Warning. This story contains violence, swearing and sexual content as well as an abundence of different pairings and characters from the Total Drama series. Not to mention that from this point onwards, many of those characters will be OOC to fit better into the story. If none of that bothers you, enjoy.
Pairings (mentioned, implied and crushes): Courtney/Gwen, Courtney/Duncan, Gwen/Duncan, Courtney/Scott, Gwen/Cody, Courtney/Alejandro, Alejandro/Heather, Zoey/Mike.
The story idea hit me after I saw a drawing on Tumblr by skeeterdayz, an idea she had from naeshi...So really, thank you to both of them for inspiring me to write this fic. I am so happy and proud of the way it has turned out, and I really hope you enjoy it too.
This is 50,509 words long with 14 chapters, one prologue, one epilogue, an alternative ending and a bonus chapter.
Oh yeah, there's a long journey ahead of us...
And now, without further adieu, this is my NaNoWriMo 2013 novel...
Where It Ends
The smell of blood was overpowering, and if it had been this much in the normal world Courtney would have thrown up. But this wasn't the normal world and Courtney was long used to the blooded air that filled her lungs on a daily basis. In fact, she learnt to be more aware when she couldn't smell blood because it meant that the area wasn't infected yet. Areas didn't stay uninfected for long.
Her hands finished wrapping the bandage tightly around her ankle. It wasn't perfect and ten months ago it would have bothered her, now she was just glad she could find a bandage.
Slowly, she stuck her head around the side of the bin. Looking both ways, she found there was no one there. Praying it would stay that way and the ones that had been following her had gone, she made a break for it. Two streets she managed to make it before she saw the first one. Swallowing her breath, she ducked down behind an abandoned car. Courtney could hear the lump of a thing grunting, followed closely by crashing metal- it was searching the trash cans.
She slid herself under the car, keeping low to ground and evening out her breath as best she could. She reached one hand behind her, pulling her walkie-talkie from her tool belt and turning the volume off. The last thing Courtney needed was any noise distraction. The only plan she had was to search the pockets of her tool belt for any sort of item that could be used in this situation. Stale gum? No. Pocket knife? No. Bouncy ball?
'It could work,' she told herself, thinking it over. She slid further along the floor, glad it was not gravel- she'd made that mistake before. Courtney couldn't make out much of her surroundings as the streetlights were all smashed, and sun had set a good hour ago- though she wasn't entirely sure since the last attack she had suffered had left her without a watch and she was yet to find a new one.
Carefully, she reached her arm out from under the car, bouncy ball in hand. Gathering her strength she threw it, quickly retracting her arm before it saw her. She waited, unable to see the face, but the grunts had ceased. Courtney kept her eyes trained on what she assumed was its legs, watching carefully until it shuffled away, in the exact direction she had tossed the ball.
'Ha,' she smirked to herself, almost forgetting her pain in her triumph. 'And Gwen said it would be useless.'
Courtney was always collecting all sorts of random junk. Gwen, her sort of partner and only real friend in this messed up new world, had gained a new need to scold her for it. But Courtney was a CIT, or at least had been back in the normal world, and knew that one way or another, this junk was going to come in handy. Like the bouncy ball. She had been carrying that thing around for her for about three weeks now, and it had definitely come in handy when it came to saving her life.
Courtney couldn't wait to brag to Gwen about it. And speaking of her partner, she knew she should be running off to find her.
The teenager managed to get herself out from under the car without too much fuss. It had been a long ten months of doing the same thing over and over again, so it was no big deal to do now. Back in the beginning was a different story, but Courtney preferred not to think to those days. Memories of the past, of a time when she didn't have to live on the move with a stranger she had only known for a matter of weeks, were much too painful.
Shaking her head free of all those thoughts, Courtney hobbled along the streets, her throbbing ankle starting to act up. She tried to ignore the pain, hoping that if she forgot about it it would go away. She prayed she could get to the safe house without too much trouble. After everything she had been through so far she didn't think she was asking for too much by not wanting trouble. However, in this messed up place, trouble always found a way to get to her.
At the end of the street Courtney could see the low glow of a burning candle in the top floor window of an abandoned house. Most houses were abandoned by now, with no remaining humans in sight. The candle was the sign that Courtney had been looking for; this was the safe house. She moved faster, trying her best to ignore the burning she felt spreading through her lower leg. It was starting to spread and she needed to rest soon.
She reached the door and looked around for any sign of them, but when she drew up short she knocked on the door. Three fast, two slow. It was the code they had designed to help differentiate allies from enemies.
The door swung open and Courtney was forcefully dragged inside towards the darkness.
"Shit, Cody!" The brunette hissed, her ankle rolling beneath her weight.
"What?" The innocent kid asked, and though she couldn't see his face, she knew he was pulling that face. The one that made him look like an angel that could do no wrong. When, in reality, he was their weapon supplier.
Courtney took a guess of where he was and threw her arm around his shoulders, leaning on him for support. Cody wrapped his arm around her waist and guided her towards the staircase.
"I was bit."
"You were bit?" Cody almost dropped Courtney in shock, but she kept a tight hold on him. Feeling her way in the dark, Courtney took a seat on the edge of the stairs and started scooting herself upwards one step at a time. Cody's shallow breathing was in front of her, so at least he hadn't run off in fear of getting infected himself. "How did you get bitten? How did you get away? Are you feeling funny? Do you need to lie down? Should I get out of here? Are you going to eat me?" As helpful as Cody was, he was also the most annoying person Courtney had ever met- and Courtney had met some pretty annoying people in the last few months.
Courtney ignored everything he said and felt her way along the hallway to the room with the candle glowing in the window. Cody continue to follow her and she collapsed onto the double bed. She could feel the dust clouds jumping around her, trying to guess what happened here. Maybe the family saw what was going on and escaped. Maybe one of them got infected and attacked the rest. It could have gone either way, Courtney knew from experience.
She bit down on her lower lip, scolding herself for thinking that way.
Cody sad down on the end of the bed, taking Courtney's bandaged ankle in his lap. The bandage was already starting to turn a dark crimson color. The blood had overtaken the dirt. Carefully, he unwrapped it, inspecting the wound as best he could with such little light. A lot of the houses still had electricity, but turning on a light would attract a lot of unwanted attention.
"Courtney..." Cody gasped, lifting her leg up by the ball of her foot. "This is disgusting." The outline of the teeth was hard to make out through the blood stains, but it was obvious to those who had witnessed the same thing happen time and time again what had gone down. Courtney was lucky to be alive. "I-I think it's infected," he continued to babble on. "Your leg looks a little green. Maybe we should try to stitch you up-"
"You're not a doctor. I don't trust you with a needle and thread anywhere near my leg," Courtney quickly snapped at him. Cody stared her down, chewing on the inside of his cheek, something he often did when trying to decide what to do. Not that Courtney and Gwen let him take charge often, but if they ever had enough time, they let him. If he had enough time to think it through, Cody could come up with some wonders, but as the three of them were in a constant state of moving through the country, there was very little time to let Cody think up plans.
"What happened?" He asked, still inspecting the ankle. There wasn't much he could do but look if she wasn't willing to let him help.
"After we separated I was chased down the avenue. I tripped over something- I think it was a car part- and it got me. Sunk it's teeth into my ankle before I could shoot it in my head. Used up my last bullet...but I lost my gun anyway, so it doesn't matter." Courtney swallowed hard as another wave of pain hit her. "I managed to hide from the others down a side ally behind some dumpsters and I wrapped myself up there."
Five knocks on the door. Three fast, two slow. Cody quickly abandoned his post as Courtney's doctor and ran down back down the staircase. Courtney rolled her eyes; typical Cody. He would rather play doctor with an uninjured Gwen than with a dying Courtney. She could hear them whispering downstairs, no doubt in her mind that Cody had already told the tale of how she had gotten bitten.
Courtney peered down at her ankle. The blood was thick and sticky, marking the bed sheets as it slid down her skin. Her body would jolt with every wave of pain, spilling it everywhere. It was starting to slow down, though, and would most likely stop within the next hour, but only if she could keep it bandaged up. She tried to bend to get the bandage she had been using previously, which Cody had dropped on the floor in his quick escape, but the pain that shot through her leg was too much.
Even in the faint light that she had, it was obvious that her the veins in her leg had already started to pop out, turning sickly green in color. It was the first sign that she was turning. Courtney hit her head on the pillow, willing herself not to cry when another teenage girl burst into the room.
Gwen's skin was luminous even against the background of the dark house, like she had never seen sunlight. The rest of her was hard to make out until she had jumped onto the bed beside Courtney. Her eyes were full of worry as they swept over Courtney's body. So far it was only her leg, but it would spread, there was no doubt about it. Gwen laid a shaking hand on Courtney's forehead and Courtney couldn't hold back the tears anymore. She started to sob.
"Just do it," Courtney sniveled. "Just shoot me already and be done with it." Gwen shook her head and Courtney could feel drops of tears falling onto her forehead. "You don't have a choice!"
"I'm not letting you go this easily," Gwen choked on her own words. "We've come too far for it to end like this." Courtney knew she was talking about more than one thing, but with Cody in the room she wouldn't go into the details. Poor kid was too innocent for his own good. "I am not giving up on you."
"Gwen-" But the sudden crack from downstairs silenced her. Another and another. Something was trying to break down the door. Gwen rolled off the bed and ran to the window to check. She snuffed out the candle, but it was obvious that they were here.
"I thought you said you lead them away!" Cody yelled, gathering his things into his backpack.
"They must have followed me." Gwen grabbed the bandage from the floor and quickly wrapped Courtney's ankle back up. "They're getting smarter."
"What are you doing?" Courtney asked over the noise. "Stop it!" She wiggled her ankle out of Gwen's grasp, but it was already re-wrapped. "Just leave me here!"
"No." Gwen's voice was stern enough to stop Courtney from arguing. Gwen was rarely a serious person, but this one instance made her more determine than ever to reach the island and get Courtney the help she needed. "I've already told you, I'm not letting you go this easily." She turned to Cody. "Make a distraction, I'll get Courtney out the back door." Cody nodded his head and started rifling through his backpack for something useful. Gwen hooked one arm under Courtney's back and the other under her legs, picking her up and rushing towards the staircase. "You're gonna be alright," she whispered, but both girls knew that she was lying.
A/N: This is just the start...
Well, not really, it's like the mid-way point...But you get my drift XD
Anyways, yes! This is my NaNo story, the one I have spent the whole of November fussing over, and now it is finally here for all of you to read!
I will update it every weekend! Saturday or Sunday, I can't promise which day because I'm not always the best at keeping specific promises, so you'll just have to settle for a general weekend update day! It should take us through to the end of March in 17 weeks time. So, I hope you are all prepared to stick with me for so long, because we're gonna see this one through, guys, we're gonna see it through.
Also, bonus, I WON'T be posting A/N's! Just this one to explain everything, and the warning at the beginning of this one too! All reviews with a logged in user will be replied to via PM, even if its just to say thank you (though I do appreciate conversations too XD).
Thank you to everyone who helped me through the month of November with your encouragement! Thank you to Lila and Andy for the amazing battle of story titles that has kept me entertained all month long...AND LILA WON! Yes, Desire at gunpoint/TheScarletDahlia picked out the title This Is Why We Fight and for the whole month it has been battling out in a poll AND IT WON! So, congrats Lila!
Thank you all for reading this opening Prologue, and I shall see you in the reviews/Epilogue!