McKirk-Zombie Apocalypse AU
All things considered, he doesn’t regret picking the kid up.
First of all, he’s a good shot, which is pretty much the only thing that matters anymore. They get cornered by a bunch of walkers when they’re clearing out an abandoned gas station, a couple of hours after he picks the kid up. McCoy knows he probably wouldn’t have made it out without the extra set of eyes.
The only thing that bothers him, really, is the talking. Because McCoy was never that much of a people person, even before; now, Jim’s the first person who’s stayed within conversational distance, hell, stayed alive for long enough for McCoy to have to bother to get to know him.
But Jim’s never thrown off by long silences in the car or snappy replies. If anything, it seems to spur him on - questions, always questions, so what does a doctor do these days? and where do you wanna go next? and what was your life like before?
But that’s all fine. McCoy’s fine. Until he’s not.
"So, are there any other McCoys running around out there?"
The car skids to a halt in the middle of the highway. There’s a plume of dust in the rear view mirror, and McCoy’s knuckles are white around the steering wheel. Jim says nothing, for once. Just waits.
McCoy fucking bites out his answer. It taste like bile passing his lips.
"Not anymore. Made sure of that."
Anyone still scrabbling across the wasteland knows exactly what that means. Jim’s no exception - the sharp intake of breath is all McCoy needs to hear from him to know that he understands, but he’s in no mood for the wide, blue eyes that drill into the side of his fucking skull.
"Don’t need pity, kid. Happened years ago. And at least… I got to do it myself. End it before it got real bad for them."
There’s a beat before, “Them?”
"My wife. And my daughter." His voice doesn’t even crack over the words. Not anymore. Small victories, he supposes.
It’s a story that he doesn’t tell more often than he has to, and the reception is different every time. In some cases, it’s gotten him a case full of warm beer and half a tank of gas. In others, he’s been run out of fucking town. Those were in the early days, though. Back when people still realised what life was beyond pure desperation.
Jim slides down in his seat, but keeps his eyes trained firmly on McCoy.
"My mom said the same thing when she convinced me to do it."
It’s only then that McCoy turns to meet Jim’s gaze, sees the same struggle in bright blue irises that he greets in the mirror each day - did I do the right thing, was it worth it?
There’s an understanding that passes between them in that moment, McCoy can tell. And understanding’s one hell of a precious commodity amongst the survivors of the goddamn apocalypse.
So yeah. McCoy doesn’t regret picking the kid up.
He restarts the car.