The Long Run

BY : Sasunarufan13
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 1260
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor make profit of it. Kishimoto owns it.

Author's note: Man, chapter 13 already and the ending is not yet in sight. Hope you're not getting bored of this :')

Warnings: Homophobic slurs; mentions of blood; mentions of amputation; small timeskip

I hope you'll like it!

Chapter 13

Blood spurted everywhere, creating a high arch against the evening sky, before it splattered over all of them. Maniacal laughter joined the horrifying scream erupting soon afterwards and the blade went up again. Again and again until bone splintered, gleaming white amongst scarlet red, frayed nerves and tissue exposed, and blood eagerly soaked up by the earth.

All around them shadows started to move, slow but steady, drawn by the screams and the laughter and the too bright fire. They came closer and closer, rattling breath and hair rising moaning joining the chorus of laughs and screams; empty eyes fixated on them.

There was no escape. They had been snuck upon, taken by surprise before they could do anything. They had believed themselves to be safe behind their walls, but once more they had been breached. Now they were surrounded by jeering men, dragged out of their beds by men driving by bloodlust and revenge.

Sakon, limbless, stumps dressed in bloodied bandages, let himself be rolled forwards in a wheelchair that had seen better days. Even without his arms and legs, he still managed to look superior as he looked down upon them all with a bloodthirsty grin.

"Oops, guess I wasn't telling the truth when I said there was no one else," he smirked and the guy pushing him forwards grinned; the grin pulling grotesquely at the scar on his face.

"We're going to have so much fun, you and I!" Sakon crowed and his men cheered.

The zombies stumbled closer and closer. Soon they would be upon them all and they wouldn't be able to do anything about that, wouldn't be able to stop them.

"Why don't we start with your little faggot boyfriend here, hm?" Sakon suggested, leering.

Sasuke's heart seemed to stop when two men dragged Naruto roughly across the ground, closer to Sakon. Naruto, who was cursing and spitting and struggling against the vice hold on his arms, but who couldn't do much, who'd been taken by surprise just like the rest of them. Naruto, who would … who would …

Eyes shot open, encountering nothing but darkness. It was so dark that for a moment he wasn't even certain whether his eyes were open or not. His heartbeat was loud in his ears, thumping fast, and his fingers tightened around the cloth he could feel covering him. He didn't think he had moved except for opening his eyes, but someone stirred next to him.

"Bad dream?" Naruto whispered; the sound cutting through the heavy silence in the apartment.

Sasuke smiled wryly. Yeah, a bad dream. One could say that. Neither denying nor confirming it, he asked instead, "Did I wake you up? Sorry."

"Nah, it's fine," Naruto murmured and the blanket whispered when he turned around, presumably to face Sasuke.

It was so dark in the room he couldn't even make out the shape of Naruto's body, but he did feel his arm coming to rest across his chest, a thumb rubbing slow circles right underneath his armpit.

"Turned into a light sleeper ever since all this shit started," Naruto continued; his voice light and airy. "You want to talk about it?"

Sasuke breathed out slowly, staring up at what he presumed was the ceiling. Did he want to talk about a dream in which Sakon had come back to haunt them? Did he want to tell Naruto about how in his nightmare, more limbs had been cut off and Naruto himself had been about to be tortured really badly? About zombies lingering in the shadows, ambling closer and closer, until who was the real threat, Sakon's group or the zombies, faded together, smudged in one incomprehensible mess?

"Just some bullshit," he eventually settled on answering.

To his relief Naruto didn't pester him about it further. He heard more than felt him nod; the pillowcase rustling gently when he moved his head. "Yeah, I get that. Had that kind of dream for a long time after mum and dad got killed," he murmured. His thumb kept up the caressing motion. "Wouldn't leave me alone for months it felt like. Sometimes I wasn't sure whether I was dreaming or not."

"Been a while since I last had one of those," Sasuke muttered, bringing his hand up to rub his forehead. "Think the last one was after mother died."

The last one which had really bothered him anyways. He had had multiple nightmares throughout the years, more so in the last three years since the dead had started walking again. The worst had been right after he'd found mother's corpse. For the first month after that, he hadn't really wanted to sleep, unwilling to face those horrifying images over and over again. He had hoped that his mind would have been too tired to work through everything that had happened, but of course his brain wouldn't even give him that simple respite.

"I know bullshit like 'it gets better' doesn't really help, so I'm not going to say it," Naruto said and this time he pressed his forehead against Sasuke's shoulder, rubbing gently back and forth. "But I'm here if you want to talk about it."

"Yeah," Sasuke breathed out. "All right." He brought his own arm around Naruto, felt bone through warm skin. Naruto had finally started to put on some weight, but he still felt rather fragile like this.

Even if Naruto was far from actually fragile. He had shown that all too well last night when he'd gone after them and saved all of their arses.

"Gather we still have some time left before we have to get up," Naruto mumbled; lips brushing faintly over a spot in Sasuke's neck. "Not light enough yet in any case for morning to happen soon."

Sasuke hummed. He couldn't recall immediately whether they had drawn the curtains before they'd fallen asleep, but even if they had been drawn, it would have been noticeable if morning was upon them. They didn't exactly have blackout curtains, so any ray of daylight, no matter how weak, would be noticeable.

He thought it would take him a while still to fall back asleep, disturbing as the dream had been, but the soothing motion of Naruto's thumb rubbing circles over his side and his even, soft breathing made his eyelids heavy.

When he fell asleep next, he remained blissfully nightmare-free.

"How did the interrogation go?" Naruto smiled humourlessly when Sasuke exited the building. He'd been slumped against the wall, his arms crossed, but upon Sasuke's arrival, he straightened up again, uncrossing his arms.

Sasuke shrugged and rubbed the back of his neck. "The only new thing I could tell them was what had happened before you showed up. Not sure what they're going to do with that now."

"You think a group will still be send out to pick up the materials?" Naruto questioned, falling into step with Sasuke.

"Not sure," Sasuke answered and frowned. "I think they're going to discuss that today."

Father at least hadn't looked particularly enthused about sending a group out there to collect all the materials. Considering the place might be crawling with zombies at this moment, Sasuke could understand his reluctance. Who knew how many of the undead had collected there throughout the night? Then again, that place might be their only option for a long time to find any decent building material. They would have to scout other places and there was no saying how long that would take. Whichever option they picked, they always risked landing in danger.

He shook his head lightly, dismissing the thoughts. No point in thinking about that now. Father would tell him what the decision was when the Board was ready.

"You're up for visiting the infirmary with me?" he asked instead, turning around the corner.

"To visit Deidara?"

"Yeah, Anko already went home apparently." Father had told him she'd left the infirmary not long after Sasuke, refusing any further aid.

"Sure," Naruto agreed, but looked slightly apprehensive.

Sasuke had no idea why, but figured there was no point in trying to find out either. If Naruto really didn't want to visits Deidara, he would say so, Sasuke was sure. The blond man wasn't exactly the type to do things he had no interest in doing.

They passed Ino and Shikamaru who were making their way to the gates; probably to start their guard shift. They exchanged nods, but didn't stop to chat, even though Ino's eyes lit up with interest at the sight of them. Sasuke concealed a sigh; somehow he had the feeling that he could expect a whole new interrogation coming soon, but from her this time. It was amazing, truly, how people still loved to gossip even with the dead walking around.

Tsunade greeted them with a distracted nod when they walked into the infirmary, browsing through a bunch of papers. Sasuke was a bit relieved to see that she'd pulled on a new coat; the one she'd wore last night when they had been brought in, had ended up covered in blood before she'd even been halfway done treating Deidara.

"How is Deidara doing?" Sasuke inquired, taking note of how quiet it was.

"He was still asleep when I checked on him a couple of hours earlier," she answered, placing the papers down on her desk. "When Sakura checked on him an hour ago, he was awake but unresponsive."

"She's still with him?" Sasuke asked curiously, his gaze landing on the door behind which Deidara stayed.

"No, I sent her home to get some rest. She's been up with me the entire night, monitoring him," she replied, undoing her ponytail in order to fix the loose strands.

"Shouldn't you be getting some rest as well, baa-chan?" Naruto squinted, eyeing her critically. "You're not exactly the youngest anymore, you know?"

She swatted at him and scowled when he danced out of her reach. "I'm still young enough to teach you a lesson, brat, don't you go around underestimating me," she threatened.

"Please, you adore me too much already," he smirked.

Sasuke rolled his eyes to the ceiling, wondering whether the infirmary would soon have a second patient staying here. He had warned Naruto about this shit; provoking Tsunade was never a smart idea, especially not when she'd been doing night shifts.

"Like hell I do," she snorted and crossed her arms underneath her impressive bosom. "Just because your face hasn't kissed the wall yet doesn't mean I adore you. Now off you go, either go visit Deidara or fuck off."

"See, told you I can charm the hell out of her," Naruto whispered, nudging Sasuke's arm.

"You're definitely charming her. So much so you'll probably meet her fist soon," Sasuke said dryly. "And I'm not sure whether I'll be in the mood to stop her then."

"Wow, and I thought we had undying love here," Naruto sighed, shaking his head in mock disappointment.

"Sure, undying love, but that doesn't mean I'm stupid enough to get between her and you," Sasuke said; his mouth twitching with amusement.

Every trace of amusement their little chat had brought up instantly diminished when they reached the closed door of Deidara's room. The door wasn't entirely closed, Sasuke realised soon, but stood slightly ajar. Probably to make it easier for Tsunade to hear Deidara if he needed urgent help.

He knocked on the door, wondering whether Deidara would even react if he'd been unresponsive around Sakura. A soft grunt had him quirking his eyebrow and he pushed the door open, peeking through the gap. Deidara was sitting upright in the bed; a thin light blue blanket covering his body up until his waist. His amputated arm was wrapped up in several bandages and was resting on a pillow next to his side. He'd been staring at the ceiling, but his eyes brightened just a smidgen when they landed on Sasuke. He looked like utter shit, pale, his blond hair lifelessly hanging around his face, but he still smiled faintly.

"Hey, Sasuke-kun. You can enter, I don't bite," he said; the corners of his mouth twitching faintly.

"Came to see how you're doing," Sasuke said, feeling a bit awkward as he entered the room. What did you say to someone whose arm had been forcefully cut off and who'd been about to be assaulted even further?

Naruto followed him like a shadow, closing the door behind them. He looked every bit as uncomfortable as Sasuke felt, but he still inclined his head in greeting to the older blond.

"Well, I might need a hand in the future, un, but at least I'm alive," Deidara scoffed; his eyes flickering briefly towards the stump before he looked away.

"They say humour is usually a good sign of recovery," Naruto muttered, lingering near the door even when Sasuke stepped closer to the bed.

Deidara shrugged half-heartedly. "Moping around won't really do much, now would it? It won't give me back my arm."

"Tsunade said you were unresponsive when Sakura checked on you," Sasuke remarked, sitting down on a rickety chair which had seen better days. They really needed to get more decent furniture for the infirmary.

Deidara rolled his eyes. "That's because I wasn't in the mood to rehash everything that had happened last night. No offense to her, un, but I didn't want to talk about it with her. Was easier to just keep quiet. Not like I remember that much anyways, after my arm got cut off." He snorted harshly.

"I'm sorry," Naruto blurted out awkwardly. "Cauterising your arm was the only way I could think of that would stop the bleeding. I didn't want you to bleed out, but now you've got one arm less and - "

"Man, no need to apologise," Deidara cut him off, his remaining arm twitching as if to wave. "Anko-chan told me what happened last night when she popped by for a visit this morning. It's thanks to you that I'm still alive. Sure, it fucking sucks to have lost my arm, but hell, it would have sucked a whole lot more if I had died, because I bled out. If I have to choose between dying or surviving with one arm, un …" He shrugged, smiled wryly. "That choice is easier made than you might think. So thank you for saving my life."

"I didn't do much," Naruto muttered, suddenly fascinated by the stained floorboard. "Baa-chan is the one who got you through it."

"She wasn't the one out there when I was bleeding out, though," Deidara pointed out. "So thank you. Anko-chan said you saved all our arses? Sorry, was a bit out of it at the time, so I don't remember much."

"Yeah, Naruto got rid of them all with his crossbow," Sasuke confirmed when Naruto didn't say anything.

"Man, a real badass, huh?" Deidara smiled and while his tone was teasing, there was also admiration audible in it.

Naruto shrugged uncomfortably. "Just did what any decent person would have done."

"Mah, I think we all know decency is hard to come by in this world nowadays," Deidara said lightly and then shot a grin at Sasuke. "Thank fuck you're boning such a badass; that came in real handy last night, un."

"Oh for fuck's sake," Sasuke sighed. "You can't even get your mind out of the gutter now?"

"I need to have my fun somehow now that I'm stuck here for the unforeseeable future," Deidara said, gesturing at his stump.

A knock on the door had them turning their head, watching Itachi entering the room. He didn't appear surprised to see Sasuke and Naruto here already.

"Glad to see you awake," he smiled. "Otouto, figured I'd find you here."

"Just came for a quick visit," Sasuke replied and shrugged, standing up. "We'll take our leave now."

"You don't have to leave on my account," Itachi said reassuringly.

"Nor on mine," Deidara piped up.

"I have a feeling the doctor will insist you can't get too overwhelmed yet," Sasuke said, smiling faintly. He thought he could hear her footsteps walking around in one of the other rooms.

"She'd be better off getting some rest herself, before she gets overwhelmed," Naruto muttered. "Baa-chan isn't exactly the youngest anymore."

"I'm what?"

Everyone, save for Itachi, jumped slightly when the aforementioned doctor showed up in the doorway, one eyebrow arched and her face looking less than impressed.

"Radiant as ever, I don't know how you do it," Naruto corrected himself smoothly, offering her an innocent smile.

"Uhuh, get out of here, you brat," she said amused, swatting his shoulder.

"I'm glad you didn't die," Naruto told Deidara, back to being awkward before he slipped out of the room.

Deidara blinked, before he looked at Sasuke. "Are we bonding now? Is this me and Naruto-kun bonding or am I just imagining things?"

Sasuke snorted. "Don't get ahead of yourself." He smirked. "He still likes me the most."

That earnt him a chuckle from his brother and a grin from Deidara. "Wouldn't dream of taking him away from you," he chirped before turning to face Itachi. "So, you here to probe my mind or did the Board sent you because they want to test whether I collaborate Sasuke-kun's story?"

Leaving his brother to deal with Deidara, Sasuke walked out of the room, catching sight of Naruto waiting just right outside the building.

"You think he really will be okay?" Naruto asked softly when Sasuke joined him outside. "Or do you think he's trying to keep up appearances."

Sasuke thought about the way Deidara had carefully avoided looking at his missing arm. He thought about the way he'd been animatedly talking all the same, even smiling and delivering teasing quips like usual. It would be foolish to assume he was completely fine already, but at the same time it would be an insult to Deidara's strength to think he was a lost cause now.

"He'll get there," he said. He reached out, found Naruto's hand. He grabbed it and tangled their fingers together. "He's strong."

Deidara would pull through this, he knew. They had all learnt to push on and push through. It was one of the few things that still separated them from the dead.

When father arrived home that evening, he surprised Sasuke by pulling him into a firm hug, clinging onto him with an intensity he hadn't experienced since mother had died. Unlike what his stern appearance portrayed, father wasn't so cold that hugs were unfamiliar territory, but at the same time, they weren't this firm either. Usually at least. Tonight was an obvious exception.

"Father," Sasuke muttered in greeting. While slightly confused, he hugged the older man back, casting a questioning look over his shoulder at Itachi.

His brother merely shrugged, not looking surprised at all by the gesture.

Father maintained the embrace for a moment longer before he took a deep breath and pulled away slightly. His hands rested on Sasuke's shoulders now as he cast a quick look around the living room. "Naruto-san not here?"

"No, he's at his apartment," Sasuke said, a bit befuddled. "Why? Did he need to be here? Is the Board going to give him shit about what he did after all?" he asked dismayed.

They had spent the entire day within the walls, helping Kakashi cleaning the animals they had caught in their traps. Nobody had come to them to summon Naruto, so Sasuke had considered that part a closed chapter already. What could they even do? Kick Naruto out for daring to rescue people of their own? That would be a sure fire way to rile up the entire compound if word got out about that.

"No, they're not," Father said; a smile briefly flitting across his mouth before he sobered up again. "Even Danzo realises it would be beyond disrespectful to punish him for saving you all."

"Man, imagine that. He's not a complete bastard after all," Sasuke muttered unimpressed.

"No, I just needed this," Father admitted; a rare display of vulnerability. "When I think about how close you'd come to dying out there … The fact that we wouldn't have known about it for a while … If Naruto-san hadn't been this stubborn, I wouldn't be able to do this anymore. I wanted to thank him for that again, make sure he knows that he has a place here."

"I'm not sure whether he would deal well with accepting your thanks," Sasuke said and sighed. "He's … not exactly been very graceful about it. I think he'd rather you won't mention it again."

Naruto had looked incredibly uncomfortable this afternoon when Anko had left her home to seek him out in order to thank him profusely for saving them all. For all this bravado and frank character, Naruto didn't seem to handle praise well, even if it was beyond deserved. Sasuke wondered if that had to do with how long he'd been alone and the guilt he carried around for being the only one to survive of his group.

"I won't if it makes him uncomfortable," Father said and after squeezing Sasuke's shoulders he released them. "But I won't ever forget what he did for us."

"That's father approving of him as your boyfriend," Itachi quipped, smirking.

"There you go, ruining a heartfelt moment," Sasuke sighed, shaking his head.

Father smiled and made his way to the kitchen. "Come on, you two, let's see what we can make for dinner."

Sasuke watched the group prepare the biggest truck they had when someone came to a halt next to him. He turned his head slightly, smiling when Naruto grinned at him.

"That the group leaving to get the supplies?" he asked, jerking his head at the group in question.

Kakashi was part of the group and would be acting as its leader as he usually did when going outside the walls. Now he was inside the truck, discussing with two other people how they would fit everything within it without overloading it and getting stranded.

Nearly three weeks after Sasuke's group had been captured, a new group would set out to collect all the materials necessary for the expansion of the compound. The Board had been in disagreement about how to proceed for a long time. Father, Hiashi and Chiyo had been reluctant to send out a new group in what possibly could be a zombie infested town by now. Yoshino had understood their reservations, but had been torn between the promise of material and the urge to keep their people safe. Danzo, meanwhile, had stated it would be a waste of Yamato's life if they left the materials there to rot. Sasuke wasn't entirely certain whether Danzo really wanted to honour Yamato's death that way or whether he was just a stubborn dick unwilling to let go of the expansion idea.

After much arguing, eventually they had reached an agreement. A group would be sent out to test the waters first, so to speak, see how badly the town was infested now. If it was doable they would already take as much of the building material as they could with them. If not, they were to report back about the situation; under no circumstance were they to act before they got the approval.

"Yeah, they'll check first how dangerous it is," Sasuke confirmed. "If it's safe enough, they'll transport some of the material already."

"Guess the old bastard got what he wanted after all, huh," Naruto remarked idly.

Sasuke took note of the crossbow strapped upon his back and the dagger in its faithful place against his thigh. "You going out?" he asked interestedly. He tried to remember whether Naruto had been put on the roster today.

He knew he wasn't; one of the rare days off. He definitely was not scheduled to return to that village; father adamant that he wouldn't go back there. It was one of the rare times father put his foot down about what Sasuke did around the compound. Even if Sasuke had recovered from the ordeal, father didn't want him to go there and Sasuke respected his wish. Besides, it wasn't as if he was particularly eager to stride straight into a zombie mass either.

"Hm, and you're coming with me," Naruto smiled. The late February sun caught his eyes, made them glisten as they danced with mischief.

"Oh, I am, am I?" Sasuke raised his eyebrows. "Should I go get my katana?"

"Might be for the best, it's a bit of a trek and who knows how many dead bastards we encounter?" He placed his hand in Sasuke's lower back, nudging him in the direction of his house. "Go on, I'll wait here."

"Should I grab some food and water?" Sasuke asked pointedly.

As was a habit for Naruto apparently, he only carried his weapons and not even a small bag for some food.

"Mah, if you insist." Naruto shrugged. "Don't think we'll be doing much eating and drinking, but have at it."

Becoming intrigued now Sasuke went back home to grab his katana and fill a knapsack with some snacks and a couple of bottles with water. Neither Itachi nor father were home, so he left them a quick note, informing them he was out with Naruto. He doubted they would be gone for the entire day, but this way neither of them would freak out about his absence.

"All right," he said when he was back with Naruto. "Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise," Naruto smiled mysteriously and grabbed his hand, tugging him along to the gates.

Kakashi's group was gone by now and the gates were closed, but upon seeing them approach, Kiba threw them a short salute and opened the gates so they could slip through the gap.

"You got Kiba to agree to let us out?" Sasuke questioned curiously. Given what lurked outside of the gates at times, frivolous outings so to speak weren't exactly encouraged.

He was pretty certain Naruto wasn't scheduled for anything today either, which meant that this outing had nothing to do with a job of sorts and could be considered more akin to a fun trip – if one discounted the rotting bodies gurgling and reaching out to them with feeble, stripped to the bone arms, that was.

"Just asked him if he could open the gates for us, because I wanted to show you something." Naruto shrugged, making his way to the forest. "Told me he wouldn't be responsible if I got mauled to death, yada, yada, but hey, he opened the gates as you saw."

"I feel like I should be concerned how easy you convinced him," Sasuke said dryly, eyeing the forest floor carefully.

It hadn't rained in more than a week so most of the slick had dried up by now. He was still careful where he set his foot, however, not wanting to risk slipping.

Naruto turned around to face him and winked. "Told you, I can be pretty charming if I want to be," he said smugly. He didn't even blink when he drove his dagger straight through the decaying body of a young girl, somewhere in her mid-teens.

"We're going to train with the crossbow?" Sasuke asked surprised when he realised they were going in the same direction of the field where Naruto had taught him how to use the crossbow.

"Nope, though we can always do that if you feel so inclined," Naruto said cryptically. "We're not going to that field exactly, by the way. It's a bit further."

"You're not going to tell me before we're there, huh?" Sasuke sighed.

A hand gripped his; fingers tightening around his own. "Now where would be the fun in that?" Naruto hummed.

Where indeed.

Sasuke blinked when they ended up in front of a delipidated looking … cottage was probably a bit too frivolous to call the building erected between two huge trees. It wasn't exactly a shed, but it was clearly made by someone who hadn't had the finesse to make something really beautiful out of it. It had four walls as far as Sasuke could see and a roof which was mostly hidden behind the low hanging branches of the trees. It could have holes in it for all that Sasuke knew.

It was actually almost completely covered with moss and ivy and Sasuke would have easily overlooked it if not for Naruto leading him straight to the door.

"Found this a little while ago when I was hunting," Naruto announced, testing the doorknob. "I've been back a couple of times since then, but it looks completely abandoned. Not even a dead guy inside."

"Thinking of making it into a vacation home?" Sasuke snorted, eyeing the walls dubiously.

They were entirely made out of wooden planks and several tiny gaps had slipped through the planks throughout the years. He would probably be able to look inside if he bent down at the right height.

"Hey, everyone needs a little vacation now and then," Naruto grinned and opened the door, waving him inside. "Come on. I haven't spotted a zombie in a while, but I don't want to test out my theory either."

"Which is?"

"That they haven't gathered here because there's nothing to find here – except for us now, so let's go inside, yeah?"

Sasuke cast another dubious look at the roof, but went inside nonetheless, covering his sneeze on time with his sleeve when dust twirled up, disturbed by their footsteps. The gaps between the planks allowed some daylight to filter through, offering just enough light that he could make out the shape of a chair, a desk missing one leg and a bed covered with sheets which looked oddly new still, not yet covered in a sheen of dust like the rest of the place was.

"You've been dragging stuff inside here?" he asked, wandering over to the bed, testing the firmness of it by pushing on the mattress. It didn't immediately give in, so at least the mattress was sturdy enough.

"Hm, just some blankets and some pillows to make it more comfortable," Naruto replied, approaching the desk for some reason. He opened one of the drawers, waggling it back and forth to pull it open properly.

"More comfortable for what?"

Naruto didn't answer at first. He just grabbed something out of the drawer and made his way to the bed, placing his crossbow and his dagger next to it on the ground.

"Pretty sure this place was constructed by a gay couple," he announced out of the blue, shrugging out of his jacket. He still kept whatever it was in his hand.

"And why specifically a gay couple?" Sasuke asked bemused.

This time Naruto brandished the object closer to one of the gaps in the walls, letting the light fall across it, illuminating the label on it.

At the same time Sasuke realised what he was holding, Naruto grinned widely, shaking the bottle back and forth. "Found three bottles of this lube in the desk," he said and raised his eyebrow suggestively. "What do you think? Want to have a little fun with it to celebrate our first shared day off?"

AN2: How's that for a cliffhanger, hm? ;) Hey, at least nobody is in danger of dying! (Yet ...)

Please leave your thoughts behind in a review; should you spot any mistakes, please point them out to me.

I hope to see you all back in the next chapter! Please stay safe and take care of yourselves!



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