Left 4 Dead Kink meme prompt written for an anonymous person. It wasn't supposed to get this long, but hell, I'm long-winded.

EDIT: I guess I prooobably should have included this a long time ago, but, if you have an Ellis/Hunter or Hunter/Ellis prompt, I'd be happy to write it for you. Just drop me a message or something and I'll see what I can do.

Disclaimer: Left 4 Dead isn't mine. No profit is being made with this.

Warnings: Swearing; Violence; YAOI SMUT; Angst. You have been warned.


It was a very rare luxury nowadays, and just about as unobtainable as could be what with the Infected running around and the apocalypse surging all around them. They'd been eating whatever they could find lately, be it the hulking, half rotted leftovers in fridges long dead or perishables in half opened boxes, tucked out of sight into cupboards that never really expected to see another hungry, eager face at their doors again.

Sometimes, they were lucky.

Sometimes, they went a few days without a bite at all. On other, more rare occasions they found more than they could carry, Coach lamenting about the lack of chocolate bars regardless of the find. They all relished in it, though, and proceeded to feast despite themselves.

Needless to say, the food never seemed to last long enough.

But steak, back to the steak.

It was a wonder of wonders, and a much needed rewards after weeks and weeks of awful food, incorrigible zombies, and sleepless nights.

He'd just come back from a sweep with Nick to clear the area, the four survivors hoping to bed down for the night. He was tired and cold, knees aching from mucking through the swamp all day. All he'd wanted was to curl up and sleep for a good four days. Not that that was even possible in their situation, but he still wanted to.

So when Rochelle and Coach first presented the slab of meat to him, the first thing he said was, "Please tell me y'all didn't get that from some corpse 'ya found."

Rochelle chuckled, patted his hat and replied, "Sweetie, we're not that hungry yet. Coach and I found these in an old warehouse freezer. Cooked 'em up real nice over the fire while you were patrolling."

Ellis took it gingerly, cradling the food in his hands like it was made from fragile glass. It was so touching, what they had done for him. He hadn't even asked, and they'd gone and done something so nice for him just because they wanted to. When he finally came to, Ellis grinned like a maniac, flushed beneath the bill of his cap.

"Thank 'ya, Ro', thank 'ya, Coach. First real hunk 'a meat I've had in ages. Looks real good."

And, with not an ounce more of hesitation, he tore into it, amusing the other two survivors to no end.

"Crazy kid." Coach chuckled, settling near the fire with his own dinner. Rochelle joined him, a faint smile gracing her features.

Nick, when he arrived, was not treated with the same reward, instead given a half-hearted, "Good job" and a steak that looked more than slightly undercooked. Ellis smiled apologetically, halfway through his own, nearly perfect steak. The only thing that could have made it better was Keith's cooking expertise, which reminded him of that one cookout he'd gone to that had happened not too long after they'd started their auto shop. But instead of sharing said story with the others, he continued to devour the food in his hands.

He'd nearly finished when, quite suddenly, Nick's face paled and he stood, dinner forgotten, to stare into the distance.

"What? What is it, Nick?"

"Good Lord, I hope it's not another Tank." Ellis griped, hurrying to stand and take his place at Nick's side.

"Not a Tank." Nick murmured, hand finding purchase on his stomach. His face had turned a sickly green, and by the looks of it, his knees were starting to wobble.

"Looks like he's gonna be sick." Coach said, but he didn't seem too worried. Rochelle, on the other hand, gathered up her discarded weaponry and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"You alright?"

"Do I look alright?" He snarled, but he winced and calmed once more at the pain in his gut. "We need to move. I don't really feel like purging in the middle of some fucking zombie infested bayou."

So Coach scuffed some putrid looking dirt over the fire, heaving his own supplies up into its rightful position. His M-16 slung over a shoulder where it could be easily accessed.

"Let's get going then, don't want him ruining that suit of his." Coach chuckled, completely oblivious to the rude gesture he received for the comment.

Nick, supported by Rochelle on one side and Coach, who wasn't really touching him, but was there for a more... moral support, went progressively greener, and not a few steps later he began to dry heave.

"Looks pretty bad." Ellis grimaced, eying the now chilled steak he still grasped in his left hand. He wasn't all that hungry anymore, but it would really be a shame to waste such a-

Nick let out a particularly foul sound, distracting him from his thoughts. Immediately following it was a series of choppy coughs, wet as could be.

Yeah, he definitely wasn't eating anymore any time soon.

Sighing, Ellis took one last look at the steak, praying with all his heart it wouldn't be the last he'd ever see.

The fire had already fizzled out, but it was still warm enough to, hopefully, dispose of the leftovers. As he ambled past, hurrying to catch up with the other survivors, he chucked the steak over his shoulder into what remained of the fire.

But before he'd had the chance to take more than a few steps, the squelch of soggy ground alerted him to a presence from behind. He froze in his tracks, reviewing worst case scenarios - a tank, most predominately – but the tell-tale growl he'd memorized in fear was what made his heart lurch.

He spun on his heel, reaching for the rifle on his back, then let out a startled cry when he realized the Hunter was a lot closer than he'd thought it'd be.

Crouched right in front of him, to be precise.

It sat on its haunches about a meter and a half away, observing him from beneath the shadow of its hood. A low growl was building deep in its throat, spilling over lips stained in blood. Dirty, claw-like fingers dug into the muck at its feet, twitching in their eagerness for blood and flesh. Ellis didn't think there would be time to draw a gun without startling the Infected, but he couldn't yell for help either. Just standing there wasn't his favorite option, but he knew that any sudden sound of movement would end it all, and that the damn thing would have his guts on the ground before his alert even reached the others' ears.

So they came to a stalemate, staring at one another for what felt like hours. The sounds of the swamp faded from his ears, replaced by a ring of chiming panic. His heart sped up, his breathing faltered, and all he could think about was the rip and tear of claws at his throat.

Why weren't the others coming back to check on him? Had they run into trouble as well? The worst thing was not even being able to turn his head to check for sign of his partners, his fear or the creature pouncing the second he looked away too strong to let him.

Said creature suddenly made a sharp snuffling sound, drawing up to sniff at the air. Ellis watched it, eyes wide, take a step towards him. He mimicked the Hunter when it took two more, and he drew away as the crouching beast pawed at the remains of Coach's fire.

Ellis watched as it drew out the last third of the steak he'd tossed away, and as it began to tentatively lick at said meal, he realized that it must have seen him toss it and then come out to investigate. That led him to believe that the Hunter had probably followed Nick and himself all the way back to camp, unwilling to attack at the moment it had come upon them. Unsure of their camp, but eager to stay at the prospect, and scent, of food.

It was kind of funny, in a way, watching something he'd come to fear just sit there and nibble away at the last few bites of a discarded meal. He would almost call it cute, but when the beast let out a wet snarl and Ellis realized the steak had disappeared, he mentally kicked himself.

There had been plenty of time to grab for a weapon, but instead he'd just stood there gaping like a moron!

'I've gone and done it now. With that steak gone there's only one thing left 'ta eat.'

The Hunter sat there for a moment, sucking at its fingers, then sat, staring up at Ellis from behind its hood.

There was no attacking, no mauling, and the Hunter wasn't even growling at him. It was odd, watching it sit there, watching him stand there, without showing any sign of aggression.

Perhaps he could just end the thing while he still could...

Slowly, he reached for his rifle, fully intending to fill the Infected's skull with lead. It'd had its last meal, it was time to end this.

When the Hunter snarled at him, he ignored it, adrenaline pumping through his veins too fast to stop him. His hand closed around the barrel of the gun, but before he could pull the weapon from his back, the Hunter began to back away, a low growl warbling in its throat. He watched as it stepped back and away, making for the trees. Once there it turned and looked at him once more, then disappeared.

He knew he shouldn't have let it go, he knew that it was probably just going to bide its time and wait for him to let his guard down. And the moment that happened, it would be upon him, ripping, tearing, sawing flesh from bone...

He shuddered, aching for the company of the other survivors, and turned.

Ellis ran as fast as his feet would carry him.

"We were starting to worry about you, Ellis." Coach said with a huff, meeting him halfway on his trek to catch up.

"Well y'all're the ones who went and ran off without me, so 'ya might as well've worried. Nick ain't that sick is he?"

"Not really, no." Coach said, clapping the boy on the shoulder. "But he's complaining an awful lot, even went so far as to tell Rochelle and I that we were 'shitty ass cooks'. The gratitude you get from that man... it makes 'ya so warm and fluffy, I tell 'ya."

Ellis laughed, still shaken from his previous encounter, and followed the large man through the swamp. They didn't speak much, and while Coach found the boys silence a bit weird, he didn't say anything. He decided it would be better to keep his encounter to himself. It would probably just worry the others anyway, and with Nick seemingly out of commission, he didn't want to be a burden on the others' already weary minds.

Coach led him to the next safehouse, following the signs other people had left for them to find. A soggy crate with a red house drawn on it, a tree etched with clumsy symbols that he could hardly read, but decided said, "Safehouse up ahead." And further on, the bunker itself, platformed above the bayou to keep the wooden boards from rotting more than they already were. Ellis hadn't seen a single infected on the way, so he assumed the others had already done a sweep to clear the area.

Inside, Nick was resting in the floor, his head pillowed by Rochelle's thigh. She sat fanning him with the palm of her hand, her expression one of boredom. When Coach hobbled in the door, her face lit up, "Did you find Ellis?"

"'m right here, Ro'." The boy said, tipping his hat. The woman let out a sigh of relief."We didn't mean to leave you behind. But Nick really didn't look well. If the horde had come while he was out of commission, well, who knows what might have happened."

"I understand." Ellis drawled. "'sides, I'm just fine and dandy. Not a hair outta place." He beamed, his smile lighting up the dreary atmosphere. Coach chuckled and settled in beside Rochelle, sparing Nick scathing glance.

"He's gonna throw a fit if he wakes up and you're still holdin' him like that, Rochelle."

"Probably. But he'd better be at least a little grateful, too. I had to carry half his ass here, after all."

The two fell into silence and Ellis watched the suited man more so than he did the bickering pair. Nick's face wasn't as pale as it had been before. He figured that sleep had taken most of the pain of whatever he was feeling away. He made himself comfortable against the bunker wall after sealing the door, knowing that, with the circumstances as they were, he would probably be the one taking first watch tonight.

He just hoped he didn't run into the same kinda trouble as he had earlier...

When night rolled around and the other survivors (including Nick, who had woken just long enough to complain about how 'Goddamn bad' Rochelle's cooking was) faded off into fitful slumber, Ellis was left at the safehouse door, back pressed up against the cold steel, hand wrapped tightly around Coach's borrowed M-16. He knew for a fact the others slept with their weapons in hand (literally) and that if he was to be overcome sometime in the night that they would rise to help him. Ellis hated the thought, though. They slept so little nowadays, what with the constant danger, and he really felt that it was his duty to at least grant them a few hours.

He himself was tired as well, more so than usual, in fact, but he stayed wide-awake, eyes unblinking as he stared into darkness.

The wind whispered over him, caressing his face while at the same time sending a cold chill down his spine. Goose flesh broke out over his skin, and the sudden bout of nervousness he felt had him pulling his hat from his head, wringing the bill in his free hand while he hefted the M-16 up with the other.

He didn't really know why he was so nervous all of a sudden, but as the wind began to howl, his heart began to beat a dozen times faster. Motion caught his eye, and Ellis found himself clicking the flashlight taped on the top of the gun into the on position. He scanned the ground and air, looking for enemies, then clicked the light back off when he found none.

'C'mon, El. Pull yourself together. For the others.'

He tried to relax back into the door, but his heart refused to calm his pace. Teeth chattering, he put his hat back on his head and patted it to fit his skull.

And then he froze.

Not because the wind had stopped... but because the howling hadn't.

Ever so slowly, he reached for the button on the flashlight, a knot sticking in his throat. He really didn't want to see what he knew was out there, because he'd already faced this scenario earlier that day, and the premise of having his guts spilled across the ground still didn't sound like the most pleasant venue.

But he turned it on nonetheless.

And then he screamed.

Coach was yanking the door open before he even ran out of breath, but by then the horror before him had already disappeared. Ellis wondered briefly why he hadn't just shot the damn thing, but he figured that the lack of sleep and the slowly encroaching delirium were what was messin' with his mind.

Coach grabbed him up, pulling him inside the safehouse and out of the darkness. He tried asking him multiple times what had spooked him so bad, but Ellis found he couldn't speak. Instead he just shook his head, teeth rattling, and Coach made him lie in the floor. He sat there with him until sleep finally sealed his cerulean eyes, and when next he awoke and finally left the bunker for good, there was nary a sign of the bloody mouthed Hunter that had been eying him little more than an arms length away.

That same Hunter followed them for the entirety of the next three days. Every time he turned his head to scan the horizon for sign of Infected, he'd catch a flurry of motion and hear the tell-tale growl that set his nerve-ending all askew.

When he tried to point the beast out to the others, they only raised their eyebrows and said, "Ellis, you're seeing things." And sometimes following that would be, "How many pills have you taken today?"

"Maybe it was that shit steak you fed us the other day." Nick added at once. He'd fully recovered the morning after his sickness, but still refused to eat anything that he himself hadn't prepared.

"Coach and I haven't had a single problem, and we ate 'em, too." Rochelle pointed out.

"That does little to lower my suspicion." Nick grumbled, but the others ignored him in favor of picking off a too brave smoker.

After awhile, Ellis' sightings became something of a problem. If he had even the slightest inkling that the beast was somewhere near, he'd waste a whole round of ammo in one sweep. A desperate attempt, they figured, to make himself feel better.

"They're not smart enough to follow us, Ellis." Coach finally said. "I really doubt they'd go to all the trouble of tracking us. I mean, what's the point when they have the opportunity to strike right there?"

"Tanks follow 'ya." Was all the boy said, and with that he emptied another round on a fallen log.

Coach shook his head. Ellis smiled sheepishly, "Coulda' sworn I seen it move."

The next time they stopped to rest, they searched their pockets for food and found very meager rations, but lunch all the same.

Dry crackers, no water for miles. They had a single water bottle on them that Coach kept somewhere on his person. They drank from it in turn, Nick most grudgingly, and then nibbled on the foodstuffs.

But not before Rochelle made Ellis relinquish his gun.

"We won't stop for long, but still, you don't need that right now. We're perfectly fine here."

He obeyed reluctantly, but obediently all the same. It was gentlemanly to upset a lady, after all.

But that didn't stop him from immediately grabbing for the displaced weapon the second he caught movement in the corner of his eye. Coach snatched up the gun, though, pinning him into place with his eyes.

"Eat your lunch, kid." He said simply, and Ellis did.

That's not to say he wasn't a complete wreck the entire time, though.

This routine carried on for another two days, the Hunter plaguing him every step of the way as they made their way to one safehouse after another. At night he refused to take watch by himself, and when he went to empty his bladder in the morning he insisted that Nick or Coach or even both of them come with him.

"Kids going crazy." He heard Coach mutter to Rochelle, but he didn't care. He felt safe with the others there.

When at last it became something he no longer thought he could stand, Rochelle finally came to his rescue.

They'd been down by a creek filtering water into the only bottle they had when a branch had snapped overhead. Ellis, of course, had reacted immediately and emptied a round, much to Rochelle's annoyance, into open air.

She opened her mouth to tell him off, but before she could there was a heart-stopping shriek from overhead, and they both angled their heads to watch as a Hunter soared right over top of them.

Ellis knew it was the one and only one that had been following them, but before he could get a round off it had disappeared back into the trees. They stood there gazing like wide-eyed does into the trees for a good three minutes before Rochelle finally cleared her throat and said, "Ellis, I think I'm going to believe you now."

After that, much to Ellis' chagrin, the Hunter got even braver.

The next day they'd had to sleep out in the open. There was no safehouse anywhere to be seen, and they'd all been too tired to carry on. So they'd slept, taking multiple turns to watch the area every couple of hours.

Ellis was the first to wake, and he thanked his lucky stars that he'd risen before the others. Because, last he remembered, it'd been his turn to keep watch when he'd nodded off.

He looked to the others, making sure they were still alive and breathing, and then rose to stretch. His muscles ached and his stomach growled, but otherwise he was feeling pretty damn good.

It was probably all the extra sleep.

Mid-stretch he heard something settle close by, and, even though he already knew what he would find when he turned, he found himself begin to grow annoyed.

The Hunter was sitting a few meters away, head cocked to the side, fingers twitching in the dirt. Ellis glared at it, and the beast looked back at him with unseeing eyes. It sniffed, once, twice, three times, then leaned forward, crawling towards him in its usual cat-like way.

Ellis' eyes strayed to the others, and when he noticed that they had yet to stir, he began to sweat. He couldn't shout, just like before, and his gun was laying on the ground at his feet. He'd never have time.

The Hunter approached him, seemingly fearless, and came to rest at his feet. It looked up at him, its hood falling back a bit, and Ellis could see the once hazel eyes staring back at him. The tufted, ebony hair that fell into its face. Its mouth was not stained in blood as it usually was, and Ellis found himself wondering if the thing had eaten since the steak he'd dropped nearly a week ago.

He didn't care, though, he couldn't. This was a mindless zombie he was dealing with. He frowned, glaring at the thing, and said, "What do you want anyway? Why are you following me?"

It didn't answer, but its head whipped to the side when he spoke. Ellis blinked.


It did it again, then whimpered.

Ellis cringed. It had... it had been kind of adorable when it did that.

Off to the side, Nick began to stir, his mouth straining open in a wide yawn. He sat up, rubbing his eyes, and then turned.

The three of them stared at one another, Ellis at Nick, Nick at the Hunter, and the Hunter at Nick. And, quite suddenly, the suited man was shouting for Ellis to get out of the damn way as he reached for his gun.

His shout roused the other two, who had similar reactions upon waking.

"Dammit, Ellis, why are you just standing there?"

Before the Hunter could think to leap away, it had three guns trained on him, and three angry voices shouting in its ears. It growled, then yelped when a bullet whizzed past its shoulder.

For some reason, however, it did not move until Coach let another bullet fly, its sharp edge just barely missing the Hunters' skull. At that point it decided that it was in no way safe where it was, and instead leaped away. But not for the trees.

It hid behind Ellis, pushing up against his legs as it grabbed onto him. The boy let out a startled sound, unsure if its intentions were to harm him, but it had him rooted to the spot. Ellis nearly fell trying to dislodge himself, but he quickly realized that the beast was just using him as a shield, and that its claws were not making any advances on the soft flesh it was gripping.

The bullets stopped, Coach, Rochelle and Nick unwilling to shoot at Ellis himself to destroy the Hunter.

"Ellis," Rochelle started, her voice on edge. "If you haven't noticed, you've got a Hunter on you."

"I know." He choked out, frozen.

They watched and waited, just as the Infected did. Its grip on Ellis' calves did not loosen, but after a minute or two it poked its head out from the side, eying the other survivors, possibly waiting for more violence.

"I, uh, think it likes me." Ellis drawled, trying to break the growing tension in the air.

"Either that or it's about to rip you to shreds." Nick groused.

The Hunter growled at the man and immediately Nick raised his gun again, growling right back, "You little shit, I'll blow your fucking head off!"

"Wait!" Ellis, shouted, holding his hand up. Nick stopped, but he continued to glare at the Infected.

"I don't think it'll hurt us." The boy said as the Hunter pressed itself closer to him with a whimper. It was very odd, but at the same time, he didn't want to make it mad by jerking away.

"I say we kill it." Nick grumbled.

"I dunno... doesn't look too menacing to me. And if it's the same one that's been following us, well, it hasn't exactly proven itself hostile yet, has it?"

Oh, Coach. Always the voice of reason. Ellis relaxed with that statement, and the Hunter did as well when the others put their gun down.

Rochelle was the first to join Ellis in standing, and with that she said, "Let's just get going. Maybe we can lose it."

"I'm killing it if it even looks at me wrong." Nick said, but as the three began to walk away, he only once cast the Hunter a second glance.

Coach stopped while the other two went on, noting the fact that Ellis had yet to get going.

"You coming?" He asked him, looking concerned. He kept his eyes on the beast encircling Ellis' legs, raising an eyebrow. "That thing hurting you?"

Ellis considered the grip on his legs. It was tight, but there was no hint of claw. The Hunter just seemed to be looking to him for support and protection.

"I think we're good." He said, but he took extra care when he went to move away. The Hunter growled, and Coach raised his gun immediately, but Ellis managed to free himself without the Infected going bat-shit insane.

It stared up at him, making an odd clicking noise in the back of its throat. To Ellis, it sounded a lot like the sounds Keith's old cat used to make.

"Yeah. We're def'nitley good." Ellis finally concluded, his lips quirking into a grin despite himself.

It was annoying at first, having the Infected follow them so closely. They'd always had problems with a little friendly fire, and the fact that they'd gained yet another 'survivor' made it that much harder to avoid shooting one another.

It was also quite a feat to keep from mutilating the Hunter on reflex. Especially when the horde's came at them.

But the most amazing thing was the fact that the Hunter helped them fight. It would take down common Infected like it was swatting a fly, and special Infected as well weren't much of a hassle, either. Ellis caught it ripping the tongue right out of a smokers' mouth after it'd grabbed him. He'd barely had the time to shrug the loose leftovers of the tongue off before the Hunter had murdered it.

While it made itself useful, though, it was still quite annoying at times.

When the hordes tried to surround him, Ellis would sometimes find he suddenly had a very loyal bodyguard, and it would become very hard to squeeze any shots off without taking a chunk out of the Hunter as well. It would back up against him, bumping chest to back, and snarl at any Infected that began to charge. Then it would bat them away, throwing them off like it was nothing.

It never once truly left Ellis' side, and as much as it seemed to like him, it never once showed any interest in the other survivors.

Rochelle had tried to make peace with it, offering it food every now and again. But it would blatantly refuse, backing away until it was once again rooted at Ellis' side. Only from him would it accept any offerings. Not that it seemed to really enjoy anything the boy fed him, anyway.

At night it would disappear for a few hours, and then reappear suddenly, fingers and mouth bloodied, to curl up wherever they were camping. If they had hunkered down in a safehouse, however, it would lounge outside the door, taking over watch so the other survivors could sleep.

The first time it had done so, Nick had nearly tripped on it that next morning as he left the bunker for his morning piss. It had taken Ellis and Coach both to keep the conman from shooting the Infected in the 'goddam face'.

After that the man in the suit learned to always watch his step whenever he awoke in the morning, because after that the Hunter seemed to find some sort of strange amusement in annoying the man by making itself the most inconvenient thing in his life.

Coach was the only one who was completely neutral towards their strange new addition. He paid the Hunter little attention, and the Infected did likewise. Ellis had tried to shake the creature off and make it more social with the man, but it would usually only press itself closer to him, both figuratively and literally.

That was what bothered him the most. The touching, that is.

After awhile, the Hunter started sleeping by his side instead of outside safehouses and the edges of camp. Ellis would wake to a warm weight at his back, and when he went to peek over the side of his shoulder, anxious eyes would stare back at him, accompanying a soft growl. The Hunter never cuddled him before he fell asleep, though. Sometimes, he would lay on his back in the night, eyes on the stars or on the safehouse ceiling, and he would just lay there, waiting, wondering the the beast would finally be brave enough to come to him whilst he was actually conscious.

He would always fall asleep eventually, though. And when he next awoke, that familiar weight would be huddled close.

On one especially cold night, he was shaken awake by hands too rough to belong to any human. He blinked drowsily, drawing himself into a sitting position, and regarded the Hunter before him.

"Whaddya' want, little buddy? Somethin' comin'?"

The Hunter whimpered, claws scratching at the ground in nervous streaks. Ellis raised an eyebrow.

"Um. Are 'ya hungry? Bored? Lonely? What are 'ya tryin' to tell me?"

Slowly, unsurely, the Infected brought its arms up and put them around itself in an awkward hug. It whimpered once more, curling in on itself.

Ellis blinked.

"You want me to hug 'ya?" He drawled.

The Hunter growled and hugged itself tighter, shuddering in the wind that suddenly shivered past them. It was then that Ellis realized what its issue was.

"Oh. You're cold, right?"

Hell, he didn't even know they could get cold. During the day it was hot, but at night, it was freezing. Ellis and the other survivors had fought the Infected at both times of day, though, and they had never seemed to show any affliction towards the weather. But this Hunter, it wasn't exactly a normal one, what with its tame demeanor. Ellis figured that maybe the others, who had lost their humanity, had lost their sense of awareness, as well. Maybe they couldn't feel the cold, but this Hunter could.

He really didn't think cuddling with it on purpose was a good idea, though.

'If the others were to wake up and see... why, they'd think I'd gone loony!'

The other survivors had thus decided to deal with it, but that didn't mean they really trusted the little guy. Who was to say it still wouldn't turn on them anyway?

Said Hunter whimpered again, scooting closer to Ellis despite itself. The boy regarded the Infected unsurely, teeth worrying at his lip.

He sure as hell couldn't just let it freeze, after all. And besides, he was sort of cold, too. So, somewhat grudgingly, he held his arms out, beckoning with his hands for the creature to come closer.

It did so all-too quickly, and before he knew what was happening, the Hunter was on top of him, nuzzling his neck with a very, very cold nose. It was almost like hugging an ice statue, and Ellis' teeth chattered as he wrapped his arms around the bony back above him, pulling the Hunter closer so as to give it as much warmth as he could.

Before long, though, his arms began to tire, and he slowly rolled them onto their sides. The Hunter growled weakly at him, pressing itself closer, trying to steal all the warmth he had to offer.

"Ssh, now. You're gonna wake the others if 'ya don't stop that racket."

And the Hunter did stop, but only in favor of wriggling even closer to him, their bodies flush coming together. It tucked its head under Ellis' chin, then settled. The boy wrapped his arms tighter, a flush on his cheeks.

But it was from the cold, of course... right?

After that night, it became routine for Ellis to lie in wait, listening to the sound of the other survivors' breathing. He was not impatient, and even when the time began to drah, he simply lay there feigning sleep, eyes half-closed... heart rate calm... When the last ragged breath of his friends faded into a smoother one, Ellis would finally hear the chilling whimper of the Hunter drawing closer. Ellis would not speak, content to just reach out into the darkness and pull the Infected close.

"So this one time, my buddy Keith and I found this skunk in his old mans garage. I told him it wasn't a good idea to go and provoke it the way he did; guy had a stick in his hand at the time, and he was jus' pokin' the poor thing in the face like he hadn't a care in the world. Anyway, I told 'im not to, but nooo... Poor guy got sprayed like you wouldn't believe. Why, I bet it covered ninety-five percent of his body! He smelled like a back alley dumpster for weeks."

"Ellis? Do we even care?"

The boy pouted, reloading his AK-47 with well-learned fingers. "Well, you might not, Nick. But maybe the others do. So jus' get over it, alright?"

Nick scoffed, picking off a few Infected CEDA workers before they could get too close,. "The Hunter can't even understand you, dumbass. And we've all heard your Keith stories twenty times each. So really, you're just wasting valuable time talking when you could be shooting."

"Oh, lay off Nick. At least Ellis is trying to keep a good attitude. You're just making things worse with your whining."

"Forget it, Rochelle, Nick couldn't stop whining even if he wanted to."

Ellis' attention span began to wane as the others drew themselves into yet another argument. He was more interested in the Hunter at his side, who, as far as he could tell, really seemed to like his stories about Keith.

"You just wait, little buddy. I gotta hundred more to tell 'ya. You'll never be bored with me around!" He grinned, noting the way the Hunter cocked its head at him. It made a clicking noise in the back of its throat, probably trying to communicate in its own strange language that it hadn't a clue what Ellis was saying. But the boy didn't care. For the rest of that day, much to the human survivors' annoyance, he did his best to catch the Hunter up on all the stories he had missed.

Before he'd even realized it, Ellis had taken more of a liking to the Hunter than he'd ever planned to. At first, it had been strictly friendship, strictly because the littler feller was there... but now... well...

The others hadn't fallen asleep a long time ago, their backs aching and their feet bruised from the long days walk. The Infected had been particularly thick in the areas they had covered, and the two tanks they'd encountered had only made things worse. Rochelle was sporting a large burn on her back from a careless Molotov, Coach had earned a nasty gash in a tussle with a jockey, and Ellis and Nick both had gotten a various array of scratches and bruises. Ellis, however, was the least damaged of all of them, bruises or not. The Hunter had not strayed from his side for even a moment, protecting him from the brunt of all attacks.

He appreciated it, but felt rather guilty whenever the poor thing got a good smack to the face for doing so.

Turns out, Infected weren't really appreciative of traitors.

And Ellis wanted to make it up to the Hunter, wanted to thank it for being so helpful when it really wasn't even its place to.

So once he was sure the others were truly out of it, he tapped the Hunter on the back with gentle fingers. It stirred in his arms restlessly, then pulled away, jaws stretching in an animal-like yawn. When it settled and just lay there looking at him, face calm, Ellis figured that, if it could talk, it would say something along the lines of, "What the hell do you want at this time of night?" He chuckled at that, leaning forward to rub his nose against the others.

The Hunter jerked back, eyes wide, and made a clicking noise deep in its throat.

"It's alright, little buddy." Ellis whispered, bringing his hand around the back of its neck, massaging the fabric of the Hunter's hood. It didn't look like it really understood, but after a few moments, it relaxed and began to make a noise akin to a purr.

That was all Ellis wanted, really. To help it relax a little. He knew it liked his touch, and that was the reason it was always seeking his side, always pressing close whilst the boy shot away at any foe he could find.

But just how much, he wondered, did it want from him?

Ellis really hadn't thought it through, he hadn't considered the reaction he'd get, or whether or not it would be a violent one.

Needless to say, he didn't even hesitate as he pulled the hood away from the Hunters face and proceeded to catch its lips with his own.

Besides the fact that the Hunters' lips were chapped and rough, and the way his breath still held the taste of the crackers they'd eaten for dinner, Ellis couldn't say he really disliked kissing it at all.

But the Hunter couldn't, and wouldn't, understand.

It bit him, hard, wriggling away and panting like a rabid animal. Ellis realized that maybe, that's all the Hunter had ever been, and let it run off into the darkness.

The Hunter did not return that morning. Nor did Ellis, or any of the others, see him the next day, or even the one after. The others began to worry about the boy, who never stopped looking for the missing Infected. Most worrying, though, was the lack of Keith stories. Since the Hunters' disappearance, Nick, Rochelle, nor Coach had heard a single one.

One day, whilst searching a house out in the middle of nowhere, Ellis found steak in an old rusted refrigerator. He snatched it up and immediately went about cooking it. The others watched, eyebrows raised curiously, but didn't say a word when he finished and threw it out the window.

That night, the Hunter returned.

Ellis didn't even bother to hide how happy he was to see it, he drew the Infected into a tight bear hug and didn't let him go for the rest of the night.

Ellis had learned his lesson. But that didn't mean he gave up.

In the lonely hours of the night, when everyone but him and the Hunter were asleep, he would let his fingers dance over the fabric of the Hunters jacket, let his fingertips rest on the very small of its back. He was slow and careful, never once trying to startle it the way he had the first time.

This carried on for a few nights, the simple touches never once roaming over bare skin. He was anxious to move on, to feel more, but he was patient, and the Hunter seemed to enjoy the touches it received. Sometimes, it would put its arms around Ellis' neck and press its forehead to his, their breath mingling together.

But Ellis refused to blatantly kiss it.

When he finally felt brave enough to move further, the boy started by removing the tape keeping the Hunters' jacket in place. There were several places where the stuff wrapped around the Infected's limbs, and Ellis would remove one section each night. After that they would curl up and sleep in one another arms until morning came.

Once, Ellis took the Hunters right hand in his own and lifted it to his lips, closing his eyes as he kissed the knuckles he found there. The Hunter stared at him, somewhat confused, but continued to make the odd purring noise it only seemed to make when Ellis was touching him. The boy wanted to take it one step further, though, eager to satisfy the creature. He slowly, ever so carefully, drew the Hunters index finger into his mouth, completely aware of the claw on his tongue and the danger he was putting his lower jaw into. But the Infected just sat there staring at him, its mouth parting in a pant when Ellis began to suck.

He ran his tongue over the pad of its finger, rubbing his teeth gently across the flesh it met. He wanted to draw another into his mouth to join the first, but the Hunter let out a loud whimper the moment he did so, and Ellis knew that to go any further, he'd have to move them both away from the others.

"Good night, Ellis."

"Good night, Coach."

"Taking watch again?"

"As always, Rochelle."

"Keep an eye on that Hunter, would you? I don't want to wake up with my intestines spilling out."

"Will do, nick."

Ellis had been very smart about the whole thing, and very careful as well. The last thing he'd wanted to do was put his fellow survivors in danger, after all, so he'd kept his touches fervent, but chaste in the few day it had taken them to find a safehouse. By then, he knew the Hunter was actually desiring him and his touch, the way he made it feel, and Ellis knew that the night they finally reached the bunker would definitely be the night he'd been waiting for.

They stole out of the safehouse around what Ellis speculated to be two o' clock. He really cared little about the time, because in the past few months, what had it even mattered? The apocalypse didn't run on minutes or hours. For all he or anyone else knew, they still had years to wait for help.

Hell, it might've never been meant to end.

But that was beyond the point, and he banished all thoughts from his head that didn't involve the Hunter whose hand he was tightly gripping as they headed further and further away from the safehouse.

They settled in a soft patch of grass and dirt eventually, the Hunter looking completely at ease in the darkness. Its eyes were anxious however, and Ellis wasted no time in shedding his shirt, shoes, and the overalls he kept tied around his waist. The Hunter watched him do so, head cocked, eyes confused, and clicked at him as he set the clothes very carefully on the ground.

"I don't want to put 'em on wrong later, 'ya see? 'Cuz I won't be able to see again 'til mornin', and by then, everyone'll be able to see me, too. And if my clothes are all topsy turvy, well, I think they might suspect somethin'. So I'm jus' settin' 'em down real nice and in order, that way I can put 'em on just the same as they was before. We'll do the same with yours in a minute, jus' you wait." Ellis was rambling and he knew it, but the Hunter seemed to relax at his words, and that was all that mattered.

When he was done, he got down on his knees and placed his hands on the Hunters' shoulders, rubbing them firmly and loosening the kinks. It purred, head lolling a bit, and panted. Ellis felt his head begin to lighten, and a faint spark of arousal ignited in his abdomen. He let his hands travel downwards, thumbs rubbing circles in the loose jacket. The Hunter didn't seem to notice when Ellis' hands reached the hem, but it began to whimper a little when his hands clenched the fabric and yanked it up over the Infected's head.

"Ssh, it's alright. I've got 'ya." Ellis leaned over and placed the jacket beside his own clothes, making sure to keep it in the right order. When that was done, he moved back to the shivering creature before him, whose eyes were glowing faintly in the dark. Ellis placed his hand on the beasts stomach, pushing gently, but firmly, willing the Hunter to lay down in the grass. It did so, hands reaching for the boys neck, confused by the bare skin there whereas it would usually find rough fabric.

Ellis let his hands wander over rippling flesh, traces of what had once been strong, healthy muscles. He was somewhat disturbed by the amount of scars he found, the scratches, the sores, but he was kind and ghosted over the worst of the injuries. The Hunter panted underneath him, crooning in a language Ellis would never understand. He wondered if the Infected had ever been touched before. He wondered that, if not, just how long had it been? Since before the Infection? After?

"I'll take good care of 'ya." He whispered, leaning down to lick his way up the Infected's neck. It jerked a little, claws tightening on Ellis' neck, and he stopped, eyes locking with the glowing orbs staring up at him.

"I won't hurt you." He said, trying to speak with his tone and not his words. If he could just convey all the tenderness he felt...

The claws eased up, the Hunter relaxed, and Ellis grinned. He felt that, at that point, it was now or never.

He leaned down, his breath ghosting over what he'd been craving for bloody weeks, and placed a single kiss to the Hunters' lips.

It did not bite him.

Ellis took that as a sign.

He took the Infected's face in his right hand, the left propping him up, and lapped at the Hunters lower lip, making it shiny and wet so he could then suck it into his own mouth. He nipped at it, and the Hunter, still confused, whimpered a bit.

Ellis smoothed his thumb over the beasts cheek and the whimper turned into a purr.

With reckless abandon, he let himself dominate the Hunters mouth, gently, but fervently, meshing their lips together, moving them, and caressing the others mouth with his own. He flicked the others tongue with his own, coaxing it to play, and the Hunter groaned beneath him, making a sound Ellis had never heard from it before. He ran his tongue coyly over the roof of the others mouth, drawing out of the sound again, and he smirked as he pulled away. If he could see, he imagined the Hunters face would be slightly flushed.

If they could even do that... Ellis didn't know, he'd never seen the Hunter embarrassed before. If it even could be...

He shook his head, throwing the thought off course, and began stroking his hands down the other abdomen. The Hunter sighed, purring to him, but stopped when Ellis reached its pants.

Their eyes met, and Ellis grinned slyly as he reached for the zipper, drawing it down slowly, the sound of metal drawing away from itself loudly in the silence.

Before the creature could object, or growl, or bite and lash, Ellis drew the pants down over its sharp hipbones, away from thighs and knees and calves and finally, finally, over shoes that were ragged with age. He drew those away too, noting the lack of socks and noting with distaste that the poor things feet were probably blistered beyond belief.

One day, he would try to ease that pain away, too, but for now, he had other things to be doing.

Ellis placed his hands on the Hunters ankles, easing himself up the smooth, but frayed in places, skin. Fingers danced over bone and sinew, avoiding places he knew most would beg to be touched. When he again cast over those protruding hipbones, Ellis leaned over and sucked at one, running his teeth over it. The Hunter purred beneath him, hands finding purchase on his shoulders. He lapped at the skin, then dragged his tongue up, up, up, until he could once again plunder the Infected mouth. Whilst doing so, he kicked his shoes off, at the same time, he tortured any sensitive place he could find on the Hunters body, trying to elicit any and every sound he could. With his shoes off, the Hunter naked, and all that was keeping them apart was his own pants, he decided to get to the best part.

He grabbed the Infected's hips and rolled it over, making the creature whine and wiggle a bit, confused by what the boy was doing. He made sweet, crooning noises to it, teasing its sides with his hands until it went silent once more.

Ellis held the Hunter there until he was sure it would stay, and then straightened to undo his own jeans, to pull them down and off in a clumsy struggle. He noted the fact that the Hunter had peered over its shoulder to watch him, and he winked, hoping the Infected took it as something, well, sexy of course. Even though the creature probably didn't even have any idea what that word meant...

Regardless, he eased himself up over its back, hooking his hands on its hips. He lay his chest flush to the others back, chin resting in the crook between the Hunters neck and shoulder. Ellis took the lobe of its ear and nibbled, earning a whimper. It turned its head slightly, and he latched onto the Hunters neck to leave a mark that announced the beast as his own. His Hunter. His.

"Mine." He growled, and his Hunter shivered.

Ellis rocked his body forward a bit, brushing his arousal against the Hunters ass. It stiffened beneath him, completely clueless, and he smiled as he released the beasts hip to grasp its own arousal in his hand.

His Hunter growled at him, and Ellis almost released him completely, but he knew that it would only set them back, so he grit his teeth and prayed it wouldn't rip him to shreds afterwords.

Ellis moved his hand slowly up and down the shaft, catching the Hunter by surprise and making it buck beneath him. It let out that odd, near human groan Ellis had heard it make before, and as he ran a finger over the head, it outright moaned for him. The boy made a noise of his own, his arousal stiffening even further. He prodded the Hunter with it, searching for friction, but it wasn't enough. He needed more. His Hunter whimpered beneath him, rutting back against him in desperation of something it couldn't even name, and Ellis released it to lean back and retrieve the lotion he'd found in a medkit a few weeks ago. He'd been saving it for this, hoping it would someday happen, and here he was, dolloping the stuff in his hand.

He coated his fingers and the entrance to his Hunters' ass, finding that it was easier said than done getting a finger into it. The Infected whined beneath him, keening into the wind. Ellis worked gently, but efficiently, stretching it, accommodating it for what was to come. When the beast began to whimper, pushing back for more, he pulled his fingers away and sought more of the lotion.

This time, he coated his dick with it. And this time, as he hooked his left hand on his Hunters' left hip and settled over its back, he murmured sweet, nonsensical words into its ear as he used his free hand to ease himself inside.

At first, as he was sliding in, the Infected struggled to get away, claws scratching away at the dirt and grass, its growls high-pitched as it rode out the pain. Ellis could only murmur in its ear, "Let me love you, let me love you..." and hope that he wasn't hurting it too badly.

When his Hunter finally stilled, panting beneath him for air it couldn't seem to draw, he drew out and, slowly, pushed back in. The Infected whined, the muscles on its back rippling beneath Ellis as he repeated the motion. He created a rhythm that the Hunter soon mimicked, Ellis giving and the beast taking, returning as best it could. They rocked together, their groans reaching a fever-pitch as they sought more, ever more. Ellis' hand found the Hunters' leaking member and stroked in time to his thrusts, which, after a few minutes, became increasingly erratic.

Ellis could feel the blood rushing in his ears, his arousal spiking as the Hunter cried beneath him, moaning its pleasure for him. Sweat dripped from his body, chilling him, but the heat from beneath him kept him going, and before long, the winding coil in his abdomen began to tighten. He pulled out a final time, aiming for the spot he knew would send his keening, desperate Hunter into its final ecstasy. He thrust as hard as he could, hand creating a delicious friction around the beasts member, and with a final cry of delight, the Hunter spilled its seed into Ellis' hand. He pumped a few final times, milking all he could from the orgasm, and then returned his hand to the Hunters' hip. With groan of satisfaction, Ellis found his completion in one last, hammering thrust, and he emptied himself into the spent Hunter beneath him.

Ellis stayed inside it for a few moments more, resting on the Infected's back to catch his breath. And when at last he pulled out, he pulled the Hunter into his arms to share with it a savory, desperate kiss.

Later, Ellis would redress them both and carry his sated Hunter back to the safehouse. But for now, they lay in the soft grass and placed soft, tender kisses on one anothers cheeks.

Rochelle and Coach were the first to notice their lack of foodstuffs the next day, and had volunteered to go and find something for the group to eat. This statement, almost immediately, sent Nick into a floundering rage.

"Oh, no you don't. I'm not eating anymore more shit steaks or crackers. I'm coming with you two to make sure we find something that's actually edible."

"But we can't just leave Ellis alone, Nick." Rochelle said, pointing at the rather innocent looking boy as he sat cleaning his newly acquired desert eagle. Ellis raised an eyebrow, nodding his head in the direction of the Hunter.

"I'm not alone, Ro'. I've got 'muh Hunter with me. I'll be jus' fine."

The other survivors shared a look.

"I... suppose we can trust him... And we won't be gone all that long..." Coach seemed to be debating something in his mind, but otherwise, he stayed silent.

"He'll be fine. Besides, if anyone's going to end up dying, it'll be the Hunter killing itself to get away from all those goddamn Keith stories..."

"You're jus' jealous." Ellis drawled.

The others left, their minds at ease. They knew Ellis would be just fine, and that no harm would come to him.

He had his Hunter with him, after all.

I hope it was to the Anon's liking.

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