A/N: This was inspired by a foreign song, which artist and title will be put on my profile. The lyrics are the inaccurate translations of this song. This is rather rushed, I know, but I still like it, and I hope you do, too! Please, enjoy.
It's me, an outlaw,
And I ask you, my love,
To accept your happiness
The first time Nick and Ellis met, the two never actually thought much of each other.
They exchanged a few witty remarks and had some funny arguments on the way to the evac center at the mall. Ellis' impression of Nick was that he was a good guy, but Nick thought Ellis was simply annoying.
After an intense run for the alarm, and an alarming fight with the Tank, the four Survivors were disappointed by the sight of an empty, dark venue with 'Evacuation Center' hung from the walls. It was deserted, and to say they were upset was an understatement.
They filled the saferoom, and Coach shut the door behind him.
Tired, everybody slumped down to the floor to catch their breath. Ellis sat down in one corner, took off his cap and ran his fingers through his auburn hair. With an inaudible sigh of disappointment, he closed his eyes.
Nick knew there would be nothing there waiting for them. Nevertheless, he was slightly disappointed as well. He sat down and leaned against the wall, staring blankly up at the ceiling.
His thoughts wandered off, and Nick, lost in his own world, subconsciously stared at Ellis.
The younger man opened his eyes, and was slightly surprised to find the conman staring at him. It wasn't a mean glare or an intense stare—instead, Ellis saw it was simply a blank gaze. With nothing better to do, he decided to stare back.
Nick's eyes were grey, but not just any grey. Ellis had never seen such a beautiful tone for the eyes—a medium tone, one which wasn't too dark and not too light. He wondered why they were that way. Nick was a criminal, so he said, so it should be pure logic if his eyes were dark and shady as Ellis predicted them to be.
But, no, they weren't. A light colour with a darker tone. It was like an unwritten message—underneath those sharp replies, inconsiderate remarks and mean arguments, there was somebody else. He was kinder, considerate, caring and a different person. Only it was hard to bring that other personality out.
"Um, Nick? Ellis?" Rochelle spoke up, a smirk playing on her face. She put one hand on her hip and shook her head. "Will you stop staring at each other? It's time to go."
Nick snapped out of his thoughts and finally realized he had been staring at Ellis all this time. He blinked, bewildered, to find Ellis coughing with a slight red tint on his cheeks. Ellis watched as Nick stood up and stretched.
Ellis had to admit it—it was hard to not get lost in Nick's eyes.
"Let's just rest here for an hour, alright?" Coach said between his gasps for air.
Nobody replied, for they all agreed. The run on the coaster was so intense and fast, they used up all their energy without knowing it. Luckily, they found a small saferoom and closed the door in the face of the remaining horde.
"We barely made that," Nick remarked, panting.
Ellis, having caught his breath, explored the rooms. He discovered each of them had one mattress on the floor.
"Must've been tha' small resting place for the full-time workers," Ellis said, referring to the carnival employees.
"That's great!" Rochelle exclaimed, slipping into one room. "I'm going to take a nap."
"Me too, young'uns," Coach nodded tiredly, disappearing into another room.
Nick put his M16 and axe on the floor, before glancing at Ellis. The hick was standing awkwardly in the middle of the room, staring at Nick.
"What?" The conman raised an eyebrow.
"T-There's only one room left," Ellis sputtered. "Do ya wanna take it? If ya don't wan'ta, I'll go in—"
"I was just thinking of taking a nap," Nick said blankly, ending Ellis' confusion.
Slightly disappointed he wouldn't be able to rest, Ellis nodded. "Alrigh'. Go ahead inside. I'll wake y'all up in an hour."
Nick proceeded with taking off his med-kit and adrenaline shot. He remembered earlier during the coaster—a Smoker constricted him and he found himself hanging at the highest point of the coaster, dangling far from the ground. He was choking, scared…
Then there was a familiar shout of assurance. A bullet, so adeptly aimed, sliced the tongue constricting him, and Nick fell. He thought he was going to die, but he didn't. He fell on something that softened his fall, only to discover it was Ellis, who (stupidly) thought he could catch him.
Nick didn't even thank him.
"Um…kid, you could share the bed with me," Nick suggested, reading Ellis' expression. The hick was surprised, and with a smirk, Nick added, "That's only because you saved me back there. If you didn't, then I'd be leaving you out here to miserably cope with your exhaustion."
"Thanks!" Ellis grinned, and the two simultaneously made their way to the remaining room.
They settled down on the mattress, a comfortable distance between them. Before long, Ellis had already dozed off. Nick, being a light sleeper, had some struggles at falling asleep.
It was then Ellis turned over and wrapped his arms around Nick.
His eyes widened. 'What the fuck?' He thought, frowning in annoyance. 'Goddamn it.'
He shifted his head so he could look down at Ellis. His face was so relaxed, so calm. Ellis looked so innocent in his sleep. As though he was a precious little child, lost in a nice dream…
Nick considered whether he should stir Ellis from sleep. Even if he did wake him up, Ellis would probably repeat this action again. Nick decided to stay quiet for a few minutes to see whether Ellis would change his position again.
A few moments into wating, he suddenly felt drowsy.
'Ah, well, no use waking him up,' Nick thought, closing his eyes. He surrendered to sleep easily.
For some reason, he felt welcome in Ellis' arms.
I call you,
To tell you what I feel right now
He looked up and saw Ellis with a curious expression on his face. He sighed and asked tiredly, "What is it, Ace?"
Ellis sat down opposite him and looked over his shoulder. Coach and Rochelle had disappeared into the next room. Assured they were gone, he turned back to Nick.
"Whaddaya feel 'bout me?" He asked, averting Nick's questioning gaze.
"What do I feel about you?" Nick repeated, incredulous. Ellis, with a slight blush, nodded, and he chuckled. "That's…not so easy to answer."
"I-I was just wonderin'," Ellis said, the courage building up in him. He stared into Nick's grey eyes and admitted, "Y-you should know tha' I like you."
Nick had an amused expression on his face, but he didn't reply.
Ellis frowned. "Say somethin', Nick. Don't leave me hangin'."
"I don't know how to express what I feel for you," Nick conceded, rising. He cornered around the table and sat down next to Ellis. He stared into his deep green eyes. "Maybe, as they say, actions speak louder than words?"
Ellis was about to ask him what he meant, when Nick lifted his hand and caressed Ellis' cheek. He had a small smile on his face, and then Ellis saw a glimpse of the man hidden in him—the caring, loving man he first saw in the saferoom at the mall.
Something soft pressed against Ellis' lips. He closed his eyes and immersed himself in the brief moment that he enjoyed. It was slow, passionate, full of emotion and meaning…
Nick pulled away, but did not move far. He was so close to Ellis, he could feel the conman's breath against his face.
A smirk formed on Nick's lips. "Does that answer your question?"
He found himself struggling to scream.
'No,' He screamed in his mind, not believing his eyes. 'No. No, no, no!'
"Ellis!" Rochelle's scream rang in his ears. He watched as the tan-skinned woman ran to the younger man, who was lying on the gravel road. She kneeled, held him and searched for any sign of life.
Nick waited eagerly for her to say he was fine, but that assurance never came.
He fell to his knees as Rochelle started crying. "Ellis! No…this couldn't be happening…"
She sobbed in Ellis' shoulder. Coach watched her sadly, tears streaming down his face though no sounds came from him.
He put a hand on her shoulder. His voice wavered as he spoke, "Ro, we 'ave ta go. The gas shouldn't be far, now."
Rochelle looked up disbelievingly at Coach. After a few moments, she realized he was serious, and put the dead young man on the road. She stood up with Coach's help, and the two glanced at Nick.
Nick was on his knees, looking down at the road, his hands on his head. His eyes were wide with fear and disbelief. He looked paralyzed with shock and terror.
That Witch…if only they stayed close to each other. If only he was with Ellis as they made it through the sugarcane field. If only he had made it to him before the Witch slashed him across the chest. If only they still had their med-kits. If only they had something useful to heal him.
"Nick…" Rochelle called out softly, just as broken as Nick was.
The conman couldn't bring himself to look at Ellis. He stared at Coach, desperate for assurance and an answer.
Their leader shook his head sadly in reply to his inquiring gaze.
Anger pervaded Nick. It was a kind of anger he had never felt before—so different from the feeling when he lost his gamble or got robbed. It was an infuriating, depressing, self-hatred.
He stood up and ran through the sugarcane field, heading towards the sign. Rochelle and Coach followed up behind him.
Nick burst into the saferoom, and saw his first ray of hope.
Before Rochelle and Coach could limp into the saferoom, Nick had grabbed a First Aid kit and defibrillator. Not responding to their warning shouts, Nick went back through the field, alone and unarmed, to Ellis' body near the shack next to the elevator.
Nick swallowed his sadness and anger as he kneeled next to Ellis. He took off the hick's shirt and gently wiped away the excess blood, added some special medicine to the nasty claw marks, and finally stitched up the open wounds.
Once this was done, Nick used the defibrillator on Ellis.
He hardly believed his eyes when the hick coughed, wheezed, and opened his eyes.
"N-Nick?" He whimpered. "W-Was I dead just now?"
The rain mixed with Nick's tears. As Ellis sat up, dazed, he wrapped his arms around the hick, holding his lover as close as possible.
It was terrible to lose someone so dear to you. Nick was sure to have put his Magnum to his head if it weren't for the supplies in the saferoom.
"Don't leave me again," Nick softly whispered against the confused Ellis' ear, never so relieved to embrace him.
You want to take me with you,
But you don't want to
The Survivors shared a group hug as the helicopter lifted off the helipad.
They had made it across the bridge. They had made it to safety. Their effort had not gone to waste.
Forty minutes later, they were ushered into a military camp, where they met other Survivors. Here, they were briefed that half of the Survivors present will be taken to a separate camp.
Rochelle and Coach were picked by officials to go to the separate camp. In the end, with some tears and meaningful hugs, the group of four split apart. Nick and Ellis were assigned to the same room among the many shacks prepared for Carriers.
A few days later, as Nick ate a snack outside the house with Ellis, he noticed an opening in the wall. It wasn't so big, but Nick saw it as a possible escape. Just a few hacks with an axe and the wall would have given way easily.
"What're ya starin' at?" Ellis asked, following Nick's gaze.
Nick snapped out of his thoughts. What was he thinking? He smiled and reassured, "Nothing. It's—nothing, Ellis."
Ellis stared suspiciously at him, before shrugging and returning to his meal.
Later that night, as Ellis slept soundly next to Nick in their cozy little room, Nick was awake and lost in thought. The possibility of being lined up against a wall and being shot still lingered in his mind. What if they couldn't find a cure and decided to kill all the Carriers?
Nick shifted and looked at Ellis. Subconsciously, he planted a kiss in Ellis' hair.
The actions which followed we rather a blur. He stood up, took an axe, walked out of the home, approached the wall and started hacking at it. Then the alarm, and the startled voices of military officials, and the prickling feeling of bushes and twigs as he ran for his life…
"Hey, Ellis?" Dave's voice sounded faint from where he was. Ellis continued working on the car's engine, not responding as his friend continued, "I'm going to go fetch a snack. I'll be back in a few."
Dave's footsteps receded into the distance, and Ellis was still working on the engine. He wiped the sweat on his forehead and rubbed his wet palm against his coveralls. After fumbling for some tools, he attended to the engine once again.
Footsteps dragging against the gravel came into hearing. He took no notice, taking for granted it was Dave approaching.
He was surprised that it was not Dave's voice. It was a deep, calm one, one which was slightly out of breath, one as soothing and rich as wine. It was voice that was all too familiar.
Ellis looked up, and there he was.
Nick stood just a small distance away, still as handsome as he was when they had last met. The coat of his suit was missing. In its place was a smart button-up blue shirt, the collar wide enough to reveal some of his chest, and his white pants were new.
"Hey, Nick," Ellis smiled.
Nick blinked, and silence fell upon them. The dark-haired man didn't say anything, as though he was waiting for Ellis to say something else. But he didn't—and Nick frowned.
" 'Hey Nick'?" He repeated. "That's all you have to say?"
Ellis looked away and gave a small shrug.
Seeing this reaction, anger overwhelmed the conman. His calm expression changed into a menacing glare.
"Wait, I disappear for half a year, and all you say to me is 'Hey Nick'?!" He snarled, grabbing Ellis by the collar. "Don't you miss me, you little brat? I thought—I thought—"
To his surprise, Nick was shoved back. Looking up, he found Ellis scowling with an equally menacing glare.
"Don't you talk ta me like you know what I've been through!" Ellis shouted.
Nick, startled, stared at him wide-eyed.
Ellis growled, "I was broken when you left me, Nick. I couldn't sleep knowin' you weren't next to me, I couldn't eat 'cause I didn't 'ave the appetite, I couldn't talk 'cause I was so depressed. I missed ya like hell. So don't act like you know what I've been through."
Ellis meant every word he said, and Nick knew it. The determination and honesty in his eyes were confident and he was at a loss for words.
"But…at the lack of reaction…" Nick stuttered. "It looked as though you didn't miss me at all."
The auburn-haired man sighed and approached him. Nick watched wonderingly as Ellis cupped his cheek, the warmth of his hand smooth and soothing against his skin.
Gazing into his eyes, Ellis said softly, "The reason I said 'Hey Nick' so casually was 'cause I always knew…without a doubt…that you'd come back ta me one day."
The honesty was replaced in Ellis' green eyes with love and care. Nick's heart melted and regret invaded him. How could he have been stupid enough to leave the one person who really loved him?
A tear escaped Nick's eyes, followed by more. Tears streamed down his face and wet Ellis' hand. The hick quickly wiped his lover's tears away, whispering words of comfort.
Nick took Ellis' hands in his, giving a slight squeeze. He sobbed a few times into the hick's shoulder, who gave him a loving embrace—one which spoke so strongly without words of how much he loved him.
"I was stupid," Nick whimpered against his shoulder. "I'm so sorry."
Ellis chuckled. Nick enjoyed it…how he missed Ellis' laugh and alluring smile, charming accent and hilarious personality. A fool was what Nick was six months ago. He was blind with greed for freedom.
"Nick, I was never angry with you ta begin with."
Hello, my love,
It is I