A/N - I'm so glad everyone seems to like Alice and Rain bickering and acting like children. Making Rain a pun-target is so much fun :)


Chapter 2

'Coontown

In the failing light of dusk, they stumbled down the littered sidewalk. Rain was trying to concentrate on keeping her speed in check. Too bad her overly sensitive nose kept distracting her. There was so much more to the city with the added information her sinuses were delivering to her.

While sniffing out the lingering scents of people, animals, food, and infected, she consistently ran into inanimate objects and tripped over herself, much to Alice's amusement. Fucking hell, Rain griped to herself, she probably looked like a toddler just learning to walk. It had her wondering if her Amazon had experienced something similar when her metabolism and hearing got cranked, and if she had been as irritated by it too.

Aside from the extra info that her nose supplied, blood stains, abandoned cars, bullet holes, and unchecked fires told them everything else they needed to know. Those idiots had actually opened the Hive and let all those hungry bitches out. As if a few hours trapped underground with hundreds of zombies wasn't bad enough, now Rain was stuck in a city full of thousands of them. On top of it, the crazy ass heat wave was still cooking Coontown. The hot pavement was burning the hell out of her bare feet. She wanted some boots!

"There's a decent army surplus store nearby." She told Alice, who was busy lighting a cigarette. The blonde had found a partial pack of Camels, a lighter, and a shotgun in an otherwise empty patrol car. "They got a sick selection of guns and boots."

"And here I was thinking the cute boutique over on Pine was more your style."

Rain shrugged. "Nah. I only go to the Dress Bandit when I've got someone to impress, and you aren't on that list."

"You actually know the name of the place?" Alice gaped at her in surprise.

"Their collection of petite clothes is pretty sweet."

After another bout of fish-mouthing, Alice responded. "No way."

"Didn't see that one comin, did ya?"

"Please, tell me that we're going to stop by your place."

Suspicious of Alice's motives, Rain gave the woman a sideways look. She watched Alice take a drag and exhale a lungful of smoke. The stench of it made Rain gag. Damn, she'd thought they smelled awful before her nose got jacked up. "Why the fuck you wanna go there?"

"I have to see your closet before I'll believe it."

"Don't believe I own anything as feminine as a dress, huh?"

"No."

Chuckling, Rain smiled. "Guess it's something for you to think about."

A zombie literally dropped in her path with a nasty crunch onto the scalding sidewalk. Stumbling back and looking up revealed another undead person about to drop from a shattered office building window, two stories up. He also crunched on impact. There was a line of zombies pretending to be lemmings. They crowded the broken window, struggling to get to fresh meat as fast as possible. The first jumper, faller? Whatever the hell she should call it, was trying to get its broken legs to push itself closer to the women. "Seriously?" She merely walked around the pathetic thing.

"Gross." Alice agreed, also avoiding the landing zone. She flicked her cigarette butt at a grasping, infected woman. "Let's hurry and get to the store."

Behind them, the crunching, squishing sounds continued. The women jogged around the corner and continued down the street, occasionally killing infected. As the sun dropped behind the tall buildings, they found and cautiously stepped into the surplus store. When nothing immediately jumped out to attack and neither sensed any infected inside, they started their 'shopping spree'.

While Alice pulled on pants, she glanced over at Rain, who was doing the same, with a small smile. "I think the two of you are cute."

Tank top half pulled on, Rain sputtered indignantly. "Wha-what? The fuck you talking about?"

"You and Anise. Do you always go for women like her?"

"Whatcha mean, like her?" Rain demanded, her eyes narrowed.

"The surprising, pretty kind that saw past your bullshit to the compassionate woman underneath and saved your cranky ass."

A loud ripping sound drew both of their attention to the newly shredded fabric in Rain's hands. "Dammit." She dragged the damaged shirt back off. Half-naked and extremely aggravated, she began hunting through the racks for a replacement top. Feeling Alice's pleased expression, Rain took great care to not rip the fresh clothing she picked out. "This superstrength bullshit is getting on my nerves."

Alice chuckled. "I would've thought that a tough girl like you would enjoy being so strong."

Favoring the blonde with a trademark scowl, Rain griped. "I liked you better in the Hive. You talked less."

Opening her mouth to reply, Alice abruptly burst into giggles when Rain's stomach gurgled loudly, making her cry out. "Gotta be fuckin kidding me. I just ate that pie like, fifteen minutes ago." Her belly rumbled again, inflaming Alice's giggles. "Laugh it up, Blondie. I'll kick your ass when we get outta this reeking city."

Still laughing, Alice moved to the gun counter. Finding a stash of Clif Bars, she grabbed the display box and threw it at Rain, who caught it with her chest and elbows. Stupid speed had thrown her hands out way too soon. Chewing on a brownie-tasting energy bar, Rain covered her annoyance by browsing through the gun selection. She picked up a lightly scratched handgun and inspected it as she groused to herself about her latest troubles.

Stupid blondes. Stupid upgrades. Stupid Amazon blood. Stupid... Alice's cry of pain had Rain reflexively aiming her gun around, looking for a threat, even though the clip was empty. The store was quiet, except for Alice, who was doubled over and gripping her arm tightly. Small moans of pain escaped her clenched teeth.

"What is it?" Rain demanded in a harsh whisper.

The blonde arched back and exposed her upper arms, where something was moving under the skin. Rain swallowed hard at the disturbing sight, remembering Matt right before those white-suited bastards had shown up. Freaky little fingers or tongues or worms maybe had wiggled out of the wounds in his arm. What the hell had those Umbrella morons done to her fellow survivor? Oh, fuck. What if they... Rain threw out those thoughts before they could take hold and make her piss herself in fear.

"Fuck," she breathed, staring uselessly. The stink of infection grew stronger, making her nose itch. The creepy little squirmy things weren't something that Rain could shoot or punch, and it made her feel helpless. It was a feeling she hated even more than being vulnerable. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Alice's sweat soaked body stilled, and her breathing returned to normal. Nose twitching as the odor of infection lessened, Rain knelt at her companion's side and lightly touched a clammy cheek. "Alice?"

Slowly, Alice's eyes opened and focused on the soldier's concerned face. Fear crinkled the skin around her eyes and rolled off her in scented waves. "What's happening to me?" She whimpered.

Rain's jaw worked, yet nothing came out.

"I'm afraid." Alice admitted, her voice small, almost not there. It had Rain's heart clenching.

"Those bastards." She snarled and gripped her pistol tightly, slamming home a full clip. "We'll find whoever did this and fill their ass full of lead."

"You're so sweet." The former security operative remarked.

Rain smirked. She sucked at being compassionate and sympathetic. Angry, blood-thirsty bitch was so much easier. "Damn right. Now get your whiny ass up and let's pack some heat. I've got appointments with dead men that I'd like to keep."

With Alice standing and a little smile brightening her shadowed face, Rain returned to the racks, hunting for an adequate vest to stash her shit in. And then she hunted down a gun big enough to make her lick her lips in anticipation.

Looking for ammo that fit her new favorite gun, Rain ventured into the back of the store where she ran into a former employee. The big dude had his guts ripped out and most of his face and neck were gone too. Blood, shit from his shredded bowels, and god-awful aftershave had assaulted her nose long before she heard his shuffling footsteps. Rain had taken long enough to get over his wretched stench that he had touched a battered hand to her arm before she put her knife through his skull.

"What's wrong with you?" Alice asked when Rain returned to the storefront, gagging and trying really hard not to vomit.

"Fat, smelly ass bastard tried to eat me." Rain sucked in the relatively fresher air. "I could smell the feces still in his dangling intestines. I think I saw a box of explosives, but there's no fucking way my nose is making another trip back there without me puking everywhere."

Lips pulling back in disgust, Alice bravely peeked into the back. She returned with a box under one arm, and a set of keys dangling from a finger. "That guy was wearing a biker vest, so I checked his pockets. These keys are probably for that Suzuki out front."

"Great. My carjacking skills are a little rusty."

"That sounds like you've got some interesting stories."

"Maybe I'll tell you a couple if we make it out of this shithole alive. What's in the box?"

Alice unhooked the catches on the metal box and lifted the lid. She crooned appreciatively. "Grenades for that under-mounted launcher on your rifle, I think."

"Gimme." Eagerly, Rain peered into the box while setting the rifle in question beside it. "Oh yea. This is just what I needed." She stuffed the ammo into a pocket, grinning viciously.

"Is that enough hardware for you? Cause I'm ready to leave." Alice held up a shimmery, dark green motorcycle helmet in one hand and a matte red one in the other.

Rain grabbed a new Ka-bar to replace the knife she had hastily left in the biker's head. "Let's go." Eagerly, she strode back outside to the Suzuki Intruder parked in the handicap stall. It was sweet little ride that had her imagining a nice afternoon cruise with Anise's arms wrapped around her waist. She wondered what kind of vehicle the tall beauty drove. Amazon seemed like an expensive convertible Mercedes kind of woman. On second thought, the crazy woman probably drove a restored muscle car. No seat belts, big ass engine, and a solid steel chassis. Now that seemed more like her.

At the bike, Alice thrust the red helmet at Rain, breaking the soldier from her amorous thoughts. She held up the keys questioningly.

The darker woman shook her nod. "Nah. You drive. I'll shoot anything that gets in the way."

"If I hadn't witnessed you going all goo-goo over Anise, I'd think you just wanted to put your arms around me."

"I'd like to put my hands around your neck. Maybe squeeze a little."

Alice smiled.

Rain's lips twitched.

Alice laughed.

Rain lost the battle, feeling a smile stretch her lips and lift her cheeks. She rolled her eyes.

Still laughing, Alice settled the helmet, buckled it securely, and shifted the visor to almost-closed. She slid onto the motorcycle and looked back at Rain, eyebrow lifted in challenge.

Rain slapped her own visor shut. Then abruptly opened it a notch upon realizing the loss of scent. Fucking nose. She eased herself onto the bike behind Alice. With a bad British accent, she pointed down the road. "To Ravens Gate Bridge, James."