I've rated it M for occasional language, Walking Dead typical situations, eventually a few adult themes and whatever else happens along the way. Everything an M rating is! :)

And this is a slow going romance, so yeah. Just to let you know before you start reading.

Enjoy, and please review!

- Loré.

I know exactly where I was when it happened. When the world as we knew it went crazy and the dead started walking. I was asleep.

I'm not saying there was a precise date as to when it happened. But I was so jet-lagged and tired, I wasn't really paying attention to the world, I just slept for ages.

Waking up, I looked around the apartment bedroom dazed. The dark curtains were drawn even though sunlight was trying to stream through, casting a funny glow on the white walls and wooden floor. The double bed sat in the middle of the small room, with my bags still piled in the corner.

Dazed, I tried to remember where I was - I'd flown out from Britain to the heart of North Carolina to visit a childhood friend. Running a hand through my bed-head knotty red hair, I twisted it up into a messy bun and got up.

Walking through the apartment, I noticed it was totally silent. Not quiet with that electrical hum, but dead. No sound of traffic outside, nothing, which was strange, as I glanced at the clock, considering it was only one in the afternoon near the center of the city.

"Alex?" I called through the apartment. No reply. He had booked time off work so we could chill and explore while I was over for a couple weeks. He should be here!

I walked up to the window and peered out wondering why the world seemed so silent. Peering through the gap between two blinds, I gasped.

It was a ghost town out there. Cars had been littered along the road with doors left open, even a few turned over from collisions with trees and other cars. Birds haunted the street, picking at things on the floor that was hard to define from this distance. Smoke billowed from buildings a mile or so away. As I went to turn away from the window, I saw a person trudging along the street slowly, looking totally delirious. Even from where I was standing, I could tell she looked ill with her skin almost blue, covered in stains and skin hanging off on her arms with her hair was stringy and wild. She must have been in one of those crashes. Maybe I should go check to see if she is okay...

"Sam, get away from the window!" Jumping, I turned to see Alex standing a few feet away, panting with - I soon realised - what was a small child, sobbing in his arms.

"Oh my God, Alex. What the hell?" I stared at him. His shaggy black hair stuck to his face with sweat, his tall and relatively well built frame trembling slightly, his deep green eyes slightly wild, slightly pained. I took a step forward but stopped myself, looking at the small child, perplexed. What the-

"I found her sitting in the doorway downstairs in the little alcove bit alone." He said, sensing the unasked questions I was forming.

"What is going on out there? I know I'm crappy when it comes to jet lag and coming round from it, but the world seems crazy. Has there been like, a terrorist threat or something?" I asked searching his eyes for answers, but he lowered his head.

Sighing, he looked back up at me at me and nodded. "Let me put her to bed first. Then I'll tell you what I know." With that, he walked with the girl to the room I was just in, and I faintly heard him say she's safe, and that she should get some sleep.

He walked back out of the room after giving the small girl a re-assuring smile, before shutting the door and looking back at me, giving me the weakest smile I've ever seen from him.

"You okay Sambo?" He always used to call me that after we started Karate together when we were kids - a combination of Sam and Rambo. He only called me that as I constantly kicked his arse. I still found time to continue doing it, despite everything else that had happened in life. And right now, I had no idea what was happening in life.

"Cut it out, Alex. What's going on?" I snapped, his detached behaviour starting to panic me. He drew a shaky breath before he spoke.

"You know on the way here, there was talk on the radio about some disease outbreak up North, but not to worry about it as it's been contained? Well, since you've been comatose for like, three days, the world's fallen apart. Sam, it's zombies. The apocalypse."

A strange, hysterical laugh filled the room, and I soon realised it was from me.

"There's no way. Seriously, Alex." We saw all the gory horror flicks when we were teenagers. We even joked that we would be able to handle ourselves in all situations together, but we were just kids - we never though it would, or even could, happen.

"Yeah Sam. There are barely any human left living. People have either been bitten and turned, or they've taken their own lives." He sighed, shutting his eyes. This is too crazy and unreal. Illogical. This has to be some jet-lag dream or something.

"What do we do?" I asked, my voice breaking as I ran a shaky hand through my hair.

"Well, when things just started to go mad, I was scavenging a police car when I heard this broadcast. Don't look at me like that Sam, scavenging is the only way you can guarantee to keep on living - scavenging or looting, staying alert. But anyway, on the only frequency signal was an emergency broadcast about a refuge center, a safe place in Atlanta. I think it assumes there are survivors out there; there's got to be, I mean, look at us. I tried waking you to tell you all of this, to prepare ourselves, but you're so damn hard to wake. I thought you were actually dead at one point.." He sighed again, giving me a shaky smile.

I sat down on the sofa feeling winded. And totally, undeniably scared. Maybe I'm still jet-lagged, and this is just some messed up dream. I shut my eyes tight, and opened them again. Nope. Not back in bed, everything all too real. I tried it again. Same results. I pinched myself but that only hurt. I resorted to slapping myself, but Alex rushed over to stop me before I could really do some damage.

"This is real Sambo. We've got to be practical. We planned what we would do if this happened, right?" He said, moving he hands to my cheeks, cupping my face, trying to calm me down. I searched his face with teary eyes, waiting for him to tell me this was all just some sick joke. He only gave me a sad smile.

"Okay Alex." I said, but it came out barely louder than a whisper.

He stood back and walked back over to the window, surveying the streets. He chewed his lip for a bit before walking back to stand in front of me. He stopped chewing his lip, and started chewing in again before he spoke.

"Sam, pack essentials. Few clothes, food that will keep. Find anything that will give a mean blow. I found some guns a day ago, but there is little ammo. They should only be used in dire situations though - the sound attracts them. I've got to find a car for all three of us, Sam. We're gonna have to take the girl with us - I don't think she has any family left, so can you try to find things for her too? I'll be back as soon as I can." He said, his voice cracking and weak, despite his attempted assertiveness.

He hugged me and nodded, before leaving the apartment and me, sitting on the sofa, my heart throbbing in my throat.