Disclaimer: I do not own Warm Bodies or anything related.
At night they would go walking till the breaking of the day
The morning is for sleeping
Through the dark streets they go searching to see God in their own way
Save the night time for your weeping, your weeping
~ Coldplay - Cemeteries of London
A/N: This story begins BEFORE the very last scene in the movie, right after R realizes that he's alive again. It is what R narrates about. Do enjoy! Shout-outs will be at the bottom.
Attention: This story has been stolen and republished on multiple websites! Please, be a decent human being and ask me for permission before using my story or parts of it! Or at least tie me to it in some way!
Rating: T for: blood, pain, language, action, drama, and suggestive material later.
"I... uh, l-love... you," R murmured.
Julie Grigio blinked back to reality, fighting off a blush. R had whispered that soft confession just before they were ushered out of the humvee, a little while ago. She sat still a moment, staring at the hard concrete beneath her feet. She heard the commotion around her, heard the voices floating around her head, but didn't notice a thing. Was this really happening? Her mind wandered far away, a month ago, seven years ago, lost and overwhelmed with it all.
This was crazy.
Julie knew it was.
How could it not be?
If you were to tell her last month, that she would be saved by a zombie, from zombies, she would have rolled her eyes and ignored you. If you would have told her that she'd befriend said zombie, and then be a witness to his rebirth? She'd let you know how crazy you were and probably avoid you for a while. Now, if you told her then that she'd also maybe even start to feel pretty serious feelings for him, - a zombie - in the process, besides everything else... why she'd laugh in your face and call a medical team, because clearly there was something very wrong with you.
But now... now she wasn't sure what to think, or how to process everything that had happened to her recently. Let's start at the beginning, shall we? She had just turned twelve, she was having a semi-normal life with her parents, she was with her friends, emailing her pen pal who told her a world called college where kids were free from most responsibilities, and her mom was still alive. Things in the world were still horrible of course, there were reports of strange things happening but it was too far and between to make anyone really pay attention to the signs. At least, that's how it was in her mind. And then in a span of a few months things went from really bad to much worse.
She was forced out of her home with her parents, her city had been exed. She lost so much during that time, including the spirit of hope from her parents. Freedom from responsibilities was but a fantasy now. She had seen some terrible things, had to do some terrible things too, and it all just got worse. She had thought, as long as she had her parents, she would be okay. But that was not to be. She had lost her mother not long after they found the stadium city. Her dad just seemed to lose it from there. He became rigid and devoid of most emotions, no better than the seemingly emotionless corpses they fought. She had met a wonderful boy during her first few years there, Perry. He was a bundle of hope and energy in the bleak world that she lived in. Things were great between them for the first couple years, until reality started to grab hold of him too. Perry, like her father, 'grew up', put away hope and dreams and stuck to reality. He became cold and distant, even going as far as rejecting affection from her some times.
He had died long before his last hunt.
Julie had had a moment of pure unadulterated grief the moment she realized she had lost him. But to her surprise, acceptance and even relief replaced it nearly immediately after. He, like her mother, had wanted so very badly to escape the world anyway. After all, the full dead do not experience this hellish world, do not want for anything. Even the zombies want for food. Things had been so colorless and dreary for Julie, that is, until she met the anomaly known as R. He had told her she had been instrumental in reviving him, what they had, whatever that was, was the reason 'life' was spreading like a disease amongst the rest of zombie-kind. Quicker than she had anticipated, things started to change when she met him, he brought a splash of color to her gray world, even though he himself had still been mostly gray at the time.
Could it all have really been fate? Or was she kidding herself again?
He was a zombie with a heart. More heart and hope, it seemed, than her parents or Perry ever seemed to have. He selflessly kept her safe, saved her life countless times, and even scoured the city for her when she all but abandoned him. How could she reject such devotion? And so she let him in and accepted him. It was then she started seeing a greater more rapid change in him. His skin had started to lose its bluish pale color, his speech started to improve, and he even started smelling less and less like a... well, like a zombie. It wasn't really until he started to bleed, -when her dad shot him, that she realized he had been right all along. She had helped change him. And if he had been right about that... then that meant that M and the other zombies would soon live as well! It was all crazy, all a bit overwhelming. What was morbidly funny now, -and tragically not, was that now that R was alive again, he was losing too much blood. If the doctors didn't come soon, he would be really dead this time! If it had been fate, fate had a pretty grim sense of humor. But then, she already knew that.
R watched Julie closely from his spot on the cot he was taken to. He and Julie sat in a clinic like area, an infirmary, a large tent with curtains and old medical machines and beds all over. His bed was on the far end of the infirmary. It had been fortunate that most of the people around hadn't known what he had been, so they just glanced at him curiously when he was brought over. He wasn't a former zombie to them, he was simply a stranger. He knew that would eventually change, but for now he was grateful. He sat there quietly, not paying attention to the conversation Julie's dad was having with one of the doctors there, he simply sat and watched the woman he loved, seeing the very familiar look in Julie's eyes. He recognized that look well, it was a look that always stared back at him in his reflection when he stared out the windows at the airport. It was the look of someone trapped in their own mind, wishing they could escape it and rejoin the living.
A sudden voice broke Julie and R out of their reverie. "Hello, my name is doctor Martinez." The two looked over to see who had spoken. It was a short woman who looked like she was in the middle of her life with long black hair and a pair of wire-rimmed glasses over green eyes. "You must be... R?" The doctor's brows furrowed slightly. Clearly she had been expecting a half-eaten corpse, not a semi-normal looking young man. R looked up and nodded slowly. The doctor smiled cautiously and seemed to hesitate before walking over and pulling out a little black pen from her pocket. "Look this way please, try not to blink," she instructed and held the pen in his eye. R was surprised that it was a flashlight and tried hard to follow the doctor's instructions. He was also surprised by how much the light in his eyes hurt him.
"Amazing..." Martinez muttered to herself. She had no doubt expected the ethereal gray eyes of an undead, not the strikingly blue eyes that stared back at her."Alright well, you have proper dilation, so you haven't gone into shock, that's good," the doctor nodded, then turned to Julie. "Ms. Grigio, would you mind waiting outside? He needs that bullet out of him, he'll have to have surgery," the doctor explained, glancing over to her patient to include him in the discussion. The young man looked glum but pensive, listening to every word she said intently.
"Oh, right, sure," Julie hesitated, giving R one last anxious look before reluctantly leaving the makeshift hospital.
Martinez turned to her patient once more. Her smile came a little easier now. "If you would please remove your jacket and shirt, we need to get started right away," the doctor instructed, motioning her staff that it was time. R did as he was told, wincing every now and then when he moved his arm too much. Pain was a novelty to him, he hadn't remembered what it was like, he had gone so long without feeling it. Once he removed the clothing needed, the medical team seemed to stare at his wound in fascination for a moment. They had been made aware of what he was before, and what he became. Seeing a former zombie bleeding steadily like a normal living person must have been too much of shock to process so easily. Soon enough though they were instructing him to lay down.
R was not afraid of what would happen, not afraid of the pain he would feel. They had told him they didn't know if his body could process the anesthetics, did not know what the chemicals would even do to him, so they were going to dig around his flesh for the bullet and then patch him back up without it. R didn't mind, the pain he felt while they did this was good, it told him he wasn't dead anymore, it told him his cells were alive again and warning his body that something was wrong. He had not had so much communication with his body in a very long time. Maybe it was the need to rest after everything that happened. Maybe it was all the sudden amount of pain he endured, or maybe his body was simply resisting the change. Whatever it was, as soon as the nurse finished wrapping his wound up in a bandage, R felt his eyes shut and then everything went dark.
Two hours, it had been two hours. Julie couldn't get herself to stop pacing. Nora wasn't even around to calm her done this time, she was being questioned at the moment. She was no longer sought for her arrest, but she had some questions her dad wanted answered anyway. So Julie was left to her thoughts. Was he dead? Did the surgery work? Was he still bleeding? Had it been too late? Did her father kill the only other man she started having feelings for?
"Ms Grigio? Somehow I knew I would find you here."
Julie turned to the voice and saw the doctor standing there. "Is he..?"
"It wasn't difficult to remove the bullet. Luckily, it was mostly in one piece. He's asleep now but you can head in to see your friend if you wish," Martinez smiled. Julie returned the smile fleetingly before she went inside and right to R's side of the clinic. She found him laying on his cot. This wasn't the first time seeing him without a shirt, she had caught a glimpse when she and Nora were cleaning him up to sneak into the city, but it was the first time she had seen how badly injured his body really was. When he had been... well, partially zombie, his old wounds and scars were static, they were just there, no bleeding, and even not that noticeable. But with him alive and bleeding, she could see the bruises, scrapes, scratches, and lesions on him. He looked like he had been hit by a truck and the truck backed up on him a couple times.
"Oh my God," Julie muttered, her eyes glued to the grisly scene. It wasn't until she noticed the other set of hands over the right side of his stomach that she realized a nurse was also there, still working on cleaning him up. The nurse glanced over when she felt Julie's eyes on her momentarily and flashed her a sympathetic smile. "He's... asleep?" Julie frowned in concern.
"We're not sure. He might be in a coma. We don't have the proper equipment to find out exactly, but since the operation he hasn't stirred for anything," the nurse answered calmly. "I wouldn't worry though, he didn't have any head injuries as far as we know, so if it is a coma, it shouldn't be a very long one. He may just need to recover," the nurse explained gently. "You have a very unique friend here," she added.
"Yeah..." Julie half laughed. She watched the nurse clean him up as much as the nurse was able to and sat down by the chair next to R's bed once she left. She studied his face for a moment, noting the soft flush over his cheek. Somehow that brought a smile to his face. He was alive, the bright red life giving blood inside him was rushing through his veins again. "You're gunna be alright," Julie muttered, reaching over to brush his still damp hair from his forehead. She felt a smile tug at her lips when her fingers came in contact with warm skin. Perhaps a bit too warm, but if the doctor or nurse hadn't mentioned it, it was probably okay. A rustle from behind her made Julie turn her head. General John Grigio walked over, the familiar grim scowl was over his face, though it seemed a bit harder as he stared down at the unconscious form of R on the bed. "He's alive," Julie repeated with a weak smile to her father.
"Yes," John said simply.
"The nurse said they think he's in a healing coma or something," Julie went on to explain.
"I see," John answered just as gruffly as before. "I'm ah-" John seemed to struggle for words. "I'm... sorry I shot your friend," he finally told her. "I was... wrong, I should have listened to you. I'm sorry," he finished, his tone losing the edge as his eyes caught her's. Julie simply stood, walked over, and wrapped her arms around her father's middle. John stood stiffly for a moment, a bit startled, but then relaxed and let his own arms wrap around his daughter.
"Thanks," Julie said simply, before stepping back and smiling at her father.
John nodded in response. "I'll see about getting him a place to stay. We'll talk later," he said and left before Julie could suggest anything. Julie let out a breath and sat back down by R's side, studying him.
As crazy as this all was, maybe things would be alright now?
Was that really too much to ask for?
A/N: I hope you liked this so far. I don't do first person so deal with it lol. This story was mostly inspired by "Cemeteries of London" by Coldplay, plus the fact that there's only a handful of WB fanfics out here. This story is based on the movie version, though a lot of the missing content from the book, including the prequel, will be mentioned in this story, so it's advisable, though not necessary, to have read the books. (Though it's a crime to have not! They are very good novels!) Don't expect this story to be an overly cheesy chick-flick romance story, though there will definitely be romance, that's a given.