Rosie grunted as she held onto Sun Mei tightly, the whole group slowly walked along the walls of Mount Casey. The two were behind 10k and Red, or as Rosie sarcastically called them, The Happy Couple.
Rosie had tried with all her might to try and get 10k to see how she felt, but no. He went for her. She was much more skilled. More experienced. Even when Rosie took the quote unquote bullet for the boy he didn’t even bat an eye. Well, he did. Just, not as much as Rosie had hoped. She kept thinking back to when her and 10k were on the sub together. Both shot, one wound more fatal than the other before they were under Murphy’s control.
It was stupid. Thinking that she’d get a chance to be with him. Really, it was. It was even stupider when she followed 10k out to where he was sent to kill Warren via Murphy’s orders. Then maybe she wouldn’t have been in this mess. Instead of 10k injected by the original vaccine Warren had, it was her. Rosie had done everything and anything just to try and catch 10k’s eye, yet here she was. A Murphy blend with a lot more scars that she couldn’t care to name.
Warren and Doc had gone separate ways to be sure that there were no more Zona men in the halls when Rosie grunted, twisting a wrong way.
She had been eyeing the couple for the whole walk around Mount Casey’s halls. They were holding hands, 10k’s thumb gently rubbing over Red’s knuckles.
Rosie let out a small huff before wincing in pain, her neck where she had gotten injected starting to pulsate a little more than usual. She quickly pushed herself to the wall, starting to wheeze as she slid down, her legs giving out from underneath her. Sun Mei quickly kneeled next to her heaving body.
Her eyes had widened as her throat was closing, her breathing speeding up as she tried her best to breathe. 10k let go of Red’s hand suddenly, rushing over to Rosie’s free side, Murphy next to Sun Mei, starting to try and help with the situation.
Sun Mei put her fingers onto the girls throat for a pulse.
“She’s dying,” Sun Mei spoke uneasily, frowning as she watched Rosie’s eyes that were wide with terror.
“I saved her once, I can do it again,” Murphy said solemnly, looking as she started to perspire more than she had already been. 10k spoke up, voice harsh, snapping at Murphy.
“There’s no alternative,” Murphy spoke softly, clearly sad about the situation himself. Sun Mei and him had made eye contact as Rosie started to convulse more against the wall, 10k starting to run his hand through her hair, his face etched with worry as she tried to breathe through her nose.
Warren and Doc made it back to the scene without a scratch, passing words before moving over to Rosie and 10k who were against the wall now.
“Can we move her?” Warren asked Sun Mei who glanced at Rosie.
“It’s a risk. Her pulse is erratic.”
“I can feel her slipping,” Murphy simply stated, 10k shooting him a glare as he rubbed Rosie’s arm gently, her eyes shutting tightly as she kept gasping faintly.
Warren cursed under her breath as 10k kept his eyes on Murphy.
“Don’t you dare bite her,” He seethed. Red stood off to the side of this whole mess, jealous and a little worried.
Warren was quick to intervene.
“No one is biting anybody. Alright?” Warren started, gently patting Rosie’s knee as her eyes opened again, making eye contact.
“We’re gonna get you somewhere safe, keep you hidden. Lucy’s our priority. We’ll deal with you when we come back. Stay with us.”
Warren forced a smile before she told everyone to follow Doc to the small room he’d found. Rosie grunted barely as 10k and Sun Mei picked her up, wrapping her arms around their shoulders to carry her behind Doc.
Doc quickly led the group to the room with the platform, staying back with 5k to keep watch.
Murphy led Sun Mei and 10k up the stairs as they moved quickly with Rosie in their arms, her breathing visibly worsening as they laid her down, Red watching from the opening in the wall where a door once was.
“You think you can help her?” Warren questioned, kneeling by Rosie’s head, Sun Mei and 10k on her sides.
“Best guess, after analyzing Murphy’s file, we have to kill Rosie in order to save her.” 10k’s head flew up to look at Warren and Sun Mei.
“What? You’re joking, right?” He snapped, Warren giving him a look before urging Sun Mei to go on.
“Your medical charts, I studied them. All the data indicates that you flat-lined on the table after the zombies attacked you.” Sun Mei looked at Murphy as she spoke before turning to Warren.
“He died. Four years ago.”
Murphy scoffed at this, raising his arms slightly to cross them over his chest.
“And I’ve been dead this whole time?” Sun Mei huffed a bit at Murphy as he scoffed once more at her and nodded before looking back to Warren.
“And If we’re going to save Rosie, she needs to die too.” Sun Mei finished, 10k looking down at Rosie now, frowning and running a hand through her hair again as she started to dry heave, her last shot at trying to get air into her lungs.
“I don’t feel dead. I mean, how do you know we’re not all dead and this is some elaborate dream on our way to oblivion?”
Warren stood up and walked over to Murphy. A loud slap resonated throughout the small room, Murphy finally shutting up as he held his cheek. He was definitely done complaining about life, death, and the void.
Once everyone in the room had regained their sanity for the time being, Warren looked back at Sun Mei and placed her hands on her hips.
“What do we need to do?”
“Somebody needs to kill Rosie,” Sun Mei said slowly, looking from Warren to 10k to Murphy.
“I’ll do it.” The three of them equally chimed in. Warren and 10k glared at Murphy.
“I’ll do it,” Warren huffed, glaring at the two men.
Warren then crouched down near Rosie’s head as she kept struggling to breathe, gently pressing her hand to her forehead before they made quick work of figuring out how the floor elevated from inside the platform. They laid her body on it carefully as Sun Mei, Warren, and Murphy gathered around Rosie’s still convulsing body again, 10k holding onto Red’s hand tightly as they stood near the stairs of the platform.
“Okay.. Walk us through it, one more time,” Warren asked slowly.
Sun Mei took a breath, nodding as she fiddled with the injector filled with the vaccine.
“Choke, die, bite, inject, in that order,” She said in the same tone, Rosie’s breathing now just small wheezes. Warren glared at Murphy when he recited the mantra wrong, holding Rosie’s expose wrist as he fondled with the rolled of sleeve of her jacket.
“Just shut the hell up and focus. 10k, we’re gonna need you over here for this,” Warren said, nodding for him to come over. 10k sent Red a small smile before moving over to his best friends still body, near her free arm, trying to ignore Murphy who had a grip on her forearm.
“Hold her hand,” Warren instructed sternly, slowly moving her bandana around Rosie’s hair to her neck, already frowning at the situation.
“I’m doin’ this for you, sweetheart. You come back to us, okay?” Warren spoke gently as 10k gripped Rosie’s hand tight.
Warren then tightened the bandana, Rosie’s eyes widening significantly more if it were even possible. 10k had a tight grip on her hand as she started to shake and convulse now, the sounds of her choking echoing through the small space.
10k teared up as he watched the rest of the process, thinking back to before they had been blends, only having to worry about when their shifts were in the truck as they moved from place to place.
“I would rather die than be bit by Murphy. Imagine that, me becoming a god damn alien.” Rosie joked, leaning against 10k’s chest as they sat in the truck bed relaxing. Warren and everyone else was in the cab as they drove, the sun setting.
10k’s heart swelled.
“An alien? I was thinkin’ more of a blueberry, but that works too.” He said, chuckling before glancing down at the girl, her tangled hair framing her face perfectly as the sun shined as much as it could while setting, their eyes quickly locking.
"I don't think blueberry fits the description. He's more of a huckleberry, kinda tart."
"You're thinkin' of the red ones, the blue one's are way sweeter," 10k explained, starting to blush at the length of eye contact before looking forward at the sunset again.
10k snapped out of his daydream once he felt her struggling stop, hearing Murphy’s teeth sinking into her skin again.
Sun Mei was quick to inject the vaccine, all of them now watching Rosie’s limp body, hoping for a sign of life.
Murphy had shut his eyes before shaking his head, opening his eyes once more, trying to hide the fact that they were glazing over.
“She’s gone,” He whispered, letting go of her forearm. Warren moved slightly away from her head with her bandana in hand as her tears started to fall, 10k starting to tear up himself.
10k started mumbling her name over and over again, gently moving shake her shoulders to try and get her to wake up. Even getting a glare would make the boy happy at this point.
Warren watched 10k sadly, placing a hand on his shoulder before lifting him gently off Rosie’s limp body. 10k looked up at Warren, who tried to not let tears fall before he stood up, taking in a shaky breath, pushing past Red to the stairs to get to Doc.
Once he got to the hall where Doc and 5k were guarding, he sent a small smile to the kid before sending him off to his sister before Doc gave him a look.
“Kid, what’s goin’ on?” Doc questioned before grunting as he was tugged into a hug by 10k who was holding back a sob.
Doc was opening his mouth to reply before he just shut it, frowning deeply as he hugged the kid back tightly. He was tearing up himself as he rubbed 10k’s back gently.
They stayed like this for a while, 10k pulling away, his eyes bloodshot and his breathing erratic from crying.
“I’m s-sorry Doc.”
“Kid, shut up. I love ya, even if you cry on me.” Doc said, smiling sadly at him before 5k and Red came back to take watch with Doc. Red gave 10k a quick kiss on the cheek, but he felt nothing. He felt numb. He still showed her a small smile before making his way back to Warren, Murphy and Sun Mei.
He quickly walked back to his spot on the platform where he sat at when it all happened, Warren leaning over the railing with her back facing them, Sun Mei pacing back and forth on the ground. Murphy was still in his spot, putting his weight on his hands that were near his knees as he watched Warren
10k picked her hand back up again slowly, his face neutral as he ran his thumb over the knuckles of her still warm hand before she shot up, all the color filling her face up once more.
Rosie’s hand ripped out of his as she panted, finally caught her breath. Both of her hands shooting right to Murphy’s collar, gripping it tightly as Murphy watched in fear, getting tugged closely to her face.
“You... are not.. My savior,” She breathed out before Murphy shook her hands off, still looking at her with fear.
“Thank god for that,” He replied quickly, Rosie’s eyes still wide as she took in the area they were in, 10k letting out a laugh before moving over to kneel in front of Rosie now, his gloved hands cupping her cheeks gently as his eyes started to water again. Rosie looked at his blood shot eyes as she breathed heavily, a small smile coming onto her face.
10k pulled her gently into his chest, holding her tight as if she were to leave.
“T, chill out, I’m here,” She said softly, still trying to regain her breath. 10k just smiled before looking down at her face once more when she gently pulled herself from his chest.
His eyes flickered from her eyes to her lips before speaking.
Rosie just smirked at him weakly, looking up into his eyes.
“Am I?” She questioned, Warren clearing her throat as she looked down at her.
“We all are,” Warren stated sternly, hands on her hips as she moved her gaze to Murphy as he stood up from his sitting position on the floor.
He flipped his collar up as he looked back at Warren. “Speak for yourself.”
Rosie glanced over Warren before turning her eyes to Murphy then back to the boy in front of her.
Their eyes had locked once again, only this time 10k had leaned in slightly, their foreheads touching gently as their eyes stayed locked.
“I know where this is headed, 10,” Rosie whispered gently before pulling away, her cheeks turning red.
“You have Red, don’t mess that up.” She continued before sending him a sad smile. 10k nodded back slightly and scooted back a little for Warren who was walking over.
Warren carefully kneeled down and pressed a kiss to Rosie’s head before leaning to hug her, whispering in her ear.
“It’s good to have you back sweetheart.” Rosie smiled widely up at Warren before giving her a little nod, watching her and Murphy rush out as Sun Mei came up the steps of the platform and kneeled down to check her out.
“I’m just gonna go and uh, tell Doc she’s okay.” 10k said a little awkwardly, slowly getting up before heading down the stairs to go into the hall where Doc was with Red and 5k.
Sun Mei sent a small smirk to Rosie once they were alone for sure.
“You should have let it happen.”
“What? And then get stuck in a love triangle? No thank you, I’d rather die naturally than by a chick who’s obsessed with red.” Rosie replied, her voice cracking from her throat being dry and being able to not speak for a while. Sun Mei laughed softly before checking her arm.
“He hasn’t even kissed Red. I doubt they’re a thing,” Sun Mei reasoned, looking at Murphy’s bite he left before moving her hands to check her pulse on her neck.
Rosie shrugged and watched Doc and 10k talking from the hall now, turning her head back to Sun Mei quickly as she watched 10k shoot a glance to her.
“If he’s happy with her, I’m not going to ruin what they have,” Rosie sighed shakily and closed her eyes tightly as she felt Sun Mei’s fingers press into her skin, wincing a bit at the pain in her wrist as she shifted slightly.
“Your pulse is back to normal, do you think you can stand?”
Rosie nodded as she held her hand out to have Sun Mei’s help as she carefully made her way to her feet once more, stumbling into Sun Mei as she moved to take a step off the small elevated section of the platform.
“Sorry,” She mumbled as she leaned into Sun Mei’s side, her arm around her shoulders. Sun Mei shook her head as she held her up carefully.
“Don't worry, let’s go meet up with everyone else. I’m sure some fresh air will do you some good.”