Falling For You

If there's one thing worse than fighting a zombie apocalypse, it was fighting a zombie apocalypse with a mofo of a migraine. Especially when torturing a bastard like Nick. Nick had forgotten how ruthless migraines could be. Even though he took twice the recommended dosage of pain pills six hours before, his head still throbbed and his attitude sucked more than ever.

And as fate would have it, Ellis was talking continuously, more so than yesterday.

"Y'know, Ro'? I thought of becomin' a reportuh once, but then I thought that my accent an' all would pro'lly annoy the - ,"

"Ellis," Nick growled.

"Yeah, Nick?"

"Shut. The fuck. Up."

Ellis scrunched his eyebrows at Nick's sudden sharp comment. He shrugged.

"Okay," he said.

The four survivors walked on the road in the middle of a deserted town; it was void of all life, obviously, the infected were few and in between. And if that didn't set anyone on edge, there was a problem.

"I know it may sound cliché an' all, but don't it seem too quiet?" Ellis asked.

"Yeah, let's keep it that way," Nick spat.

"Okay, ladies," Coach huffed. "Ellis is right. Don't get too comfortable."

"I dunno 'bout yew, Coach, but I'd like to see if there are any of them zombies in close vicinity. We should git a bird's eye view."

Coach grunted in agreement.

"Them steps on the side of that bank should take us to the roof. We can scout an' take a breather."

Rochelle and Coach agreed and veered to the left of the street towards the old bank. The metal stairs made weird echoes as all eight feet stomped up them, much to Nick's distaste.

Someone had already been on the roof. Two sleeping bags were crumpled a stiff pile. They had bloody crust on them, which tied in with the bloody footprints leading away and off the roof. Ellis followed them and looked over the edge. He grinned.

"Stupid zombies jumping off roofs. Nick, you should see how this dude landed! I mean, I know it's only two storeys, but man oh man!"

"I'll pass."

Nick plopped down on top of one of the sleeping bags and pressed his index finger and thumb against the bridge of his nose.

"Rochelle and I will look for supplies. There could be a map down in the bank or a gas station close by. We'll be right back."

Coach shifted his auto-shotgun onto his shoulder securely and turned back to the stairs with Rochelle on his heels.

Ellis kept looking out over the horizon, smiling wide.

"Not an infected in sight. Ain't that a beauty?"

Nick didn't respond. He just seemed too focussed on his breathing. He started catching his breath.

"Shit!" With a gargle and a lurch, Nick vomited all over his crotch.

"Nick!" Ellis cried, alarmed. He turned and rushed over to the conman. He crouched next to him.

Nick stared at his pants, his heart racing. He dared not look at Ellis with him so close. Being secretly attracted to the hick, Nick naturally compensated by being an asshole all the while fantasizing about Ellis'. Nick never told anyone, though. He felt ashamed and angry with himself. Rochelle was just not "likable" in that sense, looks aside. And Coach was Coach. But Ellis was this young boy who was having the time of his life. Nick felt like he was about to take advantage of that. That and he was also in the middle of questioning his sexual orientation with a throbbing headache. Basically, with all his sexual tension making him burst at the seams, even having Ellis close was a massive turn on.

"Crap," Nick mumbled.

Ellis scratched his forehead and reached for the other sleeping bag.

"It's alright, man. We'll jus' use this an' we'll wipe it up."

Before Nick could interject (if he wanted to, that is), Ellis was wiping up the slime gently from the fabric around his thighs. Nick's eyelashes fluttered at the contact. Ellis' gaze was covered by the bill of his cap. Nick gulped and tried to keep a steady breathing pace. Ellis started to shift up to Nick's slightly throbbing crotch. Nick caught his breath.

"Ellis?" he panted.

"Yeah?"

"Stop touching me."

It was unbearable to say that, but Nick didn't want Ellis to see any movement in his pants. God, he was hopeless. Where was his damn poker face when he needed it? It's not like he meant to be snappy. But when trying to hide arousal as well as emotions while battling a headache, having someone a foot away from your crotch doesn't help. That, and arousal could lead to contact. Contact could lead to attachment; that was the last thing Nick wanted.

Ellis dropped the bag immediately and stood up.

"Jus' tryin' tuh help," he murmured.

Nick kept his mouth shut to not say something offending. He just wiped the rest of the slime away from his pants.

"My effing suit..." he grumbled. "If it gets any dirtier, I'm gonna be pissed."

"Wish yuh luck!" Ellis chirped with a small laugh. He slowly walked over to the edge of the roof again.

Nick rubbed his left arm with his right hand. He felt a little better after throwing up, but some of the pain was still clinging onto him. Ellis looked over his shoulder with a wide grin.

"Y'know, that jus' reminded me of this one time my buddy Keith an' -"

"Ellis," Nick piped up, "now's not the best time."

"Aw, c'mon, Nick. It'll make yew feel better! I promise!" Ellis replied.

"Later."

"Fine. Suit yersel -"

Suddenly, a smoker's tongue shot from the street and coiled itself around Ellis' torso and neck. It tore him off his feet, draggin him towards the edge of the roof. His hat flew off and started gliding down to the street below. With his free arm, he throttled the slimy appendage encasing him.

"SHI -" Ellis' scream was cut off as the tongue constricted his throat.

"Ellis!" Nick cried. He leapt to his feet and pulled out his gun. By the time he raised it, Ellis was gone. Nick towards the eaves.

Nick froze at the sound of the crunch of wood... or was that bone?

Nick peered over the edge. The tongue was drawn taught as it dragged Ellis off the sidewalk below. Blood started dripping from his slightly open mouth and his body was limp. His lifeless arm followed the rest of him at an odd angle. The broken window glass scraped against the road as Ellis' body smeared over it.

There was no other sound.

Nick clambered over the edge of the building and hung there for a moment before letting go. His ankles buckled under the impact. One of his knees folded like an auditorium chair and smashed onto the road. He gritted his teeth and forced himself up, sprinting after Ellis.

Ellis collided with a parked car. From the other side of it, the smoker tried to wrench him free.

"Back off, you zombie fucker!" Nick bellowed. He raised his gun, fuelled by pure rage and pain. He emptied out all fifteen bullets before the smoker fell to the ground behind a puff of smoke. The tongue unravelled from Ellis' body. He was propped up against the side of the car.

Nick didn't slow down. He collapsed beside Ellis, grabbing his left arm after tossing his hand gun carelessly to the side.

"Ellis! C'mon, talk to me, kid!" Nick cried.

Ellis didn't move. His eyes were slightly open and more blood oozed out of his mouth and a gash on his eyebrow. But raspy breaths were still audible. His eyes shifted.

"Kid?"

Ellis gasped and choked on the blood in his mouth. Blood speckled around his upper lip and Nick's cheeks. He swallowed and started breathing faster. His eyes fluttered and looked around frantically.

"It's okay. Calm down," Nick murmured softly. Ellis' eyes met with his. He started growling and grunting. "Easy, Ellis."

"Nnnnikj," he forced out, sending more blood spilling out onto his Bull Shifters shirt. He used his uninjured arm and grasped Nick's. He kept holding his breath and gritting his teeth.

"Nick!" Rochelle and Coach were running up the street.

"What the hell happened, boy? We heard screaming!"

"Ellis is down," Nick replied. Rochelle and Coach came around the edge of the car and grimaced at the sight.

"I can't leave you two for a minute," Coach grumbled. He knelt next to them. Tears streamed from Ellis' eyes in massive quantities. His knuckles were white as they squeezed the fabric of Nick's suit.

"What happened?" Rochelle asked.

"Smoker pulled him off the roof."

Rochelle looked back to the bank which was a good twenty feet behind them. Add that distance to the two storeys he fell, and you've got a potentially fatal injury.

"I jumped down to get him," Nick continued. Ellis looked at Nick. He tried to move the upper part of his body, but he lurched back to his previous position, yelling out in pain. He slammed his head into the car holding him up.

"His shoulder's dislocated," Rochelle stated. She pulled her med-kit from her back and unzipped it. Coach reached for the awkwardly bent arm and grabbed it. Ellis screamed.

"It's okay, I've dealt with this type of thing with the team back home," Coach said. Ellis was trembling. His eyes started to waver.

"Ellis! Stay with me, kiddo!" Nick shouted. Ellis blinked hard and looked into Nick's eyes again. "Just stay with me. Everything will be okay, y'hear? We're not going to let this little thing -,"

CRACK!

Coach popped the shoulder back into place. Ellis screamed in agony, sobbing, any words drowned in blood.

"What the hell, Coach?" Nick yelled.

"He had to be relaxed so I had to do it before he realized what I was doin'." Blood kept interfering with Ellis' speech. He kept slurring things, reeling in pain.

"Did he break a rib? That could've ruptured a lung," Rochelle stated as she pulled out some antiseptic wipes.

"Wouldn't surprise me," Coach mumbled. Ellis shook his head sharply. Nick raised his eyebrows. "Broken teeth, perhaps?"

Ellis didn't speak, but replied by showing everyone his intact, red teeth. He slowly started to part his jaws to show the inside of his mouth. Rochelle's eyes widened.

"Holy!" she gasped. Coach's jaw dropped. Nick flinched.

Ellis had bitten his tongue. Not through it, but enough to cause a lot of damage.

"Ow?" Coach said. Ellis nodded and blinked again. More tears streamed down his cheeks, making funny markings in the blood.

Rochelle approached Ellis' face with a roll of gauze and rubbing alcohol in hand. Ellis clamped his mouth shut, breathing heavily.

"We have to stop the blood, Hun."

"Mm-mm," he squeaked. He eventually opened his mouth to spit out more blood.

"Would you feel better if Nick did it?" she asked.

"Huh?" Nick's head snapped up. Rochelle was being sarcastic, but Ellis looked down, thinking.

"Mm-hmm." Nick stared at Ellis. Ellis didn't look up.

"You sure you want me to do it?" Nick asked.

"Mm-hmm," he repeated.

Nick looked over at Rochelle, who gave shrugged, opening the bottle of alcohol. She poured some onto Nick's dirty hands. He rubbed them together, wincing at the sting in his scrapes. He didn't say anything. Ellis was the one going through the real pain. Nick wrapped a foot of gauze around his index and middle fingers. He gently grasped Ellis' quivering chin and pulled it down. He gazed into Ellis' eyes and slid his fingers into his bloody mouth without breaking the stare. Ellis gasped and squeezed Nick's arm. His back arched with the sudden pressure and pain. He squeezed his eyes shut.

"Just don't bite me, kid."

Ellis wriggled, growling and crying as Nick maintained pressure on his throbbing tongue. But at least the kid was careful to not bite.

Nick slowly slipped his fingers out of Ellis' mouth to replace the soiled gauze. He repeated this routine until the blood flow slowed to a non-threatening level; at the same time, Rochelle and Coach cleaned his scrapes and gashes that were mostly caused from the shards of glass on the ground.

"Keep this in your mouth," Nick said. He placed a clean wad of gauze into the hick's raw mouth. The kid closed it, still looking at Nick. All in all, Ellis' arms and lower back were covered in bandages. He still couldn't move his arm properly, but at least it was where it was supposed to be.

"There's a safe house across town," Rochelle said. "We'll go there and regroup."

Nick nodded and leaned over Ellis. He slid his hands gingerly under his back, trying not to hurt him too much.

"Let's get you back on your feet," he mumbled in his ear. Ellis hooked his good arm around Nick's back. He heaved him up to his feet. Nick positioned himself under Ellis' good shoulder and held him close. They took a few steps before Nick grunted and limped. Ellis looked over at him. Nick cursed under his breath quietly. Rochelle and Coach didn't notice, their guns ready for any infected they had to re-kill and were a few feet in front of them.

Ellis looked at Nick with one brow furrowed. The other was still raw and bleeding slowly.

"I might've busted my knees back there," he grumbled.

Ellis leaned his head in close, nudging Nick's forehead slightly.

"No more head ache. I guess you scared it away," Nick chuckled through scowls.

Ellis shifted his arm and wrapped his arm around Nick's back; a humorous swich-er-oo. Nick tried to pull away. The hick's toned arm held firm.

You ain't carrying me with screwed up legs.

Ellis' voice rang clear in Nick's imagination. Nick rested his arm on the mechanic's shoulders and the two of them limped on towards the safe house across town.