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the end of days

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their feets are sore, undoubtedly. they have been running for hours, even days if they had bother to keep counts. it would be easier to count the times where they don’t run and hide. but even so, they are sleep deprived and worn out from all of it; how their hearts pumped with a sort of adrenaline but at the same time – fear.

jungwoo could feel the rubber of his shoes giving up earlier than his legs would. he’s somewhat glad he’s been trained to run, or so he thinks. but at least, he’s got enough stamina to get him and sicheng away from whatever gruesome that has happen.

there’s a virus breakout and it does not take long for it to spread, and to make the people around them zombies. jungwoo thinks it’s laughable even when he and sicheng are actually running away from them. has the world reduce its greatness and mystery for him and sicheng to somewhat have their brains being eaten by zombies by the end of the day?

“i think we lost them for now,” sicheng mutters, words cutting off each syllabus as sicheng catches his breath.

jungwoo peeks to see if he could spot any rotten flesh in sight and thankfully, he and sicheng are safe for now. but not for too long.

the zombies don’t run fast. thankfully. jungwoo thank whoever he believes in that the zombies in real life aren’t like the ones from the zombie movie called world war z. the movie is dumb, jungwoo remembers. somewhat he feels like this isn’t reality when it wasn’t too long ago that he had binge watch a whole bunch of zombie movies just last week with sicheng.

jungwoo makes an eye contact with sicheng. the older male is holding out well despite the heavy gasping of air. how long have they been running?

sicheng reaches to hold jungwoo’s hand after collecting himself. “jungwoo.” the older male begins, his voice sounding a little too dry, probably from dehydration and from the lack of speech exchanged during their escape. they never talk much while jungwoo and sicheng ran for their lives. the words just don’t come out when you’re trying to escape just so you can live another day.

“sicheng.” jungwoo calls for the male’s name firmly and lets the other male hold his hands.

“if i ever get caught by those… those zombies… please promise me you’d go on without me?” sicheng mumbles softly, his words sounding more collective now but still, sicheng’s voice sound hoarse. jungwoo kinda misses hearing the sweet sounding tone sicheng has.

“and leave you behind? i could never,” jungwoo sighs, squeezing the other male’s hand with his firmly as an assurance. “i promise you we’d survive. we’ll get through this.”

sicheng smiles, but jungwoo knows it isn’t a very sincere one; more like one out of gratitude.

“sicheng,” jungwoo voices firmly. “i promise you. i won’t leave you alone. i’d turn into a zombie with you if i have to.”

sicheng laughs for the first time since the breakout began. “stop being silly, this isn’t some cheap budget romance zombie movie. i wouldn’t like that.”

“well, i don’t care!” jungwoo hisses. “how can i continue living without you? it’s either we turn into zombies together or, we survive together. and i’ll make sure it’s the latter!” the younger male voices.

sicheng pulls jungwoo into a hug and comforts the younger male with gentle strokes against his back and fond threading actions of the male’s fingers through jungwoo’s hair. “i know you’d give me the world if i asked you to. and i know you’re always the cheesy type to say you’d rob the stars from the universe for me. but i want to do the same for you too. and i also want you to know that losing me doesn’t mean you have to stop living. you have to carry a piece of me with you, if ever i get turn. and when that happens…” sicheng mumbles, pulling himself away from jungwoo and placing a gun he had carried to jungwoo’s hands while having the end pointing to his chest. “i want you to shoot me.”

“w-what do you mean?” jungwoo’s eyes widen at the gun being given to him. since when did sicheng carried a gun with him? was it when they were fighting off the zombies from route 127 where they found some whom were still human at that time? had he gotten the gun from someone of that bunch before they turned into zombies?

sicheng gives jungwoo a sigh. “shoot me.”

“but why?!” jungwoo pulls the gun away but sicheng presses it firmly still to his chest. the older male can feel jungwoo’s hands trembling under his.

using his free left hand, sicheng pulls his outer plaid shirt off his shoulder, showing blood stains and a sight of what it seems to look like if someone had bitten him.

“no…” jungwoo denies, trying to move the gun away still, but he’s weak. “no way…”

“shoot me. before i turn, and eventually bite you as well,” sicheng commands than tells.

“how can i..” jungwoo mumbles, feeling weaker when he could hear his voice tremble in fear – not because he is afraid of being turned to a zombie, but because he’s afraid of losing sicheng. “i love you.”

sicheng’s gaze shifts as his eyes widen slightly by the confession, but softens immediately as he smiles at jungwoo genuinely for the first time since they’ve sprinted off in this survival run.

“then if you love me that much, you should shoot me. and when once you’re done with that, run away and don’t look back.”

how could jungwoo do that? his grip around the gun loosens and he could feel sicheng letting his hand go. all jungwoo wants to do now is go back to the way things were. before this whole damned zombie fiasco. to the days where he and sicheng are spending their days off in jungwoo’s room with some 80’s video games and films. to the days where jungwoo tried hiding his ‘big fat crush’ for the older male in exchange of mutual silent eye gazing, curious and brief skin contact and harmless flirtationship.

“jungwoo, time is running out. shoot me now before i turn. before the other zombies find you. at least they’ll still come and feast on me while you make a run for it, since i’m still human.” sicheng impatiently tells the other.

“you’re asking for the impossible, sicheng!” jungwoo half yells, and feels like he’s about to cry.

“then i’d shoot myself, if i have to!” sicheng half yells back but is patient enough to bite back his irritation. “please. you need to survive for me. there’s a survival base not far from here. you’re a smart kid. you have to go there!”

from a distance, jungwoo and sicheng could hear the ‘others’ approaching. the older male semi glares at jungwoo. “will you be quick? please.”

jungwoo feels lost at words. his brain isn’t thinking straight and words doesn’t come out from his mouth.

sicheng reaches for jungwoo’s hand, again pointing the gun to his chest where his heart still beats. “shoot. me.”

jungwoo feels warmness against his cheeks and realises he’s crying while his index finger trembles. if jungwoo had bother to realise despite all the tears he’s weeping now, he would be able to feel the slight warmness of sicheng’s finger against his. but he doesn’t.

“in the next life, we’ll meet again. in a different life where hopefully zombies don’t exist.” sicheng comforts the other. “and when that happens, i’d be waiting for you to rob the galaxy’s stars for me.”

sicheng smiles one last time and mouths something in what seems to be a reply to jungwoo’s confession before he makes jungwoo pull the trigger. it sounded like a 21-gun salute in jungwoo’s head but he’s busy muting it with screams of grief and lost.

“sicheng, sicheng, sicheng.” jungwoo frantically calls the older male’s name like a broken tape on repeat. the latter’s lifeless. and jungwoo wouldn’t stop crying.

the door creaks to sound the welcome of newcomers. everything else went blank afterwards.