Title: Isn't This How All Zombie Movies End?
Written for: trollprincess who asked for a Supernatural zombie fic with a global effect and mystical cause. Well, I tried.
Word Count: 3243
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the universe they live in.
Summary: AU Pre-series. Dean (20) and Sam (16) are alone in a farmhouse, surrounded by the undead.
Dedication to: To my sister, goggledmonkey, who has a zombie contingency plan.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Dean tried to pretend that there were mice in the farm house. There hadn't been any mice when he and his brother had started squatting but Dean imagined they'd infested the place since then.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Only problem was that mice skittered, chattered, chewed or scampered. They didn't thump and, even if they did, even mice would have to sleep sometime.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
With a sighed Dean threw off his blanket and sat up. He never did have much of an imagination. Besides, the summer heat, though waning, still made sleep difficult.
Hours of lying awake had adjusted Dean's eyes to the near darkness and he had no trouble getting to his feet and walking across the bedroom to the window.
When Dean had pulled up to the farmhouse over two and a half months ago, he hadn't been planning on staying. He and Sam, a quarter tank away from being stranded on the side of the road, had been driving 36 hours straight, with nothing more than stale chips and flat pop to eat, stopping only to switch drivers and gas up. All Dean had been planning was a little B and E for gas and food before getting back on the road.
But when they found the house not only empty but recently abandoned – hastily packed boxes in the doorway that had not fit into the family minivan, fresh food in the fridge, empty shelves on otherwise completely full bookshelves, well, finders keepers losers weepers.
Why the family had just packed up and left, Dean couldn't fathom. The farmhouse was miles away from any of the main highways or towns. There was electricity and running water and a stockpile of food that could last a month comfortably, longer if need be. In Dean's professional opinion, there were fewer better places to sit out an outbreak of the undead, except maybe Wal-Mart.
It was a sensible decision; one Dean thought Dad would have approved of, even though the brothers weren't exactly sure where they were. They'd kept mainly to the unnamed back roads, using Dad's compass as a guide as they traveled north. For all Dean knew, they could have unknowingly crossed illegally into Canada. Wherever they were, they were pretty isolated because they never saw another soul.
At least, not another living soul. Dean reminded himself, looking out between the curtains. There was no moon but Dean could see movement in the backyard, bodies stumbling around in slow, uneasy gaits, defying gravity with every step that didn't cause them to tumble over. Animated corpses that never slept.
It had been Joshua who had called up John with word of some story about the dead rising in Minnesota. John and Dean had gone to check it out because reanimated dead was kinda their gig and Sam had ended up coming along because his "I have school" excuse didn't work too well in mid July.
The weather had been a bitch, raining the entire time, which meant Dean was pretty much stuck in the motel room with Sam and Dad, not a place you wanted to be when they were in their moods. Sam, sixteen and well into his 'I fuckin' hate everything to do with hunting' had argued with Dad the whole way and Dad had gotten more and more pissed off with Sam's lip.
Dean scowled at the memory. It wasn't the worst hunting trip Dean had ever been on in the sixteen years Dad had been doing this but it was up in the top ten. At least, in the beginning. It had most defiantly turned into the worst hunting trip of all time.
They never did find out the exact cause of the outbreak, though Dad had suspected some bad magic gone awry, because things got nasty in a hurry and pretty soon the only things Dean was worried about was getting his brother out of there as quickly as possible. Dean remembered he'd almost slapped Sam when his little brother had the nerve to bitch about Dad giving those orders to retreat. Sam could be a fucking prick sometimes.
Alone in the farmhouse, they had plenty of time. Dean and Sam filled the long days with hours of playing poker for cigarettes, rough housing, chopping wood, doing chores, cleaning guns and sharpening knives, reading and talking about things that had nothing to do with Dad or Minnesota or the undead.
For the first little while, they had access to satellite TV and got to see a blow by blow account of how a local epidemic had turned pandemic, spreading across six continents in a matter of weeks. It was like nothing Dean had seen or heard of before. Not at all like the type of zombies you ran into in certain places in Louisiana. It was like one of those stupid post-apocalyptic horror movies Dean had always laughed at while Sam clenched his eyes shut. Next thing he'd know, Santa would come down the chimney and tell him vampires were real.
The satellite TV was the first thing to go and the radio which hadn't been very reliable to begin with - If they were lucky, they could get a static filled news station – was the next do go. Dean couldn't say he was too disappointed. He preferred no news to bad news.
The downside of the whole thing was that losing their only connection the outside world added to suffocating isolation. Sam started to whine and Dean started to bitch and pretty much neither brother could stand the other. It didn't help that they'd smoked the last of the cigarettes.
There was a period of about a week when they simply refused to talk to each other. Sam would spend entire days upstairs, reading. Dean would spend his out back, chopping food and practicing with the crossbow.
God, Dean missed that. He'd never chopped so much wood in his life and never had enjoyed himself so much doing it. What he would give to be able to go outside. Fresh air. Sunshine. An opportunity to stretch his legs. No chance of that happening, not with a couple dozen of the undead wandering around out there.
Dean pulled himself away from the window. He tried not to spend too long looking at the hoard below. It reminded him of how he had failed Dad.
You only have one job now, John had said, keep you and your brother alive.
The first zombie had showed up almost a month after they arrived in the farmhouse. She had been a teenage girl, dressing in a faded bikini. Dean blew her away with a single head shot but she was first of many. Dean had almost deluded himself that maybe, just maybe, they'd be spared, that the hoard just wouldn't reach them here. It had been stupid illusion. Human flesh had gotten pretty rare so of course they were moving out into less populated areas, expanding their ranges in search of food. They may have been dead but they had the same two basic instincts of the living: eat and reproduce.
At first, Dean had tried to shoot them as they came but the bullets disappeared and they just kept coming. At this rate, he'd run out of ammo in a couple of days and he and Sam would have nothing to defend themselves with when more came. Because more would always come. They'd come until their rotten flesh disintegrated. Instead, he and Sam boarded up the windows and doors and set up barricades.
The number of undead outside grew daily and the farmhouse, once wonderfully spacious, was now too large. The perimeter became harder and harder to maintain. Finally, they simply reinforced the barricades downstairs as best they could and moved upstairs. They turned the stairs into a giant zombie trap, tangling the unwary undead in debris and turning them into the barriers, that prevented others from going further.
Unfortunately, having abandoned the downstairs, the undead had eventually broken in and were now wandering around. You could hear them all hours of the days, the shuffling of their feet and the banging as they ran into walls and each other.
The electricity went out after that, it was a miracle it had lasted as long as it had, and the running water went with it. Dean, knowing it was inevitable, had gotten Sam to help him stock pile jugs of water but washing became a luxury of the past. Dean had also found a generator and, for a little bit, it was enough to keep the lights on after dark and keep the hot plate going. But, eventually, like everything else, that ran out as well.
Despite rationing the last of the food was gone, all that was left was a pile of empty, discarded cans of soup, beans and spaghetti-os outside the window, and so was the tap water. They'd been reduced to drinking rainwater collected from the gutters and if it doesn't rain soon, they were going to be risking dehydration.
Dean might actually have been concerned about it if it wasn't so obvious that they weren't going to be around long enough for it to be a problem.
God, the world was fucked. They were fucked. Dean leaned his head against the wall. He could still hear them out there, didn't bother to try to block it out or pretend it was something else. Was Dad out there somewhere, stumbling around? God, Dean sure as Hell hoped not. He'd hoped they'd torn him apart.
All day and night, they'd been pulling at the barrier and it was coming apart, weakened over time by too much abuse and too little repair. It was only a matter of time before they got in. Some part of Dean hoped that it would be today. He didn't think he could manage another night wondering if tonight would be the night they would break through the door.
The undead had already broken into the upstairs twice. The first time was to be expected and Sam had managed to hold them off while Dean set the barriers back into place, reinforcing them. Dean was relatively certain they'd hold a good while longer. Still, as a precaution, Sam and Dean moved completely into the master bedroom and created an elaborate bobby trapped labyrinth between the stairs and the master bedroom, providing the zombies with yet another obstacle on their quest for the flesh of Sam and Dean.
The second time had completely taken them by surprise. Shit, Dean had been sleeping. He'd been dreaming about fucking so nice warm girl when he'd been jolted awake by Sam screaming for him to wake the fuck up because they were coming in!
Damn, Dean had thought that was the end of them but, somehow, between splitting open heads and dodging bites, he and Sam had managed to get the barricades back in place. Dean had used up the last of the ammo and had ended up repelling the hoard with a crowbar.
That isn't completely true, Dean reminded himself, thinking of the two bullets Sammy didn't know about, hidden in his sock at the bottom of his bag. Dean has been his usual pessimistically cautious self when he had put them there. He was just being prepared. Only now, when there were no more places to retreat to, he was actually thinking about finally using them.
Wasn't this how all zombie movies ended?
Sam was sleeping in the corner, curled up in a little girl's pink blanket. He use to get up to help make supper and eat but when the food ran out, he'd retreated to the makeshift bed and spent most of the day sleeping, only getting up to piss. Sometimes, Dean worried to Sam wasn't doing even that anymore though it was hard to tell. Dean had gotten use to the smell of unwashed bodies in an enclosed space and wasn't sure he'd notice the smell a urine anymore.
Sam seemed to know the end was near. He was winding himself down, detaching himself from the world, so that when the time came, when he was forced out of the living world, it would feel less like a rip and more like a gentle tug.
At first, Dean had tried to pull him back, with talk and jokes and quips, but Sam stopped listening, stopped replying and Dean just stopped trying.
Dean found the bullets exactly where he had left them, right next to the gun they would be used in. Dad would be horrified that his son was even considering this and Dean took comfort in the fact that his Dad was no not here to see what a coward his son had become.
But you left me no choice, Dean thought, opening his bag and pulling out the sock, You said you could fix it but you haven't fixed anything. You said run but we can't run anymore. You said protect Sam and I'm doing the best I can.
Dean sat down on the floor, his back against the wall, and began to load the gun.
I could do him in now, Dean realized with an odd mixture of acceptance and horror, while he sleeps. He'd never know the difference.
However, Dean's early morning movements have not only woken Sam but piped his interest and he sat up. Curiosity has pulled him out of his self-imposed exile.
"I thought we didn't have any bullets left." Sam stated, watching his brother load the revolver.
"I saved two." Dean replied and waited as realization dawned on Sam's nutrition deprived brain. After a moment of silent contemplation, Sam crawled out from under his blanket and sat next to his brother.
It hurt Dean to see his brother like this. It was obvious Sam had lost weight. Like most teenagers, Sam was a bottomless pit. He needed food to grow and thrive and the few extra spoonfuls of baked beans Dean gave Sam from his own rations were never enough to satisfy Sam's needs.
Maybe that was why Sam had taken to sleeping all the time; he just didn't have the energy. Even now, as they watched the door and listened to the scratching of the undead, Sam leaned against his older brother's shoulder and dozed off.
The day passed, from dark to light to dark again. These last hours together, the brothers said nothing. There was nothing left to say. They had every fight, every conversation and every laugh a pair of brothers could have. They didn't need to say the all important "I love you" because you didn't need to repeat what you already knew in the Winchester family.
They waited and listened.
"Sounds like they're just outside the door." Dean said, estimating that it would only be an hour or so before their continuous pounding finally brought down the door. Then it would only be the desk and chest of drawers.
The crowbar lay on the floor but neither brother made a move towards it.
"We could just let them in." Sam said.
"Do you really want to do that?"
"No… I don't want to be eaten."
Dean fingered the gun in his lap. "You want me to do it now?"
It wasn't until Sam said that one simple word that Dean realized he'd been waiting for his little brother's decision. If Sam wanted the quick way out, he would have given it to him. And if Sam wanted to go down fighting, they'd go down fighting.
"I'll do it myself." Sam said, holding out his hand.
Dean looked at his brother warily. Sam scowled back.
"I can shoot a gun, Dean."
Dean couldn't help but smirk, Well, Dad, all that time teaching him not to shoot his own foot and this was how it was going to end.
Dean held out the gun and Sam took it. His hands were shaking so badly that he had to use both to steady the weapon. For a moment, Sam looked down at his hands, seemingly unsure. Having never committed suicide before, he had to be unsure how to go about this. Temple or mouth? Finally, he placed the muzzle in his mouth, using his lower lip to rest the weapon.
Out of the corner of his eye, he glanced at Dean for reassurance that he was doing this right. And though Dean was unusually expressionless, he didn't outright dispute anything that Sam was doing. Sam closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths.
The gun shot was loud in the confined space, loud enough to momentarily drown out the noises of the surrounding undead.
Sam lay crumpled against the wall. He spasmed twice, enough to prompt Dean to pull the gun out of his brother's hand. However, by the time he'd picked up the gun and aimed, Sam was already dead and didn't need another bullet. Just like that Dean's baby brother was dead. A sixteen year old boy lay dead on the floor from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and the world didn't even blink.
Dean grips the gun tightly in his hand. There was nothing stopping him now. The undead continued their assault on the door, their constant thumping reminding Dean that he was on a timeline here, with a deadline that was fast approaching.
But he found himself reluctant, realizing with horror that he wasn't sure that he could do this.
I'm such a coward, Dean thought getting to his feet, but I don't want to die. There were so many pretty girls to kiss and open highways left to drive.
Dean had wanted to do down fighting, taking as many of those bastards as he could done with him, He wanted to be torn from end to end, consumed alive. He wanted his last words to be a scream of pain and rage and terror.
Procrastinating, Dean walked over to Sam bedroll and began to neaten it up. He was shaking out the pink blanket, thinking that maybe he should lay it over Sam, when Sam's wallet fell out. And Dean, as if he had all the time in the world, picked it up and began to flip through it to see what was inside: A couple dollar bills (worth no more than the paper they were made out of), a bank card (worthless now), some discount cards (worthless even before zombies had taken over the world), and Sam's learner's permit. Sam got it on his sixteenth birthday and had been pretty proud of it. Dean didn't know why. The picture was awful and it really didn't mean anything. Sam had been driving, and driving well, since he was eleven. He'd been taught by the best, after all, and by the best, Dean meant their father.
Suddenly, Dean felt an urgency to get this over with, as his obviously not defunct imagination was considering that Dad was not dead after all but would show up, jumping in to save the day like he had so many times before, only to find his youngest dead. And Dean really didn't want to be here, if that happened.
I am a coward, Dean thought with certainty. Either way, I'm a coward.
Dean raised the gun to his head, keeping his eyes open and focused on the door.
The last thing he heard was the thumping of dead palms against wood.
Then he heard nothing at all.