Word Count: 768
“I’d prefer it if you didn’t do that again,” Joe said eventually, stepping back. I let go of him and sniffed, doing my best to man the fuck up.
“Yeah, me too,” I choked out half a laugh. Joe flashed me a grin.
“Where did you end up then?” he asked.
“Just a bit further into town. I guess spending the night on my own…” I didn’t really know how to admit that I hadn’t coped, that I’d needed him or that I’d felt like shit for leaving. I thanked the fucking heavens when Eloise got out of the other car and spared me from having to say anything else. I’d already made an idiot of myself; I didn’t really want to keep doing it. I wiped at my face again, hoping I didn’t look like as much of a pussy as I was acting.
“Have we kissed and made up yet?” she asked, looking between us expectantly.
“Close enough,” I grunted, stepping back and folding my arms over my chest.
“Well then, you two can sit in the back. I’ll drive for a bit. You don’t look like you should be up and walking, let alone in charge of a vehicle,” she smiled sweetly. I was hardly in any position to argue, and she was right, I looked as bad as I felt.
She got in the driver’s seat and left us to decide what we were doing. Neither of us really protested.
Me and Joe sat in a sort of awkward silence in the car. Eloise had left the two of us to talk things over. Only neither of us was particularly willing to say anything.
She wanted us to apologize, I think. I dunno, I could be wrong. I’d already said sorry, I was hardly gonna repeat it. We probably should’ve done what she wanted, though – the look she gave us when we came to a stop might’ve scared me if I was anyone else. And then the attention shifted to the fact that the other car was the reason we’d ground to a halt.
“We’re out of fuel,” Richard told us as Eloise rolled the window down. “D’you have any we could use? Just until we find a gas station.”
“Cancer?” Eloise turned to me, “is there any in the back?” My jaw clenched. I didn’t want these people with us. They were nothing to me. Did it matter if I abandoned them here? Cutting my losses and running is what I’m good at, aside from escaping the law. And since the law didn’t exist anymore, what else was left for me to be so talented at?
“Cancer,” Joe said warningly, casting me a glance that had me remembering how he’d lost his temper with me before. The kid was hardly a lost little boy anymore. I couldn’t even tell if that was down to me or the zombies anymore.
“Why should I save their asses? We can’t be far from a fill up joint. Walk.”
“I know you don’t like us much,” Eloise sighed, “but even you can’t let the kid suffer, can you? I saw how you were with her.” I gritted my teeth.
“Please, Cancer,” Richard gave me a look halfway between pleading and a glare.
Joe nudged me in the ribs with his elbow. “Fuck the lot of you. I knew there was a reason I left,” I scowled, slouching into my seat, arms crossed.
“Is it in the trunk?” Joe nodded and I watched Richard disappear off around the back of the car. Eloise hit a button, letting the trunk click open for him. “There’re only three cans left,” he said, disappointed.
“Now you know why I didn’t want to share, genius,” I grumbled, earning a glare from Eloise and Joe.
“Split it equally,” Joe suggested, “one and a half cans for each car, until we can find some more petrol.” I sat silently, glowering at the back of the headrest in front of me. Why did I come back when all I was going to get was guilt trips and glares? I might need support right now, but when I’m less fucking sick, I’m not sticking around with these assholes anymore. I’ve survived on my own before, I can do it again. The targets might be different, but the outcome has to be the same. And once I’ve recovered, it only makes sense I’ll find it even easier.
We set off again, to fuck knows where, and I sat silently in the back, imagining the freedom of being on my own and capable of looking after myself properly.