Death, Implied Death, Implied Zombies,
Sexual Tension, Implied Sexual Content, Mature Language
“Shit.” Aiden is shaking when he stumbles down into the basement; Lukas can see that from across the room. “Shit.”
Aiden slams the door shut behind him and bolts it, then he drags the dresser in front of it. Rests his head against it for a moment. “Fuck,” he breathes.
He’s locked the door. They’re the only ones here, and he’s locked the door.
“Where’s the others?” Lukas asks. When Aiden doesn't reply he asks again, “Where’s the others?”
“The couple across the street is gone,” Aiden says. “Those things got them.”
No! God, no! He’s been trying not to think about the danger, Gill and Maya were still out there - they were in that mess- “Stella-”
“Stella...” He presses a hand over his face. “God, this is so messed up.”
“Aiden. Tell me what happened!”
“Stella ran out the door,” Aiden says. “I think she was trying to get Radar's...” He gestures vaguely at his neck, for some reason. “His, uh, his body.”
This can’t be happening. “Jesus, Aiden.”
“I tried to stop her- I-” His voice sounds like it’ll shatter if someone leans on it.
“What about Jesse?” Someone has to be alive. Someone has to be alive, somewhere. It can’t just be them.
Aiden shrugs helplessly. “Didn’t look like he was with Radar. And... Lukas, those things are right outside the house. They’ll have found him. And if they did—”
“He'll have been able to do something,” Lukas says. “Because he's Jesse. Jesse always figures things out, unlike-"
He wants Aiden to get angry with him. He wants to have a screaming match; maybe it’d be a distraction, at least. The world isn't dying. Their friends are not dying. This isn't real.
Aiden just sighs and sits down on the floor, so abruptly it’s like his legs have suddenly stopped working. “I just want to …...” He’s not meeting his eyes. “I -I fucked up.”
It would make things so much easier, but he can’t hate him for it. Not when Aiden looks so defeated. He had tried to help, just like everyone else. But things had gone so wrong so fast. He can't force himself to find a distraction in Aiden, not through anger. Not when he’s the only friend Lukas knows is still alive.
Not when he’s not the only person feeling responsible.
“I should’ve stayed by the door,” He says, quietly. “Maybe I could have stopped Stella-"
Aiden shakes his head. “Nothing you could’ve done.”
Lukas runs through the death toll in his mind. Radar and Stella, Olivia, Axel, J-Jesse….... Jesse almost definitely.
He hasn’t seen any bodies. It doesn’t feel real. But there are things he can’t deny. Radar ran to get Jesse and didn’t come back. Stella’s not hammering on the other side of the door to the safe room, demanding to be let in.
“Iv-Ivor?” he asks."Harper?"
“No idea. Dead, I guess.” Aiden flinches, "They're everywhere out there Lukas - it's like they know."
Lukas picks up a discarded book on the floor and flicks through it without really taking anything in. It had been such a relief, finding Ivor someone who seemed to know what was going on. He was going to take over; they could just follow his instructions and stop trying to find their own way blind through this hellish, blood moon lit night.
So much for that.
“Jesse said before he- he- ….That Gill and Maya went to get help,” he says.
They’re dead, Lukas thinks. “Maybe they found it. Maybe they’re bringing someone here now.”
Aiden looks over at him. They’re dead, he sees in his eyes. “Yeah, maybe.”
Six days later they wait till the screaming seems to stop, one day after that they hide and pray they survive as the wails and screams return. Weeks roll into months and they still wait. It’s the only thing they can do. They hunt for food in the day, hide at night. They wait for help or death: whichever comes first. And every seven days they expect the worst.
Aiden is pacing. Lukas is standing in the corner, tracking him with his eyes. Some part of him is just hungry to see someone else alive, someone breathing and moving.
Lukas watches the pulse of blood in his throat. Maybe it’s creepy, but every heartbeat is like a reminder. I’m alive. You’re alive. They’ve lost everyone else, but they’re not dead yet, and they’re not alone.
And then Aiden trips, or – maybe his leg just gives out, maybe he’s shaking too badly to keep his balance. There’s nothing to trip on. But he stumbles, and Lukas darts forward to grab his arm, helping him stay upright.
He’s warm. Lukas doesn’t want to let go. He moves his grip down to Aiden's wrist, to feel the heartbeat thrumming under his skin.
Radar was just as alive as this when he left the house, and minutes later he was dead. How is that possible?
Aiden looks down, at Lukas's hand almost in his. “You know, thanks, but I think I might’ve found my balance.”
He doesn’t let go. He doesn’t move.
“Not that I’m complaining.” Aiden winks at him, but it's a hard motion for him to do.
It’s always been a part of their friendship, his jokey flirting. Lukas never had much time for it, especially since the rift of their breakup happened between them what felt like ages ago. But right now it’s just such a normal, familiar thing in the midst of all the horror that it kind of makes Lukas want to cry.
“I actually thought about it a couple of times, you know,” He says suddenly, "Whether I’d sleep with you again."
Aiden raises his eyebrows, a smile tugging at the side of his mouth. “Yeah?”
“Yeah. I was trying to figure out whether it was a ‘not if you were the only guy in the world’ or an ‘if you were the only guy in the world, maybe’ scenario.”
He frowns, “Ouch. Not sure I’m enjoying this conversation as much as I thought I would.”
Probably still better than their other conversations recently, the ones where they’ve been counting up the bodies of their friends. Lukas doesn’t say that.
“It was the second one,” Lukas says. “If you’re wondering.”
“The one where I’ve got a chance if I survive everyone else? I guess that’s better than nothing.”
Lukas leans against Aiden's side.
“It kind of feels like we might be the only people left,” He says.
Aiden stares at him for a moment. Shifts his weight, scrubs his free hand through his hair. “Uh, so you’re saying... what are you saying?”
“I thought you were meant to be smooth, Mercer?”
“It’s just, uh.” He scratches the side of his face. “Unexpected. If you’re saying what I think you’re saying. And I need to be really sure that that’s what you’re saying, because otherwise I’m gonna piss you off if I make a move, and I don’t think I can afford that when...” He hesitates. “Well, maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m on my own if you leave.”
“Piss me off as much as you like,” Lukas says. “I’m not leaving when those things are out there.”
“Good to know I’m better than a zombie,” Aiden says. “I can put that on my résumé.”
“I guess I could shove you out there if you really get on my bad side.”
There’s a long silence.
“So,” Aiden says. “Do we... are we just play-flirting? Or...”
Lukas kisses him. When he pulls back, he takes a moment to appreciate Aiden's expression. There was a time when he would have laughed at it, but he doesn’t know if he’ll ever really laugh again. Maybe that part of him is dead already.
“Well, now I know I’m dreaming,” Aiden says. “I guess that’s good news. I hope everyone’s okay when I wake up.”
“I just want to forget about what’s going on,” Lukas says. “Just for a moment. I can’t take it, all this standing around and thinking.”
Aiden seems to realise he’s got a hand on Lukas's side and pulls it back, as if he’s not sure whether he’s allowed to touch him. “Are you sure? Are you...” He clears his throat, darts his tongue over his lips. “You’re sure?”
“Aiden,” Lukas says. “If you don’t stop asking, I’m going to kill you before those zombies have a chance tomorrow night.”
Aiden lets out a long breath. They’re so close he can almost feel him shaking.
“I don’t have any condoms,” he says. “I mean, fuck Lukas the world ended five months ago I didn't stock up” The sentence seems to choke him toward the end of it.
Lukas has always been the sensible one, the responsible one. Now Aiden is …..
“We might be dead before dawn, even more likely tomorrow night” Lukas says. “If we live long enough to see any consequences, I’ll take them and call them a fucking miracle.”
“Oh, and I don’t get a say in this?” he jokes.
“You get a say by deciding whether or not to have sex with me.”
“That’s not a real choice,” Aiden says. He kisses him, and then kisses him again, hard and desperate. “God, Lukas—”
There’s a screech from somewhere above, and both of them go still and silent.
“Maybe we shouldn’t do this,” Aiden whispers, after a long moment.
“And just sit down here waiting for it to find us?” Lukas whispers back. “No.” He slips a hand inside his pants, and Aiden presses his face into Lukas's shoulder to stifle the noise he makes. “If those things get to us and tears us apart, I want you so far inside me they won't know which of us is which.”
Aiden's breathing hitches and trembles. “They'll hear us.”
“We’re just going to have to be really quiet.”
“It’ll be my fault.” But he’s tugging down the zipper of Lukas's jacket as he says it, agonisingly slowly, tooth by silent tooth. He doesn’t even seem to know he’s doing it, like his hands and his voice are controlled by different parts of him. “If I make a noise and they find us, I’ll have killed you.”
“It’s a risk we’re both taking,” Lukas murmurs. “And I was the one who suggested it.”
Aiden gives a dry, quiet laugh. “This whole thing is so fucked up.”
“Don’t say anything.” Lukas rocks his body against Aiden's. “We can talk through it if we survive.”
Aiden eases Lukas back against the worn mattress that has been their bed for months, and maybe just for a moment, before Lukas is sure they'll be eventually killed, he’s going to have a chance to feel alive.