It wasn't Adrien's fault. And he's partially sure it wasn't murder. Though it usually looked suspicious when an ex-boyfriend of not even 24 hours off'd his girlfriend with a firm swing of a shovel to the head, he swears it was self-defense.
He double swears when she stands up as if she sustained no blow and, fearful of committing intentional homicide, he backed away and raised the shovel higher.
"Miranda…I know you're mad at me or you think I'm the worst human being on the planet but you need to calm down. I don't want to hurt you—Miranda. Hey—HEY—!"
The front door slams open—he really needed to learn to lock that thing—and a vaguely familiar man with amber skin and headphones around his neck looks around the room and spots the two of them having their "tiff". In retrospect, it's hardly a tiff when they've already swung blows, and SuperSmash Tiffs is less exciting a promotional name if he had to make a comparison. Adrien for a moment becomes more fearful of explaining himself but then the man does a loud rawr, the sort a caveman gives to warn off squirrels from a homemade stew, and runs at his Ex to shove her to the floor.
Before Adrien can protest his confusion, the man yanks the shovel from Adrien's hands, rawrs again, and takes several, several, several more firm swings at Miranda's head.
Adrien gapes, hands on his head like that squiggly screaming man painting, firmly sat in shock as no noise goes from his mouth.
Red splatters against the man's shirt, though it could've been there before he arrived, and hits the floor and some of Adrien's pant legs. He's huffing after essentially murdering his ex—though Adrien might have done it himself in a moment— and jutting out his lip and sniffing like a job well done.
"What the fu—WHAT THE FUCK!" Adrien screams.
The man blinks around, clearly just remembering where he was, and gives a lopsided smile. "Oh, hey man! Are you okay? I got here just in time."
"Wha—wha—" Apparently a guppy was stuck in his mouth with the sudden realization that it could not, in fact, breathe air.
"Babe! Is he okay? I looked around back, everything else seems clear." A woman came through the front door, shutting it firmly behind her and sliding the lock. She had luscious wavy hair with orange streaks and a toned physique dressed in Laura Croft levels of attire. She takes a look at Adrien and then to the ground. "Oh, got here just in time then."
"That's what I said." The man smiles. "Told you stopping here was a good idea."
"Anything to see your unofficial boyfriend." She grins broadly.
"Alya! Babe!" The man protests with a dusting of red on his cheeks.
Adrien was too busy having a confused breakdown to truly process any of it.
"I'm drunk. That's it. I must have fallen asleep on the couch again, playing Red Dead, and my mind is making weird connections. Yeah, yeah."
"Woah, hey there, you alright, buddy?" The man leans the shovel against a cabinet and walked close. Adrien stumbles backwards with a hand outstretched like a shield. "Hey, hey! I'm not going to hurt you. Just—take a few breaths."
"Take a few breaths? You just made sure she'd never breathe again and you want me to calm down?"
"Oh come on, it's not like she was breathing in the first place if we want to get technical." Alya steps forward with a tilt of her hips and a teasing smile.
His confused gasp clicks a telepathic connection between the two intruders. They look at each other with some sort of clarity.
"I don't think he knows," Alya murmurs.
"Wow—that's awkward." The man scratches the back of his head. He blinks into a wide-eyed expression and whispers harshly, though Adrien could clearly hear him. "I think that was his girlfriend. Our first meeting and he thinks I murdered his girlfriend! Alya, nooo!"
"Hold on, I'll save your relationship, it's okay."
"He thinks I'm a murderer!" The man wails, hands wiping against his face in despair. "I'm not! I'm Rambo! Batman! The Leon to his Chris!"
"Your wailing isn't making a better impression." Alya clearly stifles her laughter in the hushing affirmation. She clears her throat and looks at Adrien. "Have you looked at the news recently? At all?"
"N-no. What does that have to do with anything?"
"Where's that telly—Ah! Same room, how convenient." Alya walks to his flat screen and picks up the remote to scroll through some channels. "We're not just some serial killers or vandalizers. The city is—insane right now. People are getting infected by some disease and attacking others to spread it. Our apartment is just a few doors down and it's swarming."
She stops talking as she finds the right channel, a popular local news station.
"Chaos is rifling the streets as people attempt to flee the city. EMTs and police are endlessly tied down in calls, putting emergency lines at a standstill. Citizens are calling it Judgment Day, though reports are scattered and unclear at the moment, all we know is there is panic in the streets today. The Major has issued a message to advise citizens to remain indoors and keep all doors and windows locked until the incident has been resolved."
Adrien is drawn to the screen, crouching before the bright rays as the local newsman talked over the headline, "Breaking News: Crisis Worsens."
"Wait, wait. What is this? I don't understand."
"Zombies, man. It's zombies."
Adrien jerks his head back, looking at the man with the appropriate face of 'are you mental?'.
"We agreed not to use that word," Alya argued.
"No, I agreed not to use the word if you thought of a better word."
"That's a band, and I think you're making fun of me now."
"Walking decaying potatoes."
"You are so going to get it later."
"Okay! So, they're acting like zombies. Symptoms of zombies," Adrien interjected. "But they're alive. Just being overly aggressive. Did you really have to kill her?"
"No, they're first-rate dead." The man crouches next to Adrien. "I saw an old woman, I mean crypt creeper old, fall from the second floor of her home, trying to catch her husband that was running away. She stood up with a pole in her side and a crooked neck like it was nothing. Eyes glazed, blood a weird color. Buddy." He put an arm on Adrien's shoulder. "Zombies."
The word sunk into Adrien like a two-foot long burrito: a bad idea to begin with, a brief moment of time committing to the idea, and swiftly regretting the endeavor altogether.
His life already felt far away. This morning was just another bland one, playing video games and slightly hungover with a confusion of how he got here in the first place. Now he entered a real-life video game, with very real consequences, and he wondered if he should cope— if he should care at all.
"Come with us." The man blurts out. Adrien blinks back at him, the world focusing on his words.
"Um, we're thinking my girlfriend's best friend's place. It's a high rise, pretty well fortified, and on the side of the city with less reports. Kind of a weak plan, but we'll be together and that's what's important right now." He slows down his speech and speeds back up again. "Unless you have somewhere else to go! Someone you want to check in on, a better safe place, I totally get it! I just see you around a lot. Doesn't seem like you know a lot of people, thought we'd make sure you're okay—I know it was nosey and all but hey, good heroes barge in when they don't need to and all that."
Adrien blinks several more times, very much in a surreal position and suddenly the guy looks less fuzzy than he did before. A familiar face he sees at the corner of his eye every day but he was too far in his own head to notice.
He looked like a path.
"Yeah. I'll go."
"W-what, really? Seriously?"
"Oh no, he might break," Alya interjects with a smile.
"Y-yeah. I guess. I don't really have a plan or—anything really." Adrien tacts on the last part, feeling a bit awkward even with the vagueness of the statement.
"That's awesome! Cool! I've got your back, buddy!"
A tentative twitch rises on his lips. "I've got yours too, I guess."
"Aaaand I'm still here if you ever forget. You know, the girl with an actual apocalypse stronghold?" Alya sings. She turns off the TV and looks around his kitchen which is right next to the living room.
"So, uh, I'm Nino! Rising DJ, causal vigilante, and local chill guy. To name a few things." Nino stands from his crouch and stretches out his hand.
Adrien clasps it to stand and responds, "Oh, uh, I'm Ad—"
"Adrien! Yeah, I know you."
Adrien pauses and slowly pulls his hand from their quite firm grasp.
Nino flusters in his stance. "Ah! Not to be creepy! You've lived here a while, I've lived around here a while. I hear stuff! I'm friends with almost everyone around here—totally chill. Completely coincidental knowledge."
Adrien's brows are likely hidden entirely under his long bangs and he nods slowly and finds Alya drinking a glass of water with tilted lips behind the rim. "Right. That's— good. I guess."
Nino huffs a weird laugh and gives a weird friendly punch to Adrien's shoulder while grinning. The smile is lopsided and calm, something warm and effortless. Adrien could completely see how he was easy with other people. Adrien admired it a bit.
"Pack some stuff, keep it light. Hopefully, this all blows over soon. We'll wait right here," Alya offers.
Adrien nods, catching the bits of red turning into a green-ish black onto his wooden floor. He watches it for a moment and has never been so grateful for a woman breaking up with him.