Carry On Part II: A Day in the LifeSeries:
Main pairing: Naruto & Kiba. Warnings/Notes:
VIOLENCE, horror, language, mutilation, guns, fires, other things having to do with zombies.Spoilers:
Kiba and Naruto settle into a pattern of daily life.Notes:
This a five-part story for Skully, who won the D/s Naruto contest over on Y!Gallery. She wanted horror, and I was entirely delighted to try to give her what she wanted. Song lyrics are from Drowning Pool's, "Bodies."
Do note: I do not own the Naruto characters, but the world, original characters, zombie lore, etc. are all me. :)Picture of the house they find in Jackson
.Push me again
This is the end
Here we go, here we go, here we go, now
Let the bodies hit the floor.
Naruto woke from his nightmare with a violent start that would have shocked Kiba if Kiba'd not been listening to the muffled whimpers for the last hundred miles.
…" Naruto groaned, clutching his head and collapsing against the seat. He cursed under his breath and squirmed on the bench of the armored truck. "Goddamned thing."
"Bitch and moan, bitch and moan," Kiba retorted, eying the map that was spread on the seat between them. They were west of Nashville, Tennessee, east of the Arkansas border, and just north of Middle of Nowhere You'd Ever Want To Be. Which meant they were near Jackson.
"Still say we could have plated the Mustang," Naruto grumbled.
Kiba sighed and folded the map along the seams with one hand. "For the last time: no, we couldn't have. I wasn't gonna spend a freakin' week welding shit to the side of the car. I wasn't gonna even attempt to bullet proof the glass or find replacement windows. The damned backseat was too small for the weaponry, and I refuse to carry explosives in the trunk of a hunk of plastic. We can sleep in this beast locked from the inside, it has two sixteen gallon diesel fuel tanks, not to mention all the weaponry the nice dead guy left behind."
"Which we didn't even know how to fucking use," Naruto complained under his breath.
"Figured it out, didn't we? Good thing, too, or do I need to fuckin' remind
you about the incident in Murfreesboro?"
"It was just one group of 'em," Naruto muttered.
Kiba slammed on the brakes and glared at the idiot blond. "One group. Of fuckin' smart zombies. With machine guns. Firing at our heads."
Naruto was in Kiba's face in a heartbeat, blue eyes bloodshot and breath like an overflowing septic tank. "Stop talking to me like I'm a retarded kid who hasn't saved your ass more than once."
"Then stop actin' like a whiny little bitch who broke a nail on my good idea."
With a bark of frustration, Naruto shoved Kiba and slouched back to his side of the cab.
"This isn't the movies," Kiba said, starting the truck forward again. "These bitches can get organized."
"Thanks for the newsflash. Missed that in Murfreesboro when I was backing your ass up."
Kiba rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, you're a fuckin' hero. Who needs to brush his damned teeth. Unless you're tryin' to use halitosis to kill zombies."
"Damn. Four syllable word. You feel okay? Need to lie down?"
"Mmhm, keep talkin' asshole, and I'm strappin' you to the hood as bait."
Naruto went silent, not coming back at Kiba, and that worried him. Kiba glanced at the blond, watched Naruto slide further down in the seat, arms crossed and mouth in a thin line. Dark circles gouged pits under dull eyes, and the warm skin tone was pasty. Kiba didn't like to admit to himself that he worried about the guy, but something churned in his guts and made his next words far kinder than usual.
"'Sides, if you shut up for a minute, I can tell you what I was thinkin'." Naruto didn't say anything, so Kiba continued. "Not seen sign of anybody for miles, and we're coming up on Jackson. It's a small enough town that we might find a place to hole up and crash. Real bed and cold shower and shit. Be like a vacation."
Again, Naruto was too quiet for too long, but finally he sat up straighter and ran a hand through his hair. "Think we could find, like, a mansion or something?"
"Sure," Kiba said. "Not like we need to worry about breaking and entering."
"Think we might find… people?" Naruto asked after a long pause.
Kiba stopped himself from telling Naruto that was never going to happen. That the chances of them finding anybody else uninfected were so small that the lottery was more likely. Well. If there were still lotteries to be won, anyway. "Dunno," he said.
"We found each other," Naruto pointed out.
"Yeah," Kiba finally agreed for the sake of shutting Naruto up. The hope thing made Kiba want to baste himself in butter and run head first into a pack of Phase Twoers. "Maybe."
Kiba drove, and Naruto navigated. They kept off main arteries and stuck entirely to side roads to avoid seas of abandoned cars and rotting bodies. Kiba didn't like to think about the poor assholes caught in traffic jams who suddenly got a hankering in their guts that could only be filled with human flesh. It was too easy to imagine mild mannered Joe knocking on the window of some preschool teacher. And finding out the hard way that Mrs. Harmless had already gone through her classroom and was still jonesing for more.
When the first initial wave of the supervirus killed off people in the hundreds of thousands, the sick and the immune started to flee cities toward the countryside. The army tried to put a stop to that, keep people under quarantine, but when the doctors and scientists discovered that Influenza A H6N6 didn't leave the host body but became dormant in lymph nodes like Mononucleosis, quarantine didn't do any good. If you got sick but survived, you were still
sick, and that's when shit really got ugly. Phase Two meant pica that made Bob the neighbor look mighty tasty, meant changes to red and white blood cells that Kiba didn't understand, but he knew it amounted to bright blue veins, a lot of pain, endless hunger, and that the infected could recover from almost any wound. The blood clotted crazy fast and the damaged skin got a coating of slime that Phase Twoers sweated out like an alcoholic sweating out vodka in a sauna.
So when people started tearing into each other like the latest fad in fine dining, it took a good gnawing on the spinal cord to get dinner to stop fighting. And the more people ate each other, the more it affected higher brain function. The streets became a real live version of Left for Dead.
But that was almost easier to handle than the people who had serious willpower, didn't consume human flesh, or at least, not enough to make a difference.
Because then a Phase Twoer grew up into a Phase Three beast. Kiba'd only run into one of those guys, and he struggled daily and nightly to forget the damned experience.
Naruto slugged Kiba in the arm.
"What?" Kiba asked.
"The hell are you, man?"
"Still here with you. Unfortunately."
"Whatever. Driveway. Straight ahead."
Naruto pointed, and Kiba saw a gated entrance complete with security cameras and stonework. "Looks fancy."
"That's what I'm thinking."
"Should we knock?"
Naruto grinned. It was vicious and cold, but better than some of the alternatives. "Hell yeah."
Kiba backed down the street, floored the gas, and the truck got to sixty before slamming into the gate. Metal screeched, the solid steel panel mounted on the front bumper bowed a dent in the wrought iron, and Kiba howled laughter as he threw the truck into reverse. "Missin' the Mustang now?"
Naruto flipped him off, but the guy was smiling, and the second charge knocked the gates open in a sick swing of complaining hinge.
"Hell yeah!" Naruto called, and Kiba affectionately patted the truck's dash as they wound their way up the paved drive.
"'Ho damn," Kiba breathed, and Naruto echoed the sentiment as a fuckin' palace perched on a gentle hill loomed in front of them. Kiba knew dick about architecture, but it looked like a plantation home out of Gone With The Wind.
Which he'd watched exactly once and only because there was promised sex on the other side of the four hour bout of torture. The house was two stories with tall windows and big porches, and it even seemed relatively intact.
"Dibs on the master bedroom," Naruto said.
"You get one half of the bed. Sure."
Naruto just laughed, and Kiba drove across the lawn, spinning in circles for the sheer hell of it. They had plenty of daylight to burn, plenty of time to clear the house of the dead or dying, and for a second or two as Kiba coaxed the heavy truck into slow motion donuts, life felt nearly normal.
"The usual?" Naruto asked when Kiba parked with a tire in the flower beds flanking the front steps.
"Yep." Kiba waited while Naruto unbuckled, grabbed the .357 that was his current backup weapon of choice, slid a machete into a makeshift sling, and yanked body armor from under the seat. He tossed Kiba a vest, buckled on a SWAT helmet, and undid the locks on the passenger door.
The truck had interior access into the back, but it had to be unlocked with a security code from the inside. The rear doors also required a code and two keys. The men took turns being the hopper -- the one who had to unlock the back, climb in, and undo the interior hatch. Kiba finished suiting up and thirty seconds later, the hatch clanked and opened.
"How many in there, you think?" Naruto asked as Kiba secured the cab's locks, grabbed the Ruger from the floorboard, and climbed into the back with Naruto.
"Big place. Might be a horde." Kiba shut the panel, heard the comforting beep as the steel latched.
"Then…?" Naruto asked, trailing off and smirking.
"Oh hell yeah," Kiba answered, putting the Ruger across his back and reaching for an AK-47. "All you, baby."
"You anti-American," Naruto commented, unhooking the AA-12 automatic shotgun from a rack.
"The President ate himself on live broadcast," Kiba said. "And then went after the camera crew. I think we're officially in anarchy."
Kiba snorted and they finished gathering smoke bombs, knives, and flares.
"This ever feel weird to you?" Naruto asked.
"Every fuckin' time," Kiba replied, heading for the rear door. "But I like it."
"Wonder what they were transferring in this thing to have all this."
Kiba shrugged. "Probably just themselves."
The words served as a conversation killer. Kiba didn't mind that so much. It helped him focus on the idea that he might have to saw through a sea of people to carve some peace. Naruto finished loading up, nodded once at Kiba, and they put goggles over their eyes before jumping out the back of the truck. It was a brilliant, sunny day, and birds chirped in the trees as Naruto and Kiba slowly made their way up the front stairs.
After getting surprised more than once between the incident with Hinata and here, Kiba and Naruto agreed that overkill might be the lifesaver that kept them in the living game. At night they talked strategy, slept in shifts, and in Franklin, they stopped at a library and took out books about military strategy. They found police training videos in a tiny, deserted sheriff's office a day later, and it was the most fun either man could remember sitting in a projector room eating chips and salsa and learning about the right and wrong ways to approach hostile targets. They took their time, holed up in the station, and ate military rations they found in the basement.
Eventually, the local Phase Twoers scented them out, and they vacated the station. They found the armored truck near a bank. It had been like Christmas and getting laid for the first time all in one.
"See if anything screams," Kiba said when they cleared the porch.
Naruto nodded, heading for the back entrance. Kiba pushed open the unlatched front doors and waited.
People infected with the virus didn't seem to have problems with daylight, but they fucking hated
A minute and a half later, a banshee shriek ripped through the air, and Kiba counted to seven before a woman launched out of the house. She was missing one arm and one foot, but she made swift work of the steps, anyway.
"B-bye," Kiba muttered and opened fire just as a man started crawling onto the porch. Kiba dispatched the woman's head, pivoted and pulped the man's into a patch of gore that painted the sealed boards maroon, and then Kiba inched into the entryway of the home. Gunfire that sounded like a damned drawbridge being lifted made Kiba jerk, and he heard Naruto howl with laughter. Guy definitely
enjoyed this part of the new day job.
Kiba cleared the dining room, the kitchen, the breakfast nook, and found a woman cowering in the laundry room. Half her face was deformed from somebody's attempt at making her a snack, and she was missing her lower lip.
"H-help?" she croaked.
"Sure." Kiba blew her head off and moved down the hallway. He met up with Naruto in a den connecting to the outside.
"Three," Kiba called.
"Two," Naruto answered.
"I'll retrace. You handle upstairs."
"Sir, yes sir," Naruto said with dripping sarcasm.
"Just don't get anything valuable gnawed off, right?" Kiba called.
"Why, so you can suck my dick later?"
"Ain't nothin' down there big enough to suck, bitch."
Naruto cackled, Kiba grinned, and they spent the next thirty minutes clearing the grounds. They didn't find anybody else still alive, but they did find a bedroom full of dismembered people.
"Feeding room," Naruto said, disgusted.
"Damn. Could feed a fuckin' army of 'em with this," Kiba commented and held out a fist.
Naruto sighed, and stuck out his hand. "Once, twice, shoot."
Kiba made a two-fingered peace sign, Naruto's flat palm faced the ground, and he groaned. "Two out of three! C'mon, man!"
"No way in hell. You get the parts. I'll set the blaze."
"Sore losin' pussy," Kiba teased, backing away before Naruto could hit Kiba in the gut with the butt of the shotgun.
Kiba slung his rifle over one shoulder and went downstairs to start hacking the recently deceased into useable chunks. He gagged once with a spill of intestines, spat on the grass, and popped a stick of gum from the pack he kept in his vest. The mint always helped.
It'd been an accident that had taught Kiba and Naruto that burning dead zombies kept the others at bay. They were practicing with flares back in Franklin, and a house went up in flames. A figure managed to escape, and Kiba and Naruto stayed in the police station, watching. Even when the fires had mostly extinguished down to coals, nothing approached the scorched corpse.
Whistling, Kiba spent an hour dragging body parts into a wide perimeter around the house. He went to the truck, got a can of kerosene, and systematically went around lighting arms, legs, and torsos on fire. When he was done, it was dusk, and he grabbed provisions out of the truck before heading back inside. The air crackled with burning flesh, and fireflies started to glow.
"Need a hand?" Naruto asked, and Kiba suppressed an unmanly yelp as the blond lunged at him just inside the doorway holding a rotting arm with a wedding band on the fourth finger.
"Fuck you," Kiba cried, stepping away when Naruto swept closer with the thing like a fencer trying to score points. "You done or just screwin' around?"
"Both," Naruto answered cheerfully. He dropped the arm in front of the main entrance. "Between the fires and the smell of stale meat to disguise our scent, we should be good for a night at least."
"Should, yeah," Kiba agreed.
"And more good news," Naruto said, his usual sunny disposition returning. Kiba was a little shocked at how much relief he felt at that.
Naruto grinned and took off his helmet. "Gas powered water heater, still functional, and bitches have a bar that looks like they knocked off a liquor store."
Kiba whooped and raced Naruto through the house, heading for the master bathroom's shower. Naruto won, and Kiba was about to say exactly how he felt about that when he noticed a red stain spreading on Naruto's thigh.
"The fuck is that?" Kiba asked, grabbing Naruto.
Kiba pulled a knife from his belt, held Naruto with one arm, and knelt. He cut away the fabric to reveal three streaked claw marks.
"Hey, I liked these pants!"
"We'll get you new ones," Kiba said absently, inspecting the wounds. They weren't that deep, but they were ragged and messy.
"Man," Naruto breathed. "Didn't even feel it."
"Idiot," Kiba muttered.
"Must have been the woman I found in the…" Naruto paused, Kiba looked up at the blond, saw the shadows starting to cloud bright eyes. "Nursery."
Kiba said nothing for a moment. He knew Naruto had a problem killing women, knew the guy hesitated too long. Kiba usually handled it or tried to. Just like Naruto usually managed any older individuals that they ran across who had managed to survive long enough to get good and hungry. "I'll get the drugs from the truck."
"It'll be fine, man. Just a scratch. It's not like I can catch--"
"I know," Kiba said, cutting Naruto off. "But you don't know where the hell the bitch's hands have been." He gave Naruto an arch look and stood. "You wanna find out what zombie anal warts look like?"
Naruto made a disgusted, shocked sound, and Kiba slapped him on the shoulder. "Get clean. I'll be back."
Kiba made it through the house and to the truck without incident. He got the med kit that they stole from UT Medical Center and redid the locks before heading back into the house. He probably walked slightly too slowly, but it was so damned rare to get two minutes alone that didn't involve dismemberment or gunfire that he couldn't help himself. When they weren't killing, they were training. When they weren't training, they were taking shifts guarding or driving. They didn't even shit alone. The last thing either man wanted was to be caught unawares with his pants down.
But living like that meant Kiba knew everything from the way Naruto looked when the man slept to the exact smell and sound of the man's farts. Kiba'd never considered himself the lone wolf type, but every man had his limits.
Kiba gave the downstairs another sweep before returning to the second floor bathroom. He knocked once and went inside. "Back," he announced.
"Anything?" Naruto asked from behind the glass of the shower. Steam roiled up over the top, and Kiba saw the very familiar outline of Naruto through the etched door.
"Cool." A pause. "You can leave the bandages or whatever. I'll get it."
Kiba set the med kit on the stone counter. Rich, dead bastards. He wondered if one of the original owners was now carved up and on fire in their own yard. He wondered if he should worry that the idea didn't make him want to vomit, get to a shrink, or say a few thousand Hail Mary's in penance.
It was a weird fucking world.
"Sure. Whatever," Kiba muttered.
"Right. So you want to get out, then?" Naruto's tone was strange.
"Huh?" Kiba asked.
The chuckle from the shower was… silky. And made the hair on the back of Kiba's neck stand on end. "Unless you wanna stay and listen to me jerk off."
"Dead bodies do it for you, freak?" Kiba asked without thinking about it, fists clenching and spine straightening. And was he stalling?
"Don't act like you didn't enjoy it, too."
"I ain't the one with my dick in his hand."
The conversation was making Kiba more uncomfortable than carving up dead people. "Just don't use all the goddamned hot water," he said, yanking open the door. "And I'll be right outside. Watchin' out for your ass."
"Yeah. Watching. I get it."
"Fuck you," Kiba said with venom and marched into the hallway. He sank down against the wall, rifle across his lap, and didn’t know what to hate more. The fact that Naruto could apparently find a little manual stress relief without being plagued by images of the crawling dead every time the blond's eyes closed or the fact that Kiba had to wait until Naruto was done before he went off to find the liquor.
"Idiot." Kiba stuck his legs out in front him, crossed his ankles, and willed Naruto to get finished, hoping like hell the door was thick and the guy was quiet and quick. Kiba shifted, adjusting, and sighed a string of curses that would have shamed his mother to an earlier grave.
Because… damn… Kiba fucking hated it when Naruto was right.