Stomping on the neck required a hardy pair of boots and not hesitation. One of the army soldiers had taught her that move. The first time she'd done it, she hadn't stomped nearly hard enough, and had almost gotten her ankle chewed off because of it. Now, two years later, she could break the zombie's neck without flinching. Unless, of course, the stomp brought with it an explosion of zombie brain matter.
"Oh, so now you see my point? Slow on the uptake; I should expect that by now." Lucky for O'Brien that he had a gun and they were surrounded by infected, otherwise Leah might've hit him. "I'm not planning on letting you get gnawed on again. You couldn't blame me if I did, though."
The zombie's hands were cold and clumsy. When the bullet struck, the creature let out a grunt, neither expressing pain nor any other human emotion, before collapsing to the sidewalk at her feet. Leah didn't spare a moment to thank O'Brien, instead gripping the ladder and placing her feet on the rungs.
Before she could properly start climbing, O'Brien told her to hold on. She felt the ladder begin to ascend as he tugged on it, although it wasn't moving nearly fast enough to avoid the hands groping at her legs. Holding on with one hand and balancing with one foot, Leah twisted around and started kicking at the zombies.
As soon as she was out of their reach, Leah swung back around and climbed the rest of the way up to the first floor landing of the fire escape. As far as escapes went, this one had been one of the most simple. True, they still had a ways to go before they reached their destination, but the worst part was over. She hoped.
Tucking her machete away and hoisting the straps of her pack more securely on her back, she glanced at O'Brien. "Nice shot," she complimented him of the zombie he'd taken out. With that, Leah started up the stairs. This building wasn't very tall, which meant they wouldn't have to climb far.
Reaching the top, Leah walked along the edge, surveying the streets on either side of the building. It was a good thing indeed that they'd gotten up here when they did. An Exploder had been headed their way. Watching it make its way down the street toward the pharmacy, Leah dug a bottle of water out of her pack and took a sip. Twisting the cap back on, she looked over her shoulder at O'Brien, waiting until she had his attention before tossing the bottle at him.
"We'll be safe up here, if you need a break," she said, her eyes flicking to the moon. She sighed. So much for getting back to the safehouse before nightfall.