From what I've seen shippers of Nick/Rochelle and Nick/Ellis seem fairly civil towards each other, but just in case you ever get into an argument that gets out of hand, here is the solution and perfectly canon answer to your shipping discussion. Enjoy!

La Mouette Lunaire proudly presents

Don't tell the others

The swamp village held out longer than anybody else; so the writings on the wall said. 'Longer than anybody else' only takes you so far during a zombie apocalypse; so the inhuman moans in the distance said.

Coach, Ellis, Nick and Rochelle had at least made it past several deserted evac stations, into and out of an amusement park and through a short helicopter flight which proved to be more crash and burn than rescue. Yet here they were now, thoroughly bruised; far from broken, in a shack in the middle of a swamp in the middle of nowhere, trying to get a good night's sleep.

Two of them were anyway, Ellis and Rochelle were stuck with the first night shift, standing guard outside on the porch, waiting and watching in case one of the creatures decided to take 'unbreakable safe room door' as a challenge.

Fortunately the night had been calm so far. Calm, warm, almost pleasant even… if it hadn't been for one tiny problem.

"Ellis, sweetie, you're outta your mind."

Days earlier Rochelle would've said the same thing, but she would've done it with a smile and just the right amount of affection in her voice. Now that affection was long gone, her tone was icy and behind her words she was just waiting for Ellis to lower his guard at the wrong time, to disappear forever under the merciless claws of a Hunter or whatever beast the swamp was willing to throw at him.

Ellis looked away, bit his lip, swallowed his reply and in his mind went over his childhood like a mantra, remembered how he'd been taught to treat women well, to always be helpful and polite and to never shoot them in the face with a shotgun even if he was absolutely sure he could make it look like a tragic accident.

But how? How did it come to that? How did they grow apart to the point where anything they said was pure hostility, thinly veiled at best when the others were around? The question seemed so difficult to answer, seemed to beg for a long and complicated story, yet in truth it was just one sentence. One sentence was all it took…

"Don't tell the others… I'm only doing this for you."

Ellis knew how to handle a gun and had held his own right from the start. A little more daring and careless than the others at times, yet twice as determined to kill all sons of bitches before they could lay so much as one rotten finger on him. He'd done well fighting his way through the hotel, but he'd gotten carried away at the wrong time and he'd tripped and instead of soft carpet breaking the fall a puddle of green goo had splashed up and burned the skin on his stomach. It wasn't much, but it didn't look pretty and he'd rather have it taken care of sooner than later.

Except that in the struggle he had lost his health pack. Or maybe it was the fall that'd knocked it off. Maybe he'd even forgotten it upstairs? Wherever it was, it wasn't with him. Then out of all the people it was Nick who'd noticed first and instead of giving Ellis the usual taunt or complaint he'd carefully lifted up his shirt and with soft strokes applied some ointment on the wound before wrapping a bandage around it. "Don't tell the others. I'm only doing this for you."

Ellis didn't tell a soul. Not at first, anyway. But as much as he tried, he couldn't forget that phrase, couldn't forget Nick's touch and one night, just before the memory of it drove him crazy he turned to Rochelle and told her everything.

Back at the hotel Rochelle had felt like a zombie magnet. She'd been cautious, quick and swung her axe with deadly force, yet it seemed like everything that had teeth or claws was bent on sinking them into her skin. She'd fought as well as she could, but there was only so much she could do against the overwhelming odds and before she knew it she'd not only used her own health pack, but was already covered in slashes and bites again, barely limping along.

For a moment she thought the others had left her behind, but then a silhouette emerged from the smoke and Rochelle recognised it just in time to lower her axe. Nick gave her a look of concern and motioned her to sit down on one of the hotel beds. Slowly and deliberately his eyes moved over her body until he'd carefully bandaged every single one of her wounds. Then he helped Rochelle onto her feet and handed her a bottle of pills. "Don't tell the others, I'm only doing this for you."

Rochelle had no intention of telling anyone. In fact, Rochelle didn't even expect to remember the incident after they'd left the hotel. Yet the moment kept circling around in her mind and when Ellis came to her with his story she too couldn't help but spill the beans.

What followed was an awkward moment. Then there was uncomfortable silence which was soon followed by laughter. Then there was more laughter and then they both decided to just forget all about it.

Except they never did, because now something had crawled up to the surface, something they'd suspected yet didn't dare put into words: They wanted Nick. They both wanted him and they both believed with ferocity and without the shadow of a doubt that Nick wanted them too, them and them alone.

They'd joked about it at first, but gradually their jokes became angry and snide and didn't stop until they'd turned into bitter insults, cruel dissections of how and why the other one couldn't possibly be Nick's first choice.

That was days ago and now they were stuck. Stuck in bitter resentment worse than the zombie apocalypse around them, unable to sink any lower without literally tearing each other to pieces. They sat on the porch glaring at each other, the silence heavy and thick and almost suffocating.

A minute passed, slowly and painfully like a whole eternity. Ellis glances at the clock on the wall. 179 eternities to go before their shift ended. He took a deep breath, loud and deliberate. Rochelle swallowed. Looked at the clock. Swallowed again.

"God dammit, I can't do this anymore!"

Rochelle jumped to her feet, causing Ellis to back away and raise his gun. Yet when she was done with her explanation Ellis not only lowered his weapon, but allowed his face to show relief, even a little smile. They were going to do what he'd been aching to do for the longest time now; they were going to quit playing games and ask Nick to make a choice.

They would have to deal with his anger about being woken up of course, they would have to find a good excuse why their matchmaking couldn't wait unil the morning or at least the end of the shift, but it would be worth it and their argument would finally be over, with one of them emerging with Nick as the prize.

They even promised each other not to tease the loser, although both were secretly skeptical about the other one holding up that end of the bargain (which didn't really matter, given that neither had doubts about the conman's affection for them).

When Ellis and Rochelle finally found the courage to open the safe room door they expected to find Nick asleep, so it surprised them to hear him up and about in the adjacent bedroom. Ellis said that was a plus, that way it'd be easier to get him to make a decision.

Yet when they approached the other door it seemed that Nick wasn't only wide awake, he'd also found a way to settle their argument once and for all.

"Mmmmh, faster!"

Rochelle put her hands over her mouth to stop the sound from escaping.

"Mmhthat's it, right there!"

Ellis gave her a bemused look until he caught on and his eyes widened in shock.

"Don't stop, oh God, Coach!"

Even with all those zombies after her Rochelle didn't remember the last time she'd ever left a room that fast. Ellis followed suit, practically slamming the safe room door shut behind him.

What followed was an awkward moment. There was uncomfortable silence and some nervous laughter. Then one of them said they should just forget all about it.

And this time both of them gladly did.


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Still with me? Well then, I hope you enjoyed and as always I encourage and greatly appreciate both positive comments and any constructive criticism you may have to offer. Thank you and see you around!