Niall isn’t at all prepared for the green-eyed boy with long, unruly curls to come to his rescue.
Nine months ago: Niall Horan, aspiring musician moves across the pond, from Ireland to Hollywood, with nothing but a duffle bag of clothes, some snap backs and his old guitar.
Eight-point-five months ago a virus breaks out across the U.S.A; people start dying and then coming back to life. Two weeks later the entire world breaks out into real life a zombie apocalypse.
Seven months ago Niall loses contact with his family back home in Ireland.
Five months ago Niall, stuck in L.A. and virtually alone – hiding in abandoned L.A. mansions and killing zombies with anything he can get his hands on, including a gun he found on top of a bible in the bedside table of a house he’d broken in to, gets his arse saved by a boy with long, unruly brown curls and a stupid-looking farmers hat. Said boy, a British-native living near and (previously) working in one of the most upscale bakeries in L.A. named Harry Styles, insists Niall join him and his “band of zombie-slaying misfits” on their journey to Washington, where it’s rumored there’s a cure.
Four-point-five months ago Niall repays the favour by blowing a zombie’s brain out whilst the zombie was trying to eat Harry’s face in the middle of a Walmart..
Three months ago – and Niall isn’t even all that sure as to how it happens – Niall and Harry wind up exchanging mutual hand jobs next to a creek somewhere in Phoenix while Louis and his girlfriend Eleanor, Zayn and his fiancé Perrie and Liam and his on-and-off again girlfriend Sophia are asleep in a couple tents a few feet away. They agree to keep it a secret – and to keep it going because they’re boys and just because the world has gone to shit, doesn’t mean they can’t still get off. [They also agree to not make it a thing thing because, well, starting up anything serious in the middle of an apocalypse is probably the exact wrong thing to do.]
Two weeks ago they go all the way, exchanging blowjobs and kisses before Harry fucks Niall when they’re alone in the woods, and Niall realizes that in all the zombie apocalypse books and guides he’d read as a teenager, whether he’d taken them seriously at the time or not, he doesn’t remember reading anything that would’ve prepared him for falling in love during an apocalypse.
[Nine months post-apocalypse]
“Harry – fuck,” Niall hisses, fisting his hand into a mop of long, unruly brown curls attached to the head which is attached to the mouth currently attached to his dick. The boy on his knees in front of him, where Niall’s lying in the grass next to the make-shift fire pit with his legs apart, hums around him, yanking a moan from Niall’s throat. “Hurry up,” he breathes, tossing his head back as Harry’s head begins to bob. “They’ll be back soon, hurry up.”
Harry pulls off with a pop, a smirk on his pretty, dark pink lips. “Maybe we should let them see. They could all use a little less frustrations.”
“Yeah, because witnessing other people fucking is gonna take away their own frustrations,” Niall says, rolling his eyes despite the lazy grin on his face.
"I wouldn’t call it fucking; we definitely don’t have time for that.”
“We’re not gonna have time for this if you don’t shut up and get back to work,” Niall snaps, carding his fingers through Harry’s curls to pull him back into place over him.
"If you talk to me like that I might not-”
“Haz, c’mon,” Niall whines, not even pretending to be ashamed. “I’m so fucking hard and I’ve already sucked you off so it’s only fair that you return-” he cuts himself off the second Harry takes him in his mouth again, looking up at him through lidded eyes. And, Jesus Christ, a zombie could pop out of the woods right now and Niall wouldn’t even be bothered enough to kill it. “Fuck,” he breathes, his hips bucking upwards – which only makes Harry moan and suck harder.
Niall feels delirious, over-sensitive. He gasps, because Harry does this thing with his tongue that drives Niall crazy every time, and squeezes his eyes shut, throwing his head back into the grass as his hips stutter up once more. He can feel it; the twisting pleasure in his gut, the fire and ice tingling throughout his whole body. “F-fuck,” Niall croaks, his throat closing, cutting off his air supply at the same Harry’s throat closes around him. “Ha-z-“
Harry grips his thigh, tapping a finger against his skin and Niall forces his eyes open and drags his head out of the dirt to look down. His gaze meets Harry’s blown-out eyes, his pupils so wide that the green is hardly visible. Niall pushes his hands through Harry’s hair, tugging on his curls.
Harry literally pulls Niall’s orgasm out of him - ’m gonna suck your brain out through your dick, a dry sob escaping Niall’s throat.
“Shit,” Niall breaths afterwards, his chest heaving and panting. He cranes his neck to look at the boy sitting in the grass across from him, grinning lazily. Harry’s still licking his lips – and if Niall wasn’t already so fucked-out, he’d feel it in his groin.
“You should pull your pants back up,” Harry says, pushing himself to his feet as he smirks down at Niall. “They’re gonna be back soon.”
“I don’t even care,” Niall drawls, tilting his head to look up at him.
“C’mon, make yourself decent before they can start asking questions,” the brunette chuckles, kicking gently at Niall’s let as he ties his American flag bandana back around his head like a headband, pushing his hair out of his face.
It’s not that either of them are ashamed or embarrassed because, hell, they’ve both heard the others going at it at some point or another, it’s just that…it’s easier this way, not acknowledging it. Because it isn’t supposed to be a thing. (The difference between Harry and Niall and the other lads and their significant other is that the lads were in their respective relationships before the virus broke and, well.)
Niall does as he’s told, tucking himself back into his pants before pushing himself back on to his feet. He wipes his hands off on his already dirty, grass and blood stained skinny jeans and then stretches his legs a bit before glancing across the fire pit towards where Harry is gathering more twigs. Harry’s clothes are also dirty, dried zombie blood caked onto his ripped skinny jeans and shirt and his skin, like Niall’s – and everyone else’s, he supposes – is grimy and, even on some of the colder days, almost constantly slick with sweat. He really does look the part of a zombie slayer, like the ones you’d find in comic books and video games, with his ripped and tattered clothing, his tanned and dirty skin and his long and greasy hair – none of them have had a proper shower of any sort in months – and it kind of makes Niall’s stomach coil because he’s fucking gorgeous.
“I think we should leave early tomorrow,” Harry says, dropping an armful of twigs onto the ground next to the fire pit. He then turns to Niall and pokes him the blunt end of one stick. “Ya reckon?”
Niall rolls his eyes, batting the stick away from his arm. “Yeah, I reckon,” he says, ducking away from Harry as the brunette continues to poke at him. “You’re such a child,” he laughs.
Harry smirks, cocking his head to the side in this distinctly-quirky-Harry kind of way, which Niall has, admittedly, become quite fond of – even if he does make fun of Harry for being a dork sometimes. “Considering what I just did for you I’d say I’m not that much of a child.”
Niall smiles, shaking his head whilst simultaneously leaning in to kiss the other boy-
And then, as if on cue, a familiar group of six come out of the woods – with food, Niall hopes. And even if it is with food, he’d almost rather they be zombies because at least he can snog Harry in front of them before bashing their heads in with whatever weapon is closest to him.
“We need to stick to the woods.”
“We need to find a road or something – for all we know we could be walking in circles in these damn woods.”
Louis and Niall are arguing about where to go, whilst everyone else just sort of watches because nobody else wants to get involved. They don’t fight often – in fact, for a group of boys (and a few girls) who came together with absolutely nothing in common, except maybe Harry and Louis, they all get along quite well. It’s just that Niall hasn’t really been sleeping, between Harry crawling into his sleeping bag for a shag and worrying, constantly, about the undead roaming around them, so he’s cranky (despite all the sex he’s been having, which is more than before the apocalypse) and Louis has a short fuse. Niall thinks it best to find a road or a highway somewhere because there might be actual, living people and maybe they can find a working vehicle which would make traveling easier, since Louis broke the last one. Louis thinks they should stick to the woods because there are less zombies in the woods which means there’s a smaller chance of dying – which is true, but still.
"What happens then, Niall, if we do come across a vehicle and it’s all fine and dandy until, whoops, we run out of gas? Huh?”
“If we find a vehicle then we find the nearest has station and suck the gas out of the pump, fill up a few of those red containers. Yeah, it’s been ages since someone’s used a gas pump but there’s no way it’s dried up. It’s our safest option, Louis.”
“I beg to differ.”
Niall turns to Harry, “what do you think, Haz?” And maybe that’s a little unfair, to put Harry in between his best friend and the boy he’s shagging, but Niall trusts Harry’s judgment almost as much, if not more, than he trusts his own.
The look the curly-haired boy gives Louis, his best friend since before the apocalypse, before he looks at Niall makes him think he’s going to side with Louis just because. Because he doesn’t want to make Louis mad and it has Niall’s gut clenching because if Harry does side with Louis that’s like choosing Louis over him. And even though it shouldn’t be – because they aren’t a thing and he shouldn’t be jealous anyway because Louis has a girlfriend – he’s already mad at Harry-
“You really think finding the highway is for the best?” Harry asks softly, cocking his head to the side.
Niall swallows around the lump in his throat as he nods. “I do.”
Harry licks his bright pink lips and runs a hand through his matted hair before dragging it down across his neck and collarbones. His fingers drag across the neck of his t-shirt, dragging the fabric down to reveal the tip of one of the two swallow tattoos he has on his chest. “Then I think we should find a highway.”
Louis gaps at him, looking betrayed – and a little hurt – and glares at Niall but he doesn’t say anything else.
Niall continues to stare at Harry, who turns his attention onto Louis to explain himself – and Niall – in a way that Niall hadn’t. Harry’s got all the confidence of someone who knows exactly what he’s doing, like he’s done it before – which is absolutely mad, he knows, but Niall knows, probably more than anyone, that Harry doesn’t have any idea what he’s doing. That he’s just as scared and uncertain as the rest of them, even if he never shows it; he’s told Niall as much in the quiet darkness of their tent whilst nestled in Niall’s sleeping bag. It’s a secret Niall keeps and Harry doesn’t even have to ask.
In the end, Harry convinces Louis that finding the highway is their best option and Niall prays to God – or to whoever’s up their destroying their world – that he’s right.
Things can change in the blink of an eye in an apocalypse; Niall knows this, though it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. One minute you can be raiding a grocery store for non-perishable foods and the next there can a dozen zombies circling you like you’re prey.
Niall pants, bending at the waist to rest his hands on his knees, the hilt of his knife still clutched in his fingers, dripping dark red blood on the tile at his feet. Around him are the dead, undead bodies of several zombies. His bummed knee hurts a bit, but it’s not unbearable. A chuckle erupts from his throat, dragging with it a surge of adrenaline and a feeling of victory having survived. He turns around to find Harry – Harry’s always got this wicked, breathless look about him after a fight like this, like he’s amazed that he’s still alive and it’s beautiful – but Harry isn’t standing behind him, isn’t grinning at him with that cocky, dimply smile.
Panic sets in, his breath catching in his throat when he catches a glimpse of Harry’s bandana on the floor. When he looks harder, focusing his gaze on two bodies a few feet away from him, he realizes that one of the bodies is Harry’s. And he isn’t moving.
Niall’s legs move all on their own, guiding him towards where Harry’s lying with another, dead undead body sprawled out on top of him. He drops to his knees, ignoring the pain that shoots through his bummed one, and scrambles to push the bloodied, rotten body off Harry.
The brunette’s eyes are closed, his cheeks smeared with blood, his hair pushed back out of his face by his bandana.
“Harry,” he breathes, shaking his shoulders. “Harry – c’mon, wake up. Please – please wake up,” he begs, his voice shaking. Harry still doesn’t move, his eyes are still closed and his chest is still rising and falling evenly – but Niall still fears the worst; fears the moment when Harry’s eyes open to reveal ones that don’t belong to him. “This isn’t funny,” Niall whimpers, shaking harder, desperately at Harry’s shoulders.
Harry’s eyes begin to flutter open, then, and he groans from low in his throat as he slowly comes to.
“Fuck,” Niall breathes, dropping his head to rest his forehead against Harry’s chest. “You asshole…”
“Heyyy,” Harry murmurs, acting offended. “‘s not my fault. Blame that guy,“ he says, gesturing to the decaying body of a man next to him.
Niall rolls his eyes, sitting back on the floor and bending his knees in front of him. Harry does the same, glancing around them, frowning. This is how it goes: eventually, the adrenaline from having fought for your life and survived disappears and dread for having killed people – what used to be people – sets in. Harry’s always taken it the worst, always feels the worst; he thinks too much about the lives these people had before this. Niall can’t bring himself to think like that, which makes him think that Harry is definitely a better person than he is.
There are days, however, when Niall feels far too good about himself having survived and he begins to feel like he’s losing his humanity, like this new, fucked up world is taking it away from him – and Harry always knows just what to say; says that killing them is more of a favour than a burden he should bear in his heart. Harry somehow always knows what to say to everybody but himself.
"We should go find the others,” Harry says, pushing himself to his feet. He offers Niall his hand and the blond boy takes it, letting Harry pull him to his feet as well.
He expects Harry to drop his hand, then, but Harry only squeezes his fingers and tugs on his arm, pulling him down an aisle and away from the dead bodies.
This is the first time he’s ever been genuinely afraid of losing Harry.
Niall has nightmares, which is sort of ironic considering the world they’re living in now is a nightmare. The only difference, perhaps, is that during the day he can be distracted by killing the things trying to eat him – and by Harry. That and in his nightmares someone always dies.
The nightmares started when the world first turned on its head and the dead came back to life – and especially when Niall had lost contact with his family back in Ireland. They were mostly about his parents or his brother dying and then turning into one of them and becoming unrecognizable; sometimes Greg would attack him, growling and snarling, trying to rip his neck apart, sometimes his mother would tear apart his flesh and gnaw on his bones, sometimes his baby nephew Theo would crawl around, grey skinned and bloody and hungry. And Niall would wake up in a cold sweat, crying and dry-heaving because he hadn’t been able to eat that day due to the nightmares he had the night before.
Now the nightmares are about Harry. Harry, forgetting who he is – who they both are. Harry’s eyes glazed over, empty, unrecognizable. Harry’s face bruised and blooded and grey, his body seemingly alive but everything inside of him dead. Harry, pinning Niall to the ground whilst he scrambles, trying feebly to push this undead version of Harry off him in a way he’s never done before. Harry, trying to rip out his jugular with his teeth.
Every time he wakes up, now, he comes face-to-face with the boy who just tried to kill him in his dreams and the thought, that it really could happen now – that it’s not really a nightmare, because the nightmare is very real – makes him sick to his stomach. And every time he wakes up he stares at Harry, watches him sleep, watches his chest rise and fall and his eyelids flutter gently against his cheek. He takes him all in, commits him to memory the way he is – tanned, dirty skin, bright pink lips, long brown curls, long and lean body – because he’s afraid of forgetting.
He isn’t sure what scares him more: Harry forgetting who he is or himself forgetting who Harry is.
And now, since the attack at the grocery store a few days ago, Niall has developed a new fear; he’s not sure that, if the time ever came – which it very-well could – he can kill Harry. He isn’t sure he can look into Harry’s face, even if it no longer belongs to the humble, quirky boy himself, and kill him. In fact he’s pretty sure that if the time ever does come Niall wouldn’t even want to, thinks he might just give in and let Harry have him.
They’re somewhere in Texas now. A few days ago they’d stumbled across a large farmhouse surrounded by acre upon acre (upon acre) of land. Living inside it was a young couple named Louise and Tom and their three-year-old daughter, Lux. Tom had been wary at first, of course, because they were a group of eight strangers – but Lux had taken no time at all to take to Harry (and Harry to Lux) and Lou had felt obligated to put them up for at least a few days. Just long enough to shower, clean yourselves up and have a few proper meals.
It’s been about two weeks now and they’ve got something of a life here now. Tom and Lou are incredibly cool, Lux is adorable and has sort of grown attached to all of them and the house is big enough that Louis and Eleanor, Liam and Sophia, Zayn and Perrie all have their own rooms. Harry and Niall also have their own rooms but that doesn’t stop Harry from crawling into Niall’s bed to snog him until they both fall asleep.
Things are good here. Nobody’s come across a zombie in weeks, everyone seems quite happy and things are very simple. If Niall didn’t know any better he’d think the rest of the world was living like them, without a care in the world.
Niall still has nightmares, though, and because Harry spends every night in bed with him Harry’s begun to notice.
He wakes for the third night in a row in a cold sweat, panting and whimpering as he struggles to move, to just get away. Harry wakes up seconds later, instinctively reaching out for him but Niall pushes him away, shouting for the brunette not to touch him. Harry obeys, raising his arms like he’s surrendering as he moves away.
Niall’s eyes are wide, his breathing shallow, his heart hammering in his chest as he looks across the bed at the boy beside him, watching him with baited breath and a furrowed brow.
“What’s – what’s going on?” Harry croaks, his Adam’s apple bobbing nervously in his throat. “What’s going on with you?”
Niall sighs, dropping his head into his hands. “Just…nightmares.”
Harry blinks. “Oh.”
Niall lifts his gaze and it collides with Harry’s bright, curious, alive green ones. He licks at his lips, running his hands through his hair. “You – you always turn. And you always come for me. And I can never…I can never do it. I can never kill-” he cuts himself off, choking on the words as a sob escapes his throat. The word tastes awful in his mouth now.
“C’mere,” Harry murmurs, cocking his head for Niall to come closer as he opens his arms.
Niall practically leaps across the length of the bed, curling himself around Harry and burying his face into his chest.
“I reckon I’d have an awful time too,” Harry mutters, dipping his face into Niall’s hair.
Niall chuckles, sniffling back tears.
“Let’s make a pact yeah?” Niall cranes his neck to look up. “If either of us turns the other has to take care of it. No exceptions.”
Niall blinks, snapping his head back to stare at Harry. Harry stares back at him, the corners of his lips twitching into a small smile – and Niall gets it, understands him. It makes his heart beat faster and his stomach twist into knots, the butterflies coming to life, and as terrifying as the thought may be, promising Harry that he would do it – kill him, it’s like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
Niall nods, leaning forward to press his lips against Harry’s. “Deal.
A loud, throaty gasp crawls out of Niall’s chest and bursts between his lips as Harry’s hand slips inside Niall’s pants, squeezing one round arse cheek with his fingers. Niall thinks the sounds that Harry drags from him are embarrassing but Harry craves them, chases them down, encourages him. He moans as his back hits the wall Harry pushes him against, rips his mouth away from Harry’s as the brunette grinds against him, dips his head to sink his teeth, desperately, into Harry’s shoulder. Harry groans, pulling both hands back; his fingers fumble with the hem of Niall’s shirt.
“Off,” Harry mutters, pulling on the shirt whilst Niall helps him get it off. His lips automatically attach themselves to Niall’s collarbone.
“Harry,” Niall breathes, pushing his head back against the wall. His arms fall around Harry’s neck, holding him close.
Everything is so peaceful, so quiet that the only thing that can be heard is the noises leaving both boys. And then-
An ear-piercing scream resounds around the room, as though the scream was originating from inside it.
Niall’s blood runs cold as Harry’s head snaps back, staring wide-eyed at Niall’s face. More screaming and series of shouts – from Louis and Liam – follow. “Shit,” he mutters, reaching for his shirt, which Harry had dropped on the floor at their feet, as Harry trips away from him and adjusts his own clothing.
Both boys take off, ripping out of Niall’s bedroom door and down the stairs at the end of the hall. Harry’s legs are longer but Niall’s fast, so he keeps up with the brunette, following the screams – and then a gunshot – out the back screen door and onto the porch. In the field, a mere 25 feet away, everyone (excluding Lou and Lux; Lou, who’s cradling a sobbing Lux in her arms a few feet away) is gathered around two bodies lying in the grass.
One body belongs to a zombie, blood dripping out of a bullet hole in the middle of his forehead and someone else’s blood all over his mouth. The other belongs to Eleanor, whose neck has been ripped apart and arms have been violently scratched up.
While everyone else is too shocked to react, Louis is a right mess. He’s kneeling down next to her, covered in her blood as he leans over her, his hands cupping her face, forehead pressed against hers. He’s crying – sobbing and whimpering, pleading with her to be okay, begging her not to leave him. Eleanor’s also crying, silent tears sliding down the sides of her face and into her hair but the only sounds she makes are gasps and gurgles due to the fact that her windpipe has been destroyed.
They all know it’s over; in a matter of minutes she’s going to start to turn, to lose herself to the virus. They’ll be forced to put her down.
“We can’t let her change,” Liam says, stepping forward to stand closer to Louis.
“I know,” Louis croaks.
“I’ll do it-”
“No,” Louis sniffs, wiping his wrists over his wet cheeks. His hands are coated in her blood. “I’ll do it.”
Niall grabs at Harry’s hand at the same time Louis takes his gun from his holster. Harry intertwines their fingers.
Louis whimpers and his hands shake; his left brushing back Eleanor’s hair and his right bringing the gun up to the underside of her chin. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, leaning down to press a gently kiss against her lips. “I love you.”
She nods when he pulls back, like she’s encouraging him – and then a second later her eyes flutter closed and her chest stops moving.
Louis cries, his trembling fingers gripping the gun. He’s panting, breathing heavily. “I - I can’t,” he sobs, falling back on his arse before scrambling to push himself away from her body. “I can’t…”
Liam takes the gun from his hand just before Louis’ fingers were going to let go of it anyway.
Niall’s breath catches in his throat as Liam stands behind Louis, pointing the gun directly at Eleanor’s head. This is his worst nightmare come to life – even if it isn’t his decision to make.
There’s a loud bang, Louis’ heart-wrenching scream, Perrie’s gasp as she buries her face into Zayn’s shoulder, Sophia’s whimper she moves forward to drag Liam against her, Lux’ terrified cries as Lou runs towards the house. Harry flinches next to him and Niall squeezes his fingers – but then Harry’s pulling away, his fingers squirming to untangle from Niall’s before he’s dropping to his knees behind where Louis’ curled in on himself. Harry envelopes his best friend into his arms, rocking them both back and forth as Louis clings to him.
They haven’t had a proper conversation in days and even though they’re living in the same bloody house Niall misses him. The thing is: Louis’ a wreck. He cries all the time, his sobs carrying on through the whole house, and he hardly leaves his room. Harry also hardly leaves Louis’ room, has cooped himself up with his best friend for days.
It’s selfish, Niall knows, to miss him, to be upset about it. They lost a great friend – Louis lost his girlfriend – so of course Harry should be with him. It’s just that this whole thing is incredibly unsettling and Harry always has a way of fixing that, of using his smile and his dimples and his kisses to make Niall feel better.
So when Niall sees Harry, through the kitchen window, sitting along in the middle of the grassy field, he takes it upon himself to join him. He sits on the grounds next the brunette, bending his legs and resting his elbows on his knees. “Shouldn’t be out here alone,” he murmurs, bumping his shoulder gently against Harry’s. The rest of what he wants to say goes unsaid: Eleanor went for a walk alone, but he knows Harry hears it anyway. He takes a deep breath, craning his neck to watch Harry’s face. “I know this probably isn’t the right thing to say right now but…I miss you.”
Harry blinks and his jaw tenses before he looks away.
“Haz,” Niall whispers, reaching for the other boy’s hand.
Harry pulls away, shrugging off Niall’s touch and then pushes himself to his feet. Niall’s breath catches in his throat as Harry begins to pace back and forth, his hands flying up to run over his face and through his long, unwashed hair. “I think…I don’t think we should do this anymore.”
“This,” Harry sighs. “Us. We can’t – I can’t-”
“Wait, hang on,” Niall says, pushing himself to his feet as well; Harry’s taller than him, but at least if he’s standing up he can see the boy clearly. His heart is hammering in his chest, his palms are sweating – so he rubs them on his dirt and blood-stained jeans – and his stomach is twisting into knots. “Where the hell is this coming from? We-” He cuts himself off because his mind is racing and his thoughts are moving too fast to concentrate on just one.
Harry looks at him, eyes sad and so full of pain and distress. “It’s a distraction, Niall.”
Niall shakes his head, eyes wide. “What are you talking about?”
“Eleanor got attacked by a zombie the other day – the first zombie we’ve come into contact with in weeks – and we were…we were too busy fooling around to be there,” Harry spits.
“That – that wasn’t our fault, Harry.”
“It got Eleanor killed-”
“No, it – there was nothing we could’ve done. There was nothing anyone could’ve done; even if we hadn’t been…we don’t know that we could’ve prevented it,” Niall reminds him, because one of them has to point it out.
“That’s kind of the point, innit? We don’t know – we don’t know anything. We’re fucked, Niall. This whole world is fucked-“
“We weren’t there, Eleanor is dead and my – my best friend is a wreck and there’s nothing I can…I can’t do anything about it.”
Niall blinks, stepping forward to reach out for him but Harry shrugs him off once more. He frowns. “Ending things won’t bring her back, Harry.”
"It’ll take away distractions.”
Niall’s brow furious and he shakes his head. Harry isn’t making any sense; the only distraction fucking around provides is blinding pleasure. That, and Niall’s plaguing nightmares but that’s-
It hits him, then, like a slap at the back of the head. It’s less about Eleanor’s death and more about Louis’ inability to kill her.
“We made a pact, Harry,” Niall murmurs, pushing his hands into his pockets. “Remember? We have a deal-”
“Eleanor and Louis had a deal too and Louis couldn’t go through with it. And it’s destroying him, Niall,” Harry whimpers, sniffing back years.
Niall’s heart jumps into his throat. “That’s different-“
"It’s not though, Niall. It isn’t different at all, is it?”
The blond licks his lips, swallowing around the lump in his throat. He knows it’s coming, knows he won’t be able to sway Harry’s mind – not now, not with everything going on.
“I just think we need to stop-”
“Okay,” Niall whispers, looking down at his feet. The less Harry has to stay about it, the better. For both of them, he reckons. “Okay. It’s done."
Harry’s standing on the front porch by the time the truck rounds the corner. It’s only been three days (and seven zombie kills) since Niall left with Zayn and Liam to travel a few cities behind in order to find a special dose of medicine for a sick Lux, but Niall feels like he hasn’t seen Harry in ages. Niall’s a little bit slower climbing out of the back of the truck, because his knee hurts, and Liam and Zayn rush past Harry into the house, supplies in hand. He’s also trying in vain to delay the moment he would have to actually speak to Harry, so he takes his time, closing the door behind him and lingering at the back of the cab to grab his bag.
Harry rushes down the front steps and meets him half way, placing his hands on his shoulders the moment he’s stood in front of him whilst inspecting Niall’s body for injuries.
Niall swallows the lump in his throat. “I’m fine, Harry. I’m fine.”
Harry throws himself at Niall, then, wrapping his arms around the blond boy’s neck. His body collides hard with Niall’s knocking them off balance – and catching Niall off guard – for a fraction of a second before he catches them. “Shit, Niall,” he breathes into the crook of his neck.
Niall hugs him back, his fingers gripping the back of Harry’s plaid flannel shirt.
They’re traveling again, driving through yet another abandoned county, past shops with broken windows and doors hanging off hinges. Suddenly Harry shouts for Louis to stop the truck and jumps out of the cab before the truck even rolls to a stop. Niall shouts at him – along with Lux, whose little voice carries through the air – as he takes off running towards a record shop. Lux attempts to follow him, her little hands gripping the edge of the cab as she tries to swing her leg over the top but Tom grabs her around the waist and pulls her back into his lap, tickling her into a fit of giggles.
Harry comes back moments later holding a beautiful, shiny acoustic guitar in one hand and an old, wooden drum in the other. Niall grins from ear to ear, ignoring everyone else’s “oou’s” and “aw’s”, as Harry climbs back into the cab. “To replace the one you broke to pieces,” he says, pushing the guitar into Niall’s chest.
Niall licks his lips, taking the neck of the guitar from Harry’s hands. He settles it in his lap, running his hands over the length of the curved wood, his finger tugging gently at the strings. It’s been so long – too long – since he’s had a guitar in his hands, too long since he’s played. Everyone knows about his obsession with guitars, about his dream of being a musician – but the fact that Harry remembers and thought about it when it’s been the furthest thing from Niall’s mind for months is…well.
"I told you I wanted you to sing for me,” Harry says cheekily, setting the drum between his knees. (Lux crawls out of Tom’s lap and into Harry’s, banging on the top of the drum with her tiny fists.
“I have sung for you,” Niall points out.
"But not with a guitar.”
Niall rolls his eyes.
“Well what are you waiting for, Irish?” Louis shouts back to him as he puts the truck back in gear. “Sing for the rest of us now.”
He does as he’s told, his fingers moving expertly across the strings like it was only just yesterday that he’d played for the last time before smashing his last guitar over a zombie’s skull. And as everyone else watches and listens, fascinated, his gaze never leaves Harry’s.
Every bone in Niall’s body has turned to jelly, every muscle feels like it’s on fire – but it’s a pleasurable sort of the pain, the kind you sort of chase. The kind you crave so much you can taste it and then it’s there and it’s euphoric. And it doesn’t matter that someone might hear you (because, well, tents aren’t exactly sound proof) and it doesn’t matter that the rest of the world has gone to shit because all you’re focused on is you and your person and that feeling of flying and falling. (It sort of goes to prove that not everything in this new, apocalyptic world is dead.)
He comes apart around Harry at the same time Harry comes apart within him, crying out Harry’s name as he writhes and whines underneath him. Harry collapses in top of him, dipping his face into the crook of Niall’s neck and curling his arms underneath Niall’s shoulders and under the pillow beneath his head. Niall’s breath comes out short and ragged whilst Harry breathes long and slow into his sweaty skin.
Niall moves one hand from where it was placed on the small of Harry’s back and cards it through Harry’s bangs, dragging with it even more sweat. Harry hums in response, breathing in deep through his nose before pulling his head back to face Niall.
“Hi,” Harry murmurs, leaning forward to press his lips against Niall’s mouth before the blond could respond.
“Hi,” Niall whispers, smiling into Harry’s kiss.
Harry’s still inside him and he’s soft but Niall can’t even bring himself to care. “I’m in love you,” Harry says softly, pulling back slightly to look at Niall properly.
Niall’s breath catches in his throat – because as much as he fancies himself in love with Harry, as much as he feels it in his own chest, he’s never expected Harry to be the first one to say it. Regardless, he already knows it true. He smiles up the beautiful, green-eyed boy above him, feels his chest explode with affection. “I’m in love you too.”
The thing about being in love is that sometimes it sneaks up on you but then sometimes it hits you so suddenly it sort of knocks the breath right out you. For Niall, though, it was kind of a mixture of both. It’s scary and it’s intimidating and it’s hard – but it’s also really fucking beautiful.
The thing about falling in love during an apocalypse is that it’s all of those things magnified by, like, a thousand because there’s fucking zombies walking around trying to eat everyone and you’re trying not to get yourself killed whilst, at the same time, trying to keep the person (people, really) you love alive. And that, in itself, is a nightmare.
“‘S weird, in’nit?” Harry hums, nipping at the bottom of Niall’s chin with his teeth. “That you can feel so…happy while everyone around you is dead – or dying.”
It’s a daily struggle, really.
“But it’s good, ya know? Like, it gives you something to live for.”
Niall couldn’t agree more.
The truth of the matter is that anything goes in a zombie apocalypse and no matter how prepared you think you are you aren’t prepared at all.
Ajouté sur YouTube par NingenExp : “This is a video I made with footage of the film L.A. Zombie by Bruce LaBruce and Nord-Sud by Philippe Bresson, that’s part of the OST of the film. Neither the music nor the film belong to me.” (NingenExp)