: Death, Or Something Like ItFandom
: Warehouse 13Pairing
: PG-13 (violence and gore)Word Count
: Warehouse 13, the world and the characters that inhabit it do not belong to me in any way, though sometimes I lie away at night wishing that they did and what I'd do with them if they did. And then I write those thoughts down.Summary
: This Halloween witness the love so true it transcended even death. This is Bering and Wells like you’ve never seen it before. A fun, upbeat romcom with…. Zombies?!A/N
and I were talking over on tumblr and our chats resulted in her making this epic manip
and me writing this. She also supplied my summary and title, which I might just love her forever for. Zombie Romance ahead!
The bright light from the fire pricked her eyes like knife points and she lifted a hand to shield them from flame as she passed by the blackening shell of one of the many cars littering the street. Some had hopped the pavement to straddle the curb, others had been driven through store fronts, and the road itself was dotted with ones that had simply been abandoned. Doors left open either by those fleeing or those who'd remained and spent the early days looting what they could from anywhere available. There weren't many people left now who were stupid enough to risk a run under the cover of darkness in the hope of finding a half eaten pack of Mentos in a glove box. It was a shame really. Myka hadn't seen anyone living in days.
She made her way along the pavement, stumbling a little as her foot caught on a discarded leg that had been torn off just below the knee and, upon glancing down at it, she could see had been stripped of most of its flesh. She let out an unintelligible noise of frustration as she lifted her head and sent her gaze out across the street.
From a birds-eye vantage point, one might think the roads below a living, breathing entity. Squirming about like a newborn piglet, with neither rhyme nor reason. Upon further inspection however, they would see it for what it truly was.
The undead gathered in hordes, wandering mindlessly in haphazardly structured pockets through the streets, bumbling between auto mobiles and each other as their pale eyes surveyed their surroundings with disinterest. Occasionally some movement would grab their attention, but once it proved to be nothing more than newspaper caught in the breeze or a mangy jackrabbit, it was gone again and they once more became a sea of mottled flesh and gore. Moving together, though out of sync, like stormy waters.
A long, low groan brought Myka's head around and she stared at the hunched form of what had once been a greying middle-aged man as he lumbered towards her. His mouth hung open, the looseness conveying an obvious fracture, and it swayed from side to side with his jerky, disjointed movements. He hobbled towards her, swinging the mangled mess that used to be his left leg around and using the visible bone of his ankle to brace his weight on. His foot, still attached by a thick flap of skin and missing its shoe, trailed behind the broken stump as though it were unwilling to give up its purpose completely. He was missing the majority of his left ear, only the topmost portion and a thin strip of the lobe remained, the rest looked as though it had been torn off his face by the bullet that had grazed the side of his head and left a ragged, still oozing wound. His shirt was long gone and his upper torso was bare, revealing skin that was the colour of aged bruises, thin and translucent where it was stretched over bone. He sported numerous bullet holes, and each one had leaked strings of thick, coagulated blood down along his chest. His milky-blue eyes rolled in his head, as though he were having a hard time focusing them, but they caught Myka's for a second before drifting to stare beyond her. He groaned a second time, colliding with her shoulder as he passed, and she let out a grunt.
Her arm no longer hurt, but the dislocation made it flap in a way that made the bones grind together whenever it was hit. She snapped her teeth in irritation, once, twice, and then forged on.
Her eyes flickered about distractedly as she crossed an intersection, the street to her right practically filled with the bumbling undead. She paused, turning her head to the side and then back against as her hand flexed and clenched in a nervous manner where it hung next to her thigh.
She'd been like them, part of a group, once. There hadn't been many, a handful at most, but they'd come together as if called by some unvoiced urge.
They were gone now.
Crossing to the opposite side, Myka wandered on alone through the darkening streets, passing stores that had been all but gutted and largely ignoring the endlessly groaning bodies swarming the road to her left. Her pace slowed as she approached what had once been a butcher shop, the front window where hunks of meat had once been displayed still miraculously more or less intact. She cocked her head, murky eyes catching her reflection and drifting over it with interest. The skin of her face and neck was a little paler than it had once been, pallor reminiscent of someone suffering from a fever, and it looked almost slick in spots. Blueish-grey veins were visible along the curve of her throat and the swell of her cheekbone, running up to boarder the gash beside her right eye and stretch across her forehead. Myka twisted her head to the opposite side and reached out with her good arm. She pressed her hand, bloodied at the fingertips, to the glass in front of her, resting it over her reflection's chest as she let out a huff. The streets behind her moved almost as one as she blinked slowly at her mirror image, as if searching for something a now long distant part of herself knew she'd never find.
She straightened suddenly, attention piqued by a movement in the crowd of writhing bodies. Slowly, she turned, feet brushing clumsily and making her stumble a little.
A woman emerged from the sea of expressionless faces, a beam of light sifting through the cloying darkness, and she ambled between two of the purposeless wretches with her head bowed towards the cement below her feet. Myka watched her as she moved, an echo of intrigue flashing behind dead eyes as they drank her in.
Her name, was Helena.
Shorter than Myka, the woman still stood tall upon quavering legs, her dusty leather jacket hanging loosely on her gaunt frame. The front of her was blood-spattered, formerly white shirt now dirty and yellowed, and her jet black hair hung about her face like curtains of silk, untouched by that which had ravaged her body. The flesh at the hollow of her neck was broken, flaps of skin detailing the bite that had turned her pallid and stilled her heart within her breast. The same faded blue veins that marred Myka's face, those that were more visible now than they had ever been while she'd drawn breath, were also present on this newcomer and drew morbid patterns across her features. The area around her left eye bore heavy signs of distress; charred and blackened skin hugged the bone of her cheek and darkened the area above her eyelid, a thick line of would-be scar tissue ran through her eyebrow. Her right cheek looked red and sore and a handful of scratches surrounded the long forgotten injury.
There wasn't much there to make her stand out from any of the others.
And yet Myka found herself enraptured by the woman's awkward movements.
She watched from her place standing before the butcher shop with hunched shoulders and tilted head as Helena wandered slowly towards some unseen destination, then suddenly stopped. She lifted her dark head, like a dog sniffing the air for a scent, and gave an exaggerated blink of her eyes before turning her head.
Milky-blue eyes still tinged with deep green met those of a similar shade, though bordered with brown, across the busy street and they found themselves locked in a wordless, touchless embrace. The city around them continued to squirm and moan, but they stood motionless and silent. To any breathing bystander, it would have been unnerving, and they themselves could no longer put words to anything at all. But there was something, an undeniable something that pulled at both of them. That resounded in their chests like the ghost of a pounding heartbeat.
Helena was the first to move, motions disjointed as she began closing the distance between them, and with a noise that most closely resembled that of a strangled groan, Myka followed her lead. She stumbled over the edge of the curb, broken bottles and other bits of glass clanging and crunching under her boots as her arm swung bonelessly at her side. They came together with an odd kind of cautiousness, one that their forms wore as foreign blankets, making their actions even more cumbersome and slowing their pace as they neared one another.
They stopped a foot or so apart, glassy eyes regarding the woman before them as if unsure of what to make of the sight. Helena's head swung suddenly to the left and she inhaled audibly through her nose. Myka blinked at her, eyes ever so slightly out of sync, and she let her jaw fall open as Helena pressed closer, breathing in more deeply. Sniffing the air where Myka tasted the breeze. They stood, entirely unnoticed by those around them, completely lost in their own little world. Even a lost traveller wouldn't have swayed their attention.
The fingers of Myka's good hand fidgeted, grasping at nothing as Helena leaned in to brush the charred skin of her cheek against the relatively smooth expanse of Myka's and inhaled once more, then drew back with an explosive huff. Shadowed eyes were lidded as they traversed the weathered planes of Myka's withered form, lingering upon her oddly hanging arm and then returning to her face.
And in the quiet of the street, for no sound from those around them penetrated the bubble of solitude they found themselves in, something that could be neither explained nor ignored fell over them. Reaching into hollow chests and settling there as though it belonged. And there would not have been a word for it even if speech still existed for them.
Helena shuffled closer and an agonised-sounding whine left Myka's parted lips as she dipped her head and pressed their foreheads together. Her mouth worked soundlessly as her eyes closed, fingers still twitching oddly at her side, and Helena's teeth came together with a painful sounding 'clack' as her hand came up to paw at the front of Myka's torn button-down. They spent a few moments simply standing close, touching, and uttering small inarticulate mewls and soft grunts, until Helena pulled back. Their noses brushed with the movement and she disentangled her hand from the front of Myka's shirt, scuffing her shoes against the ground as she meandered backwards, turning slowly.
And Myka followed.
And together, they left behind the fathomless ocean of lost souls and those so deeply sunk there was no light to penetrate their darkness.
And they moved forward together.
Newspapers littered the damp ground, flyers proclaiming such heart-warming messages as “The End Is Nigh!” and “God's Punishment Is Upon Us: Sinners Repent” clung to the sides of garbage cans and lampposts that would likely never flicker again, painting the city with large strokes of black and white, and spatters of colour.
They were less crowded here, the hordes having thinned out at indiscernible points behind them. They could not measure time, noticed neither the passing of the weakening sun nor the pale moon, and days or weeks could have flickered by. They kept pace with one another, shuffled along side by side, and all else was ignored.
Until the sound of gunshots pierced the quiet of their dying world.
They jerked to a stop in unison, afternoon sunlight glinting off opaque eyes as they surveyed their surroundings. Helena flared her nostrils and then, as another single shot ran out, she jerked her head towards a building that had once functioned as a bank. Myka's attention followed a half-second behind and they stood as still and silent as death itself as they waited.
Then, there was movement.
And they began shuffling together once more, lethargic limbs taking them in the direction of the building.
The man was scruffy, beard uneven and hair unwashed. His face and torso were dashed with blood that was not his own and his eyes were wide and slightly manic as he brandished his weapon at unseen assailants.
“They made me do it... you saw... they made
me...” He muttered to himself, words coming fast and broken through clenched teeth. The gun shook in his hand, knuckles a stark white against the metallic black of it. “I couldn't,” spittle leapt from his cracked lips as his tone grew more frantic, “they wouldn't leave me, the just fucking wouldn't-”
Before, when the world had not yet succumbed to the destruction and disease that now walked its surface and had continued to flourish beneath the chaos, Myka Bering had not been the type of person who 'dated'. In the sense that, movies and dinners out had never really been her idea of fun. She preferred evenings in, cooking dinner – or ordering take out, as became the far more common dining option as she climbed the ranks of the Secret Service – the night scene had always seemed garish and overbearing to her. Too loud and stuffy. The few times she'd participated in anything that could even be remotely considered a date, it had been comprised of a very well-meaning lemon chicken and a very amused, though he did his best to hide it, Sam Martino.
But she'd never been taken out for dinner, that she could remember.
And she never would remember, of course.
Helena's hands were strong, despite their withered appearance, and they gripped the man's shoulders from behind, fingertips digging under the edge of his collarbone. He gave a startled yelp as his sentence cut off and he was roughly hauled backwards.
“No!” His hand fumbled with the weapon as he reached up and tried to pry away the hands snaking around his neck. There came a low, rumbling growl that filled his ears and sent shivers along his filthy spine, raising the hairs on his arm beneath the heavy overcoat as it grew into the same mindless groan that they all made. “Fucking piece of--” She dragged him down, back-first towards the cracked tile of the floor, and he struggled in her grip as he tried to manoeuvre his gun so that he could shoot at her without injuring himself. Worn nails clawed at the skin now visible around the hole she'd torn in his shirt and as his back collided with her front and teeth grazed the side of his head, he decided that was close enough.
The gun went off, spewing out a first and then a second bullet. One hit the wall behind them, the other grazed Helena's shoulder. She didn't react, even as flesh was ripped from her, so intent was she on his. Still warm and flush with blood.
A snarl came from somewhere to his right and suddenly there were two pairs of hands on him, the newest grasping at the front of his shirt as he was forced to the floor under her weight. He couldn't swing his arm around fast enough, the surprise of a second assailant and the fear of his impending end giving a critical pause to his reactions. A hand clawed at his face from behind, frigid fingers sinking past his lips to curl around his upper teeth and force his mouth open and his head back. He gargled something inaudible, a wet and subdued scream tearing itself from his throat, and then there were teeth at his proffered neck.
Pain flared as his skin broke and was torn away, like dull knives ripping into his flesh. White hot and searing, he felt unnamed pieces of him ripped free and heard the sickening sound of sodden chewing. He clamped his jaw closed around the fingers in his mouth, but found himself unable to attain a firm hold as muscle and tendon were feasted upon. Though biting them off would have made little difference. He simply would have died with the feel of death in his mouth, as well as the taste of it. The gun slipped from his grasp and he tried in vain to pick it back up. To lift a leg and throw the thing
from him. But the warmth trickling along his chest had drenched his shirt and filled his bellybutton, and there simply wasn't much hope left. Helena was able to absently slip her hand free and his head lolled weakly to the side as his blood spilled out onto the dirty tile floor beneath him. She remained still for a moment, dead eyes watching as Myka made a meal of the shaking, mewling man.
As if sensing the stare, Myka lifted her head from the ragged mess she'd made of his neck. Pale face half dripping with the most vibrant shade of life, lips glistening beneath it, she stared up at Helena and let out a quiet, rumbling growl. The sound was echoed in return and then Helena fell forward onto the dying man, latching onto the exposed skin of his shoulder. Her teeth grazed bone and their foreheads brushed together. ~~~
They did not sleep. Their bodies no longer required time to rest, recharge, recoup from the injuries of the day. Their eyes remained open, always, seeking something they had no way of knowing will always be out of reach. Their muscles no longer screamed their protest as they once might have if subject to days upon weeks of walking and so they kept moving. Wandering, searching for something though their minds are filled with nothing at all but a subdued hunger, caged and ready to leap as soon as its door is even partway open. Though they did not know it, they were driven by that hunger and it was all that could ever occupy their decomposing minds.
That is the majority.
But it was not all.
For in a debris-strew alleyway that was entirely empty besides themselves, two stood apart from all the others. Stood together. Huddled close, still as death. Myka's bad arm swayed, twitching fingers brushing against Helena's hand where it hung at her side. They were almost chest to chest, faces close, cheeks almost touching. Echoing sighs and whines passing their lips every few moments as they eyes fluttered, but remained closed. After a long while, Helena's head swayed and lolled until her bruised temple was pressed against Myka's cheekbone. Together, they released a raspy sigh.
They would continue to walk, to aimlessly roam the streets of dying towns and cities.
But they would no longer feel the need to search.