A/N: And now, the long-awaited chapter 2! Huzzah!
Nick, being the self-labeled sophisticated man he was, did not like dirt. It made him rather hot and bothered to think of anything dirty, considering he usually chose to wear nice clothing on a regular basis and he did not enjoy said clothing becoming filthy and wrinkled. Ellis, however, had no problem getting himself covered in grime. He was a mechanic, after all. Motor oil, grease, dirt from lying on the floor underneath vehicles, all of them had taken a seemingly permanent residence on Ellis's person. Before the apocalypse, the only time you would have seen him without the dirt was on Sundays, when he took his mother to church, and then brunch after. And that time Keith convinced him to go skinny-dipping in the duck pond at the city park. After which they had both swore to never speak of the incident again, it was just too traumatizing for the both of them.
The difference in perspective between the two men is exactly what led to the argument deciding whether or not they would be traveling through the sewers. Most of their group had set out to use the sewers as a shortcut to the next saferoom. Unfortunately for everyone, Nick's aversion to filth kept him from seeing this as a good idea.
"It's shit, Ellis. I am not walking through last week's breakfast just so we can reach the saferoom a little faster. It will be perfectly fine if we just walk around." He said, crossing his arms and scowling in the general direction of the manhole they were all standing around. Rochelle heaved a sigh and turned her back on him, completely frustrated. They'd been having this same argument for near an hour and she was getting tired of listening to the conman's complaints. Their plan was simple. Go through the sewers and travel underneath the city until they reach the next saferoom marked on the map. It wasn't far, and both Rochelle and Coach were sure they'd encounter fewer zombies underground then they would if they traveled the roads. Ellis didn't care either way. He was just happy to have the company of the other survivors, especially Nick. Rochelle had lost track of how many times she had watched Nick interrupt the boy during one of his stories, making him look momentarily distressed. But it wouldn't be long until he regained his usual boisterous persona and begin to happily rant once more, blasting shotgun shells into zombies as he went. She didn't know how he managed to be so completely carefree, but she was thankful for it nonetheless. Without it, she knew it would be almost impossible to carry on the way they did.
Rochelle put a hand to her head, massaging her temple in an attempt to get rid of the headache given to her by the current situation. Behind her, Ellis attempts to reason with Nick before Coach decides shoot him.
"Aw, come on, Nick! It ain't that bad! I mean, yeah it'll be dirty and it might smell a bit, but I bet there'll be a change 'a clothes at that safehouse we're headin' to. Besides, I doubt any zombies'll be hangin' out in the sewer." Ellis said, smiling at him and adjusting his hat, hoping to win him over with charm.
It nearly worked. Nick had already been wooed by the hick's advances several times before, but this was a different matter. His suit was at stake. There was shit involved.
"Hell no, Overalls. There is no way I'm going down there." He said stubbornly, pointing down the hole to verify where he meant.
"Nick, then I guess we can just leave your ass behin-" A loud crash stopped Coach from finishing his remark. The four survivors looked behind them, towards the source of the sound. They heard a loud roar as the ground began to shake.
"Is that… what I think it is?" Rochelle asked with wide eyes, raising her gun. The monstrosity that burst through the brick building several hundred feet from them answers her question.
"Oh shit! It's a damn tank!" Coach yelled, confirming what the rest of the group already knew. The four of them looked about as the tank charged at them, desperately trying to find a place to run or hide because they were incredibly low on ammunition after the last horde. Ellis looked at the manhole beside them and got an idea.
"Ro! You think that tank will fit down that manhole?"
"Uh, I don't know. I really don't think now's the best time to be talking about what the tank can and can't fit throu- Oh my god, Ellis. You're a genius! Everyone jump down to the sewer!" Rochelle yelled, grabbing her things and immediately dropping down the hole, followed by Coach. Nick looked about frantically.
"Oh hell no!" He yelled, looking down the hole with disgust. Ellis let out a huff and took Nick by the arm, jumping down and taking Nick with him. "WHAT THE FU-" They hit the bottom with a splash. Ellis landed on his bottom in the middle of the sewer. He looked beside him to see Nick on his hands and knees, practically gagging from being tossed into the filth. He looked at Ellis with distain but then directed his attention upwards when the ground above them stopped shaking.
"Shhhh." Rochelle whispered.
The tank didn't seem to know where they went. They could hear it pacing back and forth above them, but it didn't come into view through the manhole. Eventually, it stomped away, causing the survivors to sigh with relief.
"Nice call, Sweetie." Rochelle said to Ellis. Her smile could be seen by the light from the manhole, and Ellis returned it, unaware that a certain someone was very jealous at their exchange.
"Yeah, whatever. Let's go. I want to get the hell out of the sewer as soon as possible." Nick grumbled irritably, standing up and attempting to dust the grime off. Unfortunately for him, sewage cannot be brushed off.
Each person in the group picked up their belongings and set out for the saferoom. The sewer had many different paths through it, but they had managed to pick up a diagram of the sewage system earlier that day, so they didn't have much trouble navigating underground.
They were on track, but Nick's mind, however, was not. He was walking behind Ellis, and through the light provided by his flashlight he could just make out the subtle curve of his body, and see him tromping noisily through the sludge. Ellis had fallen ass-first into the sewer, and because of that his pants were all wet and had loosened, sagging off his body in a way that made Nick sweat. It was disgusting, yes, but hell, if Ellis was showing off more skin than usual, Nick was glad to make it an occasion to stare.
What Nick wouldn't give for them both to be locked up in a room somewhere, rid of their clothes, clean. Well, at least the type of clean where they weren't covered in sewage. With that type of clean he'd have no problem getting positively dirty with him. He could just imagine all the things he would do to that small, supple frame, with Ellis moaning and begging him to-
"Alright! Here we go!" Rochelle shouted, coming to the tall red ladder that lead aboveground. Nick nearly jumped, being knocked out of his thoughts so suddenly. He recovered quickly and moved to go up the ladder.
"Thank god. I can't wait to get out of this shithole." He said as he climbed the rungs to the surface.
They found themselves in the middle of a road with a safehouse and an arrow spray painted on it. The sign pointed to a sturdy-looking two story house with a red steel door that was at the end of the road.
"See, Nick? We got here safe and sound, and your suit only looks like it's covered in shit." Rochelle chirped at him gleefully, making the conman once again want to axe her in the face.
"Alright everybody, let's get ourselves inside." Coach said wearily, tired from the day's journey. They walked down the road quickly but carefully, picking off a few infected that were scattered about the safehouse before entering the building.
Ellis practically skipped into the house while the rest of the group trudged inside tiredly. The first thing they noticed upon entering was that the electricity was on and was most likely being fueled by a generator. Rochelle checked the kitchen and found that most of the food was still good. Nick headed straight upstairs to the bathroom and was relieved to discover that the water was still on. He immediately locked himself in and got undressed for a shower. Just as he turned the water on, he heard a knock at the door.
"Uh, hey Nick! I know you're busy and all, but I jus' wanted to let you know that you an' me will be sharing' a room together. There's two beds and everythin', but there's only three rooms and Coach an' Ro are not sleeping together. I mean, she's a lady an' all-" Ellis had started to ramble, so Nick promptly cut him off.
"Okay, Ellis. Thanks."
"Sure thing, Nick!"
Nick sighed and stepped into the shower as he heard the younger man walk off. He immediately started rinsing away the filth from the sewer and the other grime that had accumulated since the last time he had gotten to shower. It didn't take him long to get clean, but he stayed under the current of the water for a little while longer, letting his mind-and his hands-wander.
Nick had been finished with his shower for a while, and had taken to reading a book he had found on the shelf in the room he and Ellis shared. Rochelle had already taken her shower, and now it was the hick's turn, so Nick actually had some time alone. Not that his previous "alone time" in the shower wasn't enough, but Ellis had been getting on his nerves earlier by talking his ear off while he was trying to read. Yes, Nick liked Ellis. But Nick liked Ellis more when the words coming out of his mouth were a little less coherent.
Not that anything of that nature had actually happened between them. Not yet, anyway.
Sighing at the thought, Nick turned the page in his book. He didn't bother looking up when the door creaked open. He knew it was Ellis, he had started talking the moment he entered the room.
"Hey Nick, did you smell that shampoo? I sure smelled nice. Reminds me of my granmaw, she always smelled pretty nice. Do you-"
"Ellis, please will you…" Nick trailed off as he raised his eyes from the book. Before him stood a sopping wet and half-naked Ellis, with only a thin towel separating him from the hick's body.
Nick immediately wished the shower he had taken had been a cold one.
So, you like chapter 2? Why not tell me what you think! Review! :)