The air is filled with the horrid, metallic smell of blood. He dares not look in the direction it's coming from, dares not think about who it was.
He's hiding, under one of the few desks in the backroom of the little store, tucked in on himself. He has but a pistol and a hunting knife, the latter hold close to his own body. The gun is useless to him, as of now. He ran out of bullets trying to protect Hitoshi when the dead had first interrupted. It had not ended well.
He silently wished this world would disappear, that this would all be a bad dream. He would wake up soon enough, right? Yeah. His eyes would flutter open and Hitoshi would be there, laying right beside him. He would watch the others chest rise and fall, and calm himself from this terrible nightmare. It would all be okay, Hitoshi would wake him up soon.
Izuku holds back the sob forming in his throat when the corner of his eye catches sight of a flicker of purple hair, matted and drenched in the terrible smelling body fluid. It disappears back under one of the rotting corpses hand, using its stiff limb to bring it up to its snapping jaws and-
Izuku clamps his eyes shut. He blocks out the hell surrounding him, tears stinging his eyes and seeping through his eyelids to escape. He stays like that for what feels like an hour, before soft rustling makes his eyes flash open.
Bent down to peak under the desk, one of the undead is staring him down. Panic fills his veins, that had already been crowded with despair and grief. He cannot move. His limbs are as stiff as the corpses around him, if not, more.
He prays that maybe Eijirou got away safe. He had been in a different part of the drugstore when it all happened, maybe he was already gone. Though Izuku would have expected Eijirou to warn them first, above his own safety. Perhaps he was already dead. Jumped by one of the corpses as they entered, left bleeding out and infected.
He's brought back from his own mind when the zombie infront of him moves. Its hand reaches for him, grey-ish and just starting to rot. He feels his lunch threaten to come up when he realizes, whoever this was, had been alive not all that long ago. He can see their bitemark now that they move their arm, it stretches with his forearm, just under its shoulder.
A last effort, his last trick. The hunting knife, shakey in his hand, strikes down at the undead boy. It makes a wet, unsettling squelch as it lands. For a moment, Izuku feels hopeful. That he's done it, he'll live a little longer. But as he gives the corpse a once over, it had only hit its shoulder.
Was it him, or did the zombie look just the slightest bit annoyed? It growled quietly, almost grumbling in complaint.
Izuku shuts his eyes again, slowly leaning his head back against the panel of wood blocking him from escaping the other way around. All he can do is hope that Kirishima is alright, that he got back to Iida, Uraraka, and everyone else in one piece.
He hopes with all his heart they stay safe, that they live longer than he has, they can somehow beat what this world has become.
He feels its hand grasp his shoulder, and flinches at the contact. It tugs faintly, moving Izuku ever so closer to its slowly decaying body.
He knows what will happen now. In the next few seconds, teeth will dig deep into his flesh, cutting and tearing. The scent of more blood and the commotion will draw its friends over, and soon, he will join Hitoshi as nothing more than a stain on the floor for future survivors to walk over.
So he waits.
And he waits...
And.. He waits...
A small shake. His whole body shifts slightly. What-?
Izuku opens his eyes, to find his face only a few inches away from that of the animated corpse's. Shining green eyes meet glazed over red ones, both wide.
One with fear.
The other with... Curiosity?
It grunts, and Izuku swears he hears something among it. But he knows to discard that thought, they tend to form random gibberish, it just sometimes sounds like a word or a phrase.
"EeAeckUu," It groans, and Izuku stops himself from gagging at the smell of its breath.
They both sit there, staring at eachother. Neither look away from the other, both an alien.
He knows not how the corpse may feel, if at all, but Izuku is sure he's going to die of a heart attack. Said organ is beating so quickly it could probably power an entire city, his breathing is shallow and short, coming out in quick little pants.
Izuku takes in the features of the corpse.
For starters, its a guy. But he already deciphered that earlier. Blonde and crazy spiked hair that seems to have not been brushed in ages sticks out in every direction, yet still, its looks soft and light. His eyes are a deep red, not unlike Eijirou's. Its almost a familiar, calming sight if not for the fact he knows their connected to a dead man. Izuku no longer likes that similarity.
There's a few things he finds familiar about the corpse. But he just can't put his finger on where he's seen someone like this.
His clothes are out of place for someone turned so far into this new world. Nothing but a white sweatshirt, torn jeans, and a dark grey jacket. No protective gear, no weapons clinging to his clothes. They aren't even that dirty, compared to what he's seen. The shirt is still relatively white, aside from a dried blood stain. Huh.
"EeiAad," It grunts again, though the tone has changed. As if it were growing impatient or irritated.
With surprising speed for a dead man, the zombie removes its hand from Izuku, finding the knife still embedded in the right side of his chest. Without hesitation, it rips the knife out of its flesh with a revolting slosh, plopping it down onto Izuku's lap. He's about to yelp, when a cold hand reaches up, now covering his lips. His quiet complaint is muffled into nonexistence.
Izuku learns why, seconds later. His undead company turns, back towards where his pack had been cleaning up any signs Hitoshi had physically existed, bringing up yet another pang of sorrow in his heart. He knew now was not the time for grieving. If he lived to see another day, he would start when he wasn't at risk of the same fate.
Apparently, the zombie did not like the movements the others were making as it snarled and whipped back around to face the green haired boy.
If any children or squeamish people were watching, the freckled teen would highly recommend you turn away for this next bit.
Grey fingers dug into the wound Izuku had created, before coming out with something revolting on the tips, old, stale blood, he realized. But no, that had not been the worst part.
Both stared down at the disgusting brown sludge, and suddenly, his breathing stopping in the process, Izuku realized what it was about to do.
"No-" His whisper was cut off as the corpse whipped the body fluids across his cheek, and then the other. Surprisingly, the zombie was gentle. Cool, whispy touches across his skin, as if it were being careful. Soon enough, most of his face is covered.
Satisfied with its work, the blonde stands, and, much to Izuku's surprise, grabs tightly onto the humans hand and yanks him up with little effort. The others of its pack have noticed the movement, and a few turn heads to snap their jaws and groan in confusion. He finally understands what's happening as the zombie tugs him closer, not letting go of his hand.
He's masking his scent. Perhaps not perfectly, but with his smell mixed in with that of death, it should set the others off track, unable to identify him as human.
Something's off, with this one. As Izuku stares at the side of its head, he can't help but feel like the gears have started to turn in that head of theirs, and when he catches a glimpse of the zombie looking back at him, (checking on him?) he swears he sees something almost alive.
"So," Izuku draws out quietly. The blonde turns with a soft groan, attention now fully on his... Houseguest.
Much to his surpise, he had been led to a house. It was quite a walk from the drugstore they had met in, but he had to take in the fact they had stumbled the whole way there, and had been met with the (now) minor obstacles of more of the undead.
It seemed to have been a nice house, before the apocalypse. A light shade of blue covered the outside of the two story building, a chimney ever present from the top of the roof. It had a little garden in the backyard, which was shielded by a fence, surprisingly still intact.
The inside was a bit clustered with junk, but it wasn't the worst. Pots and pans littered the kitchen floor and counters, and the couch had been overturned in the livingroom. Most of the photos hung were too cloudy to look at. But the few he saw were of a woman and a man. Izuku assumed a married couple. The place was dusted over and old looking, but not half bad.
"Do you have a name?" Small talk with a zombie is something he had never imagined himself doing. He didn't even expect the other to return the gestures, he doubted it was even capable. And he did not plan to have it that way, for long. The first opening he got, Izuku planned to run. He knew the location of the safe city quite well, and he didn't doubt he could get there if he was quick.
The safe city was, well, self explanatory. It's a giant walled off section of the city around him that humanity had made to live in, away from the fear of the undead. Uraraka and the others were probably there. Soon, they would get the news atleast two of the three sent were not coming back. He wondered if anyone would miss him, if he was never given the chance to run home.
He's brought back, once again, from his thoughts when the zombie makes a sound.
His breathing stops short of an exhale, big round eyes widening further. It's as though his entire body had stopped functioning, all his organs have gone home for the night. He cannot bring himself to speak, or move.
So many thoughts run through Izuku's mind, a few making reappearances quite a few times. What had just happened? Where his ears playing tricks on him? Had the zombie actually just talked?
The two quietly stare at eachother for what feels like forever, before the zomb- Katsuki, grunts again.
One grey hand reaches up to his own neck, pointing an index finger at its center. Katsuki seems to be trying for words, repeatedly grunting and groaning, until after a good minute of trial and error, something audible finally comes out of that undead throat of his.
" 's hard."
Izuku no longer doubts it. He's communicating with a zombie. He's communicating with a zombie that had the intelligence to distinguish him as an ally rather than a meal, had purposely covered his human scent, and snuck Izuku all the way back to his little base of operations.
He could no longer question it. None of this was just a coincidence. Izuku Midoriya had discovered something incredible, that would change his life forever.