.

"Ya'll don't have any medicine for his current condition?" Minako gestured to the cart.

"He looks like he has jaundice, meaning his red blood cells are breaking down excessively. For this, he might need light therapy, but we can't find it at this time." Emil explained to her, not looking.

Seung-Gil had a somber look on his face, feeling like he could just break down. There was one zombie handcuffed in the counter right by, but the group didn't care about it.

"Damn, then what will become of him?" Minako asked them.

"Don't know," Emil told them. "Seung-Gil, bud… how can you let this happen?"

"I had only desired a walk from trouble sleeping and as I stated, this will be my final resting place." Seung-Gil was panting, the sweat falling into his eyes. "Water… I need water…!" he cried out, coughing out more blood.

Loop had a water bottle in hand, "Here, we found it in a basket that was nearby."

Emil gently took it from her, opened it, and passed it to Seung-Gil. "Here, bud."

The three girls eyed each other. Without how this young man was looking, especially with how bloody his knee looked, it reminded them of their father. They could still see the mark on his side, and how blood poured out of it. Dad had always been such a chubby guy. They couldn't even understand how he was able to fit into any of his pants and be able to run that quickly before getting bit. Hell, what was he even anyway? Was he a zombie? Did he bite their mom Yuuko? Was she a zombie too? Did someone kill them too? Or did they even bite into anyone?

Seung-Gil took only two sips. He choked on the water a little, drops falling onto his face before Emil stomped his hands on his heart.

"I might turn at any moment…" he told Emil. His ribs were growing hard.

Sara faux hiccupped, her hand in his hair. Seung-Gil shook his head around as if he didn't want her near her. "Sara, no… I don't want you to retrieve my germs… anyone of you…" Seung-Gil referred to both Minako and the girls.

"What do you want to do?" Emil asked him.

"I wish to end myself," Seung-Gil told him. "But before I do," he turned his head to Sara. "I'm sorry if I was ever that cold to you, Sara. I should've taken you in with warm arms like my mother wanted. You in the purple, Lutz?"

"What is it…?" Lutz was looking at him.

"I guess I should've asked that doctor for more bandages even if he didn't issue me any. You were right about that." Seung-Gil rubbed his nose, feeling snot come out.

"Emil," the Korean turned to the Czech man. "You've been an asset to this group… everything you said is true… You will survive this world, you as well, Sara, and strange woman and children!" Seung-Gil cringed, tears falling. Emil's face grew warm, him cringing as well. Sara felt her heart tug hard, once she heard him say what he had to.

"You gotta take me outside. Should any other survivors come in, I don't want them to see my dead corpse." Seung-Gil was facing the ceiling, his looking almost as yellow as a dirty toe-nail.

"You sure you want to do this…?" Sara loomed over him.

"Yes…! Right now, when none of them are wandering around, their speed is doubling by the second!" Seung-Gil cried. Emil stood up, but before he could pick up Seung-Gil's leg, Sara gave him the other gun. Minako and the girls stood out of the way, letting him go through.

Seung-Gil was dragged out the door and pulled into the alley. Emil was straining the whole time. Once he pulled Seung-Gil just by a dumpster, he let go of his leg. The Czech man slowly walked up to him, arms at his sides.

"Ready?" he whispered to him. The Korean nodded. Emil gave him his gun. Seung-Gil gripped the nozzle, firmly. He eyes were closed tight. He couldn't take his death in vain. He was setting himself free. Free from the pain; free from rotten people like the Maverickers; free from this world. He was going to see his dog, again… He was going to see his parents again. Seung-Gil now had the gun in his hand. He stared at the shine, taking in his own reflection on it. When he quietly placed it next to his head, he felt like his heart could stop for just an hour.

"I may be gone, but I won't be entire, like Michele…" Seung-Gil heaved out. He closed his eyes and—

BANG!

Sara felt herself curl into a ball on the floor. The three girls padded over to her as Minako knelt down to her as she covered her face. The formers tried to soothe her, but she just lied on the floor.

Emil had sat on the sidewalk, holding the gun that Seung-Gil had, right over his heart.

Chapter Text

A lashing? Yuuri felt his stomach grew hollow.

Yuuri pulled out the dagger again. He picked up the arsenal, tossing it over his shoulder. "I won't let you hurt him!" he pointed the dagger at Father McKormick. His teeth were gritted like a dog's, a large and vicious one very much like Makkachin.

Christophe appeared right by Yuuri, "Of course, I'm with him." and pointed his gun at the priest. There was no way that the priest could win. If the man tried anything, then Christophe would have his way with him.

---

Leo was holding onto Guang-Hong's shoulders. He had been the moment he pierced that zombie in the stomach. Leo was calling out to him, stating that he shouldn't be doing other than the fact that he was sick.

Yuri kicked one zombie down, sending his machete through its skull, as Guang-Hong demanded, "What?"

"Those two guys, did anyone notice that we left them alone on the bus?" Leo's hair shook around as he turned from his friend to everyone else.

"Aw shit, they'll steal the bus!" cried a man with the machine gun.

"Someone's gotta stop them!" cried another.

"I'll do the job!" Guang-Hong stated. This would only get on Leo's nerves. He grabbed onto the Chinese boy's shoulders.

"No way, you're not going alone!" Leo told him. "Even if those two guys had their hands tied, they're still in front and still might be able to shoot you if they found a gun."

That line made the Chinese boy want to burst a large pimple.

"Leo, stop worrying about me okay?!" Guang-Hong stared at his friend with intense eyes. "I'm DONE! I can handle myself, and you've been acting nothing more than a mother hen to me!"

"What do you mean to say?"

"Just leave me alone! Make yourself useful and help others than helping me!" Without even bothering to wait for an answer, Guang-Hong ran to the horizon, with some of the men, and even Mila, following right behind.

Otabek turned to her, "Mila!"

"I'm going too! Those guys need more than a lecture!" Mila swung her hatchet's handle in her hands.

Guang-Hong raced to the door of the bus where Casey and Oscar were slowly walking down the steps.

"Stop where you are!" Guang-Hong demanded. He had his staff pointed at the two elder triplets, who had their hands free now. The Chinese boy didn't know how but he didn't seem to care. Two of Balziya's gunmen were behind him, as well Mila who had her hatchet pointed like Guang-Hong's staff. She had a brow raised, looking as if she were demanding -Going somewhere?- to them.

Guang-Hong felt that his heart was hard, as he was exhaling rapidly. He had never done anything extreme like this – stopping evildoers or troublemakers like those cops on TV. Guang-Hong felt that he was too soft-hearted for those types of things, but even he had to come out of his comfort zone, and soon.

"You're surrounded, you can't run!" the boy told them, left cheek quirking up.

Casey frowned, his eyes sneering at his oppressor. The eldest triplet ran for him, but the Chinese boy struck him on his shoulder, causing his knees to bend down.

Casey swore at him, looking at him, but Guang-Hong wagged his staff at him.

"Nuh-uh, no you don't." he chastised them.

"Hey, hey, save some for me!" Mila held her hands up.

Guang-Hong smiled, "Of course, how could I?"

Mila smirked, "Try me boys, mama's ready." with a wink in her eye.

It took Oscar by surprise. Casey on the other hand though felt some pieces of his heart chip away. However, all of that went away, rage being written on their faces.

Oscar ran at Mila, causing the other men to back away far enough so they wouldn't get hit.

Oscar had a punch set for her, but before he could make contact, Mila dove down and launched her left leg at him, hitting him. Oscar groaned, his chin hitting the ground, but he stood back up, sending one kick to Mila's ribcage.

Mila grunted, her hair falling back. Her teeth gritted, not amused but at the same time, impressed with this boy. Damn, wherever he learned how to fight, she should've at least taken a quick look at it. It seemed to be quite effective for combat. Mila spun around twice, her toes kicking Oscar on his left forearm and on his side.

Oscar grunted twice, his left eye shut and feeling his limbs being bruised. "You big hoe!"

Mila falsely cooed, putting her hatchet to her chest, "Aw, say what you will, but your brother trying his best."

Casey felt his jaw drop at that remark. He knew it had to be for him. Ian wasn't here to save them. At least, not yet.

While, one of the men cheered for Mila, smiling and raising his hands up. He had never seen anything like this in his days. He clapped his hands for her, telling her to keep on fighting without stopping. Guang-Hong had to smile too. He looked like a coach watching over his student's performance, as Mila's legs spun around in the air like fan blades.

Mila stood on her hands, legs turned straight, kicking away the two boys. They tried to hit her but were met with grass below them instead. Mila should've worn her hair in a bun; it was getting into her eyes as sweat fell down her face.

She aimed her hatchet at Oscar's neck, "You two had enough of me? I'm shocked, neither one of you could beat me with your fists."

"How did you do that?" Oscar demanded. He rubbed his mouth with his fist, directly at Casey.

"You've honestly never heard of dance?" Mila sardonically questioned, her gaze looking cocky. She stood on her two feet. "You should've seriously learned how to so you could—"

Casey launched himself in the air, his right foot aiming at Mila's back. Mila cried out, her arms eagle spread, her hatchet falling out of her hands.

Guang-Hong gasped.

"How dare you!" Mila cried at Casey.

The two men aimed the guns at him, as Casey was standing over her, remorseless. Casey turned to them.

The boy was panting, as he rubbed his nose. He swung his arms around frantically, "C'mon, try to fucking shoot me."

"Will do." One man shot Casey in the knee, smirking.

Casey screamed, feeling blood fall out as he landed in the grass. Mila smirked, "Ha!"

Casey held onto his knee, his mouth opened towards the half-lidded sky. His pupils were thin, never having been feeling this type of pain before. How could this happen? He was better than everyone on the field.

He was outsmarted by someone he didn't know was part of the Kazakh mafia, which he didn't care about in his whole life. He thought that the mafia was crap and make-believe. However, they were just as tough as the US Army.

Oscar ran to his brother, going to with him with concern on his face. As he was by him, he shouted at the gunman, "How could you!?"

The man chuckled, wagging his finger at him. Oscar cursed at him.

Before Guang-Hong could make his move to him, the sounds of a large car erupted through the air. Down the street, a dot was appearing. Mila and Guang-Hong squinted and the latter knew what it was. Their brother.

---

Father McKormick was not enjoying this. God sent this to damnation. He had his hand before the two young men as if he were performing one of his exorcisms before the turn all over again. His thumb was pressing into Viktor's bullet wound, right out of stress.

Viktor hissed, feeling his mouth turn down. He wanted this man to stop, immediately. The Russian thought that the wire that he strung around his neck would've killed him, or at least put him in a coma for many weeks.

As if fate was building a puzzle, more reinforcements came around, creating a picture of resistance. The reinforcements included Yakov, Toshiya, Hiroko, Mari, Minami, Otabek, Balziya and even Yuri. Yakov and Toshiya had their guns pointed at the man, as Yuri was shaking his damn head at him.

"Good glory," the priest muttered.

Yakov's face was growing as red a beet, screeching at the man, "Silence!"

Celestino and those who remained stood by. Celestino had his arms folded and judging by the priest, he had to assume that he was from Maverick. Nathan was coughing uncontrollably, feeling his mother hug him tighter. Darn, the medicine was still in the truck. Celestino turned him and felt pity.

"You are not allow to hurt that young man!" Yakov thwarted the priest.

Toshiya wagged his finger around, holding his tiny pistol, though rather sassily. Hiroko would seriously love to jab this priest's eyes out with her hook, as Mari popped her knuckles.

"If you so much just put one hand on his back, I will send so many holes into your body that not even the Devil would recognize you!" Yakov cried, firing. Bullets flew toward Father McKormick, causing the man to drop Viktor and kneel to the side. Viktor fell with a thud, as his hand covered his bloody arm.

The priest narrowed his eyes at Yakov, brandishing his whip. He found it in a stable where animals were held, before setting out with The Ringleader's men and family to seek out those Ciao-Towners.

"I'll take his head," Christophe stated, chuckling. Meanwhile, with a panicked look on his face, Yuuri ran over to Viktor. Behind him, Phichit and the cornrowed man ran behind him. The cornrowed man held onto a small box of supplies, medical tools. Tools that could help heal Viktor's ailment. They all circled Viktor, Phichit on one knee, by his ex-boyfriend, as Yuuri was cradling Viktor's face.

"Viktor, Viktor, stay with me… stay with all of us, please." Yuuri cooed. Fortunately, no zombies had appeared after the first wave, not that many people lived in this area like the ones that were standing by like ducks.

The cornrowed man held his arm against Yuuri's stomach. "Help move him out of the area, please. I will handle predicament."

Phichit urged Yuuri to give Viktor over to this man. What other choice did Yuuri have? He looked like he knew what he was doing. Why else would he be part of Balziya's group?

Yuuri nodded, helping the man pick up Viktor and taking him to the bus. Phichit was by him the whole time, just letting him know that Viktor would be okay.

The way Phichit walked by him, made him think of their times back in college, long before news of the virus hit major social networking sites. Yuuri could still remember seeing the headline on Phichit's phone.

[Disease Sends Over Three Million People to Hospitals In Ten Different Countries]

"Oh man," Yuuri fret, looking at the screen with Phichit. "Do you think it's like the Ebola epidemic?" Over twenty-thousand people in Africa had died from Ebola.

"With that many deaths? Hope not…" Phichit looked at him.

Some of their classmates surrounded them, looking at the headline. Two girls whispered to each other, the brunette of the two double taking. A blonde young man with military-style hair rubbed the back of his head.

It was far from the Ebola virus.

The casualty rate from this one was probably (and obviously) twice as higher than the Ebola deaths from around the world.

"Ringleader, please, I've been surrounded!" Father McKormick had pulled a small device and was speaking into it. He couldn't fight other humans. He can discipline them like he was going to Viktor, but having their blood on his hands went against his job as a priest.

"No, you will not get help!" Christophe fired the gun at Father McKormick, shooting him in the head. The priest's eyes were staring up to the sky, blood spurting out like a messed up water fountain. Toshiya shot at the man's heart, as Mari called out, "Dad, I wanna fire at him too!" as if she were a little girl at the carnival again.

Toshiya rolled his eyes playfully, lending his tiny pistol at Mari. "Alright, just this once dear, you know you're not a little girl anymore…"

Mari felt like she could just jump up, kindly taking the gun from her father. She shot the priest in the neck, so he wouldn't come back either alive – or one the walking dead.

Father McKormick fell down to his knees and then onto his stomach, blood flowing onto the grass.

Balziya had a hand to her breast. "My, someone is quite enthusiastic about guns,"

Yuri had his brows up, bottom lip folded.

Then, there were cries of men and a few women ringing in the air. They were coming from the horizon, right by the group. Yakov turned and he saw The Ringleader right in the middle. On both of his sides were Dylan and Anna. Anna was holding onto her sniper rifle and Dylan was hanging onto an AK-47.

Yakov called to everyone, "Enemies ahead!"

Balziya parted her lips, frowning. She pulled her own gun. "Arms up!"

Yakov pointed his Thompson with a snarl; Toshiya aimed his pistol with his head turned back just a little; Christophe twirled his semi-automated around before aiming; Minami pointed the tip of his katana by his shoe; Otabek had his batons out; lastly, Yuri pointed his machete at them, "Shit."

The Maverickers held their own weapons up at them, about every one of them holding a gun. The Ringleader had a menacing look on his face, looking right at them. "Well, looks like the whole gang decided to come out to play,"

Celestino narrowed his eyes. He pulled out his own gun, trotting by his citizens. He chuckled, "Why it is, true. But, only, we will play much better than you!" Celestino shot his gun at one soldier in the head.

Without any remorse or feeling for that one man, he called out to his people, "To those without any arms, run to the vehicles immediately! If we all work as one, none of us should ever have to die!"

Hiroko and her daughter ran off, as several gunshots rang in the air. The Leroy family ran along, Mr. Leroy firing his rifle at the opposing army. Toshiya cried out a few times, letting bullets tear through his coat and pants, thankfully not nicking his skin.

The Ringleader was shooting at Celestino, but the man closed one eye and ducked. Yakov fired his machine gun at two men, causing them to lose types of blood, their own guns falling out of their hands.

Yuri smirked, impressed. "Nice shot, old man!"

Yakov pointed at the horizon, "Get down!"

Yuri heard a shorter man come for him, ducking. He sliced the guy's rib, eliciting blood, growling.

"Pint-sized cunt!" the guy cried at him, grabbing his wound.

"Oh, you did not just call me that!" Yuri's brows knitted, his face growing more rugged than wet skin. With teeth gritted, Yuri crushed his foot on the man's neck.

Anna was running after those two women that were running away. There, bi-colored haired was not going to get away with hurting her brother.

She aimed, firing, crying out, "Bitch!"

Mari and Hiroko turned around, Hiroko holding onto her chest. The bullet whizzed between them, causing them to duck down. Hiroko cried out, as Mari stared right at Anna. Oh, that was not going to get past her.

"How can you do that?!" Mari cried out in her best English. She had never yelled at anyone before. Hiroko had her ears covered, as she was on her knees.

"You attacked my brother!" Anna fired at her again. Mari fell on her side, thanking goodness that she dodged. Anna was growing furious. She needed to get revenge for him. So she charged at Mari, but Mari barely dodged the butt of her rifle which was aimed at her face. Mari rolled around and stood on her knees, with Anna charging the butt at her a couple more times.

Mari groaned, even though she was older and larger, this girl probably worked out, giving all of her might into mutilating her. Sweat popped out of her forehead in small drops, as she placed her shoe on Anna's gut. She forced her leg to push her, even though she was never the Olympic runner type, wanting her to get away. If not, this girl would probably kill her and then kill her mother next.

Mari cried out, pushing Anna onto her back. Anna grunted as Mari stood right up. She helped her mother get up too, but before they could run, the rifle-girl fired, nicking a single piece of Mari's ear cartilage off. Anna had screeched like a deranged animal, saliva, and hair flying around. She wasn't done just yet. She wanted to hit other parts of Mari's body, arms, legs, heart, and even her head.

And when she would be down, she would go after the big hag too.

The young woman cried out, grabbing onto it. Hiroko cupped her mouth, feeling terror for her daughter.

"You selfish brat!" Mari cried at her.

Anna ran at her, hitting her with her rifle. Mari grunted. Hiroko felt her eyes prick, but at the same time, her stomach churned. It went to the right with rage; it went left with speed.

Hiroko's hand evolved into claws and dove for Anna, pinning the little bitch down with all of her might. Hiroko slapped her once, slapped her twice, and slapped her until both of her cheeks turned red.

Hiroko screamed all the way until a pair of hands grabbed her waist.

"DON'T FUCKING TOUCH MY SISTER!" Dylan screamed at her. His face was beet red, holding Father McKormick's whip. A pair of hands pushed him out of the way. Hiroko grunted, landing on her side. She looked up and saw Toshiya take her hand.

Isabella ran up to Mari and asked if she was okay. There was no time for questions and answers because Toshiya urged everyone to get away quick.

"Did you get hurt?" Hiroko asked her husband as they were entering the bus.

Sadly, Toshiya nodded. His lip was bruised up and his glasses were cracked, meaning that someone hit him. Hiroko hugged her husband, standing in the aisle. Isabella had her arm around Mari's back, wanting to help her. Surely Mrs. Leroy had to have some rags around in the truck. Hiroko saw this through the window and rushed down to them.

"Please," she said to the two women. "Let me look at my daughter."

Mari told Isabella, "It's fine…" she fell into her mother's arms, letting her take her back to the bus.

"Please be careful!" Isabella told them. She turned around, opening the door for the Leroy kids.

Yakov shot one man in the head, when – "Scuddy old man!" A woman with dark, wavy hair cried out to him. She was pointing her gun at him, firing once. Yakov tilted his head away; he growled and shot that woman in the stomach. She gasped, her lips parted as she fell sideways.

Yakov walked over to her, setting his foot on the wound. "Respect your elders!" and shot her in the forehead.

Otabek was punching one man in the face with his batons. He was deadly furious. This man had punched the Katsuki man and he unleashed his wrath on him. Balziya was shooting up a man in his stomach for trying to attack her and her son. Some of her troops were right by her, killing the snipers that were coming for them.

The Ringleader fired at Celestino, who was on his stomach, pointing his stomach on a rock. Mr. Leroy was beside, not wanting to let the man he had come to know fall.

"Shoot his defense!" The Ringleader cried at one of his younger subordinates, a young man three years younger than Dylan. The young man nodded and fired at Mr. Leroy, tearing some of his vest off.

"Sir!" Mr. Leroy used his back to cover Celestino. The latter grunted, just feeling those bullets come closer towards them.

Celestino hated having to do this to someone young, but he had to. He got on a knee and shot the young man in the eye.

While Balziya was reloading, some men appeared while holding grenades in their hands.

"Ma'am, get down!" her female troop demanded. She and her partner fired at those men. Once the bullets made contact with the men, they exploded into nothing but pure body mass. Dirt went along with it, scattering everywhere.

The Ringleader turned his head to the explosion, cursing under his breath. Those men had the only two grenades in the entire Maverick army.

"We run!" Balziya cried to the people on her side. Celestino, Mr. Leroy, Yakov, and the troops ran off.

Otabek was still punching away when Yuri landed right by him.

"Otabek, dude that's enough!" Yuri cried at him, shaking his shoulders. He and Minami used a dead corpse as a shield against the bullets before eventually slicing someone else down together.

Minami was on his other side, telling him, "He's right!"

Balziya rushed over to them, concerned for her son. She hated to see him like this.

Yuri and Minami were urged away by her, but Yuri didn't want to leave him. The two troops touched both Yuri's and Minami's arms, telling them that they must come with them quick. Their Matriarch knew what she was doing.

Otabek cried out, blood sitting all over the batons.

Balziya called her son's name several times, hoping to calm down. It slowly did, and while, she wrapped her arms around his chest. She broke down, pressing one kiss to his cheek.

Otabek was panting, sweat falling down his face.

He turned to his mother quietly, who brought him to her face. She hugged him, the same way she did when he was born.

"Let's go dear," she told him.

When Minami and Yuri made it by the truck and bus, Minami found Leo sitting in front of it. Leo had his chin on his knees, arms wrapped around it. He had a thousand yard stare too.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Minami wanted to know. His sword was on his back again.

"Guang-Hong is gone." Was all that he answered.

---

The bus rode down the street, most passengers feeling morose. Yuuri was holding onto Viktor, as Viktor had his head on his shoulder. Phichit was sitting across from them, never wanting Yuuri to leave his sight. Toshiya and Hiroko were hugging Mari, who had her ear patched up.

Yakov had talked to the cornrowed man, Erasyl, and Erasyl told him that Viktor was making steady progress. He managed to close up his wound in time. He wondered why the doctor that was with them couldn't, but Yakov told him that he needed to relax a little. He had done so much for the group.

"What do you mean poncho-boy is gone? What happened?" Yuri crossed his legs.

"He… um, one of those triplets opened the door for their vehicle to get in; the engine was started, and Guang-Hong ran after them." Leo explained. "Mila tried to stop him, but he was gone."

Mila was sitting by herself, her temple in her hand. She felt a hand on her back and someone whisper, "You did good, kid. Don't beat yourself."

Mila rubbed her head. "Yeah… I could've done greater."

"They have to be somewhere, anywhere close to us." The man assured her.

And Leo would find him. Nobody makes his crush go away like dust.

Later that night, the bus stopped. It was almost meal time. And with the various supplies they had, they held their forks and cups up and had a toast – to them, to being still alive and well.

Chapter Text

"I'm mad at you," Yuuri told Viktor, as the bus was on its second stop that morning.

Viktor had his hand on his arm, as he did all night. "I just did what I had to do, Yuuri."

"No, not because of your little job with Crispino, of why didn't you tell me that you were going to handle him before leaving?!" Yuuri told him as they were the only two left on the bus. Makkachin left with Phichit, at Yuuri's request, so the poodle could get something to drink and relieve himself.

"You think I can just tell you where I'm with him in my hands?" the assassin rolled his eyes once. "He would've tried to attack you or me!"

"I was worried about you for two days!" Yuuri spat at him.

"Two days, that small?" Viktor bobbed his chin at him.

"Yeah, part of me still was, but I got worried about you one hundred percent when you got hit!" Yuuri rebutted.

"You got over me for a while?"

"Yeah, but Viktor, couldn't you have just left a note or something?!" Yuuri griped at him.

The same time Yuuri griped at him, Viktor felt the pain in his arm grow larger. "But two days though? Yuuri, I'm sort of disappointed in you!"

"Viktor, we've been boyfriends for less than three weeks now! If it were more then— Damn it, Viktor, the hell happened to you?!" Yuuri demanded, thrashing his hands at Viktor's arm.

"You saw the bandages, right?!"

Erasyl said that he needed to check Viktor for any other injuries, asking for Phichit and Yuuri to help remove the cassock. Erasyl had chucked it through a window but had torn off a few pieces just in case. He saw a red and brown spot on Viktor's stomach, appearing very similar to a healing up wound.

Erasyl stated, "Look like it were done by professional."

"Yeah…" Yuuri stared at Viktor's bare stomach.

"Then you know what happened. You can very much just guess who made me disappear." Viktor narrowed his eyes.

Still, Yuuri had another rebuttal. "However, you left your arsenal behind and you let that thing happen to you! If anyone should be more disappointed, it's me in you!" he stood up and walked down the aisle.

Viktor gritted his teeth, gripping the wound covered by the priest's rags, harder than he had. Then, Viktor felt something in his throat, almost tasting— acidic. And like lava in a volcano, it wanted to come out.

"Oh damn…" Viktor scooted to the end of the seat, and hastily he opened up the window. He hunched over and let his inventory out. Vomit and various other chunks – from the food Viktor tried to eat last night— were spread across the gravel, like a drunken man's.

"Vitya!" cried Yakov, almost worriedly.

Apparently, he was not alone, suffering from pain from last night's battle.

"Hold still, dear," Hiroko told her daughter, touching her ear. The doctor told her to please change the bandages for him, while he looked at Toshiya's lip and eye. The two women were in the bathroom, where they thought it would be safe away from everyone else.

Mari hissed, tensing, as Hiroko peeled away the bandage.

Mari felt a sharp pain and she jolted, scaring her own mother. "Ouch!" her cry echoed throughout the room before her mother shook her finger.

"I told you to hold still, didn't I?"

Mari placed her arms on her lap, "Sorry, mom." She thought about that rifle girl. Who the hell gave her a license to wield a gun like that around? "It seriously burns." Mari clenched her fist. A stinging sensation was manifesting on her lashes. Her lips quivered, letting out a moaning sound.

Tears slowly flowed down her face. She sobbed a little harder, covering her face. Her chest turned hard, feeling her heart be pierced like a hook and pulled down like an anchor. How can she be vulnerable? Especially to a fucking teenager that was Yuri-kitten's age? Mari never went near the zombies, got along with most of the people in town, heck, was planning to apologize to Leo for hitting him on accident too, soon. Saliva and throat mucus was what Mari tasted in her mouth, staring down at the ground.

Hiroko was watching, her eyes growing soft. She asked Mari, wondering, "Are you crying because of what I did to that girl?"

Hiroko looked at her own hands for a short second. Never in her days had she ever laid her hands on anyone else, not even to rude customers at the onsen. It was her patience that always won the rude people over. It was one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues too. Something that Hiroko practiced on her kids and other acquaintances.

But – that girl was not an acquaintance. Nor even someone that Hiroko would serve at the onsen if she ever came around even before the turn.

Mari sniffed, "No – you did what you could mom. It's because of the pain we're all going through right now."

Even Balziya's group was having some internal battle. They had just killed some people that were ordinary folks back then.

Celestino had his fist on his chest, looking at the ground. He remembered what the assassin told them last night.

All that hard work, setting up the walls so the people could be safe, solar panels so there would be electricity, and creating jobs so everyone could feel that they still had a purpose – gone.

Because of what JJ and Otabek did. If they hadn't opened that shed, then none of this would have ever happened. Celestino seethed, frowning at the ground. His hands were clawed up like Hiroko's last night, but—

"Um, sir?" Phichit's voice made him look up.

"Yes, what is it?" Celestino asked.

"Are you alright?" Phichit wanted to know, while Makkachin was scratching the stone floor.

"I am trying to come with the terms that Ciao-Town has now fallen," Celestino told him.

"I've heard," Phichit said. "But whatever the cause, we have to live by it. Tell me, what's your first reason?"

"Because of Jean and Otabek opening that compartment filled with the undead."

Phichit stood by him, looking at him. "Alright, but the way I think –they couldn't predict that happening." Much like the world now. Everything was unpredictable – like those cannibals appearing.

Celestino hummed. He couldn't imagine how they felt when those zombies poured out. Heck, did they even have nightmares? That's something everyone would have now but, a little more exaggerated in Jean's and Otabek's cases.

Now that the man thought of it, he could have seriously used livestock from Maverick. Mrs. Leroy could've loved some eggs and milk, Leo, and Mrs. Katsuki too.

He couldn't blame those two boys.

"Now, if that wasn't a reason, what do you think is?" Phichit had his hands behind his back.

Celestino rubbed his head. He hated having to admit things he didn't want. "Threatening the Ringleader."

Phichit felt a surge wash over his body. He placed his hand on Celestino's shoulder.

"You know, I should probably be chastising you now. But at the same time, where we will live now?" Phichit pondered. Ciao-Town probably had several zombies crawling all over there now. And that was one reason why they couldn't go back there at all.

"I am not sure; I feel I must talk with Ms. Altin about this matter. Surely her group must find a place to live as well." There was also the matter with Otabek. Now that he's reunited with his mother, there's the possibility of him taking off with her now. That'd be a low blow. Most people had come to love him.

"I heard you mutter my surname," Balziya was coming up to them.

Celestino was taken aback. How did she? Oh, wait, gas station. Everyone can hear everything.

"And your desire to talk about the living predicament of right now." She said.

Celestino composed himself. "Why yes. I must ask you, ma'am, do you hold any goal as of right now? Anything you may have set your eyes upon if I am not intruding?"

Balziya stared at the ground for a short second. "Frankly, of course. My assistant has been researching the geography of the country for a while in search of a town with the least population, least mortalities, and least rainfall."

Celestino understood that, but, "Why least rainfall?"

"I have a major aversion towards it. Not very wise to function in a town with so much." Balziya stated.

Celestino hummed. That was true. "And has there been any result as of late?"

Balziya nodded. "Ulan!"

Yuri was munching a protein bar that Mila gave him. He gave her and the Leroy kids some of his juice boxes in return. He wasn't into grape-juice anyway. He walked by Balziya's assistant and Otabek, who were looking at various maps that were on the hood of the bus.

"Yo, whatta ya'll looking at?" Yuri asked them, swallowing some of the bar.

"The States with the least population," Otabek told, as Ulan picked up two maps and headed over to Balziya.

"Do you mind sharing your results?" Balziya asked.

Ulan shook his head. "These are the two with the least humans within." He showed Celestino what needed to be shown. Celestino looked right at them.

Vermont and Wyoming.

"Woah, Vermont's tiny as hell and Wyoming… isn't that where Yellowstone's at?" Yuri inquired.

Ulan nodded.

"We gotta go to Yellowstone!" Yuri stomped his foot. "The freakin gyser and mountains!" He had heard about it on TV before, and was so damn hypnotized about it!

"Hold on there," Otabek said, touching Yuri's shoulder.

"First, there are several matters to attend to. You know." Otabek said, gesturing to Leo.

"Oh crap, poncho boy, and those damn triplets!"

"Other than the Maverickers…" Phichit put in. Yuuri walked by, holding his arms together. Makkachin whined, following him.

"Yuuri!" Phichit called out to his friend, following him. Yuri followed too, wanting to know what was up with him.

Yuuri paused. "Yes, Phichit?"

Phichit asked his friend, "What's up? Why aren't you with Viktor?"

Yuuri turned to him. "Um, we kinda quarreled; he threw up."

Yuri cringed. "Ugh, didn't know hitman could go that low!"

Wanting to shadow Yuri's comment, Phichit stepped up to him, "You serious? Has anyone checked on him?"

"Um, Yakov and the Erasyl guy did, and um, they said Viktor could have Hypovolemic shock."

"The hell?" Yuri wanted to know.

"It happens when you lose too much blood. Your heart doesn't have enough to pump in your chest." Celestino answered.

"Otabek, you got shot, did you go through that crap?" Yuri asked.

Otabek shrugged. "Altins are stronger than steel, the closest thing to shock is, well, just fatigue." Balziya patted his shoulder.

"Is there any medicine for it?" Phichit asked.

Yuuri shook his head. "They said that he might need a blood transfusion or an injection."

"And what might be better for him?"

"Probably blood transfusion," Yuuri answered.

"Does his boss know his blood type? Or does he?"

Yuuri shook his head somberly.

"Well, this is just a big drag on everything. First, someone's gotta look for poncho boy for church-pants; second, someone has to find out what hitman's blood type is and a place to give him the blood." Yuri groaned.

"It's not a place you have to find, you have to find a donor first who has the same blood type of the patient, and then the place." Celestino corrected.

"Shit, then what's gonna happen? Those Mavedickers are gonna set us on fire at any moment."

"I guess the medic-smarts will have to worry about that, I guess, we should keep on moving?" Yuuri guessed.

Balziya nodded, "Correct, boy. We keep our guard up. That Ringleader man will not have his way with us."

Chapter Text

It was almost four in the afternoon, and Leo was staring right through the window, sitting at the front of the bus. His eyes were glazed over with a certain shine, as the reflections of the buildings the bus passed by sat on his face.

Mari had apologized to him, first asking if he remembered what happened the day when the Maverickers first came to Ciao-Town. Even though he accepted her apology, he could not take his mind off Guang-Hong.

Why did he go after those triplets like that?

He didn't think that their lives were precious, right?

Or that they weren't and Guang-Hong wanted to beat that into them?

Leo sighed, looking at least two zombies that were sauntering right by them. The first one was missing its left arm, and the other one was missing its entire jaw.

"Hey," Mila called out to him.

"Si?" Leo turned to her. She had been watching from her seat across him.

"I know how you feel, about Guang-Hong. And I have to say, you've known him for the longest time, don't you have any clues on where he might've gone?" Mila told him. She was right; where the hell is he?

"Hm, well," Leo rubbed his chin. "I remember him telling me that he liked stuffed bears, so I guess if he would find himself in a toy store or where."

"True, that or perhaps he broke into an apartment to rest in, that has all of that stuff." Mila speculated.

"That's a good thought. I just hope Guang-Hong doesn't get himself hurt – he's still pretty sick." Leo stated.

"Alright, this hotel is closest to this hospital," Ulan stated, tapping his finger on the map that was found at the gas station. "One thing that must be done is to check the entire facility, make sure it is clean of all undead creatures – from closets and bathrooms."

Yuri, Yuuri, Phichit, Otabek, Balziya, and Yakov were around them, listening to what they had to say.

"Once group settles there, another shall take silver-head to hospital – for treatment." Erasyl explained.

Balziya was impressed with them, seeming to approve of this operation.

"How can you determine someone's blood type?" Yuuri asked.

"Easiest method – use Eldoncard to determine blood type. Easy to obtain and found in pharmacies. Take four drops of blood and mix in with liquid and results are found in several minutes. Get to hospital to find equipment for transfusion. Save silver-head." Erasyl pointed at Viktor.

Yuuri hummed, rubbing his chin. It sounded reasonable enough. "But first, you have to find the person with the right type to be the donor, right?"

Erasyl nodded. "Yes. What type are you?"

"A," Yuuri told him.

Erasyl nodded, taking note. He asked Phichit, "What about you?"

"I'm a B," Phichit answered.

"That's jacked up, mine's the same!" Yuri told him. "But I got to ask you, Era," shuffling to him, not caring if the man minded that nickname, "if you weren't into this doctor stuff, then what other stuff could you do?"

"Guitar – electric more like," Erasyl told him.

--

Samantha was at her all-time low as of late.

She was sitting on a rock, holding her forehead in her hands.

Why?

Why?

Why?

"You just had to.." She was standing right in front her husband. Her back was arched over the slightest, her bangs in right in front of her eyes. She was in the middle of where all of the trucks were parked, almost looking like a ghost in a horror movie.

Dylan had given Anna an ice pack as any responsible older brother would. The girl was holding it on her face as Dylan was facing Samantha with a perturbed look on his face.

"S-Samantha…" Dylan tried to reason with his wife.

Samantha was not going to take it. Her mouth was pulled down farther on her face, thus making her more frightening than Bloody Mary.

"YOU JUST UNFORTUNATELY HAD TO!" she cried at her husband. Her back was completely straight. Her hair loomed up as if she was touching a metal, static ball. Several of the other men, ones that were retrieving the deceased bodies, stopped. They all looked at her with such anxious looks like Dylan's.

The Ringleader came around, telling his niece-in-law, "Now, Samantha—"

"NO!" she cried. She knew that all of her screamings would attract the zombies but she didn't give a damn about it. In fact, maybe some zombies appearing right then and there could be great right now. Shooting their heads off would help Samantha blow off some stress – or maybe help her run far away from here.

"Dylan…" she loomed over to her husband. "We promised each other on the night we got married – that we would treat everyone with kindness, but—" the young woman shook her head around, feeling something heavy in her stomach. "—You just got your own sister hurt. How does that make you feel as an elder sibling? You let one of those Ciao-people get to her!"

Samantha turned to everyone else, men and women. "And to rest of you! If any more people die, we'll have no chance of survival! My god, none of you are better!"

Samantha brushed her hair when something rubbery and coated in metal came beside her.

She looked up and her stomach turned light.

He was almost like a stone statue. His left arm was facing the sky, and his right sitting straight, fingers pointing to his elbow. His legs were off the pedals as his knees were pointing to the right of the seat.

Rory Wester.

Even though his sharp bangs were covering a certain part of his eyes, he was staring right at her. Though why was he here? Shouldn't he be back at the cars?

Dylan couldn't trust Rory with the doctor back in Maverick – even he was perturbed by him— so he brought him here for safe keeping.

"Rory?" Samantha asked her mentally ill brother-in-law. "What are you doing?"

"You— no better—yourself…" Rory croaked out. His lips were opened to a certain degree, only his molars showing. The way they did protrude from his mouth made him look like a poisonous snake or some ravenous monster.

His hand was quicker than a rattlesnake, it clamping over her shoulder. Samantha jolted, just taken aback by him.

"Should leave, maybe." Rory hissed at her as a zombie was looming behind her. "..One right b-by y-you."

Samantha whipped her head around. The zombie looked terrible. It was missing all of its jaws and its bone was sticking out of its rotting arm. Samantha stood up, pulling out the switchblade. She ran to it and with her hand on landing on its chest, she shoved it into its neck, blooding onto her hand.

For a good measure, the young woman shoved the blade into its forehead, even more, blood coming out.

She turned back, but unfortunately, the boy was gone. Samantha was perplexed by what he had tried to say to her. Was she no better than everyone else? Samantha did what she had to. Yeah, she would fight other humans, only if they were hurting others for the fun of it, and the zombies, like she did right now, but…

Samantha shook her head around. If only she could detach herself from all of this.

--

"There! Pull there!"

Erasyl was standing the driver's seat, pointing to something through the window.

"You sure?" said his female comrade, Galiya.

"Yes, pharmacy right there!" Erasyl told her. It looked like a CVS. The windows were boarded up and likely smashed from inside, the sign was tilted downwards, and there was at least one zombie wrapped with police tape on the sidewalk.

The bus would stop here for two reasons. The first reason was to look for the Eldoncards in the pharmacy and the other was to start the search for Guang-Hong. Mila and Leo would be in the latter reason's group, and Yuuri, Yakov, Phichit, Toshiya, Erasyl, and Viktor would be in the former reason's group.

Though, more people would be needed in the first. Charlotte had more than eight hundred thousand people – either zombies or looters. That was just the fur of the animal. The meat was either the risk of falling off destroyed buildings, getting cut by scrap metal accidentally, and finding the lack of supplies when needed.

"You're coming with us, Yuri," Otabek told the blonde, standing before him.

Yuri was perplexed. "What the? Why me?" he said in a pissed off tone.

"You're the one who suggested that one of us must find Guang-Hong for Leo, and well, it is time that you learned how to use a gun, should anything happen to your machete," Otabek stated.

"Hm," Yuri looked at the ground. "That's true. But what if I'm not into those types of guns?"

"Yuri, if this mess lasts for decades, you'd have to learn how to fight with different types, just in case," Otabek stated. "It's not if you like it; it's where you have to do it."

Shit.

"Who else is going? What about everyone else here?" Yuri looked at the bus.

"They're gonna take care of the hotel, remember?" Otabek stated. "I think Ulan as well."

"You talked about this with your mom? Wouldn't she be worried about you going out after what happened with the triplets?"

"It was for a noble cause. There is no trouble now, we hope." Otabek told.

Yuri stood up from his seat. "Yeah."

The two groups were spread onto the pavement. Mrs. Leroy walked up to Erasyl, asking, "If it's not too trouble—do you also mind picking up some head cold medicine and some…" she whispered into his ear.

Erasyl raised a bow, before nodding. He coughed. "I will."

"Find more what?" Yuri asked them. He heard what Mrs. Leroy asked him, as he scratched his head.

Otabek patted his head. "Don't worry about it."

"Thank you, young man." Mrs. Leroy told him, before walking back to the truck.

Christophe poked his head out the window. "I'll keep an eye on Makkachin, alright?"

Viktor was draped over Toshiya's shoulder, as Yuuri was holding onto his waist.

"Please do," Yuuri told him, "It'll mean a lot to his owner."

"A'ight, you better repair my friend, or else I'll have to book you in, Erasyl!" Christophe pointed at the young man.

Erasyl shook his head. "Oh shut up,"

Christophe was dumbfounded. What kind of attitude did this guy have?

There was no time to ponder because Balziya walked up to all of them. "Once you are complete with your assignments, please meet with us at the hotel that Ulan had mentioned. We will wait for all of you, so we can discuss our next course of action."

Mila nodded; Yuri twirled his machete as Balziya came to both Ulan and Otabek.

"You two, please watch over each other." She told them. She took her son's hand.

"Mum…" Otabek began. He would do anything for her. Balziya stood on her toes and kissed her son's forehead. That made Mila place her hands over heart, just taking it in. Even though it might have short and simple, she couldn't help but feel how heartwarming it might've felt between both of them, mother and son.

Otabek hugged his mother. "Thank you, mum." He was her only child. The only one she could ever afford in her whole life.

Balziya nodded, before hugging Ulan.

--

Erasyl was holding onto his gun pointing at whatever may come his way.

"Are you sure those cards are nearby?" Yakov asked him, holding a flashlight. There was no more electricity, as everywhere else.

"Yes," Erasyl told him. He turned around, pointing at the sympathy cards and protein shake shelves that were around. Erasyl paused, looking at the drug pick up section of the store.

"There!" Erasyl pointed, going up to where the blood pressure monitors and pregnancy tests were. Yakov followed him.

Toshiya had Viktor sit on the carpet, just where the women's makeup department used to be.

"You okay, boy? How are you feeling?" Toshiya asked him.

Viktor moaned, rubbing his head. Toshiya touched his forehead, he was burning up.

"Oh, my. Yuuri, can you see if you can find him some water?" Toshiya looked up at his son.

"I'll see what I can do, dad," Yuuri told him. Phichit was looking at the counters, wondering if there was anything behind them. If there were some zombies, he hoped at least they were dealt with so they wouldn't attack.

"You mind coming, Phichit?" Yuuri inquired him, as he zoomed by.

Phichit shook his head, "Naw man," following him.

Viktor looked up at Toshiya, his face wet and smelling rotten. His sight was becoming blurry and with Toshiya in his sight, Viktor poked him.

"Yuuri…" Viktor groaned, staring right at Toshiya, whom he was confusing him for his boyfriend. "Oh my god, you've aged terribly!"

Toshiya frowned. He set Viktor's hand down. "Oh, boy, what a way to remark at a man!"

Viktor frowned. "You're a man?"

--

The second group was wandering down the streets, Yuri backwards-walking, twirling his machete.

"Okay, where the hell are we heading first?" Yuri told his companions. "We can't just check all of the damn houses here."

Mila rubbed his head, ruffling his hair, "Kitten, Leo and I have figured out where he might've gone."

Leo nodded. "Yeah, we're heading to the commercial area of this place. Considering that one of those triplets had gotten shot, we can only suspect that they might've there to find supplies, and Guang-Hong might've followed them there.

Yuri grunted, rearranging his hair. The group kept on walking until Yuri stopped and pointed to something in the distance. "Whoa… look at that."

There, in the street, were five dead corpses. They looked dilapidated, two bodies looking like they had holes in their arms, foreheads, and legs. The other three, as Leo came closer to them, had these even larger holes in their stomachs suggesting they were hit with something bigger than a machine gun bullet. Leo went to one that was lying on its stomach and used his shoe to turn it over.

"Careful, young man, don't risk placing your leg to close to its mouth, dead or alive," Ulan warned him.

Leo pointed his finger at the zombie and said, "Whoa, guys, take a look at this!"

The group came by and Yuri turned to Otabek. "Hey, isn't this like the same zombie we saw outside?"

The zombie looked like it had a butcher knife in its hand.

Otabek tapped his knife with his shoe. "It is…"

"What do you guys mean by that, what zombie?" Mila asked them.

"When we were outside of the rest stop, we saw this zombie that had an ax on each hand. It was so freakin' jacked up! It looked like those monsters you'd see in video games!" Yuri explained.

"Ugh, what do you think it caused it to be like that?" Mila cringed.

"I am not so sure.." Ulan stated, rubbing his black hair.

"Oh my god… then that means," Leo held onto his gun tight. He didn't want to think about it, but somehow he had to think about the possibility. Guang-Hong was sitting in an alley, just tired from running so many miles. Even if he had, he couldn't find those triplets. Just when he could just get up to find a safer place to rest, a zombie holding a butcher knife appeared behind him. Guang-Hong turned around, but even if he had his staff, there was no way he could evade it. Blood spurted onto the cement as only a scream was heard—

"Church-pants!" Yuri called out to Leo.

Leo shook his head. "What is it?"

"Snap the living hell out of it! You gonna make it suck even more." Yuri griped at him, stomping his foot. There was no time for this. There could be zombies just up the road right now. He scanned the area and then— he thought of JJ. Where the heck was he? Not that Yuri was worried about him. But… it seemed sort of out of character for him to not help out.

"That reminds me… How come clown-butt isn't here with us?" Yuri inquired.

"You don't know?" Mila walked up to him. "Katsuki slapped him across the face."

Yuri cupped his mouth, not believing it. He could his eyes burst out of pure amusement.

"Holy shit, didn't know the pig could do that!" Yuri chuckled, stomping his feet. "Has clown-butt's parents gone after him for that?"

"He might not have," Otabek told him, putting his hand on his shoulder.

"He's right, I don't know. His mom would give him the stink eye for all we know." Mila told him. "But enough of that, we need Guang-Hong back on our side."

"Yeah, because who knows what a bunch of triplets would want with his fancy stick," Yuri said.

Leo shook his head.

The group walked past the corpses and eventually several signs and trashed windows. When Yuri looked at a café that was trashed up and possibly raided of supplies, he asked them. "But what would happen if we came across those triplets again? Are they gonna be taken prisoner again or are we gonna beat the crap out of them for runnin'?"

Yuri had a point. Those guys would never stay on the ground, but Otabek stated, "I believe that they've had enough abuse."

"I believe the thing to do, is to confiscate their most treasured valuables," Ulan stated his chin high as he had his arms folded.

"Ugh, that's worse than getting the shit being beaten of you," Yuri grunted.

--

There were four dots on the paper.

The first and fourth, labeled as Anti-A and Control respectively, had dots that were solid red, insinuating that Viktor's blood was something different than all of them.

The two in the middle, looked scattered, looking like large bird eggs.

"B positive," Erasyl told them, standing up from the carpet.

That was when Phichit snorted. "Get it? B-positive?" he was smiling, looking at the group.

"Phichit, don't you remember what your blood type was?" Yuuri raised his brow at him, as he had his arms folded.

"You said B," Erasyl told, "Makes you worthy donor."

Phichit stuttered, walking back. This was like New Orleans all over again. He didn't want to see his own blood out, whatever the reason.

"B-But, is there a B negative? What if mine is?" Phichit asked them.

"B Positive can take either," Erasyl told him.

"Viktor taking any other blood types may possibly hurt him," Yakov explained to him.

"Quite right," Erasyl pointed his eyes at Yakov. "You his employer right? Then shame, you not know his blood type before mess happened!"

Yakov shot at the man. "Yes, but they were in his doctor's office, which is in Russia, I'm afraid,"

"Can we please get going?" Yuuri butted in between. The arguing could cause the zombies to come around.

"There's no other way," Yuuri turned to his friend. "Please, Phichit, you gotta do this. Think, this is the same guy that was able to fight zombies and several men with just his bare hands. He did that to protect us, one of us has to return the favor."

Phichit stared at the carpet. "I won't like you if you're kidding."

"Phichit, I swear, that's something I'd never lie about!" Yuuri told him. That was one thing that the younger man liked about Yuuri, his honesty.

Viktor was helped to his feet, holding his head in his hand. He was slumped over Yuuri's shoulder this time, as Toshiya wiped some sweat off his cheek.

The men stepped out of the pharmacy, in which there only three zombies by, not much of a problem for them.

"You'll be okay, baby, promise," Yuuri told Viktor, hugging him.

Phichit was watching. He looked down, fingers curling into his palms. He remembered when they were together. Just he and Yuuri, no one else.

The closest thing they ever had to copulation, was when they were sitting in the Jacuzzi at the University pool, well past midnight.

Phichit touched Yuuri's cheek, letting his leg drape over his swimsuit. The water was right around their chests, but it didn't stop Yuuri from hooking his arms around his waist, lips swarming over his. Phichit reached down to Yuuri's swimsuit band, hoping to do something devious. Smiling, Phichit tugged the band back and letting go of it, he snapped against it the Japanese boy's waist, making Yuuri open his eyes.

"Phichit!" Yuuri shoved some water into his face, a combination of playfulness and fustiness.

Phichit laughed. "Yuuri, you gotta learn to have some fun!"

Yuuri rolled his eyes.

Phichit pursed his lips, turning his thumb and finger into pinchers. The Thai boy pinched Yuuri's waist, where fat used to be.

"Oh!" Yuuri griped, popping his hands up from the water. "Phichit!"

Phichit giggled, only for Yuuri to loom over him.

"Let's see how you like it!" his boyfriend threatened, holding a smile just like his. He slapped his palms on Phichit, playfully, making his face purse up more like a fish's.

Water splashed up, as both boys went down in it.

--

The trip to the hospital wasn't too long, only it felt uneasy. All the men had their heads looking around for any signs of danger. The Maverickers probably entered the city by now. There would be no way that they'd find them there and they all hoped they wouldn't find the others at that hotel either.

Erasyl was looking at the door, taking note at the bench that was placed against the glass. Damn, zombies must've tried to go through here. Phichit was more worried about the corpses that were lined everywhere. He was staring down at two rolled up ones, them looking like a man and a woman respectively. The woman had her arm spread out, looking as if she were lying on a picnic blanket, staring at the starry sky. The man has his head turned to her, looking at her with dead eyes as he was admiring her.

Phichit wondered who they've might've been; those two could've been anything. They could've been dating or they could've been strangers, or they could've had big dreams either…

"Now how are we going to get that thing open?" Yuuri asked.

"Only one way," Erasyl answered, holding up his gun.

"Are you so sure?" Yakov pointed to his gun. Viktor was on the staircase, face in his knees.

Toshiya was looking around behind them, until… he saw something metallic just by the bushes.

Toshiya twinkled his fingers tiptoeing to it.

"Dad, what are you doing?" Yuuri was watching his dad go down the street.

Yakov and Erasyl turned and the latter cried out, watching Toshiya run up. He chucked the tire rim into the door, sending glass everywhere.

"Mr. Katsuki!" Yakov griped at him.

Toshiya was chuckling, "Well, if we don't want to waste bullets, just use what's around you!"

Erasyl raised a brow, and then shrugged, muttering, "Not bad."

They walked through many halls, eventually shooting down at least one or two of the undead. Phichit managed to crush in at least three, one at the reception desk, one in the waiting area, and a third one that tried to crawl out of the bathroom.

Erasyl had his back against the wall, right next to the door where the blood donations were taken.

"Is this it?" Toshiya inquired.

"Shh, it is, but quiet, Mr. Katsuki," Yakov told him, pointing this gun at the door.

Both the young man and the old opened the door, guns pointed at the horizon. The room was about three times as larger than a regular hospital room, only for one splash of blood on the wall, and a nurse's dead body.

Phichit rubbed his arms. This was where is going to give his blood. But— how can he trust in this Erasyl guy? He looked like he was over Yuuri's age; he didn't look the age-appropriate type either.

The other men relaxed, Toshiya laying on one of the beds as Yuuri was sitting by Viktor. Yakov was in a chair, rubbing his head.

Erasyl called Phichit over. He had taken the liberty of collecting the tools necessary for the blood-taking: needle, tube, and the blood bag.

"You doing noble service," Erasyl faced Phichit. He had him sitting on the bed. The former had the needle in his hand.

"I do same for silver-head if I weren't AB negative," he explained.

"How come you have such broken English… if you don't mind me asking!" Phichit perked up around half of the sentence.

"I more into Spanish never liked English – thought it was too tacky, for my taste," Erasyl explained.

Phichit nodded.

"You ready?" the man asked him, bending the tube.

"Yes." Phichit stared into his eyes.

"Lie down and relax," Erasyl ordered in a very smooth, but hard voice.

Chapter Text

Yuri couldn't believe at what he was looking at that next morning.

There was a bed with a white bed skirt, black mattress cover, and a red comforter, but there were three bodies placed upon it. They all looked like they had committed suicide. The first body, what looked like to be a young, brown-haired man with a gaping hole in his head, looking like he had shot himself; the second body, was a woman with her dirty blonde hair in a bun, appearing as if she was drooling blood; the last one… Yuri cringed heavily, making him mutter, "Jesus Christ…" as he turned away.

The last one was a little girl, about four years old. Her head was pointed to the right, her mouth slightly ajar. It looked she had been screaming, as a hole was present in her neck.

Otabek was standing in the doorway, watching him.

He walked up to Yuri, standing behind him.

"What is completed is completed," Otabek told him.

"No shit, man, but can you imagine being one of these people?" Yuri stared at him. "Especially the kid!" he pointed to the little girl with his machete.

Otabek shook his head before he lightly pushed Yuri out of the room, not wanting him to see them anymore.

Yuri grunted and groaned, "Hey man, what gives dude?"

Otabek didn't bother to answer, walking into the kitchen. Mila was at a kitchen island, looking over what she had discovered on her own.

"You found some stuff?" Yuri asked her, standing by her. She nodded.

"Some canned foods—"Mila held a glass jar filled with some sort of orange mush-like substance. "It looks like they called this one, canned clementines." she showed it to him.

"Clementines? What the hell are those?" Yuri asked her.

Mila shrugged, "A cousin to the mandarin orange—possibly."

Yuri shifted his feet to the table that was facing the large, dead TV. There, just in front of the still-fresh-looking cactus plant was something silvery, and metallic.

"Hey, hey, look at this…" Yuri held the object up. They jingled in the air like bells, glimmering in the leftover daylight. "Freakin' car keys."

"To what car?" Otabek asked him.

Yuri shrugged. "Beats the shit out of me. Any of you fools know?"

"Language!" came from the other side of the apartment. Yuri sloped his shoulders. It was like hearing from the old man again.

Ulan came over, after checking the bathroom, "Allow me," and promptly took the keys from the Russian boy. Meanwhile, Leo came out of the room that was on the right of the TV, holding something in his hands.

Ulan held it up to the ceiling, taking in its details. The pad was black, and there was only one key embedded within it.

"This looks like the keys to a Hummer," Ulan said to the group.

Yuri's jaw dropped. "You for real man? This could help us on our way to Yellowstone!"

"Yellowstone?" Mila placed her hands on her hips.

"How can you be so sure that everyone from both parties would be so willing to travel all the way there?" Otabek folded his arms, demanding him. "Hm?"

"Well, there ought to be less zombies there, right?" Yuri shrugged. "I mean, not everyone knows that Wyoming has less population than Vermont, right?"

"Less humans you mean," Otabek told him. "Just because there are— doesn't mean there are any less zombies there."

Yuri stomped his foot, loudly. "Uugggh, must everything be turned into crap?"

That was when Leo came into the scene, pointing out, "Wyoming's more land than humans… maybe it could work." Yuri stuck his tongue through his teeth, raising his eyebrows at the group.

"What did you find?" Yuri saw the item in the older boy's hands.

"Kenny—" Leo showed the orange-stuffed toy to the group. "—from South Park," as he wiggled it around.

Mila snorted.

--

The search for Guang-Hong went on for another two days. A large portion of the neighborhood was void of humans, but it wasn't a total loss. Ulan found the vehicle that the keys were for, thus making transportation easier and quicker. Yuri smiled, lifting his hands up in the air.

"Whoooo!" Yuri pursed his lips. He lifted his chin up to the ceiling, pointing his fingers up as if he were at a rock concert. "Now this is what I call riding through the apocalypse!" Just imagine, there were hundreds of zombies out there in the city, and the group had a car on their side, and they didn't have to worry about hiding from the zombies! That was what got Yuri's blood pumping like water out of a fire hydrant.

Mila was shaking her head, though amused as she was driving the vehicle. Ulan was sitting next to her, like a driving instructor showing his student where to turn.

"We must make sure that we find some gas cans and fill those with gas— or otherwise we'd be as good as ducks in a pond," Ulan told out to the group.

"Good point— there ought to be more around here right?" Mila asked, keeping her eyes on the road.

Leo had his chin on his hand, keeping his head out for any sign of Guang-Hong or those freaky triplets. When the car made a turn, they landed in the middle of the street, where several cars were—where a certain man with blue eyes was staring right at them.

The Ringleader and the Maverickers.

"DAMN! STOP THE CAR!" Otabek cried out. He felt his heartbeat, as his back was plastered against the seat. Leo bit his fingertips, just like he would whenever faced with a certain problem.

Yuri turned his head both ways, not understanding what was happening. "What— why the—DAMN!" he let his nails grip the leather, back touching it like almost like Otabek.

Mila felt her heart stop for one second, just spooked out of her dirty old pants. "I-I can't!" her hands were never leaving the wheel.

Yuri darted his head around, and there, just where at least three zombies were looming around, he found it.

"FUCK THE POLICE!" he cried out, squeezing in between her and Ulan, pointing to the alley that was on the right.

---

The other group came back to the hotel with ease. Hiroko and Mari ran up to Toshiya and Yuuri with warm hugs. Christophe walked up to Viktor, holding his arms out for him. Both men hugged, the latter burrowing his nose into his shoulder.

"Looks like you made it back, everyone single one of ya'll." Christophe told the entire group, looking at them.

"If it weren't for this brave young man," Yakov kindly placed his hand on Phichit's back. "None of us would've made it back." Phichit was holding onto his left arm, where a white patch was resting upon.

The men were in the lobby of the hotel, right where everyone else was. Mrs. Leroy and Balziya were drinking tea together; Amy and Nathan were listening to Isabella read a book she found in one of the rooms; Makkachin was sleeping peacefully by the receptionist's desk; Celestino was staring out the window when he saw them there. Makkachin perked up his head, bobbing out his tongue. He wagged his tail around in excitement, his glistening. He stood up, bobbing on his paws, bouncing happily to his owner.

"Makkachin!" Viktor held his arms out for his dog, just hugging him. "I missed you so much!"

"What'd he do?" as Christophe inquired about Phichit.

"I—I donated some of my blood to Viktor," the young man answered.

The bounty hunter lightly smacked his head; Hiroko cupped her chest as Mari demanded, "You all for real?"

Phichit shrugged, and answered, "Pretty much, yes."

Hiroko couldn't help but smile. "Oh young Phichit-kun— my, if that's not the most admirable work, then I don't know what is."

"Yeah— I'd imagine giving blood would be much more difficult than thought," Mari commented.

Balziya walked up to Erasyl meanwhile Phichit thanked Hiroko for her kind words, asking, "Have you seen Otabek and Ulan as of late?"

The cornrowed man shook his head, "No—have not. Must be still searching for missing friend. Terribly sorry, ma'am."

Balziya nodded, clearly dismissing him. "I see,"

Yuuri smiled at Phichit, "You really saved him, Phich," touching his ex-boyfriend's arm. "I don't know how much I can really thank you for that."

Phichit and Yuuri were sitting in the living room of their dorm, sitting in their underpants, watching Squidward get blown up after falling from his bike. A brown wool blanket was draped over their knees, as the former laughed, munching on the popcorn that was in between them. Back when things weren't so hard—that it didn't cost bashing in five heads just to collect just one can of beans.

"Yeah, the blood donating took about less than an hour but I managed—" Phichit shrugged to them. He set his eyes upon Erasyl, who was about to take a seat next to Galiya. "—but if anything, it's Erasyl you should be giving some credit to. If there wasn't anyone that knew how to determine someone's blood and how to donate it— we would've been screwed!"

Erasyl tensed up, eyes elevating to his lids.

He turned to Phichit, rows swaying in the air. The man with broken English had to blush. Galiya was pointing that out, joking at him.

"Stop," he playfully swatted at her.

All the while, Mr. Leroy had his eyes boring on Yuuri— menacingly.

---

"Now, now, you two aren't thinking about doing some crude stuff, are you?" Toshiya was shaking his finger at Viktor and Yuuri. Both boys were standing before a door after they asked if there were any empty rooms around. They were going to relax together, while everyone caught up with the others. Phichit would be talking to Erasyl, wanting to learn more about him.

"Dad…" Yuuri droned. Viktor had his arm around him, keeping him close.

"Last thing we need is any zombies coming to us, Mr. Cialdini and Ms. Altin's troops are keeping an eye out for us, you know." He told them.

"We will be fine, sir," Viktor said. "Your son is a pleasure to have around." he smiled to Yuuri.

The science major had to blush. "Oh, Viktor— I gotta go use it— you mind letting me go?" he faced his boyfriend and then looking at him with some serious eyes.

The assassin tensed up. "Oh, of course, love… sorry!" he released Yuuri, letting the young man go do his business. Viktor smiled nervously to Toshiya, who had been watching the whole time. With a clear and calm look on his face, he stepped over to Viktor.

"Viktor, Yuuri told me about your abusive father— he did." The older man placed his hand on his shoulder.

Viktor's stomach turned light, looking at the carpet. "He showed you my mother?"

Toshiya nodded, humming. His tone turned serious. "How were you able to live with those types of things? Lack of a mother, and abuse from a father?"

The assassin was perplexed. "Must you ask?"

"Viktor— I'm not looking for a fight here—I mean it, as a father myself." Toshiya patted his own chest.

The younger man thought of it—thinking about how he was able to cope. "I lived with my aunt four days a week, after my mother's death— she sang for me, she would go and sing for others for money, but in the end— she sang for me, in private most of the time."

The assassin could still remember what she sang—"Stammi vicino, non te ne andare… Ho paura di perderti…"— and it was his favorite line.

"And life with your father?" the older man inquired. He wanted to know— it was a shame that any man would himself a father and would neglect his own child as if they were nothing but pure waste. Any man like Viktor's father. Toshiya had so many things on his mind about him.

The assassin gripped his fist—he shook his head around. Just the very thought of him made Viktor's blood boil to no end. "He could barely ever make ends meet— whenever he got into his fits, I ran to my room and locked the door until he fell asleep, just to escape him."

Eight-year-old Viktor walked into his father's house, shoving the key back into his pocket. It was then he heard screaming and saw the sight of his father waving his arms up and about, going on about something that Viktor couldn't comprehend.

Toshiya cupped his chin with two fingers. "I'm very sorry about that, Viktor."

"Yuuri was very understanding when I told the reason why I have this bang here." Viktor pointed to it. "You are lucky to have him as your son." The assassin told him. He could still remember when he told Yuuri.

It was the morning after. As the morning sun shone through the motel room windows, Yuuri and Viktor were sitting up, looking as if they were talking to each other. Their bare chests were facing each other, as they were sitting on their knees—bare toes facing the walls. Neither Viktor nor Yuuri had something to cover themselves with. It's not like anyone would come in, though. It's not like the zombies had any video-cameras on them either.

After Viktor looked Yuuri in the eye, he told something to him. Yuuri watched him, taking in every one of his words. He craned his head around, nodding and saying something in return. His hand gestured around a couple of times too.

When the assassin was done, Yuuri wrapped his arms around him. His touch was warm, welcoming, and it felt like the world was okay again—no more zombies to handle. No more troubles at all. Viktor looked at the glasses that were below Yuuri. With a gentle push, the assassin bent down and picked them up. He unfolded them and placed them on Yuuri's face again.

The older man smiled in a rather shy tone, "Oh, he gets that from his mom..." flapping his hand down. His tone turned back into a serious one—but laden with concern.

"But listen, Viktor," he began. "If you want to talk about your father—come and find me. I can tell you don't want to talk anymore because of you need to rest—but, I'll listen." Toshiya assured him.

The assassin pulled his mouth up. "I'll think about it… thank you, Mr. Katsuki…" he smiled at him.

Toshiya wrapped his arms around him, putting him into his chest.

"Guess he got this from you then…" the assassin muttered.

---

Yuri was running. The car had to make an abrupt stop—no, more like was forced to stop. Some of those men had fired at it, sending holes into it. Glass had fallen, almost piercing Leo's and his skull if Otabek hadn't pushed them down.

"Shit!" Yuri cried out, almost tripping over a milk crate, which had a dead arm reaching out for him too. He had left his backpack there, which contained some of his food and medical supplies but fortunately, he still had his machete.

He made to the end of the alley, where the street was. It looked trashed up—some cars looking like soda cans, some buildings with broken glass and at least one female zombie limping around with her ash blonde hair was swinging like so.

Yuri grunted, touching the wall. He panted, brows raised up. His legs were hard at this point, sweat covering his face. The Russian boy wiped his sweat away, him kicking the side of the building.

God, did anything get easy? Yuri knew he couldn't swear that out loud—it would attract either one of the dipshits. At least the zombies didn't have any goddamn attitudes.

He turned around, wondering if anyone of his team members had gotten out.

Wait? Team members?

Yuri walked down the street, rubbing his arms. Why would he call them team members— he has known them for several days but didn't know much about them. Except for maybe Otabek… damn it.

Just when Yuri could pull his machete to kill the female zombie, he heard a gunshot right behind him and someone screaming. It sounded male… maybe it was Leo? That made him swear, and not to mention Leo wanted to see Guang-Hong again.

He heard another scream, thicker than Leo's. Otabek!

What the hell was the guy doing? Yuri thought as he looked back. He held his machete up like a bat, debating whether or not to go help them. Yuri weighed his options. He could risk getting shot—which sucked if he didn't have the tools necessary for survival; Yuri could go around, find more supplies, which would help the group back at the hotel.

"YOU THINK I'M GONNA LET YOU HURT THEM? YOU HAVE ANOTHER THING COMING ASSWIPE!" There were several punches and kicks. Otabek was battling one of the guys, shoving his batons into his face.

Yuri gasped.

Ulan was shooting the car wheels, hoping to flatten them so they wouldn't get away so easily. One man came running after, hoping to tackle him. Apparently, he was the car-enthusiast, not liking it when someone messed with them.

Ulan wagged his finger at him. "Not nice to tackle someone," and then shot them in between the eyes. The man fell on his back.

Leo was the ground, teeth gritted. The Ringleader was on top of him. The man's face was red, teeth flaring right at him. Leo spit in his face, letting it touch his lid. The Ringleader cried out, backing away. He swore at the Mexican swearing, "Fucking browns!"

That triggered Leo.

As the man covered his eye with his hand, Leo kicked him in the crotch. He was seething, not liking how racist this guy was.

He sat up, kicking him down. Leo's chest was hard and then crushed his boot on The Ringleader's crotch, spitting at him again. "Vete a la Verga!" Anna tackled him, not liking her hurting her uncle. Her hair was in frenzy. Her heart was beating and she could use someone to beat.

Anna felt something around her waist, Mila. Her face was serious, throwing her away.

"C'mon girlfriend— let's do each other's hair!" Mila winked at her, cracking her knuckles. No one hurt her new friends like that. That had to be dealt with, harshly. The younger girl gasped, removing her rifle.

Yuri was running again. His hair swished in the air as he passed by that zombie as he didn't care about it anymore. He had nothing but fear on his mind. His boot laces were bouncing up and down, hearing another gunshot. God, he hoped none of his team members get hit—or they'd be screwed.

He ran into a stop sign, hitting his face on it. He stumbled, groaning loudly and dropping his machete to the ground.

"Damn it.." Yuri groaned. His back began to hurt, feeling the cold pavement underneath. He sat back up, seeing at least two zombies before him.

No, no! Yuri hissed through his teeth, going for his machete. Even though he might've down for just one second, and his companions were facing some tough things—he can't back down. That was out of character for him. So he stood back up, holding it in his hands.

There was no way he would go down without a fight. He gritted his teeth, it showing off like a tiger as he screamed.

He might be small and look fragile, something that the zombies wouldn't go after—but he wouldn't go down.

Not for Otabek.

Not for Leo.

Not even for Mila, JJ, Celestino, the pig, the killer, the man with the bad English, and the hunter.

Not even for grandpa.

Yuri ran, holding his machete out. He jumped, cutting that thing's head in half. Blood splattered onto his face but did not care.

Yuri pulled it out, backing away. The zombie was still growling, but he pushed it down. Blood was pumping through his veins. The boy shoved it through its head, killing it.

He didn't know when, but he heard something calling out for him.

It sounded like someone small, young, and desperate too.

"Hey! Stop! Please!" they called again.

The other zombie was still there. Yuri lifted his machete again, but a rod covered his chest. The Russian boy cried out, shaking his head around. He hated being touched.

"Hey, hey, I'm not here to hurt you… Yuri?" the voice said again.

He was dragged into a set of stairs, where the person set him down. Yuri grunted, not noticing the red poncho the person had on.

The boy growled, asking, "How the fuck do you know my name?" he looked up and saw Guang-Hong cover his own lips.

"That's not neat language." The Chinese boy hissed.

Yuri was gobsmacked.

Yuri sat with his legs spread out, eyes staring at his manner-stickler savior. He was still in his red poncho, but he was wearing a bandana on his face, probably to keep the bad stench out.

"Poncho-boy?!" he cried out.

Guang-Hong shook his head. He held his hand out. "C'mon, let me get you into the house."