The tall trees swayed in the wind as the group below them walked through, two quiet voices arguing as two children followed. A loud crackle popped in the distance as the group pushed forward. The birds scattered from the trees, gliding away from the upcoming storm.
Katsuki pulled up his bag stepping over a fallen branch and glancing at the small albino girl as she struggled to hop over the branch as the two adults argued. “I’m just saying! We can probably find a town, clear it out and live in one of the houses.” Hizashi stated, waving his arms around as Katsuki let a huff of air through his nose at the idea. Eri paddled over, grabbing Katsuki free hand.
“Hizashi, last time we did that, your leg got injured and the only person that was holding the group together got bitten.” Shota stressed, as Katsuki’s grip on Eri’s hand tightened. Katsuki gets it. He killed Izuku. But that doesn’t mean they can just keep bringing him up like he was just a guy.
Hizashi turned his head towards the two children, a large smile on his face. “What do you think we should do, you two?” The man’s long blond hair tied into a loose bun that swayed at the light wind. “’Cause your choices matter just as much as ours do!” Katsuki almost scoffed. If Izuku was here he would have argued, but Katsuki didn’t feel like talking, the large wound of Izuku’s death clawed at his heart every time he opened his mouth, feeling like the hands of the stranger that caressed his face. He repressed a shiver as his grip on Eri’s hand tightened.
Eri’s red eyes darted to Katsuki, white eyebrows furrowed as she struggled to form a proper sentence like Shota taught her to, “Uh... I-I think we should find a place to stay away from a-all the monsters...” She answered Hizashi, her eyes searching Katsuki’s face with concern. The younger girl squeezed his hand, in the way that she remembered her father doing. Katsuki scowled, lifting his head while letting his eyes trail over to the bushes. He hasn’t seen any walkers since he left Izuku. The explosive blond ignored the way Shota glanced at him, forcing the feeling of rage down.
“I don’t care.” He answered, struggling as he felt bile force itself up this throat as he listened to his voice. Scratchy. Dry. He scrunched up his nose, swallowing it down, hoping saliva will coat his mouth, as Shota scoffed. Katsuki tilting his head toward the sky, watching more crows shake out from the trees and fly over them. His shirt was getting small, he noticed as he moved his neck. He needs to find a store soon.
“Be more respectful, Katsuki. Izuku and your parents taught you that, didn’t they?” Shota hissed, as Katsuki’s eyes narrowed in disgust. He didn’t miss his parents. “Answer the question. Do you want to stay somewhere and get someone else killed, or do you want to keep moving?” He asked, as Katsuki hunched his shoulders, feeling the anger that sloshed around in his stomach spill out.
“Like I fuckin’ said before, old man. I don’t care.” Katsuki growled out, ripping his hand away from Eri’s hand, pushing through the two adults and stormed ahead, ignoring the calls from Eri. Katsuki hated this group. He hated the fact that every chance that Shota got he would remind him about Izuku. Katsuki knows that Izuku would be disappointed in him, he gets that. But Izuku didn’t die for Katsuki to give up.
Katsuki blinked, pausing before he hit a wall and lifted his head. Oh . “A rest-stop.” He muttered, shifting his bag before rocking on his heels. His anger had seemed to shimmer down, as he thought about what to do. Should he go inside? He could clean his face if the sink works, the linger scent of walker guts filled his nose as he thought about cleaning himself. He shook his head, walking to the restroom door and placing his ear to it. Nothing. He bit his lip, red eyes trailing over to the forest before he sighed.
He unzipped his bag, pulling out a knife then pushing open the door slowly. “Anyone in here?” He growled, slamming his knife on the metal door as he stepped in the restroom. When nothing responded, he let out a sigh walking to the nearest stall and slamming it open. His red eyes darted to every spot of the stall before he moved to the next one and did the same for the other one.
“The bathrooms clear…” He muttered, moving his bag to his chest and pulling a half-filled water bottle out. He pulled out a rag, placing his knife in between his belt, and unscrewed the cap of the water, pressing the rag against it, pulling it away once he felt the cool water hit his fingertips. He placed the bottle on the ledge of the sink, rubbing his face with the rag when the door creaked open.
“Katsu...?” A quiet voice echoed through the bathroom. “Hizashi told me to follow you...” She voiced, as Katsuki moved his rag away from his face. His crimson eye’s moving to the door, meeting Eri’s large garnet red eyes. “Are you okay...? Shouta didn’t have to be so...”
“I got it, kid.” Katsuki huffed, flipping the rag and motioning her to come closer. She waddled over as Katsuki kneeled and rubbed her chubby cheeks with the clean side of the rag, then pulling back.
“T-thank you!” Eri beamed, wrapping her small arms around Katsuki waist. Katsuki frowned, tensing at the contact of another person then patting her head full of white hair, jumping when the door slammed open, and a flash of blond cut its way inside.
“Katsuki!” Hizashi stage whispered, green eyes darting the them before warily looking back. Katsuki didn’t like the look on his face. “Eri! You found him, thank god! You two need to get go, now. Shota’s trying to hold them off but-”
“Them? Who the fuck is them?” Katsuki asked, voice lowering as a gun shot rang out. Oh shit . He slammed his hand over Eri’s ears, his lips pulling into a snarl. “What the fuck was that!” He raised his voice, forcing out the ringing in his ears. Another one rang out, but it was closer.
“Raiders! Shouta’s trying to hold them off! I need to go help him! Get somewhere safe!” Hizashi yelled out, “After We’ll try and meet back here!” adding before rushing out of the bathroom as another shot rang out, accompanied by a loud scream. Katsuki gritted his teeth together, pressing his lips tightly as his body tensed with wariness, he raised his hand, motioning for Eri to follow as he snuck out of the bathroom. Eri gripped his hands as four-gun shots pushed itself into their ears.
“Eri, I need you to stay close to me.” He crouched, whispering into her ear moving against the wall as she nodded and followed. Katsuki didn’t like gunshots. He felt like they brought a lot of unneeded attention to a person. You don’t want to make noise. He leaned against the bathroom wall, taking a large breath of air while holding it as Eri and him shuffled against it. Gunshot equaled loud noise which brought Walkers.
Katsuki felt Eri flinch at another gunshot rang through the air and a few yells erupted as he pushed himself away from the wall pulling Eri with him as he lowered himself to the ground, feeling his ears flicker at conversation as they creeped towards the forest.
“Boss said that wanted to recruit new people, but these two guys are wild.” A voice hissed, out of breath. “Ever wonder why?”
“Mayb’ they’re protecting somethin’?” the other one wondered. Katsuki motioned Eri to move in front of him as he paused. His red eyes darted everywhere, narrowing in on a truck. He turned his head to Eri, waving his hand low to the ground and pointing at the truck. Katsuki doesn’t see if she nods as lowers himself to the ground fully and crawls towards the blue truck.
“I mean, No shit, Shin.” Katsuki paused as the voice got closer, another gunshot rang out, as Katsuki quickly regained to his crawl. Eri glanced at him as she crawled next to him, constantly pausing to move her long white hair away from the dirt. “Shit man, they're still going... How many bullets do those two have?” Eri’s nose scrunched up, hurrying as Katsuki lifted himself up from the ground and making a dash to the truck, stumbling when his foot hit a rock.
Katsuki braced himself, throwing his arms around his head as he hit the ground a hiss slipping through his mouth as he heard the two men voice that he was, in fact, heard. “Eri-” He growled, lifting himself off the ground, “Hide!” He hissed, his voice lowered as she let out a sound and stood, rushing as fast as her legs could take her to Katsuki as he threw off his bag and shoved it under the trunk, motioning Eri under too.
“Hey! Who the fuck is there?” The guys voice yelled, Katsuki’s eyes locked on Eri’s large round fear-filled eyes with darted all around Katsuki’s face. She opened her mouth, slamming it shut as Katsuki’s eyes darted to the two men that stood above him.
“Well, this must be what those two were pro-tectin'” He hummed, his lips cocked into a smirk as he eyed Katsuki, who’s pressed his lips into a thin line. Katsuki’s eyes narrowed, as the blond one edged closer to him, wide-eyed. His hands gripped and un-gripped the large gun he was holding.
“Think boss would like it?” The frantic one asked, as Katsuki slowly moved back, freezing as he raised his gun, “Don’t you fucking move!” Katsuki cringed at the man’s voice crack, his eyes flickering to Eri, who, from the glance, was gripping a pistol.
“Maybe. Chisaki’s might, but we never know how kids behave.” Said the light brown haired one, pushing up his glasses. “He might kill it.” Katsuki felt his blood run cold, before heating up. Izuku didn’t die for him to get kidnapped— again, his mind unhelpfully inserted—and killed. A growl slipped out of his lips before he could stop it. The two men turned their head back to him.
“See, it’s feisty!” The frantic one hissed, “Should we let it go?” He turned his head towards Glasses. “Or should we kill it?” Katsuki shifted his glare to the ground before darting over to Eri, who gripped the gun so hard her knuckles were white, her mouth barely open but her eyes wide with fear. She didn’t know how to shoot, Katsuki remembered, Shouta was going to teach her. Shouta was probably dead, Hizashi too. He moved his hand slightly, not too much to gain their attention, but enough for Eri’s eyes to dart down. He mimicked the trigger of a gun as saw her nodded before scooting closer to the edge of the truck.
“No. I think we should bring it to Chisaki and see if he likes it.” Glasses stated, as Katsuki watched Eri stick her small hand from under the truck, gun shaking in her pale hand as she stretched it as far as she could.
Katsuki inhaled through his nose, eyes locking onto the two guys in front of him as he reached for the gun. His hand grasped it, as a gun fired, a loud ringing echoed in his ear as he scrambled away, eyes wide and his heart pounding as he watched the frantic on raise the gun again.
“Ka-” A high pitched voice called out as Katsuki stared at the bullet hole in the dirt, oh so close to dying . “Katsuki!” Eri’s voice split through the ringing in his ears. “Shoot them!” Her voice wavered as another gunshot landed near Katsuki’s leg. He raised the gun like Izuku taught him to do, placing his finger on the trigger, pressing as he inhaled. He swiftly moved the gun’s line of focus to Glasses, doing the same.
Frantic guy dropped the large gun, grasping at his neck as blood covered his hands and welled-up in his mouth which was opening and closing, gasping for air as he stumbled forward, spitting out blood, eyes wide with anger and panic as he fell landing next to Katsuki, a flicker of blood landed on Katsuki’s cheek, he cringed. As the man chocked on his blood, Katsuki let out a shaky breath as he stood. “Eri, come on.” He said, voice wavering as his hand shaking, the gun almost slipping out. He tightened his grip on the gun. “You good.”
He listened to Eri push herself from under the truck, pulling out his bag. “Katsu? I-I'm okay...” She voiced, placing her small hand on his elbow. He blinked, letting his gaze drift to Eri. “Are you okay...? You don’t h-have to feel guilty...” She frowned, garnet eyes shifting to the side, her white eyebrows furrowing. “It was my fault... right?”
Katsuki exhaled “Naw,” he shook off the shock he felt and placed his finger in between her eyebrows. “But you’ll get wrinkles if you keep it up, kid.” He tilted his head up as she let out a short giggle, interrupted by the loud groans and moans of walkers. “Let's get fuckin’ going.” He huffed, grabbing his bag from Eri and shrugging it on.
“W-what about Shouta and Hizashi..?” Eri asked, her voice shaking as she followed Katsuki. “Aren’t we going to help them...?” Katsuki glanced at her, a scowl captured his face as he quickens his pace. “Katsu!”
“We will in a week! Hizashi said that we’ll meet back in a week. So, we find a place to stay and fuckin’ survive!” He growled out, stomping forward onto the road with Eri following. “A week is easy to figure out.” He muttered, “I’ll just go every five days.” He stated, exhaling through his nose and ruffled her hair. “We also have to cut your hair, or put the fucking thing up.”
“I don’t want to cut it...” Eri whispered, grabbing a lock of her white hair as Katsuki glanced down at her. “I d-don’t want to cut it.”
“We don’t fucking have to, kid.” He said, lifting his hand and looking at the gun, he shoved it in between his belt. “We’ll just tie it in a pony tail.” Katsuki answered, rubbing his hands together. “Let’s just find a fuckin’ place before night. It’s cold as shit.” Eri nodded, following Katsuki as walked on the side of the road.
Katsuki noticed the sky had changed color, he things it’s been a day since they’ve been walking, but it wasn’t blue anymore, it was orange, his favorite color. He let a smile grace his lips as he felt his legs burn with tiredness. The nine-year-old shifted the five-year-old on his back while the bag on his front bounced with every movement he made. His eyes drooped as he forced himself to walk farther, listening to the soft snores of Eri. He shook himself awake, forcing his eyes upward as the color of the sky slowly changed. He hiked Eri higher up his back as he glanced up at the sky, lowering his gaze to a food truck.
He glanced around the surrounding area, frowning slightly at the lack of walkers around the truck, he hasn’t seen any recently. He staggered over to the truck, taking one hand from Eri’s leg and twisting the handle to the trunk and pulling it open. “Fucking finally...” He whined, placing Eri in the truck, climbing inside and quietly shutting the metal door.
He picked up Eri, wobbling slightly as he moved her away from the door, placing her behind on of the seats and throwing his jacket over her. He yawned, rubbing his eyes while placing his bag on the truck floor and laying down next to her. Katsuki let his eyelids flutter shut, exhaustion absorbing him fully.
He blinked as his vision filtered in, shivering at the man’s touch, kicking the man off him as he scooted towards the wall. “Get the fuck away from me!” He hissed . His voice was distant, echoey and strained as tears filled his eyes as he stared at the blue haired man. “Stay back!”
“ Katsuki ... honey, I’m ... going to hurt you! We’re …. to start a family, remember...?” The man’s scratchy voice present, stuck to the walls in his mind as he struggled against the man’s grip. “Don’t struggle... Izuku is exposing you to ... things, my dear...” Katsuki let out a growl as he felt himself freeze, the man’s lips landed on his cheek, then his forehead. Katsuki let a sob slip out from between his lips.
“L-Let me go!” He felt the tears bubble and burn as they raised, rolling down his chubby cheeks, as the man placed his lips on Katsuki’s shoulder, “Get off me, asshole!” Katsuki sobbed, thrashing under the man, who let out a manic giggle at the boy's antics, then lifted his head, letting out a loud crazed laugh and pushing himself away from Katsuki, who took that as a sign to rush out of the room, pushing the man as he slammed the bedroom door open and rushed out, locking himself in the closet.
He squeezed his legs, letting quiet sobs out as he buried his head in his knees, eyes snapping open when the door handle shook violently and there was an irritated shout. “ Katsuki ! ... out! I’ll wait ... you're ready, My dear!” Katsuki pressed himself on the wall, eyes locked onto the doorknob while it shook. “ Katsuki ! Open the door!”
“Fuck you!” Katsuki voice wavered as he yelled, getting a loud slam to the door in response. The banging continued. Louder and louder-
“Katsu!” Katsuki eyes snapped open as he took a large gasp of air, face pale as he jerked up, pushing himself against the back of the seat. He gasped, eyes watering at the coolness of the air that rubbed against his throat and settling in his lungs. Why was he freaking out-?
“Katsu...” His eyes darted over to the voice; eyes glazed over. “K-katsu! T-there someone at the door-” They whispered, placing a hand on his arm. His breathe quickened as he lifted a shaky arm and grab the arm. “they were yelling and threating to-” The voice was shaky, and so was the hand. He sucked in air, forcing himself to try and calm down as he eyes un-fuzzed, and meet with large watery garnet eyes.
“E...” He croaked, shaking his head, jumping at the large bang on the metal. “What the fuck...”
“S-someone’s trying to get in!” Eri repeated, her arms shaking as she turned her attention to the door that shook with another bang. “Katsu...!” She whined, as Katsuki pulled himself up, shaking his head and letting a shaky breath.
“Get your bag,” He whispered, picking his jacket up and pulling it on, then grabbing his bag, watching Eri doing the same. “Come on.” He stepped toward the front, climbing into the passenger seat and placing his hand on the door handle. A large bang shook the food truck as Katsuki clicked open the door, and climbed down between the slightly opened door.
His boots hit the gavel, moving as he help Eri down before moving to the front of the trunk, and slowly walking, Eri following closely, glancing back at the trunk that shook with every hit from the people.
Katsuki let out a breath as he glared in the direction they came from, not being able to see the truck. “The rest stop is really far... how are we going to get back to Shouta and Hizashi...?” Eri asked, rocking on her heels as she sipped on a water bottle from the truck.
“I’ll find a bike, or somethin’...” Katsuki answered, turning and continuing to walk. Eri frowned, rushing to catch up with him.
“W-what if we can’t find a bike?” She asked, shoving the bottle neatly into her bag as she matched Katsuki’s walking pace. “M-maybe we should head back...”
Katsuki felt his anger rise as he clenched his jaw, he needs to be calm. Izuku was always calm, even in high stress situations. “We don’t know if they made it back to the rest stop. And it might be crowded with walkers.” He answered, ruffing her head before fixing how loose his hat was.
“O-oh...” Her eyes darted to the side, blinking. “Katsu? There’s a... house.” Katsuki’s head snapped towards hers, following her finger that pointed to a town. How he didn’t notice this, he wasn’t sure.
But he swore quietly as he quickened his pace, “Kid? Up front.” He whispered, eyeing some of the house and the few walkers that were scattered around the neighborhood. Eri shuffled in front of him, as he settled on the light blue house with wooden boards on it. There was a sign before they finally made it to the town, his breathing slowed as he panted, the air around his mouth clouded as fall set in. It said River-villa.
“Raver-vill-a?” Eri muttered, as she rubbed her arms. Katsuki snorted, quickly as he pulled out his knife from his belt. “Is that how you pro-nounce it?”
“River-villa.” He corrected, “Also, it’s ‘ pronounce ’, not ‘pro-nonce’.” Eri nodded, seemingly storing that information away. “Let's get inside that fuckin’ blue house.” Eri nodded, doubt lacing her face as she pulled out a screw driver from her bag.