A/N: The zombie apocalypse AU nobody asked for. Also, this fandom is pretty much dead but I keep coming back to it and I hope whoever comes across this and takes the time to read it can enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
PS: This story will contain some boy on boy action because yullen is my OTP since, like, I discovered fanfiction. It won't be anything too explicit though.
PPS: I sincerely hope that, wherever you are, you and your loved ones are doing well in this troubled period.
Disclaimer: loosely based on The Walking Dead.
Falls the Shadow
The sun was a perfect orange disc in the clear sky, already disappearing behind the slate-gray roofs, feeding the shadows like ever-growing monstrous children eating at the lawns and houses. The only audible sounds are the rhythmic chirping of the crickets, singing louder and louder as the night approaches, and the occasional bird shaking the branches of a nearby tree as it flies through its green leaves, little body blessed with wings.
Besides a couple of cars, abandoned and covered in a layer of dust so thick their original color is hardly recognizable, the road is mostly empty. There's a white-haired boy, angry red scar running down the left side of his face, walking down the street, steps light and careful on the warm asphalt, a little round-faced yellow dog trotting behind him. A small, transparent smile breaks across the boy's lips.
"Must've been a nice neighborhood to live in, right Tim?" He says, twisting his face around to address his four-legged companion.
Tim jerks his head up in agreement.
Gray eyes scan the area, spot a two-story blueish house.
It won't be long before the opaque darkness ingulfs the last residue of light and the undead scatter everywhere. They're more active in the nighttime, something about the cooler temperature. Probably. Anyway, sleeping under the stars isn't an option. They must find shelter.
"Let's try this one," the boy says, hold tightening around the strap of his backpack.
There are absolutely no sounds coming from the house. Sure enough, the front door has been sealed off, same goes for the first-floor windows, wood boards nailed all over them from the inside. The boy skirts around the rectangular structure, looking for another opening. He catches sight of a small open window on the second floor and smiles again in relief. Tonight, they'll be able to get a good night's sleep, probably some food too – he sighs dreamily at the thought – maybe even a shower.
A twig cracks behind him and his heart misses a beat. His hand flies to the gun lodged in the waistband of his jeans as he turns on his feet, dizzyingly quick, but before he can even try to make use of it, he's hit in the face with a shovel and promptly loses consciousness.
There's crack in the ceiling.
His throat is parchment dry.
The room smells of dust and humidity.
Are the three first things to reach his brain as he regains consciousness.
Then comes the panic, a sharp stab in his stomach, because his ankles and wrists are tied to a four-poster bed. His muscles go tight all over, ready for a fight he can only lose, nails digging in the soft skin of his palms. A shaky grunt escapes him.
"Hey, Lena, he's waking up."
He doesn't know it. That voice. Low and raw. He twists towards it and notices the tall, dark, living man looming over him from the right side of the mattress. The fear and apprehension in his belly subside ever so slightly as he takes in the sight; liquid black hair falling around carved features and impossibly dark eyes. Even through the discomfort of being in a situation he doesn't know what to make of his sorry excuse of a brain sighs, how…inappropriately beautiful. Always the sucker for a pretty face.
Another voice, lighter, softer, a girl's, coming from outside the bedroom interrupts his reverie.
"What a relief, I thought you had killed the poor guy!"
"I didn't hit him that hard."
The boy's face twitches, "My face says otherwise," he manages to croak.
"Tch. He speaks too."
The body to whom the second voice belongs appears in the dark rectangle of the door frame.
"He really isn't a walker, then. That's good," she says, coming closer, standing next to him on the left side of the bed. Turns out she's also a looker, small face and big shiny eyes. The boy's gaze travels from one to another.
"He's got the look, though," the gruff voice retorts, he has a feeling he should be offended but choses to brush it off.
"Meat bag, lame brain, ankle biter. Whatever you wanna call them."
What the hell is he going on – "Oh. No, no! I'm perfectly human, a living, breathing, very not undead human!"
"Yeah, we gathered that." The girl chuckles and sits on the edge of the bed, near his hip. The smile eventually slips off her lips as she glances at the tall male, silent question in the way her slight frown.
"I didn't see anything."
"See what?" The still tied up boy asks. "Would you mind cutting these off? Since, you know, we've established I'm not a danger to you."
"You could try something funny."
A pale eyebrow raises behind a strand of unnatural white hair.
"Yeah, 'cause I really am in a position to attack you, pretty boy."
There's a tense silence in the room, and then the girl bursts out laughing.
"Oh, Kanda, you should have seen your face!"
"I'mma kill him."
"Just untie him already," she says, voice still trembling with amusement as she makes a vague hand gesture towards the bed.
Pretty guy grunts but eventually leans over him, a knee pressing down on the cushion, black-blue locks sliding over his shoulder and brushing against the boy's face. Dark eyes shine with a silent threat as long, hard and lean arms stretch over his head. He feels the hot-cold press of a blade against the thin skin of his wrists, thinks for a second that in the end he won't come out of this unscathed, but next thing he knows his hands and ankles are free of rope.
He sits up, movements jumpy and eyes them warily. Takes in the girl's open and friendly face, the guy's brooding and menacing frame. Ponders his next maneuver. Choses diplomacy.
"I'm Allen Walker," he says, rummaging through his smile collection and going for a polite, not quite friendly, one.
Pretty-face-not-so-pretty-attitude coughs, the girl glares at him and nudges his side, hard, before turning to Allen with a smile of her own.
"I'm Lenalee and pretty boy over there is Kanda."
The coughing sounds far more genuine now.
Allen's thinking that a 'happy to meet you' wouldn't be befitting of the situation when a thought crosses his mind, lighting fast. He looks around the room, anxiously.
His voice is not shaking.
"Tim?" The girl – Lenalee – asks, tilting her head to the side, dark hair curling just above her shoulder. Her eyes widen in understanding. "Oh! You mean the little dog?"
"Yes! You haven't…done anything to him, right?"
"Stupid fucker bit me, I cut it in half."
Allen feels his face go pale or paler than it already is.
"Shut up Kanda, you're frightening him."
"His fugly mutt frightened me."
"Tim is downstairs, sleeping," Lenalee tells him, voice soothing and the knot in Allen's chest evaporates.
"You wanna eat something?" She asks next and Allen has a feeling this girl must be some sort of angel. His stomach rumbles at the mention of food.
The furniture in the living room has been pushed to the sides, against the walls and windows, to prevent the light from being seen from outside and the walkers from breaking in. As Lenalee has said, Timcanpy is indeed soundly asleep on a greenish colored couch, rolled up in a small yellow ball. Seeing the usually guarded dog so relaxed helps Allen's nerves ease just a little bit more. He's not comfortable by any means, but he's less tense. He spots a mattress sitting on the floor, in the middle of the room, sheets balled up in a messy pile and a duffle bag next to it.
"You've been sleeping here?"
"What's it to you?" Kanda retorts, face set in a deep scowl since he untied Allen.
"Jeez, I'm just asking. Don't get your knickers in a twist," the white-haired boy can't help but throw back, annoyed.
"What was that?" The other asks, eyeing him suspiciously.
"What was what?"
Great, now he's getting defensive.
"The way you talk. It's weird."
The guy is frowning, chin held high and nose in the air like he's smelling something.
It sounds like an insult.
"W-What of it? You don't look all that American yourself," he throws back and gestures at Kanda's face, weirdly offended. What does that even mean? You don't look American? That's just stupid.
"That's because I'm not."
"Boys, please stop your bickering," Lenalee's approaching voice says. "Food's ready!"
That manages to get Allen's attention, he straightens his back and looks expectantly as the girl walks over to them, holding a fuming pan in her hands that she plops down in the middle of the table.
"Not to your liking beansprout?"
"I didn't–what did you call me?"
"Beansprout, that's what."
"The name's Allen, jerk."
"Like I've got time to remember useless information."
"But you've got time to come up with stupid nicknames?"
"It suits you." Kanda smiles smugly.
"That's your unwanted opinion."
Lenalee's luminous eyes travel curiously from one boy to the other, a dripping in red sauce ravioli impaled at the end of her fork.
"What's up with your arm?" She chimes in, popping the beef filled pasta in her mouth.
That puts an end to their renewed argument. Allen absent-mindedly hides his unnaturally colored left hand under the table. People rarely ask about it so straightforwardly.
"I was born like this." He smiles, embarrassed.
"What about your face?"
This time it comes from Kanda.
"That's…kind of personal."
"Whatever. It looks stupid anyway."
Something tells Allen the black-haired male isn't talking about the oddly shaped scar adorning his face.
"We can't just leave him here."
Allen watches silently as Lenalee's soft face scrunches up in annoyance, hands folded on his lap around Timcanpy's sleeping form.
"Uh, yeah, we can."
"How can you be such an asshole? Oh, don't you dare roll your eyes at me," she says, a delicate finger jutting menacingly in the air between them.
"So, what, you want to take him back to the camp?"
"That's stupid. We know nothing about the guy, he could be a menace."
"Then you'll have the satisfaction of finishing him off."
What an odd combination those two made; soft and hard, smiling and scowling, gentle and violent. The way they moved around each other, talked to one another, no barriers, no hesitation. It spoke of familiarity, like they could've been siblings. How nice, Allen thought. It was funny, for a while, to watch them throw words at each other, refuse to step back, but it was also becoming increasingly unnerving. For all her kindness Lenalee was talking about him like he wasn't even there, like he didn't have a say in the matter.
"Lenalee, it's quite all right, really," he cuts in, harsher than intended. "I've been surviving on my own for a while now. It's fine."
She looks upset by his words, thin eyebrows furrowing above the bridge of her nose.
"But did you choose to?"
"To be alone?"
Mana's milky eyes. Cross' towering figure.
Did he ever have a choice?
"N-not really," he stammers.
Her expression softens, not pitying, kind.
"Would you like to come back to the camp with us, then? Survival is easier when you're part of a pack after all."
His gaze goes from Kanda, arms crossed over his chest, pointedly looking the other way, back to Lenalee. It settles there, upon that open, welcoming face. He should refuse. He's got the words ready and everything. Thank you, it's nice of you to ask, but I'd rather not. It wouldn't be that hard, quite on the contrary, it would be easy. Saying yes would just complicate everything.
Truth is, Allen isn't cut out to be a lone wolf. The loneliness…it's damn heavy. Asphyxiating. It presses down on his lungs, it feels like trying to breath underwater. So, although he knows he should say no, he doesn't want to and that, right there, that's what making a choice feels like. Probably.
"I…," his voice sounds strange to his own ears. Hoarse. Syllables jagged. "Yes. I would like to."
A/N: English isn't my native language but it feels more natural to use it when writing about DGM, I hope there aren't too many mistakes but if you spot any please let me know so I can improve my skills!