I know, I suck. But uh, I DO have one story almost finished that I'll post... eventually. Anyway, I got Left 4 Dead 2 today and its AWESOME. My computer was lagging though 'cause the card wasn't the right kind so I gave up after a while 'cause I couldn't aim right. Any-who, I live off of feedback and don't get near enough of it so if you please, leave a comment/review or something. And each chapter is a song title. The band name will be in italics.

Chapter 1- Whispers; All That Remains

"Ellis get back here!" Nick yelled as the youngest member of the group wandered off for the millionth time. No one really cared at this point if something looked interesting, or if Ellis thought he saw something potentially dangerous and just had to go check it out. They only wanted to get the hell out of zombie hell. But the danger prone hillbilly was determined to check out every inch of all the places they went thoroughly before moving on to the next.

"Aw, c'mon Nick! There might be something useful in there." Ellis whined, motioning to a small dilapidated house.

"I don't care. We only have so many bullets and they're going to run out fast if we don't get out of here." Nick narrowed his eyes at Ellis, who sniffed lightly but rejoined the group. "If you wander off again I'm going to find you a leash." he growled. They walked in relative silence for a while, their supply of bullets slowly dwindling. Swamp muck had seeped through all clothing whether it be from falling it it, having it thrown at you, or from wading through it for hours on end and it was becoming uncomfortable. Surely safety must be close.

"Careful guys, I think I hear a Tank somewhere." Coach whispered. This made them pack together a bit tighter as they sloshed their way through the swamp. The telltale growls and snorts of a Tank weren't that far off and they hoped that they could slink past it without setting it off. But then, when was their luck ever that good?

As they passed a grove of cypress trees, the snorts got louder followed closely by a loud bellow. "Damn it!" Nick cursed as they ran as fast as they could to get to some form of dry ground. The Tank was right on their heels as they scrambled up an embankment, firing clumsily behind them. Most shots missed and the ones that found their mark just made the Tank madder. When they reached the top, they were forced to split up, Rochelle and Ellis diving one way, Nick and Coach the other. The Tank barreled past them with a bellow, the ground beneath them shaking under its weight. It charged toward Rochelle and Ellis. Rochelle managed to strafe to the side before it could punt her across the state but Ellis was trying to reload and didn't realize that the Tank was so close until the back of its hand met with his stomach and he felt nothing as he flew limply through the air. "Ellis!" the remaining three yelled, determined to drop the Tank no more than ever.

Ellis meanwhile had hit the ground hard and had gone rolling back down the embankment, his lower half splashing into the water before he stopped. He was still stunned, all the air knocked out of his body. As he regained his breath, he looked up the steep hill and realized that he couldn't see the others. That probably meant they couldn't see him. He had lost his shotgun and pistols in the fall as well as the pain pills he had picked up. His med-kit was still on his back but most of what was inside was probably smashed up quite a bit. Groaning softly, he looked around, noticing a small shack to his left. Staggering to his feet, he limped toward it, holding his sides. It was empty thankfully. Slumping against the floor with a sigh, he decided to wait until the others came to look for him. If they did. They probably thought the Tank had killed him, or if the Tank hadn't been his end, the fall had.

It hurt to breathe, Ellis was sure that at least two ribs were cracked if not broken, and his shoulder was throbbing. Probably dislocated. And his leg was most likely fractured as well. He waited, and waited. He heard nothing that came close to sounding like Nick, Rochelle, or Coach coming to look for him. Swallowing thickly, he looked around for anything he could use to defend himself if any Infected should come in looking for a snack. He saw an aluminum baseball bat in one corner and had to crawl over to it so he didn't put any unnecessary pressure on his leg. Clutching it tightly, he stayed in that corner, his eyes darting to each window and door as time slowly passed. He was half hidden behind a fallen bookshelf so he had some form of cover. He stiffened as he heard some low growls on the doorstep. The last thing he needed right now was for a Hunter of all Infected to find him. Ellis had no gun so he couldn't shoot it before it saw him. He had no choice but to wait until it attacked him to try and kill it. He ducked down some so he wouldn't be as noticeable and tried to look dead.

The Hunter shoved the ajar door open with one shoulder, a small growl echoing around the empty room. Ellis swallowed, his hands shaking as it crawled on all fours into the room, sniffing and looking around. It reminded him of a cat or dog checking out an unfamiliar place. Keeping his gaze centered on the Hunter as it looked around the darkening room, Ellis took in its appearance. It looked a bit cleaner than the others that had attacked him and his friends along their journey. Its hoodie was a dark brown, its pants were actually black jeans, and it was wearing what looked like hard toe work boots. Ellis couldn't see much of its face, but it looked young, maybe twenty or so. Its claws clicked on the wood floor as it slunk toward the center of the room. Ellis was still behind it, in a corner parallel with the door, but he knew that as soon as it turned around, it would attack.

Some of the remaining light that came in through the window glinted off of something sticking out of the Hunter's hoodie pocket. It was one of his pistols! Ellis would have yelled out in surprise if he hadn't been so shocked and scared. Why had it picked up one of his pistols? As that thought crossed his mind, the Hunter reached into the pocket, pulling the weapon out and laying it on the floor, still not looking at Ellis, and probably not really aware of his presence. It then turned, turning away from him so it still didn't see him, and leaped out of the shack with a loud screech. Ellis waited a long time until he deemed it safe enough to retrieve the weapon. Crawling toward it with the baseball bat still in one hand, he paused as he reached for it. What if it was a trap? No, the Infected weren't that smart. Right? Sucking in a deep, painful breath, he grabbed it and shuffled backwards, back behind the bookshelf. Propping himself against the wall, he watched out a window as it got darker.

The others weren't coming back, not after so much time had passed. Tomorrow, he would have to set out on his own and try to catch up with them. Leaning his head back, Ellis closed his eyes, falling into a light dose as the moon rose. In the morning, Ellis woke up in a lot of pain. His side and shoulder both throbbed, he knew he would have to fix his shoulder soon or have it heal weird, and his leg was numb. Glancing around the room, his heart skipped a beat when he saw the jar of pain pills he had lost and some canned foods laying in the center of the floor. Had the Hunter come again? No, impossible. It would have eaten him if it had seen him sleeping and virtually defenseless. But it had brought him a gun, his mind reasoned. Surely it wasn't that heartless.

Ellis ignored his voice of reason for now, grabbing onto the edge of the bookcase and popping his shoulder back into place, almost biting his tongue off as he stifled a scream. He didn't need a horde on him too. Taking his med-kit off his back, he bound his ribs and splinted his leg quickly before shuffling toward the food and pills. The cans had pop-tops thankfully and he quickly ate a can of ravioli, swallowing a couple pills after. Placing the remaining food and pills in his now empty med-kit bag, he slung it on his back and limped cautiously out of the shack. He found his shotgun, abandoning the baseball bat, but he couldn't find the other pistol. It had probably flown off in some other direction.

The climb up the embankment was long and painful and he swore he felt like he was being watched the whole time. He probably was, but he pushed the thought to the back of this mind. The Tank's corpse was still there and Ellis gave it a kick for good measure before shambling down the road. They had been heading west, so he would keep going that way. Hopefully, he would find this friends soon. He had to stop at noon because his leg was hurting too much and he didn't dare take any more pills or risk overdosing. He ducked into an apartment complex, dragging himself up some stairs to the second, and top, floor. The windows led to a straight drop so there was no way for any Infected to get to him from there. The only way they could attack him was if they came through the door, which he blocked by turning a bed upright and shoving that and a couch against it. It would take a powerful Charger charge to break it down and the hallway was slim. He avoided the windows as much as he could too, in case an opportunistic Smoker or Hunter saw him and decided to get to him through there.

Sitting down and a plush chair that had a bloodstain about where someone's head would be, Ellis stared blankly at the wall for a while, trying to block out the pain from his leg and ribs. At the rate he was going, there was no way he was going to catch up to the others. He was on his own until he could get rescued. The nearest rescue was in Baton Rouge or New Orleans and he was still somewhere in eastern Mississippi. There was no possible way to walk all that and he doubted he could find a working car and a clear road.

He didn't know when he had dosed off, but when he woke up, the sun was going down and a fresh shotgun with ammo was on a coffee table that had been over turned but was no righted. Beside it was an adrenaline shot and a new med-kit. "What in the name of Jimmy Gibbs Jr?" Ellis muttered, looking around. All windows closed securely, the door still barricaded, everything as he had left it except that. Maybe it was a ghost or friendly spirit or something, but someone was helping him out. Well his Ma had always told him to count his blessings so he grabbed the shotgun, pocketed the ammo and adrenaline shot and emptied the two cans he still had into the new med-kit. Upon further inspection he noticed that part of a window had been shattered, just a big enough hole for someone's hand to reach in and unlatch the lock on it and slide it open. That made him shiver some as he shoved the couch and bed that made up his barricade aside, swallowing a couple more pain pills, emptying the bottle and throwing it on the ground.

An unusually small amount of Infected were loitering around as he staggered down the highway. Of course, that meant that he was going the right way because the others had probably taken care of most of them. This gave him some hope because it meant that he had less to deal with on his own. Once he heard a Smoker yell out but it was abruptly turned into a terrorized scream then cut off all together. That meant he was being followed by something. That made him tense up more which made his ribs throb.

Ellis found a safe house just as the sun was almost gone. On the wall, a fresh message was written. Ellis, it read, If you're still alive and have made it this far, I'm sorry. I tried to get them to go look for you but we had to leave quickly, a horde was coming after us. Nick had gotten boomed and we couldn't risk more lives. The Tank hit you hard and we all sort of agreed that if you weren't dead from the impact, you would be soon. Again, I'm sorry if that wasn't the case and pray that you get to safety. Rochelle.

Tears pricked in the corners of his eyes at the note. They really had thought he was dead. He took small comfort in the fact that they would have looked if they hadn't been under attack by a horde. He understood that they didn't want more than just him to die by coming to look for him but it didn't make him feel any less betrayed that they didn't at least try. That thought kept him up long into the night. At around midnight, maybe a bit later, he heard something scratching at the safe house door. A sleeved arm slid through the bars of the small window, pulling up the metal pipe he had used to keep it closed. It removed it from its place, sliding it to the floor quietly and the door opened. Ellis pretended to be asleep, watching through cracked eyes as the Hunter from the night before slid into the room. Ellis's heart thudded painfully in his chest as it closed the door quietly, replacing the bar and skulking toward him. It bent over him, sniffing down the length of his body, seeming to pause at the splint on his now swollen leg.

Ellis had to keep himself from jumping as it laid a clawed hand on the splint. A growl rumbled in the Hunter's chest and it pulled something from its hoodie pocket, turning to a table that was shoved against the opposite wall. It placed a bottle of pain pills and a box of shotgun shells on the table, turning briefly to look at Ellis again. It stood straighter than other Hunters, though it still stooped some from being used to crawling on hands and feet for so long. It walked back toward Ellis, wrapping one hand around the shotgun. Ellis forced his grip to seem lose from being asleep as the Hunter tugged it gently from his hold. It looked it over, patting it in some places, checking the pump like it actually knew how to work a gun. It seemed to be satisfied with its condition and placed it back in Ellis's hands exactly how he had been holding it before.

He expected it to leave then but it sat down near the back, unbarricaded door instead. It kept its head turned toward the bars like it was actually watching for something. Ellis, for the life of him, couldn't manage to relax enough to doze off for a long time. The thought that he was trapped in a room with a Hunter was enough to keep him wide awake, though he pretended to sleep. It was obviously smarter than the other Infected, that, or it wasn't hungry and thinking 'shred first ask questions later.' Given Infecteds could think past 'eat, sleep, sex.' Which this one obviously could. It sat there for an hour, every now and then looking over its shoulder to look at Ellis. Eventually though it must have gotten bored because it stood with a soft growl, removed the pipe again, slipping outside and replacing the pipe, making it seem like it had never been there.

Even then Ellis still didn't really relax now that he knew that the Hunter could get in and out of a safe house without any problems. Slowly though he slipped into an uneasy sleep. When he cracked his eyes open, the room was just like how it had been last night. His leg throbbed, making him groan in agony. He had done too much walking the day before and was paying for it now. He still had two cans of food left so he would be able to rest here for the next day if he had do.

Standing carefully, Ellis barely managed to stagger to the table opposite him to grab the shotgun shells the Hunter had brought him for whatever strange reason it had. His splinted leg gave out and Ellis hardly had time to grab the table before he hit the ground hard. "Ah shit. Looks like I'm not goin anywhere today." he said to himself. Using his shotgun as a crutch, he hobbled back to the beat up mattress that he had slept on and sat down heavily. Though the time he now had he could spend wondering why the Hunter was helping him.

Maybe it was trying to lull him into a false sense of security and then once it had gained his trust or gotten him relaxed enough would make its move. No, that seemed too complicated for a simple kill. Especially since he was alone now. Ellis came up with several more reasons and the only one he could really say was plausible was that the Hunter had been abandoned by its friends too, maybe when it got infected. Maybe it felt a small amount of empathy for him, at least enough to give him enough supplies to keep him going. That also made him feel a small bit better. He liked to look on the bright side of things whenever possible and lately there hadn't been that many bright sides so he was thankful for this small glimmer of something akin to hope.

The whole day he kept his leg propped up as much as he could, keeping an eye on the door while finding ways to amuse himself so he didn't die of boredom. Now and then he would actually stagger to his feet and look out the barred window to see if maybe he could catch a glimpse of the Hunter. He didn't expect much. The bright sun hurt his eyes so he could only imagine how it felt for a night predator like that. Once he thought he saw it perched on the roof of a building across from the safe house but when he blinked it was gone so it must have just been a trick of the light. Of course, Ellis realized that because he had been forced to rest because of his leg for the day, there was no possible way for him to catch up to the others, no matter how fast he managed to wade through the sea of Infected.

As the sun was going down, Ellis noticed movement by the safe house door and snapped his head toward it. Nothing. Standing up shakily, he moved a bit closer to the door, peering to one side then the next without getting to close. Still nothing. Then he heard a low growl and the Hunter stood from its crouched position, its back facing the door. Another growl echoed it Ellis could just see another Hunter, this one in a black hoodie, stalking toward the door. The brown hoodie'd Hunter screeched at the other one, but it didn't stop. The black hoodie'd one screeched back, a bit lower but the brown one didn't flinch at all. It crouched down, snarling ferociously, waiting for something to happen. The black one leaped with a yell, slamming the brown one against the door, making the metal shake some on its hinges. The brown one cried out, slicing upward with its claws, ripping open the hoodie of its opponent.

The black hoodie jumped back, a bit of blood splashing onto the concrete. The brown one leaped with a shriek, locking its hands around the arms of the other, biting down on its shoulder. The other one howled, thrashing madly. It scored its claws across the brown hoodie'd Hunter's face, as it forced it back, swiping its other hand across its stomach. The brown Hunter yowled angrily, leaping again as he forced the black hoodie to the ground. It straddled the other, tearing and shredding the other Hunter's front in an all too familiar fashion for Ellis's tastes. The black hoodie wouldn't be outdone though, it clawed and swiped at the brown Hunter until the other got tired of its persistence and tore its throat out, blood pooling beneath them on the concrete. The remaining Hunter practically fell off of the one that was now dead, an agonized snarl coming from it as it tried to crawl away.

It made it about five feet before it collapsed, blood pouring from its stomach and chest. Ellis gulped, not sure if he should help it or not. After all, it had been helping him and there was a debt to repay. Slowly taking the pipe from its place, Ellis opened the door cautiously, creeping out. His leg was throbbing still but it was better than this morning, the day of rest had done him good. He wrapped his free hand, the other holding his shotgun, around one of the Hunter's wrists, he slowly dragged it into the safe house. Once the door was closed securely, he looked down at the Hunter uncertainly, suddenly not sure what to do. It was still breathing, but he didn't know how long that would last with how much it was bleeding from its wounds. Hauling it painfully onto the mattress, Ellis grabbed his fresh med-kit and took out a roll of gauze and some hydrogen peroxide. He had no choice but to remove what was left of the Hunter's hoodie to be able to clean its wounds quickly.

Tearing the front of the hoodie open a bit more, Ellis ran a scrap of cloth he had found over the slashes that now crisscrossed the Hunter's front to remove as much blood as he could. He then poured some of the peroxide on them, watching it bubble before pulling the Hunter up some, leaning its limp form against his shoulder as he wrapped the gauze around its chest and stomach, taping it down. The whole time the Hunter didn't stir which sort of worried Ellis but relieved him at the same time. What if when it woke up it attacked him before it could realize that he was the one it had been 'protecting' while he's been separated from the others? He was sure he didn't have the reflexes to club it away before it pounced him, and didn't have the strength to shove it off, and that was before he was injured.

Now that he was close to it, he could see its face clearly. It was young looking, maybe a year or two younger than Ellis with a clean shaven face. Its hair was a deep, rich brown, even matted down by sweat and blood as it was.

Sitting down on the floor beside the unbarricaded door, Ellis watched the Hunter warily, watching the quiet rise and fall of its chest. It was late when it finally showed some sign of life, twitching a claw and letting out a pained growl. Slowly, it sat up, one hand on its forehead like it had a headache. Its eyes remained closed though, with its hoodie removed, Ellis could see it's expression clearly as it tried to get a feed on its surroundings. At first it was confused, then pain swept over its face as it sat up a bit straighter. One hand flew to its stomach and a grimace distorted its face, eyes cracking open some. It had blood red eyes that made Ellis shiver some. The Hunter looked down at its chest and stomach in wonder, then seemed to realize that its hoodie was gone. It let out a loud screech of surprise, looking around with furious red eyes that glowed brightly in the dim room.

Its gaze landed on Ellis, which made him tense up, tightening his grip around his shotgun. A low growl reverberated through the room as the Hunter glared at him then died as it seemed to realize that Ellis had helped it. The Hunter looked back down at the bandages then back to Ellis, its head turned at a slight angle. Ellis considered explaining, but he didn't want to seem patronizing or say something that would get him shredded. So he just offered the Hunter a tentative smile which seemed to catch it a bit off guard because its mouth seemed to slacken some, falling open a fraction in a comical way. Ellis forced himself not to chuckle for the same reason that he hadn't spoken yet.

The Hunter let out a thoughtful growl, pulling itself off the mattress, six inches onto the floor, shifting into a crouch. Ellis gulped, his hands tightening a bit more around his gun as it crept forward. It only stopped when it was six inches from his face. It sniffed at him, pushing his shotgun to one side with a clawed hand. It laid its other hand on Ellis's bent knee, the other being splinted still and stretched out in front of him. It sniffed the length of his body and back up, the whole time Ellis sat rigidly against the wall. Without even thinking about it, Ellis spoke. "Why are you helping me?" he whispered, his voice thick.

The Hunter drew back some, sitting on its haunches in a crouched position, its elbows resting on its knees. It regarded him carefully, then looked around the room, studying the walls and the ceiling. As it passed its eyes over the wall above the mattress, it stopped, seeming to scan the message Rochelle had written there. It snarled at it, standing up and stalking over to it. Ellis jumped when it yelled in a scratchy voice and scored its long deadly claws across it, obvious fury printed across its expression. "You were abandoned too?" Ellis asked, now wanting to confirm one of his theories. The Hunter growled, dropping back into a crouching position and crawled back over to Ellis, sitting Indian style on the floor before him. "I'm sorry. I guess we're prisoners in sufferin huh?" but at least I'm still human, he added privately. The Hunter let out a disapproving noise, looking to one side, its red eyes thoughtful.

It turned its gaze outside at the dark sky, regarding it for a second before standing up, still straighter than other Hunters even with its wounds. It snatched the shotgun from Ellis's grip, and grabbed his wrist, hauling him up. Before Ellis could make any sounds of protest, he was slung onto the Hunter's back and they were out the door. The Hunter galloped on all fours down the road with Ellis on its back, not even seeming to notice his added weight. It had handed him back his shotgun as he had tossed the stunned man onto its back. Ellis realized after he regained some form of equilibrium that it was like riding a small horse. The Hunter was actually taller than him by a couple inches so it was easier on it though Ellis kept his legs firmly hooked around its middle so he didn't drag on the concrete. After a while he was actually able to sit up and snipe with the shotgun while they ran down the almost deserted highway. Ellis shot any Infected that got too close while the Hunter ran and jumped.

At one point, after running for at least an hour without tiring, it leaped on top of a car, almost smashing the hood in completely, then onto a bus, then off that onto a rig. Ellis barely noticed the jarring landings, too caught in the moment. It felt like flying, and the fact that it was dark helped it. The Hunter suddenly let out a loud, high screech as it pushed off of the rig, having run the length of it. Ellis turned on his flashlight, which was duct taped to his shotgun now, and pointed it the direction the Hunter pointed as it landed on another rig. Another safe house was down the embankment but a Witch was sitting in front of the doorway. "What should we do?" Ellis asked, though he knew he wouldn't get an answer. The Hunter growled, crouching as if to pounce but it didn't move. "Can you keep going to the next one?"

It looked at him over its shoulder, exposed red eyes glowing in the dark. It rocked back and forth, shifting its weight on is feet for a second before snorting and turning its eye forward again. "If not we can take care of the Wit- woah!" he was cut off as the Hunter leaped off the rig, landed in front of the Witch momentarily, startling her out of her skin, and then leaped away, landing in the bough of a tree. It let out a raspy chuckle as the Witch screamed and flailed below the tree before taking off again, galloping down the highway again. The damn thing never runs out of energy. I know I ain't exactly a feather but damn... didn't know I was that light. Ellis mused. Zombie apocalypse must 'ave trimmed me down more than I intended. He took aim at a common that was chasing them, intent on taking a chunk out of at least one of them, taking its head clean off with one shell. At the rate they were traveling, maybe there was hope of catching up to the others after all. They were still going west so there was every chance they would find them.

"Hey Hunter dude. Do you have a name by any chance?" the Hunter paused on top of a mini van, its chest heaving some. It sat down abruptly, making Ellis tumble off its back with a yell of protest. "Hey! That was uncalled for." it was grinning though, its shoulders shaking with suppressed chuckles. It grew quiet suddenly, scraping its claws against the top of the van in thought. Then it backed up suddenly, nodding toward where it had been scratching. Ellis shined his flashlight at it, realizing that it had been trying to write something. It had obviously been doing more than jumping around like a lunatic and eating people while it had been infected. Its obvious fury when it had 'read' the message from his friends told him that much. Maybe it had been reteaching itself some things. Suddenly the Hunter seemed a bit more human.

Looking down at the scratches, he saw that it was a barely legible word. "Alec?" he read out loud, more of a question of confirmation since it was hard to read in the dark and the fact that the 'writing' was bad all in all. The Hunter nodded, obviously disinclined to embarrass itself- himself- by trying to say it out loud and only managing to growl and screech something unintelligible. Ellis looked Alec up and down in the dark again. Without his hoodie, he looked human except for the claws and red eyes. He was free of the boils and tumors that covered the skin of most other Infected and seemed obviously more intelligent than the others. "It fits ya." this seemed to please him because a tentative grin pulled at the corners of his bloodstained mouth, the four slashes that now marred his face twisting cruelly. "Wanna keep goin?"

Alec grunted, pulling himself into a crouch some, though Ellis noticed that his legs shook some. He simply figured that he was tired from traveling so long, then he remembered that his entire front was slashed up and that he had lost a lot of blood in his fight with the other Hunter. A few hours of sleep wouldn't help anyone recover from something like that. But Alec seemed determined to continue so Ellis hesitantly climbed onto his back, hooking his legs around his middle again; for the first time thinking it was awkward now that he actually thought of the Hunter as a person. He couldn't really give it much thought before Alec launched them through the air again, bouncing off cars and concrete like a rabbit on crack, not seeming to notice that added weight again. Though Ellis noticed after another thirty or so minutes that his landings seemed to be getting increasingly harder. Another thirty minutes later, Alec actually stumbled but didn't fall, catching himself and launching them forward to regain his balance.

He only stopped when another safe house came into sight, the red door slightly ajar and the room dark. Alec landed hard outside it, grunting softly and Ellis hastily climbed off his back. They must have covered two days worth of walking and shooting in three or four hours without any more injury to themselves. The Hunter was obviously tired now, his chest heaving in ragged gasps for air as they shoved tables and cabinets against the door. Ellis didn't really feel fearful of him now that he had a name to go with his face and claws. He really had no reason to be afraid when Alec had helped him from the beginning and was obviously smarter than other Infected. And they had both been abandoned by their friends.

Ellis sat down in a flimsy garden chair, pulling his injured leg up onto a table in front of him. "So uh, are all Infected as smart as you or are their kill drives so strong that the kill first ask later?" Alec gave him a weird look as he crouched against the wall, still regaining his breath some. He held up one clawed finger, telling Ellis that, yes, all Infected were smart, to some degree at least. That made him scared. "Then, if they are smart, then why don't they open doors normally?" Alec chuckled in a raspy voice and shrugged. Ellis looked at the bandages on his chest, noticing some blood in some places. The wounds must have been reopened from all the jumping and leaping. Glancing around, he saw a new med-kit on a shelf. Heaving himself to his feet, he limped over to the shelf, grabbed the med-kit and sat down in front of Alec, who looked like he was about to doze off. "Lean forward would ya?"

Alec raised and eyebrow, an odd mannerism for an Infected that pulled part of one of the slashes on his face up some. But he sat forward some. Ellis pulled the tape on Alec's shoulder off, unwrapping the gauze slowly. As the layers were peeled away, more and more blood was revealed. Once it was all removed, Ellis winced at the gashes and claw marks. A couple of them were festering, an obvious infection starting as puss oozed out of them. He ripped up an old sheet and rubbed it around in a clean-ish puddle near by, carefully cleaning the wounds. The whole time, Alec sat in silence, a carefully neutral expression on his face. His hands hand been placed on Ellis's shoulders so that he could unwrap the gauze easier but he had yet to remove them which Ellis took note of with a slight blush. Alec only showed that he was any form of pain when Ellis dabbed some rubbing alcohol on the wounds, no peroxide in the med-kit this time. He hissed, a low growl vibrating under Ellis's fingers as he carefully rubbed the more infected wounds, muttering apologies whenever the growls got louder.

When he was finally done and was wrapping the gauze around Alec's stomach and chest, he became increasingly conscience of their close proximity, especially when he had to lean in some to wrap it around his back. He backed up quickly when he finally was done and had taped the gauze down. Alec's clawed hands stayed in the air for a couple heartbeats but he eventually folded them in his lap. "We need to find ya some new clothes." Ellis commented. "I think we're gettin close to a mall or somethin. We could try our luck in there. And we're walkin tomorrow." Alec grumbled at that, leaning against the wall, and closing his eyes. He obviously didn't like the idea of walking around in broad daylight without some form of eye protection. If he had to, Ellis would give up his hat to him. Being alone and still injured, he couldn't afford to leave the Hunter here and go on by himself. If he got jumped by a special Infected or got attacked by a horde, then he would be royally screwed.

He fell asleep in the garden chair, waking up to the sound of low growling. Immediately, he fumbled for his gun but two clawed hands pinned his arms to the arms of the chair. Snapping his eyes open, he saw Alec leaning over him, glaring over his shoulder at the other door. The room was lighter than the night before so it must have been light out. There was obviously something outside that the Hunter didn't like and he was determined to keep Ellis quiet so as not to alert it because when he tried to ask what was wrong, one of the Hunter's hand's released his wrist and clamped over his mouth, successfully cutting off whatever he was wanting to say. Listening, Ellis groaned around Alec's hand when he heard the sobs of a Witch. With his now free hand, he pried Alec's hand off his face and whispered; "She's right outside huh?" a sharp nod was the only answer he needed. "We can go out the other door."

Quickly and quietly, they unbarricaded the other door and slipped out. Immediately, Alec hissed at the bright light, shrinking away from it and squinting his eye closed. Ellis sighed, taking his hat off, looking at it morosely and placing it on the Hunter's head. Alec jumped, looking up at him from his crouched position from under the brim of the hat. "Only 'till we find you a new hoodie." Ellis mumbled, the sun now to bright for his eyes. Shouldering the AK-47 he had grabbed in the safe house, they slowly made their way toward the nearest town, giving the Witch a wide berth until her sobs faded into the background. Some freshly shot up corpses littered the street which made Ellis swell with hope. They were getting closer. If he hadn't begun to think it awkward, he would have let Alec carry him like he had last night and maybe catch up to them faster but he wanted to spare himself some embarrassment though the Hunter obviously didn't care either way. Unfortunately, when they did find a clothing store, the only thing left were some t-shirts and a hood-less leather jacket. Alec immediately grabbed the new jacket, obviously feeling naked without something covering his arms. He searched through the t-shirts, holding a couple up to compare their size to his body size before slipping on a monochrome graffiti tee that hugged his body in ways that made Ellis quickly busy himself with checking how much ammo he had left. Walking meant shooting and he didn't want to run out of ammo.

Alec guarded Ellis's hat viciously, never letting it leave his head which made the human thankful that he didn't have to worry about the Hunter losing it while they fended off a horde. They snaked their way through a carnival, Ellis trembling with the pent up urge to go on every ride the passed and raid the food stands- which he did at one point because he had run out of the food Alec had brought him and was starving. He found some more canned goods that hadn't been smashed up beyond recognition, stabbing a can of soup open with a pocket knife he found on a corpse. He finally got to release the urge to act like a child when they got to an enormous slide that they had to climb the back of to get around it. He promptly slid down it, dragging Alec along for the ride when he seemed hesitant to go down the easy way. The Hunter screeched in surprise as Ellis grabbed his wrist and walked off the edge of the slide, somehow remaining on their feet as they slid down the hills of the contraption. Ellis was shaking with excitement after that while Alec was shaking with fear, glaring at the other as he shook. His expression clearly read 'never do that again' which made Ellis laugh. He was promptly tripped into a particularity deep puddle when they were trekking through the Tunnel of Love. Who would have thought a zombie could have a sense of humor. Then again, he wasn't very zombie-ish now was he.

The sound of helicopter blades in the stadium made them pause. Exchanging a look, they both ran toward it, entering the huge area just as the vehicle took off. Inside were Nick, Coach, and Rochelle. They had caught up alright, and Ellis had just missed his chance at rescue. The others saw him, and Alec, because while Rochelle tried to get the pilot to turn around, Nick and Coach shot at Alec who quickly hid under a bleacher. Without his hoodie they shouldn't have been able to tell he was Infected until they got close enough to see the claws and red eyes but then Ellis remembered that Alec had crouched down as they entered the stadium because of the loud noise of the helicopter. The helicopter didn't turn around, even when it was clear of the stadium and had enough room to be able to. Ellis mouth fell open in a silent plea as Rochelle joined the two men, who were looking like they were trying not to shoot the pilot, in watching Ellis become a dot on the ground. Ellis found his voice, screaming as loud as he could as the helicopter grew smaller and smaller.

Alec crawled out from under the bleachers, standing as straight as he could, taller than Ellis by couple inches. He nudged him lightly once he quieted down, tilting his head to the side some in a silent question. "My friends... they left me... again." Ellis gasped, trying to suppress sobs. Tears rolled down his cheeks, his head slowly sank down. He didn't look up even when Alec slowly slid one arm around his shoulders, holding him up as his bad leg gave out. He collapsed against the Hunter's chest, sobbing painfully, his ribs reminding him of their condition. "Why am I always... the only one... left?" he sobbed. He didn't notice that Alec had sat both of them down in the seats of the stadium. A comforting purr reassured him some and slowly his anger and sadness faded away, leaving him leaning against the Hunter's chest, tears still running. Sucking in a deep breath, he tried to pull away but Alec's hand tightened on his shoulder slightly. Then he noticed that his purr had turned into a growl, that turning into a snarl. "What is it now Alec?"

The Hunter released him, pushing him back, slowly onto the ground. He motioned under the bleachers and Ellis understood, hide until he could dispose of the threat since he was out of all but one clip of ammo. Scurrying under the bleachers Ellis watched Alec slowly stalk away, growling and sniffing the air. A cough split the air and Alec screeched in the direction of it as a tongue suddenly snaked around Ellis's middle, yanking him back. He banged his head on the bottom of the seat he had been under, stunning him. Alec pounced on Ellis, slicing the tongue, crouching over him with lips pulled back in a snarl. The slashes on his face had begun to heal into nasty red scars that made him look truly frightening when he was mad. Any time really. The Smoker yelled back a challenge, which made Alec screech again, hurting Ellis's ears because of their close proximity. The Smoker couldn't attack again until its tongue grew back but Alec seemed unwilling to leave Ellis undefended now that he was without a gun.

Craning his neck, he saw the Smoker at the top of the stands, ironically next to a 'no smoking' sign. If he had a clear view of it, the Smoker had a clear view of Ellis and Alec and the Hunter obviously knew it because his growl became almost possessive sounding. One clawed hand laid itself on Ellis's chest and at the same time Alec screeched. The Smoker flinched back, taking a step backwards. Then it turned and fled, its cloud of noxious gas and coughs trailing behind it. "Ok man, you can get off me now." Ellis groaned, his head throbbing. Alec looked down at him, still not moving to get off him. His red eyes glowed eerily in the growing darkness, making Ellis shiver some at their intensity. He jumped almost violently when a clawed hand tentatively brushed his cheek. He was about to ask the Hunter what he was doing but the hand vanished, quickly replaced by Alec's cheek. The Hunter leaned against the side of his face, his other hand still on Ellis's chest. He breathed in deeply, taking in the other's scent before drawing back, taking Ellis's hand and pulling him to his feet at the same time.

Ellis quickly brushed the Hunter's weird behavior aside, concentrating instead on how he would get rescue. He felt bad that he would have to most likely leave Alec behind because he was Infected but knew that this was his world now and that he would make it better than any uninfected person would. Ellis's multitude of injuries proved that. Retrieving his gun, Ellis limped bravely out of the stadium, now determined to find a working car and head to New Orleans which was where the helicopter was most likely taking the others. No car would be able to outpace a helicopter but they would be able to keep some form of trail on them. Alec stayed close to him, noticing that his bad leg was bothering him again, ready to grab him if it gave out. While they made their way out to the parking lot, Ellis swallowed a couple pain pills which helped him walk straighter as his leg numbed. After much hunting and setting off alarms, and dealing with the annoying hordes that came whenever an alarm was triggered, Ellis managed to hot wire a car that had a mostly full tank of gas and no alarm that would go off when he smashed in the window. He got in quickly, watching as Alec hesitantly crawled into the shotgun seat, obviously not comfortable being in a metal death trap with someone like Ellis at the wheel.

They peeled out of the parking lot, following the highway through the dirt on either side west, avoiding trees and over turned cars with only inches to spare. Ellis absorbed himself in mowing down any Infected that got in his way as he sped through the country side. The car ran out of gas when it started to rain and they were stuck on the side of the highway with no shelter and no houses in sight. And it was dark, very dark. That made Ellis nervous but Alec was too busy almost literally kissing the ground once he had tumbled out of the car. "The nearest town is three miles down the road and this rain ain't getting any lighter. Let's cover as much ground as we can." Alec looked at him and offered him a slight nod before turning his glowing red eyes briefly to the clouds above. "If it gets too hard then we'll take shelter in a car or something. And give me back my hat." he tried to snatch it off the Hunter's head but that just started a game of keep away. Ellis chased Alec through the cars and scrub, yelling at him to give him his hat before he shot his ass but the Hunter obviously saw through his bluff because he kept running, the hat clamped in his sharp teeth securely. Eventually he scurried up a tree, crouching on a branch that shouldn't have held his weight but did valiantly.

Ellis leaned against the trunk panting and holding his leg above the ground. In the chase it had acted up and started throbbing some. "Damn you." he panted though he noticed that his mood was considerably lightened as compared to what it had been during the drive. He glared up at the Hunter through the rain, still leaning against the tree. "You have to come down eventually." he grunted, poking at his bad leg to figure out if it was just a muscle or the bone again. As if his words had done it, suddenly Alec's feet slipped on the branch and he crashed to the ground, landing in a particularity prickly bush. Luckily he landed on his back so he didn't slice up his front again. Ellis laugh and while the Hunter was stunned, snatched his hat back, slamming it down on his head with a note of finality. "You can have it back tomorrow if we can't find you a hoodie." Alec just let out a mix between a growl and a groan, remaining in the prickly bush until he regained his breath. Ellis just laughed.

Yeah the settings are kinda spotty but I'm concentrating more on the characters and how Alec helps Ellis and Ellis helps Alec and blah blah. And I chose the name Alec for the Hunter because it means 'defender of mankind' in some form of Irish. Fitting no? Let me know what you think please. I don't mean to sound like a brat but I never get reviews and would like them very much.