Pairing: Murphy Pendleton/Alex Shepherd
Rating: PG-13 for now, rating will most likely go up later
Summary: AU, After leaving Shepherd's Glen, Alex runs into Murphy. The men form a tenuous alliance, two is better than one, right?
Notes: No spoilers for Downpour as of yet. And this story still exists in the realm of "wtf-ery". I won't bore you guys, but I'm going to have a lot of free time until August, so you'll probably see more of this. Maybe, hopefully, most likely... Also I'm just going to add in that this chapter is more to get back into the swing of things. uwu
Over the next hour neither said much. Alex out of fear of pissing Murphy off, and Murphy... Presumably because that's just how he operated. Every once in a while he would point something out, and Alex would either help him move it, or hand it to him. It wasn't the worst system, but it was boring. The younger man felt himself wanting human contact-- even if it was only a one-sided conversation. He just needed to know that someone else was there, that they were listening.
"So uh... Murphy. What brings you here? This place wouldn't be my first choice for a vacation." This earned him a glare.
Alex sighed and held his hands up. He had an idea why Murphy was being so cagey, but he wasn't sure if calling him out on it would just make things worse.
"Look," He started. "I don't know what the deal is with that jumpsuit-- but I'm not going to turn you in, if it'll make you feel any better."
Alex could see the man's walls crumble slightly, and silently congratulated himself. It was a trick he learned from his mother. Push just enough, and you can get the truth. The trick was knowing when to pull back.
"I'm sorry. It's... Been a weird day for me is all." Murphy jestured with his hands when he talked, and Alex found that he liked it. The quirk was so human... He was grateful for it.
"Tell me about it." Their eyes met and the corner of Alex's mouth turned up. Before he knew it, they were laughing. In some kind of unspoken conversation they /knew/ what the other had gone through. Alex wiped at his eyes, trying to catch his breath.
"You're alright, Alex."
The pit stop was bigger than Alex expected, and he found himself slowing down with exhaustion. He wasn't sure just how long Murphy had been walking, but it looked like he was getting tired as well. One of the nearby buildings, a restaurant aptly named 'The Devil's Pit Stop' looked like a better place than any to rest before continuing.
"Kind of strange that we're the only people around..."
"I guess... Let's see if the door is unlocked. I'm freezing." Murphy pushed on the door carefully, stepping back when it swung inwards with a creak.
"Well, Mr. Holmes, the mystery of the door is solved. That still leaves us with the case of the rest of Earth's population going missing overnight, and the damn weather." Alex rubbed at his arms as he spoke, and followed Murphy inside quickly, anything to get out of the damp chill that was steadily driving him insane.
"What about the weather?" Murphy asked as he headed over to the counter.
"It's crappy," as much as he hated to admit it, Alex was whining. "I would kill for some sunshine right about now, you know?" This only earned him a grunt in return; he guessed it wasn't a pressing concern at the moment, nor was it stimulating conversation.
The inside of the diner was what Alex had come to expect. It looked like no one had been inside for years... Memories crept back and he swallowed thickly. When he returned home, all of the buildings were like this. It seemed like the cloying darkness and decay simply swallowed up the town-- took away the people. He ran a hand over the red plastic of a barstool, watching as his fingers made a line in the dust. Idly, he wondered who the last person to sit there was, what they ordered-- if they made it out and were in the world somewhere. In a world that wasn't misty and desolate...
From across the counter, the distinct 'ka-ching' of the cash register being opened caught his attention. He looked up at Murphy, and held his hands up in a 'what the hell are you doing' gesture. The man simply shrugged and pocketed the small amount of change that was inside.
"You never know when you'll need it," he said.
"The only thing I can see us needing money for is our passage across the river." The sarcasm in Alex's voice was clear, though it wasn't without a hint of amusement.
"We won't be dying any time soon, kid." Murphy was doing the gesturing thing again, and Alex wondered why he noticed. "Besides, sometimes I just... Get these urges; to stick random things in my pockets. I can't really explain it."
The younger man laughed quietly. "I think that's called kleptomania."
"Har har, smartass. You win the originality medal. Now, come on, there might be unexpired food, and I, for one, am starving."