Author's Notes

I am trying to keep my muse going, but it's not working. I've written 10k words of another oneshot (FACE family with baby!Arthur) that is not posted yet, but can't seem to finish it. I also began writing an Atlantis!AU (blame Tumblr) but I can't seem to work past the boring introduction chapters to get into the awesome part after Alfred gets to Atlantis. I also have a good idea for a sci-fi fanfic that I'm pretty sure I'm gonna write, but I'm afraid of never finishing that, either. Finally, I'm in for writing a fic about a particular kind of psychological torture (don't judge meh) but I can't find a good enough request on the kink meme to use that idea as a fill. I'll probably write myself a request and fill it hahaha. As for Cardverse... I'm 3000 words into the next chapter, but I can't keep goinnngggg. Help me ;_;

But, while waiting for all of this shit to happen, have a two-shot about a zombie!AU. The fic is based on Maroon 5's "Daylight", though you'll see more of the similarities in the second chapter. I really love zombie!AU, can you tell? I roleplay zombie!Hetalia (google "Terrasigma". It's a zombie!Hetalia RP forum :D), I've cosplayed zombiesurvivor!England with my cosplay group, I have an askblog (it's... inactive) for zombiesurvivor!England, and I write for zombie!AUs. Blame AMC's the Walking Dead.

In any case, please go ahead and enjoy the first chapter of this two-shot. If you can. Warning for swearing, gore, mentions of suicide, gayness (hooray!) and... all that jazz.

Disclaimer: Do not own Hetalia, nor "Daylight" because fuckyeah Maroon 5.

ENJOY!


Alfred yelled as blood splattered the ground.

"Jesus Christ, what is your problem?" an angry-sounding voice replied almost immediately, the sound of a gunshot drowning out the last bit. The next second, someone took him by the shoulder, and he let out a smaller shout, turning around the punch the person in the face, only to have his fist caught before it got there. Shaking, he refocused his blurry vision, blinking the frightened tears out of his eyes, and took a deep breath as he kept his eyes trained on the person in front of him.

Who was definitely not dead, unlike the rotting corpse at his feet.

"Are you alright?" the person asked, eyeing him carefully. "You screamed."

"I'm fine, Arthur," Alfred waved him off, catching his breath. "This one got me by surprise and I stepped back on my bad foot and got a bit spooked, so..."

"Alright, if you say you're fine, then we should move on," Arthur licked his lips warily and scouted around them, spotting the limping figures approaching quickly. "We have to regroup with the idiot who got himself lost. He's probably gone to our rendez-vous point already." He threw another glance at Alfred's leg. "Are you sure you're alright?"

"I think my ankle is twisted. I can't really put any kind of pressure on it," Alfred winced, nervous gaze darting back to the undead moaning as they came closer. "But I can try. It's better than being eaten."

"You big baby," Arthur huffed, immediately holstering his pistol, and then putting an arm under Alfred's shoulder to support him, even though he was smaller in build. "Come on, quickly."

"Yes, yes, don't get your panties in a knot," Alfred laughed although the timing was not ideal, hobbling along as Arthur led him through the trees.

Conserving energy was imperative, so none of them spoke during the escape through the forest. They could both spot the forms rising out of the shadows of the trees, chasing them as they attempted to make it out alive, but chose not to comment and to avoid them altogether. Their heartbeats were loud enough already, so they did not try to find another source of noise to fill in the lack of speech.

The trees began thinning out after a while, and a small grin touched Alfred's lips. Though he was tired, the thought that they were almost done was encouraging.

"We're almost there," Arthur panted out as if to further that observation, and Alfred let out a breathy chuckle.

"Yeah, we are. Hopefully, our trusty map reader is there, too, so that we can get out of here as soon as possible," he stopped for a moment, thinking, and trying to ignore the pain in his ankle that flashed every time he stepped on it even slightly. "Where are we going, anyway?"

"I don't know," Arthur replied quickly, before he could start stuttering nervously. "I... I don't know. We're supposed to be headed towards a checkpoint somewhere in Canada, some kind of an outpost where they'll be able to send us towards the closest Fortress-City, which happens to be Montreal, which is where you brother lives, right?" he took a moment to catch his breath, exertion showing in his speech. Taking the opportunity to confirm, Alfred nodded his head, picturing that soon enough, he'd be able to see his brother again, sleep in a warm bed, and not have to fight anymore. "I don't know how far we are. We passed the American border yesterday, but we haven't been moving very quickly, either. We got delayed in the forest, too."

"God, I hope we find Francis and get out of here soon," Alfred whimpered as his ankle flared in pain at his misstep. "Arthur, they're catching up," he reminded urgently, glancing back.

"Don't look back. Just keep moving, we're almost there," Arthur snapped back at him, panting heavily as he dragged half of Alfred's considerable weight around.

"Oh god, what if Francis isn't there yet?" Alfred squeaked as another jolt of pain ran up his spine. "Arthur, please."

"Jesus Christ, will you stop your whining for just one second and just-" Arthur let out a frustrated growl. "I'm trying my best! It's either this, or I leave you to be eaten alive by those monsters back there. So shut the fuck up and pray that the frog is waiting for us, or I will drop you and run, I swear."

"Okay, okay, I get it, jeez." Alfred looked a bit whiter than usual. "I'm sorry, then. Gosh, are you always this uptight?"

"You tell me, love," Arthur sighed to blow out the steam, and smirked, putting his gun up and shooting a zombie a few metres away at his side. "It's been over three years since we met."

"Yeah, definitely the crankiest old man on this planet," Alfred sighed out, a bit comforted by Arthur's willingness to joke at a time like this. Wanting to contribute, though using guns in a silent area like this would only attract more trouble, he mimicked Arthur's move and twisted around to shoot one of their pursuers down.

They kept going silently in a straight line, the treetops covering any glimpse at the night sky. Moonlight was not filtering through, either, so they could barely see where they were going. All senses out to check for zombies coming in from the front, they successfully weaved their way out of the maze of trees, into a small plain that led up to a paved road.

"Oh god, yes," Alfred breathed in relief. "Now, for Francis... Where is he?"

"He's probably run ahead already. Probably somewhere in that sea of cars. Let's avoid them and run through the field. Do you think you can do that, or would you rather we attempt to cross into the opposite side? There are practically no cars on the other side of the road, so we should have a clear view on zombies if they come at us."

"We'd also be in the open. I hate to admit it, especially since I'd much rather run on flat ground right now, but if there are any zombies ambling in between those cars, they'd definitely spot us if we ran out on the road. On the other hand, it'd make it easier for Francis to spot us," Alfred analyzed, swearing when the leaves behind them crunched. "Shit, we gotta run, in either case! We've gotta find Francis and get out of here!"

"Oh for fuck's sake," Arthur groaned in exasperation, beginning a comfortable jog again, and checking his gun. "I'll probably regret this later, but it's the easier way for him to spot us," he sighed, and then lifted his gun up straight in the air. Alfred only had a second to brace himself before three shots rang out into the open air, obviously signal shots to anybody that might hear them.

"Are you fucking nuts!?" he protested as soon as the dizzying noise ebbed away. "Cool, so every fucking zombie in a thirty mile radius now knows where we are, good fucking job!"

"And so does every bloody Frenchman in a thirty mile radius," Arthur grumbled, holstering his gun. "He should find us any second now. Let's get moving."

Groaning tiredly, Alfred holstered his own gun and concentrated on finding good footing on the upturned soil and high grass, eyes nervously darting to the immobile sea of cars blocking the asphalt road. It looked like plenty of people had been in such a rush to leave Canada and get into the US. As if the US had been in any better shape. They'd just come from there, and compared to the hectic fighting they'd done there, Canada was a breeze. So far. It still didn't make being chased in a forest in the middle of the night any more pleasant.

"Hey, something's coming," Alfred suddenly warned, nudging his chin in the direction they were heading in. Arthur gritted his teeth and squinted, trying to see through the darkness. His free hand went to the holster on his hip, gripping his gun securely. He could see what Alfred was pointing at, and the figure was approaching quickly. Arthur had yet to find a zombie that ran, but he didn't put anything past the monstrous cadavers prowling the streets.

"Identify yourself!" Arthur yelled out, uncaring of the noise he was making. If his three gunshots didn't give them away, he didn't know what would.

"C'est moi, rosbif!" came the echoing cry from the figure rushing at them. Arthur was flooded with relief, though he didn't show it, and slowed down as they came to meet the man heading for them.

"Oh, good, you're not dead," Arthur raked an eye across Francis' figure for any injuries and nodded approvingly, hiding how much less worried he was now.

"Good to have you back, Frenchie," Alfred laughed, clapping Francis' shoulder. "Thought we'd lost you out there."

"And I, the same to you. Good thing you were stupid enough to fire those warning shots. Now we'll have a whole mob of undead after us." The Frenchman looked behind them and sighed. "As I thought. Here comes the party."

Arthur and Alfred turned around at the same time, and took a simultaneous sharp breath as they watched the large black mass advancing towards them. There were dozens, if not hundreds of zombies in that crowd. The three humans really had no choice but to run.

"Well then, let's get going! Francis, clear our way, Alfred's hurt so we have to stop somewhere for the night," Arthur growled out, dragging the younger blonde into a limping jog.

"Oh, good, how perfect. There isn't going to be a house for a while. If my map is correct, then the last town we passed was the last one for a while. There are a few farmhouse pit stops around here, so maybe we can bunk in one of those for the night," Francis glanced behind them and bit his lip. "With this crowd following us, though, I doubt we'll be able to avoid a siege, if we stop. Especially if their friends on the highway are joining in as we advance."

"We'll do what we can. Either we try to outrun them as far as possible, and collapse in pain and exhaustion before reaching our target town, or we risk a siege, rest up a little, and bolt as soon as the sun comes up," he then glanced over to Alfred. "How are you doing with the pain? If you can walk, it isn't fractured or splintered, but it might be badly sprained."

"I think that's it. It does hurt lots, and kinda makes me dizzy and nauseous. I can go until we stop, though," Alfred answered with a shaky chuckle that turned into a sharp intake of breath as he stepped on a twig and lurched before Arthur caught him again.

"Francis, we've got to stop," he warned, glaring at the Frenchman who was leading from a few meters in the front, eye out for any incoming zombies from the trees on their right, or from the road, on their left. He periodically glanced down at the ground to look out for zombies crawling in the tall grass, too. "Alfred's ankle needs to get looked at. We aren't even going to go at a target speed of four kilometers an hour at this rate."

"I'm on the lookout for good places, alright? Don't rush me, I want to stop just as much as you do, but you don't see me complaining," Francis huffed loudly, not glancing back.

"I'm sorry," Alfred winced and bit back a cry as his ankle slowly went numb from the repeated abuse. "I didn't mean to slow you down. If... If anything happens, Arthur, I... Y-You can-"

"If you finish that sentence, I really will let the zombies have you," Arthur cut him off, knowing exactly what the younger man was thinking. "I swore, when this apocalypse started, that I would get you alive no matter what. I wouldn't be able to live without you, you stupid dolt. Don't push me, or I might reconsider," he grumbled. "Save your breath. You need it."

"Right," Alfred chuckled breathlessly after a moment of thought, and smiled sadly. "Thanks, Arthur. I... I love you."

Arthur did not reply because he intended to do so only when they finally got somewhere safe and sound. Somewhere where he wouldn't be afraid of having to abandon that wordless promise at a moment's notice.

...OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

"Francis, couldn't we have stopped at that farm back there?" Arthur would honestly now take anything they could get. His legs were trembling from supporting Alfred's weight for so long, and his eyes were burning. Only the dreadful moans of the undead behind him motivated him to keep going. Otherwise, he would already have flopped boneless in the grass.

"It's too big. It'd take too long for us to secure it. With a crowd like that, we need to find a small house that is easy to break in, check, and barricade," Francis glanced around. "There should be one around here. In the next kilometer or so."

"Oh god, please hurry the hell up," Arthur groaned, closing his eyes and briefly considering praying to a god he didn't believe in anymore. "I think Alfred's going to faint, and I'm not far behind."

"M'sorry..." Alfred mumbled incoherently in return, disoriented by the pain in his wounded limb.

"Quit your whining, rosbif. Aren't Englishmen supposed to be made of tougher material than this?" Francis huffed indignantly.

"Not when they've got fat ass Americans leaning on them for over an hour," Arthur made a 'tch' noise and shifted Alfred to snap him back into reality.

"M'sorry..." the latter repeated, hitting a pang in Arthur's heart.

"We're almost there, love. Hold on just a little longer," he whispered, worriedly glancing at Alfred's glazed over eyes.

"Over there!" Francis suddenly cried out, pointing to a form in the distance. "That must be one of the residential houses, we can stop there."

"Thank goodness," Arthur sighed out, increasing his pace. "Alfred, just a little more. I can see the house, alright? Stay with me just a little longer."

"Urgh... Hurts..." Alfred mumbled, limping heavily now, even with Arthur's support.

"Do you have our supplies with you still, frog?" Arthur called out to the front.

"I do. We don't have many left, though. Definitely not enough to outlast a siege if we do get stuck in one," Francis answered worriedly, pulling a kitchen knife out of its scabbard on his belt. Arthur caught the glint of the moonlight on the blade, and tensed. A stumbling form was coming down the street, right at them. It definitely was not human anymore.

"Once we get inside, lock the door, and take Alfred. I'll escort you two up the stairs immediately and clear the second floor. I'll return to clear the first floor and barricade the door, then, gather any worthwhile supplies, and destroy the staircase on my way up," he ordered.

"Aye aye, captain," Francis rolled his eyes, aiming as the moonlight exposed the ambling corpse in front of him, and stabbing it straight in the eye before it had time to even grab him. Knife still out, he cleared the way until the front porch, and climbed up first, followed by Arthur and Alfred. Their feet resonated on the hollow wood of the steps, but it was quickly drowned out by the heavy moans and screeches from the large group of zombies that had finally caught up, only about a dozen meters away from them.

"Quick, the door!" Arthur ordered urgently, watching as Francis fumbled with the handle a bit before giving up and smashing his bloody knife through the thin glass of the door. The blonde winced as he reached inside to unlock the door, and pulled his hand out with a few scratches. To compensate, though, the door easily swung open afterwards.

"Get in!" he ushered quickly, leaving the door open for them as he kept an eye on the zombies. Arthur quickly complied, waiting for Francis to step in as well and close the door before gingerly handing his boyfriend to his best friend. Then, pulling out his own knife and handgun, he locked the door and its many chains before quickly nudging the pair forward into the lightless house.

Thankfully, the design of the two-story farm house was not complicated, and he found the staircase quickly. Dragging Alfred up with some difficulty, Francis followed Arthur as they went upstairs, into a hallway lined with a few doors.

Arthur made a motion for Francis to stay where he was until he cleared all the rooms, and headed to the first room, which had an open door already. A quick glance around the room proved that there were no enemies around, and a check of the closet and under the bed gave further evidence to the claim. That room clear, Arthur headed to the next one, with a closed door, and hesitantly knocked on it.

The effect was instant. Both conscious men jumped a little as growling and scratching came at the door, startling them.

"Good god," Arthur huffed, running a hand through his hair. "Watch out for more than one," he advised before lightly twisting the handle, enough to unlatch the door, and then violently kicked it open.

One zombie immediately came ambling out, rotten beyond recognition. It must have been there for a good while already. Behind it followed the corpse of a rotted old woman, which Arthur realized, with a sinking in his heart, was the wife of the man he'd just finished stabbing through the temple. With no mercy, he also stabbed the woman between the eyes and let her drop before proceeding into the room. Further exploration proved that no other zombies were around, not in that one room, or the others, so after carefully making sure that Francis and Alfred would be alright, Arthur escorted them to a room that was mostly bare, probably a room that had yet to be furnished. For a newborn, perhaps.

The realization froze Arthur into place. If the room was indeed destined for a future newborn, then the two old people they'd found in the other room couldn't be the only inhabitants of the household. Arthur groaned. He really hated exploring alone, but he couldn't let Alfred stay alone, either.

"Alright, stay with Al. See if you can do something about his ankle. Maybe scavenge some blankets from the other room while I'm gone? Don't leave him alone, and don't leave the room. Lock the door. I'll knock three times if I want to come in," Arthur instructed.

"I know, rosbif. Be safe. Don't be too long, who knows when these monsters from hell will burst in," Francis gave him a warning glance.

"Don't worry. I have this under control," Arthur nodded, panting. In reality, he really didn't have anything under control, but liked deluding himself.

"I'll be waiting," Francis nodded back to him, and they parted ways. Arthur went back to drag the slain zombies back into their room and close the door, then rushed down the stairs, making as much noise as possible. If he could help it, he'd rather not get caught by surprise.

The tactic worked, and soon, moans echoed from the bowels of the house. Arthur steeled himself and gripped his knife tighter as two zombies turned the corner and looked up at him from the foot of the staircase, moaning loudly. Unwilling to attract much attention, Arthur immediately rushed down and planted a knife through one's head, a lightly pregnant woman, as he'd guessed correctly, and followed with a stab to the other's temple, probably her husband. He then mentally thanked whoever was willing to listen that zombie lacked the coordination to climb stairs, and turned his eyes away from the sad spectacle, feeling nauseous.

Stepping over the now-still corpses, he went around the hallway, sticking to the walls, and using the slight light from the moon, as well as the occasional flickering table lamp, to guide his steps. He was vaguely aware that he was shaking, absolutely terrified, if he were to be honest with himself, but the thought of protecting his boyfriend and best friend was enough to keep him going. Arthur counted his blessings when a rather thorough search proved that no other zombies were prowling the house.

Immediately heading to the kitchen first, he threw open the cupboard, ignoring the fridge as anything inside would definitely have gone bad already, and grabbed the few remaining cans of food at the back. Not bothering to check the expiry date on the dusty cans, he dumped them into his backpack, and then opened all the other cupboards to look for something useful. He counted yet another small blessing when his search led him to find the two remaining water bottles in a pack of eighteen, and he threw those into his bag as well. Moving to a small cabinet on the side, he sighed in relief when he found the medical cabinet, stocked sparsely with regular home supplies of medicine and health care supplies.

Though the search did not yield much, Arthur nonetheless grabbed a couple of band-aids, a bottle of peroxide, sterile compresses, and a compression bandage that would definitely help Alfred. Done with his immediate raid of the sparse supplies, Arthur quickly moved back towards the front of the house, towards the stairs. Usually, farmers kept their tools next to the door, so Arthur briefly searched around for that toolbox in order to find new weapons, and an axe to break the staircase with.

His search finally brought him to what looked like a table, covered by a tablecloth and a lamp, but was more like a crate than anything else. Arthur's hunch proved correct (small blessings, small blessings) as he opened the creaking toolbox to remove a rusted crowbar. Browsing through the many different tools, he also pulled out an axe in a sheath and unsheathed it satisfactorily.

His moment of glory was short lived, though. Arthur barely bit back a cry as a hand suddenly hit the glass of the door, right next to the hole Francis had made. Willing his heart to still, Arthur suppressed the terror invading his senses and quickly looked around for anything else he could use. His eyes landed on a retractable aluminum ladder behind the toolbox, and he knew they'd need it after he took care of the staircase. It was worth the effort.

Pushing his screaming muscles, Arthur heaved the rusty ladder away from the wall, and was glad to realize that it wasn't as heavy as he thought it would be. Probably the aluminum, he figured, but did not dwell on it. The noise he'd made had confirmed to the zombies that something was inside the house, and they were now fighting and growling even louder in order to get inside.

Letting out groans and breaths in exertion, Arthur walked over the two corpses at the foot of the stairs and heaved the ladder up, practically throwing it onto the second floor and crawling up behind it. He let himself catch his breath for exactly thirteen seconds before dropping everything but the axe, and working on destroying the stairs.

Arthur let out small grunts and whimpers of exhaustion as he ceaselessly brought the axe down on the stairs, breaking them one by one without touching the support so that he wouldn't fall with it. Typical of farm houses, the staircase was hollow, only steps secured to a support leading upstairs, which made Arthur's job a lot easier. Thanking small blessings one last time, Arthur finished breaking the last stair, and retreated onto the safety of the second floor. There was no way back down into the dark, gaping hole that the first floor looked like, unless they used that rusty ladder lying next to him.

Picking up his things, Arthur noisily dragged the ladder across the floor, not having the energy to carry it anymore. He could have fallen into Francis' arms as he opened the door following his knocks, had he been less of a man.

"There was a lot of noise out there. What did you do?" Francis asked as he let him in and locked the door again.

"I scavenged for some things. Killed the zombies downstairs. Dragged this thing up here. Broke the stairs." Arthur dropped to the ground next to Alfred, absolutely drained. "How's he doing?"

"He fainted. I can't really tell just by the looks, but I'd say he has an ankle sprain, maybe of second level. It really got worse because of all the walking he did. I just wish I had ice to reduce some of the swelling."

"Wasn't going to be any downstairs, anyway. No electricity, and all that jazz," Arthur moaned in pleasure as he let himself roll onto his back, covering his eyes with his forearm. "Oh god, I am dead."

"Be careful, or I might have to shoot you if you keep making such outrageous claims," Francis chuckled, sitting next to him and opening his pack to check what he'd found. "The water's definitely gold. Alfred will need plenty of it. With the one bottle we've got left, that leaves us each a bottle to survive on until we reach the next town." The circumstances looked bleak, but at least they'd last (see: suffer) longer before dying.

"Got bandages, too. See if you can do somethin' with 'em," Arthur gruffly answered, not moving.

"It's perfect. I'll bandage him, so you go to sleep." Arthur heard Francis getting up, and a second later, something heavy and musty was thrown onto him. A blanket, Arthur realized. "Take it. I'll finish up here."

"Wake me up... when it's my turn to keep watch..." Arthur yawned heavily.

"Arthur, you just destroyed the fucking staircase. Nothing it going to get us for now, human or otherwise," Francis chuckled, patting his best friend's arm. "Go to sleep, god knows you need it."

"There ain't no god, 'specially if we all wake up dead tomorrow cause you were bein' an idiot..." Arthur's accent got heavier as he spiraled into blissful sleep, but he couldn't bring himself to care. He was way too tired to argue, anyway. He trusted Francis to keep them alive. He trusted all three of them to stay alive.

...OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

Arthur woke on his own in the morning, neck aching from the uncomfortable sleeping position he'd picked. Rolling his shoulders with a groan, he pushed himself up into sitting position, his senses slowly returning to him. The first thing he noticed was the bright daylight filtering through the sole window of the room, and the second thing was more blood-chilling. It was the sound of a mass assembly of undead pounding on the walls from the outside of the house, and scratching at the walls on the inside of the house, right below where they peacefully slept.

"They broke in last night." The familiar voice startled Arthur, and he jumped a little, bringing his hand to the gun on his hip instinctively. Following the voice, though, he relaxed, as it was only Francis, who was separating the contents of a can of Lima beans into three bowls that they carried around as their mess kits.

"Great, do we owe them breakfast, too?" he grumbled in response, rubbing his head.

"I'd hope not. I don't think they'd exactly appreciate beans," Francis had a soft smile on his face, despite the circumstances. Arthur envied him for being able to relax so easily. Maybe he'd convince him to teach him yoga. They had time. They weren't going to move for a while.

"I don't appreciate beans, either. Didn't we have something else?" Arthur complained without much conviction, taking the bowl and plastic spoon that was handed to him.

"I wouldn't have fed you two beans and only beans for the past four days if that were the case. We have some canned peas and corn, but I was thinking of saving those as celebration if we ever make it out of here alive," Francis seemed to find this funny, and knelt down next to Arthur to eat.

"See now, if I have to die here, I'd rather die with my stomach containing something else than beans. Let's have corn tonight," Arthur huffed, nonetheless eating his food without further complaint. Anything was nourishment right now, and anything would keep them going.

"Of course, chéri," Francis hummed, shrugging dismissively and spooning some beans in his mouth. Arthur's eyes went to the small band-aids littering his fingers and forearm, and guilt rose up in his throat as he realized that they were from yesterday's punch through the glass. He'd brought those band-aids from the medical cabinet, so that meant that Francis had had to take care of himself once Arthur selfishly fell asleep.

"Does that, uhh... hurt?" he asked quietly, nudging his head at Francis' arm and turning his gaze away in embarrassment.

"Quoi?" Francis furrowed his brows, following his previous line of sight to the inflamed skin on his arms, and laughed. "This? This is nothing, rosbif. Literally just scratches."

"Good," Arthur grumbled, returning to his food adamantly.

"It's nice of you to be worried," his best friend smiled.

"I wasn't worried, don't get any ideas." Ignoring the knowing look in the Frenchman's eyes, Arthur concentrated on swallowing his bland breakfast as quickly as possible.

"Of course you weren't." Francis' eyes glimpsed into Arthur's, and he laid back as he realized what the problem was. "Oh, I see."

"What do you think you see?" Arthur bristled.

"It's alright, Arthur," Francis chuckled, genuinely amused. "They were just scratches. I didn't really need help for them."

Arthur did not reply, trying to dispel the blush on his face. Once again, Francis had hit the nail on the head. Still, it shouldn't have surprised him, coming from the man who'd been his best friend, and probably his only friend, since that moment in grade school, back in Europe, where he'd tried to grow his hair out to be like the popular kids, but had only succeeded in making himself look ridiculous. Francis had rather nicely groomed it for him later, and though Arthur had sworn viciously for a 6 year old, they'd remained friends and had gone everywhere together. Including America to go to university. Including a farm house in the middle of nowhere as they clung onto the hope that life still existed for them somewhere.

"Whatever. Gentlemen only sleep once everyone else is asleep," he finally replied, still not daring to look into Francis' eyes. Again, Francis just laughed.

"What are you, sixty? Loosen up a little, mon petit lapin, you are only twenty-six. Don't start being such a stick in the mud so early in your life."

"And you should stop being such a damn frog, you stinky Frenchman," Arthur grumbled, though he could not stay serious for long. Sometimes, it felt like neither of them had grown up at all.

"If you say so," Francis shrugged, and shoveled some beans into his mouth. "How about you wake up your lover boy and hand him breakfast? He's going to need plenty of nourishment and rest to heal that ankle up."

Guiltily, Arthur turned around, glancing at Alfred for the first time since he woke up. He was lying in a blanket against the wall, boots and socks off his feet. His injured foot was wrapped in an elastic bandage and was set in a loop made of a blanket that was secured to a nail on the wall, elevating it above his heart level so that blood would flow away from his injury. His face was streaked with dirt and looked sticky with sweat, but his expression was peaceful as he slept.

Crawling over, Arthur sat down next to him, gazing at his face a little longer before combing his hands through his hair gently.

"Wake up, poppet." He didn't want to wake him up, but he at least wanted to get him to swallow his share of the food before he was tempted to eat it himself. No matter how much he complained, a third of a can of beans was still much better than nothing at all. "Come on, rise and shine," he grunted, shoving his shoulder lightly.

Though Alfred shot up straight, completely awake in a second, Arthur couldn't help but feel depression smothering his senses as he remember how heavy of a sleeper Alfred used to be. To be on edge enough to dart awake at the smallest threatening contact... The apocalypse sure had changed them, in subtle, but important ways.

"Good morning. Breakfast?" Arthur offered, clearing his head and handing his boyfriend the bowl on the ground and the spoon with it.

"Huh," Alfred yawned, stretched, and then turned his eyes down. They dimmed a little at the sight of the small portion of beans, and the look tugged at Arthur's heartstrings. "Beans again?" As soon as it came, the glazed over expression was gone, and Alfred was back, accepting the bowl gratefully. "You really need to work that imagination, Frenchie."

"Maybe once we make it to a safe place and settle down for good, I'll treat you to a nice French restaurant. Then, you'll taste the wondrous cuisine of the French," Francis made an extravagant move with his hand and smiled brightly.

"Sit your arse back down and stop being so obnoxious. I bet our kindly neighbours downstairs can smell the obnoxious rolling off of you," Arthur rolled his eyes.

"Speaking of which," Alfred interrupted with a loud chewing noise, to which Arthur reacted with a horrified grimace. "How are we doin'?"

"Not good." Arthur eyed his distasteful table manners again, and then turned his gaze away. "First floor is completely overrun, by the sound of it. Not sure about our surroundings."

"I'll go scout around a bit," Alfred offered, shoveling the last beans into his mouth and grimacing in disgust.

"Definitely not," Arthur stopped him by putting a hand on his chest. "We are not going to step out of this room, or anywhere near that window, until night has at least fallen. The last thing we want to do is give them a reason to camp out around here."

"Eh," Alfred shrugged noncommittally. "I don't think they'd leave either way."

"Let's not limit our options, now," Francis cut in before Arthur could reply. "We'll stay here until tonight. Then, we'll see what happens."

...OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

"This doesn't look good," Alfred reported later that night, peering out of the window carefully. Since they had no source of light inside the room, it would be impossible for the zombies to notice them with their rotten eyes since there was no contrast at all with the night sky.

But Alfred could see everything, and he didn't like what he saw at all.

"They are by the hundreds, I swear," he gulped down, looking down at the squirming mass with unease. "They've completely covered this side of the house. I'll go see in other rooms, check if they've left any side of this building unprotected." He then nodded at the two Europeans and checked his weapons before opening the door. The heart-stopping sound of moans from downstairs intensified for a moment and Arthur let out the breath he was holding when the door closed again. Francis rushed over to lock it and then returned by Arthur's side.

"I like to think that we'll make it out of here, so how about we discussed our path after this stop?" he suggested, pulling out his map.

"Sure." Though he wasn't very optimistic about their situation, Arthur scooted over as Francis straightened out the large map on the floor. He immediately spotted Boston, where they'd started their journey a few months ago, and followed the trail of notes that Francis ha scribbled on the paths they'd taken. There were big circles around the place where they'd stayed for a while, foolishly attempting to outwait the apocalypse. If they hadn't been such idiots, maybe they could have cut plenty of time off of their excursion and have made it to the nearest checkpoint town quicker.

"So. Where are we headed next?" Arthur asked, spotting the circle around the checkpoint town they were headed to.

"We're going here," Francis pointed at the circle as if to confirm Arthur's guess. "This used to be a city called Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and now it's more or less a military outpost. If we reach it, I'm sure we can receive help. Perhaps a ride to Montreal. If not, we'll probably be given ammunition and supplies."

"They had better give us a ride. We've been on the run for months now, they can't make us run even longer," Arthur rubbed his forehead tiredly. "I don't know how much longer I can do this," he glanced at the door, as if expecting Alfred to be there to hear what he was about to admit. "I'm tired of being afraid every second of the day. Not just for me, but for you and... For Alfred."

"That's to be expected," Francis shrugged, looking at the map blankly.

"No, I mean..." Arthur licked his cracked lips. "I am tired of not being able to let him out of my sight in clear conscience. More than that, I hate seeing worry in his eyes all the time. I hate seeing him afraid, depressed, so exhausted by everything," he rubbed his eyes. "He's only twenty-three, he doesn't have to bear burdens this heavy on his shoulders."

"But we all do. None of us are soldiers trained to fight, and none of us are war-hardened civilians. We're just people. We improvise to survive, and though we still live and breathe, some part of all of us has already died," Francis explained, looking somber.

"I know, but..." Arthur threw another look at the door, heart thumping madly. "I love him, and I'd do anything to make him happy. I am... afraid. Afraid that one day, I'll wake up and he won't be there anymore. I can't be sure of anything anymore. I just want him, us, all of us, to be safe, no matter what."

"Well then, instead of telling me about it, why don't you tell him?" Francis' question hung unanswered in the air for a minute or so. Then, as if having predicted it, three knocks came at the door.

Both Europeans darted up, Francis, to go open the door, and Arthur... because he didn't know why his body ordered him to.

Throwing him a querying look, Francis waited a second for a response, then got up to answer the door. Quietly, Arthur followed along, lost in his own thoughts.

"Hey," Alfred greeted a bit somberly as soon as Francis let him in. "It doesn't look like we're going anywhere any time soon. All sides are taken, though maybe if we wait a little, the back of the house will clear up and we can go through a window or someth- hey!"

Alfred did not finish his sentence, instead finding himself tackled by a smaller figure, who threw his arms around his chest and bent his arms to grasp his shoulders tightly from behind. Using the nearby wall to steady his injured leg, Alfred blinked in surprise, but then smiled at the mop of blond hair shoved in his face.

"Gee, Artie, what's this all of a sudden?" he laughed after he regained his footing. Since Arthur did not answer and merely buried his face in the crook of his neck, Alfred kissed the top of his head, smile brighter than it had been in weeks, and put his arms around Arthur as well. Leaning his cheek on his head, Alfred breathed deep and closed his eyes, immobile.

From the side, Francis smiled sadly at their quiet embrace, and then moved on back to the map to continue planning. Maybe love would preserve their humanity in times of war, but they had to get out of there soon, lest there be no more humanity to preserve.

...OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

The night had been uneventful, and Arthur had to admit that he was a bit disappointed. They'd merely gone to sleep amongst the moans of the undead filtering in through every corner of their temporary haven, trying to filter out the real world and escaping into an illusion of safety. As their wordless agreement had dictated ever since they got thrown into this mess together, they'd slept stuck to one another to conserve body heat. As they often did, they switched positions in order to adapt to their situation, so Alfred ended up in the middle, Francis and Arthur curling up on either side and weapons not far, just in case there was a break in and they had to protect Alfred, who was the most vulnerable in this situation. Alfred grumbled a bit at the decision, but admitted that he could not do much fighting if he couldn't keep his balance without using a wall as support.

The morning brought in sunshine through the window, despair when they realized that the zombies had not budged an inch, and a can of sweet corn split into three for breakfast. After breakfast came the typical routine maintenance of their firearms, when all three of them sat down, and took apart their guns as fast as possible, took their time cleaning and oiling them, and then put them together again as quickly as possible. Ammunition inventory followed, as Alfred emptied the bags and counted how much ammo they still had for each gun with Francis' help, and the number of which Arthur noted grimly on a corner of their map where a bunch of other numbers had been scratched out.

They all pointedly ignored supply inventory, as nobody needed to be reminded of how they had the equivalent of a comfortable day's worth of food and water to last them until they got to their target town.

Even though they needed to conserve their energy desperately, Arthur insisted that they have at least some minimal physical training, not only to keep in shape, but also to pass the time and divert their attention from the howling crowd below. Then again, push-ups and stretching only took them so much time, and before they knew it, they were all out of ideas about what to do. All they could really do was lie down and listen to the hungry moans around them.

The most dangerous game had begun.

"I am going to go crazy," Alfred suddenly announced in the middle of one of his ankle exercises. Francis and Arthur immediately snapped their heads up at him and threw him a worried, but suspicious glance.

"How so?" Arthur asked slowly, raking his eyes across his boyfriend's tense form.

"I dunno, I just," he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "I wish I had my Ipod or something. These guys are driving me nuts with their constant complaining."

"Bear in mind that you are also complaining." Arthur pointed out, eyes still narrowed.

"But I'm not howling the fuck out of my rotten lungs, now, am I?" Alfred grunted, pushing himself up with a little bit of trouble and beginning to pace around the room. Having a high tolerance to pain, his ankle did not bother him so much, but it still kept him from doing anything else than hobble around in a slightly pathetic fashion.

"Alfred, get away from the window," Francis warned, and then sighed tiredly. "Zombies not only force us into physical warfare, but psychological warfare, too. Don't let them get the best of you."

"Love, lie down, get some sleep-" Arthur had not even finished his sentence before he was violently cut off by Alfred as he punched the wall in rage. Suddenly on high alert, Arthur's hand instinctively went to the knife in his boot before he realized what he was doing and pulled his hand away in disgust.

"I'm done lying down!" Alfred protested loudly, too loudly for anybody's comfort.

"Alfred, don't yell," Francis warned again, getting off the floor and approaching his best friend's lover. To his shock, and slight horror, Alfred lashed out at him, stepping back as if he were the enemy all of a sudden.

"Alfred, stop." It was now Arthur's turn to get up to try to approach his boyfriend, who backed up into a corner, almost as if feeling threatened.

"No, Arthur, you stop." Alfred bared his teeth at him, and Arthur noticed how animalistic the gesture was. "I'm so tired of you babying me."

"I-I don't-"

"Stop denying it!" Alfred shouted, freezing Arthur in place. "You're always treating me like I can't do a thing! It's been like this since the beginning. Oh, Alfred, stay here and wait until I come back. Oh, Alfred, don't get involved in this fight. Oh, Alfred, I'll take care of this, don't worry. Oh, Alfred, get the fuck out of my way, stop fucking bothering me!"

"Alfred, please calm down," Arthur's eyes were wide in horror. "That isn't true, I just-"

"You just what, Arthur? Do you feel powerful when you try to take care of everything by yourself? Or maybe it's a thrill to keep me in the dark and gossip about everything with your best friend. I thought I was your best friend, too, but you don't seem like you consider me as an equal," Alfred sneered.

"I do, I swear to heaven and back that I do consider you my equal, my best friend, even more than a best friend, and that is exactly why I don't want to involve you!" It was now Arthur's turn to raise his voice. Francis' warning glare was disregarded.

"That doesn't make any sense!"

"Bloody hell, Alfred, why won't you understand? I love you! I love you so fucking much that I just want you to be safe! I tried to protect you, I'm still trying to shield you from everything that's out there, so why won't you let me!?" Arthur's frustrated question hung unanswered in the air, as he was left panting in exertion and emotion. When Alfred did not reply, he took it as a sign to keep going. "I'll do anything to save you," he trailed off, and his eyes turned to the ground, suddenly embarrassed. "I'll take on any pain in the world to keep you alive and well. I don't want you to live like you're dying already," his voice had gone down to a scratchy plea. "Please... I'm just trying to keep you safe no matter what."

Alfred had the tact to keep quiet and think about Arthur's words, a flicker of doubt in his eyes. Still, his stubbornness did not allow him to give in, and he stepped forward. Francis and Arthur immediately parted to let him pass, then tensed visibly when Alfred went over and picked up his gun.

"You're doing it wrong, then," he answered calmly, scarily so for someone who had been punching walls minutes ago. "You're smothering me. You're trying to keep me alive, but I'm dying anyway." He picked up his water bottle, and holstered his gun. "I'm going next door. Don't bother me."

Nobody stopped him as he walked out of the room and shut the door firmly behind him. Both blondes just stood in their places, trying to relax their breathing and comprehend what had just transpired. Finally, it was Arthur that moved first, to go to the corner where the blankets were still strewn around.

"Arthur..." Francis tried, walking after him, but stopped when Arthur stopped as well and turned to face him. Guilt and fear were imprinted visibly in his expression. Francis' heart skipped a beat.

"I don't want to talk," Arthur shook his head quietly, and then turned back around to continue to the corner. Francis watched as he gingerly laid down, as if under some kind of shock that affected his control of his movements, and then pulled a blanket over his head.

At this point, he knew there was nothing left to do. Retreating to the opposite corner, Francis browsed around for their sewing kit and made himself busy with repairing some ripped clothes. Anything to get his mind off the madness that all of them were slowly spiraling into.

Their first day under siege did not go too well, in that sense. Darkness fell, and Alfred still had not come back. Arthur had only gotten up from his nest of blankets to drink a gulp of water and peer outside the window before returning to his corner. Francis, unnerved by his companions' actions, had quietly sat in a corner, trying to find something to do to distract himself from the moans coming from downstairs. In a way, he understood what Alfred was going through. The incessant noise permeating the walls was a deadly form of warfare, as he'd stated before, and none of them were immune. Only strong will could fight back the screeches of the undead.

It was all that they could hear for a few very long hours, that seemed like an eternity. Francis and Arthur had almost succeeded in staying still and filtering out the monotone sound. And then, a gunshot broke the silence.

Both men's eyes snapped open immediately, the two jumping to their feet and pulling out their guns on reflex.

"That was a gun," Arthur stated, nervousness welling up inside of him. "There's only one other person in this house with a gun." Realization, which he had tried to push back, dawned on him, and both of them were running for the door in a matter of seconds.

Francis fumbled with the door lock and threw it open, Arthur quickly following without bothering to close the door again. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered but that gunshot.

"Alfred?" he called out fearfully, looking around the hallway.

Even in the inky darkness, he could notice which doors were closed and which were open, and there was only one that was previously open that was now closed. Heart beating wildly, his footsteps thundered uncaring of the noise he was making, and he skidded to a stop in front of the room Alfred had locked himself in.

"Alfred, open the door!" he demanded in a trembling voice. Nobody answered. Panic was quickly overtaking his senses, and he fumbled with the doorknob, which did not budge. "Alfred, open the fucking door, or god help me I'll kill you!" If he wasn't dead already.

"A-Arthur, calm down, let me try and pick the lock," Francis stammered, putting a hand on his distraught friend's shoulder. It was immediately pushed off as Arthur pounded on the door frantically in one last bid to get inside.

"Alfred Fucking Jones, you open the bloody door right now!" he practically screeched, and when nobody answered yet again, he lost it.

Taking a step back, he clicked the safety off his gun, and aimed at the knob. Francis only had a second to plug his fingers into his ears before the second gunshot went off, breaking the lock entirely. Arthur kicked the door down in the following second and ran into the room practically hyperventilating.

Alfred was lying on the ground, propped against a wall, blood pooling at his feet.

In front of him laid a freshly slain corpse.

"Oh god." Arthur's breath exited his body in a second and he cupped his face so that the sob welling up in his throat would not escape. His voice had a higher pitch as panic slowly did one last lap through his system, and then filtered out. When he felt that he was collected enough, he approached Alfred, who had pulled his legs away from the blood, and controlled himself long enough to slowly kneel next to him.

Alfred was shaking, eyes wide and glazed over. It looked like he was still in some kind of shock, which tore at Arthur's heartstrings. Upon closer inspection, he noticed the flecks of blood and tissue dotting his face, and the lax grip on his gun, which had a barrel tainted with blood.

"Are you alright?" Arthur finally asked, gently taking Alfred's gun from him and sliding it across the floor. Francis went over to retrieve it and watched the scene unfold as his heartbeat lowered back to normal. "Alfred, damn it, will you please say something?" he pleaded, taking his hands into his grip and kissing his knuckles nervously. "Alfred, love, please, are you alright? Are you hurt? What happened?"

Alfred waited a moment, and then finally blinked, breathing deeply and then letting out a shuddering sigh.

"T-That was... unexpected," he stammered out, turning his panicked gaze to his boyfriend. "A-Arthur?"

"Are you alright?" Arthur repeated, brushing his thumbs over Alfred cheeks to rid him of the specks of blood. "Are you hurt?"

"I'm fine. Just kinda shaken," Alfred shook his head, ridding himself of Arthur's inquisitive fingers. "Really. Nothing happened."

"This isn't nothing," Arthur gritted his teeth and grabbed Alfred's hands a bit more tightly than he would have liked. "What happened?"

"I just opened the closet door to see if there were games or something that I could play to pass the time, and this little girl just lunges at me without warning. I guess I just panicked and dropped my gun and by the time I picked it up, she was really close. I backed up into the wall, she got into my face, and I shot her through the mouth before she bit my nose off," he rubbed his arms up and down, a chill going through him.

"Good god..." Arthur blanched. "I knew I shouldn't have skipped over the closet. I was tired and wanted to get it done, and I made a mistake. It almost got you killed. Oh god, I almost got you killed," his voice trembled as he spoke, emotion welling up into him.

"But I didn't die. I'm fine, Arthur. Look at me." Alfred steadied his boyfriend and looked at his face. Arthur turned his eyes away, but Alfred's grip on his hands was strong. "I'm okay, Arthur. I'm okay."

"But I'm not," Arthur replied without a moment of hesitation.

Everybody stopped breathing for a second, and Arthur finally turned his eyes up. Alfred noticed that they were red and full of tears. Desperate. Guilty. Scared. The look tugged at his heartstrings and made him nauseous.

"I'm not okay," Arthur's bottom lip quivered, and he hesitated a second before smoothly sliding into Alfred's arms, locking his arms around his neck. "Y-You scared me. Nearly gave me a bloody heart attack with that gunshot. A-And you wouldn't open the door. And you told us you had gotten so tired of being chased like this..." Arthur let out a strangled sob as he valiantly fought his tears back. "I-I thought y-you... I thought..."

"I would never," Alfred promised him, heart beating wildly as he circled Arthur's waist with his arms and dragged him closer. Just as much as Arthur was afraid of such an idea, Alfred was afraid of giving Arthur ideas. He was afraid of giving himself ideas. "Arthur, please believe me, I-I would never-"

"I'm sorry, alright?" Arthur bit his lip, but found that he could not continue if he didn't relieve the pressure on his eyes. So he did. His resolve crumbled as he let his tears fall and drip off his face. "I'm just so scared, and I don't want you to be, too."

"You scare me more by behaving that way," Alfred squeezed his eyes shut, and he listened to Arthur's soft, hitching breath laced with sobs, just long enough to have his own tears roll down his cheeks. "And I'm sorry, too. I am so sorry. For everything." He caressed Arthur's hair comfortingly, his eyes briefly falling upon the corpse at his feet, and then at the beautiful man in his arms. Fresh tears sprang out of his eyes. "But we're fine, Arthur. We're fine. We're okay."

...OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

Arthur could not sleep. After having re-checked every nook and cranny of the second floor rooms, they'd all returned to their safe room to tensely share a can of beans and calm down after such an eventful evening. Arthur dared not let go of Alfred's hand during the entire time. Shameful as he felt, he needed his boyfriend like a security blanket to shield him against his insecurities, and Alfred did not seem to mind. A gulp of water for each of them topped off their night, and they'd soon curled up in their usual position, with Alfred still in the middle. This time, Arthur had curled close, almost stuck to Alfred's waist and had sought refuge in his arms.

And yet it was not enough to guarantee him a good night's sleep. It couldn't even get him any kind of sleep. Horrific images plagued him every single time he closed his eyes. He couldn't do this anymore. Hours passed before he attempted to do something about it.

"Francis?" he called in the dead of the night, when the moans of the undead were at their highest. "Are you still up?"

"Barely," came a mumbled groan after a second.

"Alfred, you?" he asked nervously, and listened closely for any response. He got none. And yet, he was strangely relieved when his boyfriend remained silent.

"You can't sleep?" Francis yawned, clothes rustling in the dark as he moved a little to accommodate himself.

"Not really," Arthur mumbled, and left it at that for a moment, before adding onto it. "I'm scared."

"For Alfred?" Francis guessed.

"... Of Alfred," Arthur admitted, and his throat locked up.

"What?" Surprise was evident in his best friend's voice. "What do you mean?"

"I wouldn't go as far as to say that he's going crazy, but... He's losing it." Arthur bit his lip. "He's always been afraid of horror movies, horror games, hell, pretty much anything that's relative to a nightmare, and suddenly, he's thrown into a nightmare itself and expected to survive and stay sane." Arthur's gulped down with a bit of trouble. "He can't stay like this anymore. He's cracking. I don't know when he's going to break, but it's coming. And I'm terrified of seeing him like that." His arms tightened around his boyfriend, who mumbled in his sleep. Arthur stood still until Alfred had drifted back off. "I couldn't bear to see him go crazy because of this bloody apocalypse. I don't know what to do."

Francis did not reply at first. Arthur was suddenly afraid that he'd just drifted off to sleep while he was talking. He didn't want to be alone. But then, Francis sighed, and Arthur's tense muscles relaxed.

"Sounds like you're going crazy, too." Arthur couldn't help but give a bitter smile in response. He acknowledged the truth of this statement. He was going crazy mad with worry for the people he cared about. He was strong enough to resist the undead. He was not strong enough to resist his loved ones, though. If either of them ever became one of those monsters, Arthur was not sure he'd be able to shoot them.

"What do I do?" Arthur whispered back, heart clenching. "Francis, what do I do?"

"You calm down, first of all. We're safe here for the moment. Never mind the fact that the whole province knows that we're here after all the ruckus you caused," Francis rolled his eyes.

"In that case, maybe people will come and help us," Arthur chuckled, though the idea just made his heart sink lower. It wouldn't happen.

"Keep telling yourself that, chéri," Francis chuckled humourlessly. "Perhaps we'll have to last longer now, but... we'll last. We just have to wait."

"We're going to die of thirst before we get out of here."

"Don't be that way. I thought you wanted to save your lover boy no matter what. You aren't helping by being so negative. Negativity will keep your eyes shut in front of every opportunity," the Frenchman rolled his eyes. "Come on, Arthur. I know you. You're a lot stronger than this. You'll survive, we'll survive, and we'll all get out alive, no matter what."

Arthur did not reply, too conflicted to say anything pertinent. Instead, he lost himself in his own thoughts, eyes glazed over. He was willing to last it out, but would Alfred be alright? And Francis? He always looked so calm and collected, but Arthur hadn't nearly been paying enough attention to him lately. What if he was hurting, too? Arthur didn't know what to do anymore. He just knew that they wouldn't make it if they stayed here. They'd die if they stayed here, whether their bodies began to rot, or their souls were pulled out of their living bodies. He didn't know which one was worse. But they had to get out no matter what.

Daylight had begun to peek in through the window. Another day had begun, another waking moment filled with nightmares that were not limited to imagination anymore. Arthur stared out of the window for a second, to the light slowly gracing Alfred's youthful face, worried expression stuck on his face even in his sleep. He bit his lip, a plan slowly dawning inside his brain as the sun dawned upon the horror-stricken world. The remnants of tears stuck to Alfred's eyelashes only served to consolidate the dangerous, and probably suicidal ideas that were popping into his brain and aligning themselves into a logical order. As logical as suicide could get.

"No matter what," he repeated, and closed his eyes as daylight streaked upon his face.


Author's Notes

If you listen to Daylight, you'll... probably guess what's gonna happen next. See if you can figure it out. And try your luck in a review :D

I actually typed over 75% of this chapter on my Ipod. While taking the metro. So there might be spelling mistakes I haven't caught during proofread. If so, please signal them, I'm super anal about spelling.

PLOT: So this is a human!AU where Alfred and Arthur are lovers, Francis is Arthur's childhood best friend, and the entire world is in disarray because zombies. The three are trying to get to Montreal, which is one of the few safe places in North America. It is also where Alfred's brother, Matthew, lives, and can house them. A lot of military outposts have been created in smaller towns, and the international armies are working together to eradicate this threat and round up survivors to repopulate afterwards.

LOCATIONS: It takes place around the Quebec-Vermont border, and specifically, the town that they mention having passed it Saint-Alexandre. Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is also a real town. All the places here are real xD Even the house they bunk in and the farms that they ignore are real. Check Google Street view. Anyway. They began their trek in Boston, had pit stops all the way up to Canada, passed Saint-Alexandre and are now 8 hours' walk away from Saint-Jean. There, they can meet up with military personnel from the outpost, and have a ride to Montreal (called a Fortress-City). I picked Montreal because it's an island, completely isolated from the mainland, so it's obviously a great choice of a safe spot since all the bridges and tunnels can be put under surveillance. And not just because I live there hahaha. At least the geography will be right?

Anyway. That's that. Stay tuned for the second chapter soon. And please please please review because I love youh! :D