Disclaimer: Left 4 Dead isn't mine, nor are it's characters or ideas or places and all that sort of stuff.
A/N: Okay, so this was just gonna be a story all on it's own, but I decided to just make it into a series of short stories. I still have to write the other ones, though.
Hopefully this isn't too stupid or anything.
It was just your average everyday apocalypse for the four survivors.
They'd managed to get through the subways without too much trouble, and spent the night sleeping in the safe room. It wasn't exactly the most comfortable place, but it certainly beat being outside with the zombies.
Then, the next morning, they were up and moving again, this time with their goal being the sewers. However, the moment they opened the door and started on their way, things starting going a little off course.
"Okay, Hunter versus Spider-man?" Zoey asked Louis with a grin. They'd begun imaginary matches between the infected and other people just the day before, deciding it was a good way to pass the time and lighten up the situation.
"Ooooh. That is NOT an easy one," Louis whistled, unloading a shotgun shell into a nearby zombie's face. "Depends on if Spider-man can tie up the Hunter in web fast enough. I think–"
His sentence was suddenly cut short by a loud and obnoxious 'Hiccup!' from behind them. They both whipped around and stared at the other two, expecting an answer.
Bill shook his head, and pointed at Francis, who grimaced. That was answer enough for the student and office worker.
"Francis? You have the hiccups?" Louis questioned, his lips curving upwards into a smirk. Francis said nothing, but soon bounced a bit from a strong hiccup. That was enough for Louis and Zoey, who burst out into laughter.
"Don't worry, Francis," Zoey said, patting him on the shoulder a bit. "I'm sure they'll go away in just a little bit."
Unfortunately, they didn't. About an hour later, Francis was still hiccuping. In fact, it seemed to have only gotten worse as they'd gone along. It really became a problem after a while, around the time they'd gotten into the fast food restaurant.
"Hunter!" Bill announced after hearing the growls, causing his teammates to all start a search to find out where the thing was hiding. Zoey checked under the tables, Bill looked in the corners, and Louis started looking around outside (but that was a bit difficult due to the Witch that was sitting just a little ways away from the building. They were going to have to be careful around her).
Francis, meanwhile, went and checked back in the kitchen. He poked his head behind the counter and immediately spotted the Hunter. The thing was peering over the counter and hadn't yet spotted him. Unfortunately, a loud hiccup decided to ruin this moment of stealth.
The moment it heard Francis hiccup, the Hunter whipped around to face Francis with a snarl. It crouched back for only a brief second before leaping forward with an ear-splitting shriek.
Having already been moving to shoot, Francis was able to get his shotgun up and ready in a moment. However, just as he fired and opened his mouth to yell a witty remark, he was interrupted by a sudden, loud, and very annoying 'Hiccup!'
The bounce caused him to move, and the majority of the shotgun blast flew harmlessly into the wall behind the Hunter. Said Hunter managed to get his pounce in, and got a few good scratches before being chased off by Zoey.
"Shoo!" she yelled, pushing it away and out the front door where it scampered away like a kicked puppy. "Go on! Get out of here!"
"You treat those things too nicely," Bill grumbled, taking this chance to reload his shotgun.
"I can't help it," Zoey said with a sheepish grin. "They remind me of my dog, Skitters."
"I hate the -hic- hiccups..." Francis grumbled, interrupting their conversation. He pushed himself back to his feet and brushed off his vest, hiccuping quite a few times in the process..
Zoey rolled her eyes, then suddenly lit up and snapped her fingers. "My mom always told me that eating a spoonful of sugar would cure the hiccups!"
"Uh, Earth to Zoey!" Louis said, knocking on her head playfully. "We don't really have any sugar!"
"We're in a restaurant! A fast food place, sure, but a restaurant nonetheless!" Zoey reasoned, dashing back into the kitchen and digging through the cabinets. The other three survivors looked at each other nervously while the sound of banging doors, pots, and pans echoed throughout the room. Eventually, Zoey stood up victoriously, three packets of sugar in her hand.
Now, Francis wasn't all that fond of sweet things. But at that moment, he would have eaten Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory if it would rid him of those damn hiccups. He snatched the packets away from Zoey, a single hiccup emitting from his throat, and quickly downed all three of them.
There was silence, but just as everyone was about to congratulate Zoey on a job well done, Francis hiccuped very loudly, and dashed their hopes on the topic.
"You must have some stubborn hiccups, Francis," Zoey commented with a frown. She turned towards Bill and Louis. "Do you guys have any ideas?"
"All my cousins said you're supposed to pull on your tongue and plug your ears," Louis replied. Bill nodded in agreement, and Zoey clapped her hands.
"Alright! Go on then, Francis!" she exclaimed. "Do one at a time, because I don't think any of us wants to pull your tongue or plug your ears for you."
Francis glared at them, but did what was asked. First, he stick out his tongue and pulled on it with his right hand. That didn't work. He hiccuped the entire time. Then he wiped his finger off on his vest and plugged his ears. They all waited a full thirty seconds, but to no avail. The hiccups didn't pause a bit.
"All my pals said that antacid works well," Bill piped up automatically. "Some of them said that eating a lemon would help, too."
Through a little more scavenging around the kitchen, Zoey found one lemon and a bottle of pills.
"It's not exactly antacid, but it's worth a shot," she reasoned with a small shrug, tossing both items to Francis.
The biker gave a nod of appreciation, followed by a hiccup. He easily downed the entire bottle of pills (as they normally did, despite the health hazard). When that didn't work to cease the hiccups, he used a knife found on a counter to slice the lemon into wedges and started to eat all four pieces as the others looked on in shock.
"That's hardcore," Zoey breathed after Francis had finished the entire thing without even flinching. But sadly, despite how hardcore it was, the lemon didn't cure the hiccups.
"How about standing on your head?" Louis suggested, snapping his fingers.
"No, I heard you have to do three cartwheels," Bill corrected.
"I heard eating a hard candy and doing cartwheels will help," Zoey said.
Francis hiccuped, then nodded. Anything was worth a shot. So Zoey went back to her searching, and soon came up with a small bag of peppermints. The red swirly kind. She tossed one to Francis, and pocketed the rest. ("I love these things!" she explained to her teammates. "I always used to try and steal as many as I could whenever I went to a restaurant.")
Francis easily ripped the wrapper off and tossed it aside, not even bothering to aim for a garbage can. He popped it into his mouth, waited just a moment, then started doing cartwheels. He wasn't all that bad at it, and had finished three good cartwheels pretty quickly.
He hiccuped the moment he was back on his feet.
"GOD -hic- DAMN THESE -hic- HICCUPS!!!!" he screamed, causing the Witch outside to start sobbing even louder.
"That's it!" Zoey suddenly exclaimed, struck by inspiration. "We can scare them away!"
"It won't -hic- work if I know -hic- that you're gonna try to -hic- scare me," Francis grumbled, tapping his foot.
"We're not going to scare you," Zoey replied with a sly grin. "We're all going to sneak by the Witch, one at a time. Francis last. If you hiccup, the sudden movement is likely to startle her so she comes after you." Francis hiccuped fearfully, as Zoey continued to grin like a demon. "That scary enough for you?"
The biker nodded, and everyone proceeded out the door. Zoey went first, inching along the wall slowly while the Witch growled quietly, watching her every move. After she was safely through and had ran a good distance away (far enough that the Witch went back to sobbing), Bill went on through. Then Louis. Finally, it was Francis' turn.
He waited until his next hiccup, then started across the wall. He moved at a brisk pace, but not so quick as to annoy the Witch. He cringed, feeling a hiccup in the back of his throat. He tried his best to hold it back, and finally he neared the end.
He opened his mouth to let out a sigh of relief, but instead got a hiccup.
A loud hiccup.
He gasped, and glanced over to the Witch, hoping he had gotten far enough. Nope. She was already starting to stand up. He gasped again, hiccuped again, and then made a run for it while his teammates began pumping the thing full of lead. She died after just a few seconds under the withering amount of fire. Francis made it to the other side of the street, gasping for breath, shooting any zombie that got near him, and hiccuping frantically.
"It didn't work..." Zoey moaned sadly as they all walked over towards their teammate. Francis glared at her, but said nothing and simply hiccuped as menacingly as he could.
With the Witch threat taken care of, everyone calmly made their way over to the lift. The switch was pulled, and they began their slow ascent. Everyone was able to take out the zombies fairly quickly, though nearly every one of Francis' shots was followed shortly after by a hiccup. By the time they reached the awning, everyone seemed downright miserable, especially Francis.
When they reached the large window to the warehouse, hey sent Francis in first, claiming that he could draw the zombies out and they could shoot them. He grumbled, but crawled up nonetheless. There wasn't anything there that he could see. He poked his head down the hole for a look, seeing nothing. But when he moved to stand back up, he heard a loud scream and a Hunter tackled him from behind
Francis hiccuped from surprise, and the Hunter suddenly paused in the middle of tearing his throat out. Francis almost glared at the thing, but then noticed that it just looked downright confused. He glanced over to his teammates, and noticed that they had the same expression.
Rolling his eyes, Francis went right to glaring at the thing that was crouched on his chest. "What the hell do you -hic- want?" he growled, struggling to push it off to no avail.
The Hunter seemed to flinch when Francis hiccuped, and looked even more confused. It tilted it's head to the side, and growled a semi-confused growl. It reached forward with it's claws and pulled Francis' mouth open, leaning forward and trying to look down Francis' throat.
Francis let out a much more ferocious growl than the Hunter had, and glared over at his teammates. None of them seemed to be making any plan to move. Hiccuping, the biker tried once more to move the Hunter off of him. He'd kill those morons for not doing anything to help.
However, the Hunter jumped off on it's own, and poked it's head into the nearby hole in the floor. It let out a loud screech, and only moments later, the Smoker popped out of the very same place.
The both of them surrounded Francis, though looking more confused than vicious. They occasionally growled or coughed, speaking in their own form of communication, while Francis simply stood there with his arms folded across his chest. The biker hiccuped everyone once in a while, causing both of the infected to flinch.
Eventually, both of the zombies stopped, stood in front of Francis, and started growling and coughing. (Or talking, if you speak zombie.)
Francis rolled his eyes, and glanced over to Zoey. "You have any idea what they're up to?" he asked, figuring that if anyone could speak zombie, it would be her.
Zoey shrugged, smashing his hopes. "I have no clue," she called over to him. "Maybe trying to find out what your hiccups are?"
At the word 'hiccup', both of the infected seemed to brighten, and the Hunter snapped his fingers. Before any of the survivors could even so much as twitch, he whirled around and punched Francis in the gut.
The biker keeled over, coughing like mad while his teammates rushed to his side. Zoey glared at the Hunter and Smoker (who had turned to give each other a high-five) and shook a finger at them.
"Don't hit people like that!" she scolded like a mother to her child, causing both of the zombies to break into a riot of laughter.
"What the hell are you two laughing about?!?" Francis roared the moment he caught his breath. He jumped to his feet, and stood tall over the two zombies. The Hunter and Smoker simply stared up at him, smug grins on their faces.
"What, happy that you could punch me in the stomach when I least expect it?" Francis snarled, grabbing the Hunter by the collar and pulling him off the ground. Hunter didn't lose his smirk, however, which only infuriated Francis even further. "What the hell is making you two smile like that?"
"Maybe..." Zoey began, putting a hand on Francis' shoulder. "Maybe it's the fact that you haven't hiccuped once since he punched you."
That shut Francis up. He let the Hunter go, looking completely shocked. There was silence for about ten seconds as everyone waited to see if Francis would hiccup. But there was nothing. The hiccups were gone!
Everyone cheered, and even the infected bounced up and down with joy at their success at where the survivors had failed. Then the Hunter and Smoker both turned to Francis and held out their hands expectantly.
"...What?" Francis asked, confused.
"They want a reward," Zoey explained, using her zombie interpretation skills. "Since they cured your hiccups."
"Oh..." He reached into his vest pocket and poked around. He found a spare shotgun shell, some lint, a penny, and a crumpled up sticky note. He glanced up, and watched the infected give him the puppy-dog eyes. Having no other choice, he turned to Zoey with a look that pleaded for her help.
Zoey grinned, and reached into her pockets and retrieved five of the mints from earlier. She gave three to the Hunter and the other two to the Smoker. "There you go," she chirped with a motherly tone. "One for each of you, and then three more for each of your friends."
Both of their faces lit up as the Hunter and Smoker were handed the candy, and they immediately ran off to share with their zombie pals.
"They're just like little children!" Zoey exclaimed with a giggle.
Francis simply went back to his normal tough-guy self, and climbed down the hole grumbling to himself.
"I hate children."
Extra Note: Later on, Zoey noticed with a grin that when they'd gotten attacked by a Boomer, the vomit had gotten a little bit of a mint scent to it.
A/N: IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS FOR THIS STORY, I would love to hear them. Just drop them by in a review or message, if you want. I can always use ideas for things that Francis hates.