One Apocalypse

2017 England, 2 years after the apocalypse began, and Hallie, a survivalist who didn't need nor want company, and had spent the past year and a half alone until she met Harry, Zayn and Niall in a crisis, and is bound to them for the foreseeable future.

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2. Debt

I opened my eyes groggily, and the dingy room came into focus. I hated going to sleep in one place an waking up in another. I was still fully clothed and as I swung my legs off the bed they stung and I could feel the skin pull taut on the areas where the barbed wire had cut it. I stood up, my clothes felt stiff and twisted around me oddly. I straightened them out as best I could. There was a small grimy mirror on the wall, and I checked my reflection. My face was pale, and my fair was ridiculously frizzy. Not that I much cared for how I looked any more.

Nevertheless I tried to flatten my hair a little. I glanced around the room for my bag. Shit. My bag wasn't there. My holster wasn't on my hips. For a second I panicked, and began to breathe heavily, but I pulled myself together, and began to look for an improvised weapon. 

It sounds crazy that I even had to look for a weapon, my last memory was, after all, being saved by five men. Well 3 men, if you don't include the 2 who were captured. Poor bastards. I had I find a weapon though, I had become too suspicious of everyone in this world not to find a weapon. They could be anyone, they could have saved me just so they could use me for their own needs. I won't go into detail. I shouldn't assume the worst of people, but if this world has taught me anything, it's that it's better to go around assuming the worst with your back against the wall at all times, than it is to assume the best of people and end up paying through the nose for it later. 

In the end I got desperate and pulled out one of the wooden slats from the bed's frame underneath the grotty mattress and held it like a baseball bat as I crept out of the room ready to swing. 

Honestly, I tried not to, but I got mega-paranoid, like when you watch a horror film and you know there's going to be a jumpy bit so you prepare yourself, but because you prepared yourself you end up jumping even more. Not a desirable effect, I can tell you. Out on the upstairs landing of a house I could hear voices downstairs. I leant over the bannister trying to catch a glimpse of what they were saying. I listened harder, trying to catch words. They were talking quietly. 

"Oh, you're aw-" I turned on my heel, in search of the owner of the voice, and swung my 'bat' hard, in reflex. It connected with Harry's head. He fell back into the room he had came from and I heard him stumble to the floor. I ran after him, eyes wide in horror at what I had done. He was sat in the floor groaning, rubbing his head. 

"Oh my god I am so sorry, you startled me!" I blurted out rushing into the room to kneel by where he was sat, "I'm really sorry, oh shit, let me see" 

"It's okay." He replied. 

"No no no, let me see" I pried, my fingers gently pulling his hands away from his head, afraid at what I'd see. His head was bleeding and there was a small lump forming already. He grimaced as I ran the tip of my forefinger over the skin. 

"Oh god I really am sorry" I told him again, I felt bad. "You don't need stitches but it needs disinfecting. Where's my bag, I have some in there."

"Just there," he said, "I was just going to put it into your room for when you woke up, we only just unloaded the van" he pointed to the doorway, where he had dropped my bag after I hit him. I seized it and un-zipped it, spilling my supplies onto  the floor, searching for my first aid kit. Finding it, I pulled it open and grabbed an antiseptic wipe. As I pulled it open I looked at Harry. 

"This will probably sting like a bitch. I'm really sorry, I wouldn't have normally hit you, I panic when I don't know where I am, it's-"

"Its fine." He said, cutting off my explanation, and smiling at me. God, he was attractive. He looked expectantly at me. I came to my senses, and crawled closer to him, wipe in hand. 

I pushed his curly  hair back out of his face and leant towards him. 

"Ready?" I asked, quietly. He nodded once. Ever so gently I began to dab the antiseptic wipe on his forehead, ignoring the fact that I could see him biting his lips in an attempt not to wince. I held it onto the wound for a few seconds and a moan escaped through his lips. One handed, I pulled some healing cream out of my first aid kit and unscrewed the lid. I tried not to notice him looking up through his eyelashes at me. I massaged some cream onto his wound with my thumb and he sighed with relief. 
"Done." I said, dropping down to be face-to-face level with him. He stayed silent but his eyes lowered to my lips. Oh god. I thought, pulse racing. He was moving closer to me and not thinking, I moved closer too. 
"Thank you" he murmured, face moving ever closer to mine. The tension was fucking unbearable. I moved my lips to tell him he was welcome, 
"You're-" was all that came out, as suddenly his lips were pressed against mine. Every tense knot in my body loosened and my hand, still holding his hair out of his face, moved, gripping more of his soft hair. Wow. Just as my lips parted fully to match his, there were loud footsteps on the stairs. He didn't seem to be pulling away though. Savouring the kiss for one more second, I pulled away, turning quickly away from him, and I busied myself with packing my belongings back into my bag. I had to start false conversation. 
"Um, so that should heal nicely within a few days. I'm really sorry, by the way." I told him just as Liam bounded into the doorway. 

"Oh, you're awake, hey" he said, smiling at me. 
"Hey." I replied, still packing up my things, hiding my blushing cheeks.
"Oh wow, and you managed to hit Harry in the head already!" He smiled, laughing harder at my serious expression. 
"She cleaned me up nicely though, Lee" Harry told Liam, who nodded in agreement.

"How long was I out for?" I asked, finally thinking about the real issues here. 
"2 days." Chorused Liam and Harry. 
"Ugh, gross" I replied, grimacing. 
"We have a working shower if you want to use it," Liam offered, "if you can get in there without Harry following you, that is." -this earned him an elbow in the rib from Harry. 
"Yes please." I said, gratefully. 
"It's just down at the other end of the hallway." Liam informed me. 
"Thanks" I smiled, grabbing my now full bag, and heading out of the door. 

I don't think I'd ever been more grateful for a shower. It gave me time to think about my next move. First things first I needed to tell Harry that what happened in the other room could not happen again. I couldn't fall for someone in a world like this. It was stupid and cruel of me to have kissed him in the first place. I couldn't lead him on any further, and needed to tell him we couldn't have any kind of relationship. Stupid, stupid me.

Secondly, it was because they had decided to rescue me in the first place that their two friends had been captured. I had to help them get them back. I owed them. I could not, would not leave this place owing my life to them. I needed to repay them. I detested the fact that I was in debt. I would need to change that as soon as possible.

 

Rinsing the shampoo out of my hair, I decided the second I was done in here I would talk business  with the boys. I would make a plan to rescue their friends without anyone getting hurt.

 

I towelled myself dry quickly, and got dressed into my only change of clothes. I bundled my old clothes into my bag, I would find means of washing them later. I dried my hair as best as I could, and pulling my bag onto my shoulder, I left the bathroom and went downstairs.

 

The boys were sat in the living room, Harry was sketching on some paper, and Liam and Zayn were engrossed in conversation about the Peace Hounds, but stopped as I entered the room.

"Hi." I said, awkwardly

"Hello." said Harry cheerfully, Liam smiled at me whilst Zayn looked elsewhere. I gathered that he didn't like me. He probably blamed me for what happened to 'Niall' and 'Lou'.

"I don't mean to stick my nose in where it isn't wanted, but I can help you rescue your friends if you let me." I told them. No point trying to make light conversation. At this Zayn looked straight at me, expressionless.

"You don't have to do that." he said, coldly.

"Yes, I do, I owe you all my life, I can't just leave without trying to repay you in some way." I answered mater-of-factly.

"No, we don't want you getting hurt because of us." Liam chipped in.

"Why?" I said looking at him expression steel-hard, "Because I'm a girl? You would think that given everything that's gone on in the world there wouldn't be sexism any more, yet here we are." I said exasperatedly. "and don't go round thinking that because you saved me I'm some sort of damsel in distress, I would never have let those things catch up to me if I hadn't injured my leg."

"Woah."  said Liam, "I wasn't being sexist, I just don't want you to get hurt." 

"Whatever," I said brushing off, even though I actually felt quite bad about ranting at him, "I'm going to help you get your friends back. I have an idea of how we can do that too." I don't think they were expecting that. "But it's complicated and we'll need to plan ahead." I told them.

"Lets go into the kitchen, there's a table, this'll be easier there." said Harry, standing up. I walked straight out and into the kitchen, not bothering to wait for the others. I was on a mission to pay them back for what I owed, and I had to make sure it worked. I would tell them my plan, and we would start preparing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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