Eli Cardashyan thinks, just before the truck explodes, that he may have overestimated just how clever he really is.
But then the vehicles spitting out flames and smoke rises a hundred feet in the air, and he mentally pats himself on the back, all the while reassuring his ego that, yes, he really is that awesome.
“Wow, that actually worked?” Josh has the nerve to look down (Eli’s working on hobbling the kid one day) at him in surprise.
“Fuck you, and uh fuck you too good sirs. That was badass.” Eli flips them both off for good measure. “Now if you don’t mind I’ll take my payment.”
Wesley’s the first one to stick to his word, pulls out a bag of weed and tosses it over. “You’ve got to give it to him, I never thought I’d see the day where I'd watch a school bus full of ghoulies blow like that.”
“Don’t forget that I got that dirty librarian too.”
“The one that used to peer at the girls skirts?” Josh frowns.
“Pervy Bowman, oh yeah baby, he’s more crispy than Turbo’s face by now.” Eli manages to duck Wesley’s fist (oh the irony) and holds his hand out to the silent blonde beside them. “Pay up little lady.”
“You better take good care of her.” Angelica scowls, reluctantly passing the smallest of her flame-throwers.
“Hey, scouts honour,” Eli makes the salute, well he thinks he does but the fuckers kicked him out when he and Gay Josh made eyes at each other that one time… Anyway where was he going with this… “I promise to treat her like a princess... No, like Mavis.”
Eli ignores her in favour of his real prize.
Josh shifts from one foot to the other like the coward Eli keeps trying to tell everyone he is. “Do I have to? You’ve already made your point.”
Damn straight you’re going to tell me Josh Wheeler.
Eli waves him on and cups a hand around his ear.
Josh sighs, rubs a hand over the back of his neck and then finally squares up. “Eli Cardashyan you’re a genius, we, and I say this for all Daybreakers, are so lucky to have you protecting us with you’re mad skills…”
“And I’m such a fucking idiot for thinking that you couldn’t round up a horde of Ghoulies, trap them in a bus with you, jump out of the window and blow it up. How could I have ever thought that Turbo and Wes would have been better options for head of security...” Josh’s voice trails off at the end and Eli’s rather pleased to hear what sounds like a bit of vomit caught in the smug fuckers throat.
“If you’re finished shit-dips, can we go before half of Glendale comes down on us.” Angelica hisses at them, flouncing off with a lot more flare than Eli would have expected from a girl with wheelie shoes. He might just have to get some after all.
On the other hand she has a real good point, they may have possibly been standing around a little too long and as much as Eli likes to push his luck, ending up as some tasty little bitch snack for a whatsapp group of soccer mom’s is not on his list of things to do. It still doesn’t stop him whining the whole way home.
“Do you ever shut up,” Josh groans as helps shut the doors up again, “fuck me.”
“First of all no, it’s the one of my many talents, and secondly not a chance with that attitude.”
Josh flushes and Eli’s a bit miffed that he’s the one always getting ribbed for his unhealthy diet when the dickhead gets red in the face from lifting a few mall trolleys into place.
Turbo grunts - like when does he ever do anything else.
“He thinks that you’re too scrawny to protect everyone properly.” Angelica points out because apparently she’s now speaks troll. “You should get more exercise.”
Eli thinks about it for a second as he resets the traps around the malls main entrance before giving his beauty a fond pat. “I’m not taking any advice from the guy that used to walk about wearing a repurposed sex harness and a kids bike tires.”
He’s quick enough to avoid the taser, ducks Wesley’s backhand, flips them all a gesture that conveys his deep love and affection for the fuckers with solely his middle fingers and moonwalks out of there.
(Not his best move when the malls about a million fucking miles long, but he commits to it better than Josh Wheeler does with his weak-ass love life).
Eli’s in the middle of flicking through a batch of People’s magazine because there’s nothing better in life than laughing at human beings and their surgery botch jobs, his beloved sneakers are turfed off somewhere in the store and he’s just about to upend a bottle of Zinfandel that Mavis so kindly left in the cooler for him, when Wesley comes in.
“Woah, woah, woah, my man, you can’t just barge in here like this.”
He owns this mall! There’s a certificate of ownership - that he wrote up - in a photo frame on the wall beside Mavis’ favourite spot in the store. So no bitch should just walk on in like-
“I come with gifts?” A bag waves in his face.
“The Marvel guy. They’re all the same.”
Eli hasn’t got the patience to lecture his high ass on the intricacies of each beloved Chris, apart from Pratt, he still fucking sucks after the stunt he pulled in Infinity War.
But a buzz is precisely what Eli needs right now when the scar tissue across his stomach fizzles and phantom pain has his stomach churning acid. He ends up permitting Wesley to use his spare massage chair and takes the roll up with eager fingers.
Fists is a bitch and ruins what should be a peaceful moment by waxing on about how well Daybreak as a tribe is running, how they’re all bonding so beautifully and again, Eli hasn’t the energy to point out that they’re all parasitic shits and he should have made his mall great again by building a wall to keep them out. Maybe electrocute it for good measure.
“Can I get a sick bucket?” He has to ask when the topic gets onto a more romantic nature.
“Hey, my love life’s hard enough without you mocking it sis.”
Eli makes sure his eye roll can be seen behind his sunglasses. “It’s not my fault you enjoy riding him like one of those derby horses.”
“Man, you’re lucky that I’m trying to be a pacifist once more.”
“Oh, yeah, for how long?”
Wesley puffs out an impressive jet of smoke and shrugs nonchalantly. “A few hours.”
“Until you have to murder that dick again?”
Watching Wesley Fists react is one of the funniest things Eli’s seen in a long ass time so he mixes the weed with another half a glass and settles back for his inevitable lecture, grateful for the distraction.
“At least we’re not Josh right now.” Wesley swipes his half empty bottle and downs the contents in a way that Eli thinks Turbo Pokaski should consider himself damn lucky for.
“He’s getting rejected left, right and all the way down the centre.”
“Huh, isn’t that something.” Eli rescues the remote of his chair away from Wesley’s clumsy hands and generously turns the samurai's on. “Since when did KJ kick his ass out?”
Wesley hums delightedly at vibrations that Eli knows from experience will unknot a sore muscle in no fucking time. “It’s more that he tried to hug her and she outright turned him down.”
That’s a surprise, Eli’s been in Josh Wheelers arms and they’re not bad, admittedly he’d been trying his best to die dramatically so maybe he’s coloured the memory somewhat.
“Clever girl.” Which he isn’t saying from a place of spite, KJ is the only kid he’d have wished to stay, a fellow gamer at heart when she had time. “Though I’m warning you, we may have to take precautions, there’s only so many mops in this place.”
Wesley laughs so hard he snorts and then dissolves into a coughing fit.
Eli, being the kind hearted boy he is, takes his barely touched joint and finishes it to prevent a waste, recycling and all of that shit. Don’t let it be said that he isn’t good to the environment.
There is only so much anyone can be expected to listen to Josh Wheeler moping, and Eli has long since passed that limit by the third morning.
Thankfully they have a resident Frankenstein that almost decapitates their leader when he tries to lament about his sorry life as they prepare to go out on a scavenger patrol.
Of course this is conveyed through a series of grunts, but Eli’s seen the discovery channel, he knows what Neanderthals look like communicating before a kill.
“Chill Turbo, chill-chill-chill.” Wesley’s face breaks out into a gross smile and the pair seem caught up in a memory suddenly, a tender and rude thing to do when everyone else has to witness their love.
Angelica takes one for the team and drags their asses off in the direction of the local pharmacy, Crumbles tailing them from the rooftops in some madass parkour. Like, more power to the queen, Eli stans a bitch that can blast herself apart one time and then in another jump off of a building and land on an awning three floors down like a grubby Spiderman.
However, on the other hand, all four of them have left him with the human version of the Titanic.
But also let it never be said, as they slowly make their way through the quiet streets, that Eli Cardashyan doesn’t treat his friends respectfully, he has a brilliant plan to help Josh move on.
Only Josh is so fucked up by ‘moving on’ that what Eli really means is: Lets take this bitch out into the wild and have him run for his life.
All in all it’s a successful plan if he does say so himself.
“I’m gonna kill you for this.” The whiny asshole has the nerve to complain as they duck past another group of ghoulies.
“C’mon, don’t tell me it isn’t getting the blood pumping,” Eli laughs, shits himself (but not really ‘cus he’s a champ) as a hand whizzes past his shoulder as he rolls to the side, fiddling one handed with a molotov that he stole from Turbo’s tent.
“That’s the lazy sort of attitude that’ll get somebody hurt.” Wheeler finally uses his sword properly and drops one of the ghoulies.
Eli ignores the tightening pressure in his gut and manages to throw the bottle in a perfect arch so it lands directly in the centre of the pack. “I already died, how much worse can it get?”
He doesn’t think twice about the joke, mostly because he’s distracted by a mid-twenties shit with a Supreme shirt that keeps asking him how many followers he has. Yeah, these are the sorts of assholes Eli gets to off now.
Sometimes it’s nice to look at the end of the world and not mourn the destruction.
But Josh apparently thinks it’s okay to stand there gormless and staring at him with a pained expression. Eli is good at defending himself at a distance but these close encounters are not his forte, so with much regret he relies on the fuckface.
“Oi, turd! Stop beating yourself off and do something!”
Josh startles and then he’s finally moving, swiftly ending the ghoulies with a careful precision that’s most definitely a Wesley Fists technique. When everything’s done they jog to put some distance between the blood and mess and Eli is about to say something charmingly witty, like all of his ripostes when Josh lets out a warning groan.
“Don’t Eli, just leave it.”
Hormonal bitch, Eli thinks and decides to better focus himself finding Mavis her favourite hand cream than linger on the douche that keeps sneaking side long glances at him.
Eli is gentlemanly enough to admit when he’s wrong, and in this case he’d like to knock paranormal Eli off of the top of his list of Shit That Would Fuck You Up.
Eli with a cold earns that spot in the first six hours.
Everything’s too hot, too cold, his foreheads sweaty which even Mavis tells him is gross. “Like I don’t know that darling.” He rasps out through a swollen throat.
She regards him with love and concern and… damn he’s starting to act like she’s real again.
For the first time in a while he curls up on the deluxe Casper king size mattress he bagsied and lets the misery of blocked sinuses take him down into hell. Sneezing hurts, punches a hole through his stomach with every gasping death rattle he mistakes for breathing.
Heck he doesn’t even have the energy to wear more than the basic gold chain and a few diamonds, life’s reached that low.
Angelica comes to check on him first. Decides he’s not worthy of fawning over and disappears off with Crumble.
Wesley’s just as useless, brings him a bunch of grapes and then awkwardly offers to find him some cough sweets before high-tailing it.
KJ surprisingly brings him a flask of soup and he instantly decides that she’s the only decent human being left on this planet.
He’s about three boxes of tissues down, sweat dampens his hairline and his shirts wet against his back as he starts to drift across the veil of death when Mavis announces a new visitor.
“Go away and let me die.” He groans feebly and somehow simultaneously sneezes and cough's at the same time.
Eli Cardashyan, the snotty miracle.
“Sorry man, die on me once shame on you, die on me twice shame on me.” Josh Wheeler jokes, or tries to, it sounds pathetic to Eli’s ears. Though they are currently filled with cotton wool so that may account for something. “I’ve bought you some shit.”
Eli would like to resume his gradual and dignified passing but he’s also conditioned to come alive at the mention of gifts. “Fine, gimme.”
“Okay, so I’ve got chocolates?”
“Chuck ‘em here.”
“That freaky scented lotion you like.”
“Give it to Mavis.”
“Dude, I’m not touching your sex doll.”
Eli squints at him in disbelief before he sees the teasing grin and decides he’ll save his energy for another stupid comment, because it’s Josh Wheeler, all is he says is dumb shit. “What else?”
A bunch of weeds from the parking lot. “Great,” sneeze “is that everything?”
Josh fumbles like a dickweed with his bag before pulling out a chunky set of cellophane wrapped rectangles held together by an elastic band.
His fellow nerd beams at him and starts dividing the packets up. “I need a rematch and this way it makes it a whole lot more challenging.”
Eli isn’t quite sure that Josh realises this is the first new thing given to him in years, and it’s Pokemon, it’s just under his Magic cards on the scale of epicness. He picks up a packet with a lot more reverence than that clumsy fuck as he shreds the wrapping, instead Eli carefully peels open a corner. “Haven’t you got anything better to do?”
“Nah, KJ’s got it under control.”
“Ah, avoiding the ex, I gotcha.”
Josh flushes again and it’s almost funny if a wet sound didn’t catch in Eli’s oesophagus and he decides he’s only a little breathless from his deadly illness.
“We never really got together.”
“Girls got better taste than I thought.”
Josh impatiently tries to hurry him along, as if the shiny plastic isn’t that exciting to him and Eli deliberately takes longer just to be a spiteful bitch.
He decides, halfway through the… well he’s lost count of the rematches, that he may no longer be dying, just mildly impaired and when he starts to drift off again it’s not nearly as life threatening when there’s a guy watching over him like a less creepy Twilight vampire.
Because, as the joke goes, Eli himself is the reason he can’t have nice things, he warns Crumble to put her ear plugs in, hacks into the speaker system and for a glorious minute blasts Cutting Crew around the mall until Josh Wheeler is chasing him down in a replica of his favourite jacked flashback.