My head was swimming. My senses were assaulted by the infected below us - the ones that were still alive were begging for help and the ones that were dead just groaned and clawed upwards. I tried to tell the woman not to leave me here, but she was gone before I could even open my mouth and form a sentence.
She had told me to wait there, though and at the moment, it was a choice between accepting help from another living person, or sleeping on the roof there. I knew which I'd rather do. I muttered a couple of half coherent prayers under my breath to the gods, hoping like fuck that they were listening to me today. I didn't want to go out like this. Not drunk and sick and at the mercy of the world, feeling like shit.
I don't know how long I was there, listening to the groans of the infected as they lost interest and shuffled off to terrify someone else. I felt myself relaxing as the noise died down a little and my eyes closed.
The back of my head throbbed viciously, a sharp stinging waking me with a jolt. The cry I heard was from my own lips, but the hands holding me still belonged to a stranger. They were abnormally strong - at least they felt like it at the time - with skinny fingers that dug into my shoulder. I felt like death itself was holding me down to the ground.
I heard a voice I vaguely knew somehow telling me to stay still. I did. Sharp pain shot across my skull again and I yelped, wriggling again to get free.
"Stop struggling," I was told again. The voice sounded like it was melting into the ether before it even got to my brain.
The next time I was awake enough to remember anything was in the comforting familiarity of Mike's arms. My head was still pounding, but it was resting on his shoulder, my face buried in his neck. I was half sitting up in the front room on the sofa with him, half lying on him like I'd fallen asleep on him in the middle of a movie. I really hoped it had just been some kind of awful trip or dream or something.
Only, when I opened my eyes that woman was sat across from me on the other sofa, legs crossed, sitting quietly. It looked like she was watching me and Mike, but when I moved, she looked directly at me.
"Hey, babe," Mike smiled, pushing my hair back out of my face, "you're back with us. How're you feeling?"
"Sore," I moaned. I couldn't tell the difference between the hangover and whatever had happened to my head while I was out. He kissed the top of my head.
"You're lucky you ran into Scarlett when you did, or you might not have come home," his brow creased into a flash of sadness, but it was gone as quickly as it appeared. "But she helped you get home, and you're, so that's all that matters, right?" His smile was a little bit forced, like he was trying not to get upset over something. I squeezed his hand gently, and rested my head back down on his shoulder, not quite awake enough to hold it up without a lot of conscious effort yet. Mike looked back over at the woman - Scarlett - and tried to give her a smile too. "We really owe you one. You're welcome to stay here as long as you need to, if you don't object to sleeping on a sofa."
She looked at us and then around the room. "I've seen worse," she said.
"That's something, then, eh?" She flashed a smile and with that I was gone again. If there was any more to the conversation, I missed it.