SPRINGGIELD, ILLINOIS

12

They managed to find an abandoned Honda Civic Hatchback in the garage of a raided house, stowed away under a sheet. There was an almost full tank, and oil cans laying around the dusty shelves. It took a fill, and then Rachel was in the drivers seat because her feet were the least tired. They've made it North to Illinois, back on track toward Ohio, and so far all they've come across are dead bodies. The ipod's are dead, and Rachel is pretty sure that the Sirius radio station is probably down by now anyway. There are a few guns in the hatch, they found a couple of those too in a few of the emptied homes – Missouri apparently having more lax personal gun laws. One of them is a Remington Rifle, the other is a Shotgun – there's ammo under one of the cramped seats. As darkness descends, they find themselves outside of an abandoned nightclub. The doors opened, some of the windows smashed in, and it's Rachel's idea that perhaps they could all find something of use inside…more food, and water. Santana is the first to disagree, she snatches the wheel out of Rachel's small hands from the backseat, the car swerving across the deserted road.

"Santana! You'll kill us!"

"That's where we're fucking headed anyway if we stop and go into every fucking building that looks somewhat approachable. People are infected, Rachel."

"We can't take risks like that." This time Quinn is looking over with a sad frown on her face, her shoulders shrugging. Rachel bites her lip sharply, squaring her shoulders with narrowed eyes.

"We have no food! What we've rationed will only get us through tomorrow night at best." She argues, her gaze lingering towards Santana in the rearview mirror who's sneaking peanuts and walnuts into her mouth hungrily.

"And if Santana keeps eating all of our protein, we'll be dead of malnourishment even before the zombie- whatevers get us first.'" Quinn has the decency too look back with a scowl, and Rachel is grateful that maybe she has an in, because really – they won't make it on Twinkies and Candy Bars, and Cereal Boxes. They need real food, most perishable goods already unavailable or rotted whenever they're found. The meat is a no go, unless hunted – and that leaves Rachel with a supply of canned beans and peas, dehydrated fruits and powdered milk. Being a vegan in a time like this is not the most economical thing for her survival…it's a thing that isn't spoken – Rachel's betrayal, she won't let them know that she spent all night violently throwing up after drinking Carnation mixed with an iodized water solution from Santana's canteen. But sacrifices must be made.

Sacrifice.

And if that means that they're going into an abandoned nightclub for goods. Than so be it.

"We're going."

"Who died and made you Queen of this small infantry?" Santna rebuts, but she has no fire, because Rachel's already turned the small Honda around and into the parking lot.

"Grab the guns."

13

It's eerily quiet in the post apocalyptic world Quinn thinks – and this truth alone is enough to set her off – because she's worked so hard for the sound, only to see it striped away. There's a shotgun holstered over her shoulder, they managed to find a gun shop and rifle range somewhere in –between Missouri and Illinois, and made us of all of the holsters and casings. Her hair falls down and into her eyes, which are already stinging from her perspiration. The air is stale, and rank with something that Quinn can't quite place. She still has on her ripped oil stained jeans, and light hoodie. It stands out in the darkness, whatever moonlight that streams in from the windows reflecting off of the soft material.

"Quinn, you're glowing. You're too easily visible!" Santana fumes into the darkness as they weave through turned over tabletops and stools. The bar has been completely obliterated, and alcohol pools and sticks at their feet. They're all too goddamn visible really. Rachel with reflective Nike's and Santana with a v-neck and shorts. At least Quinn and Santana have on boots, but really – the pieces of their meager wardrobes that they were able to save, are not apocalypse worthy and Quinn sort of feels like a sitting duck.

"There's nothing here, short stuff." Rachel is in the back, a pout on her face. Quinn knows that she feels bad that she's made you all follow her for nothing.

"Sorry, I really thou –" But before those words can be spoken in their entirety, Rachel's eyes widen as she focuses on a focal point just behind Quinn's shoulder and to Santana's immediate right. Quinn stands transfixed as she watches Rachel run for her waist, small hands grabbing and yanking at the shotgun hanging around her shoulder, unlocking the safety before pulling it down and aiming. There's a blast of a round, the cartridge flying, smoking through the air…and Quinn just manages to jump away and spin around in order to see the falling form of an infected woman bleeding out along the tile.

"Out, out, out!" Santana yells, and before the door can swing, they're in the Honda Civic, speeding away to hide somewhere in the darkness.

14

"We need a new wardrobe, something less conspicuous. We look like college students on the run…we need to blend in. We need clothes that will allow us the comfort we need in order to really do this."

"So you're saying we need to raid the closest Super Wal-Mart." Santana mumbles.

"Yea, I guess."

15

"I didn't think I'd ever see the day again, Fabray…but Pink works for you." Santana runs a ripped t-shirt over Quinn's newly died tresses, drying out the ends as they all sit huddled together around a campfire in an old campsite. The rocks at the bottom of the water spigot they found have all been stained Luscious Pink, along with Santana's hands – but the darker haired girl doesn't particularly mind as she stares down at her handiwork. Quinn sits on the dirt in a bra and black dirtied jeans, a smirk on her face.

"I guess I've sorta missed it." Quinn smiles, as she runs her fingers through her damp hair, pulling down long strands of her bangs to observe the dye.

"I don't – you smelled like shit when you were a Skank." Quinn tweaks her lips as Santana runs a few of her fingers through the damp hair – formerly golden.

"You look like a pink shaggy dog."

"Screw you too."

"Sorry, I don't do Punk wannabees."

And suddenly there are close footsteps approaching and Rachel Berry appears from around the corner of a few trees, soaking wet hair falling around her face as she wipes her eyes.

"Can I borrow that t-shirt?" She asks, and Santana hands it over, a grimace on her face. "It's covered in pink hair dye, you sure?"

"Yea, just give it here." And Rachel rings out her hair over her shoulder in one motion before grabbing for the damp cotton and running it through her locks. The sun is falling, and the change in the girl's hair can't be seen through the dampness. But when she pulls the t-shirt away, it's infused with blue dye to go along with the pink.

"Wha –" Santana mumbles, and then Rachel's smiling despite the smudges of dye that have stuck to her hands.

"I think blue was a good choice, don't you?"

15

They're a motley crüe of sorts if Quinn squints her eyes just the right way. Looking through abandoned car windows and broken storefront glass at the reflections that mirror back at her as they pass…and only a few weeks ago, she would never have even recognized herself. Let alone Rachel. Their heavy boots crunch in the broken glass strewn across the street, black heavy men's jeans hang loosely over her hips, and Quinn tucks a blade securely back onto her holster, the cut off black t-shirt and shirtless vest billowing out behind the slenderness of her torso.

Also her hair is brilliant.

Bright like a sunset that she remembers when times weren't so perilous.

16

Pink: n. Any of a group of colors with a reddish hue that are of low to moderate saturation and can usually reflect or transmit a large amount of light; a pale reddish tint.

17

Blue: n. the pure color of a clear sky; the primary color between green and violet in the visible spectrum, an effect of light with a wavelength between 450 and 500 nm.

18

Rachel can feel Quinn's fingers pulling at the ends of her purple-d highlights, twining them around her fingers. The palne-ness of her skin against the browned hue is shocking in dusk – she turns her head softly to the side, to glance at the sun, falling behind flatland and hills, tall abandoned buildings and clouds.

"I've liked you for a long time, Quinn. Even before the drama."

Quinn hums from behind her thoughtfully. She can almost hear the gears working soundlessly beneath that pink head as they lay in silence atop their packs, on the roof of an old dry cleaning building. The blonde leans forward, and Rachel can hear the sound of her breaths as she whispers close-by, at the rim of her ear.

"I've loved you longer."

And then Rachel swivels, watching those pale hands fall away from lavender, small deep smile toying at her lips as her eyes sparkle. They haven't sparkled like this in quite a long time…too long, too long.