Title: A Hopeless Place
Rating: M for violence, swearing, and sex.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Characters in this story or the song that it is based on. I wish I did. I would totally be richer.
A/N: Yah this totally just came to me out of nowhere. Hope ya'll like it.
A/N 2: This was graciously beta'd by the lovely Sayuri-B. And thank the gods for that because you all know how bad my grammar errors can get at times. I blame it on all the feels racing through my veins at any given moment.
January 24th 2013
Nine Months After Z-Day
135 Miles South of the Canadian Border.
Considering how fucked up Quinn's entire life had been thus far, she figured it made sense that the day she finally got the metaphorical balls to tell Rachel how she felt the world ended.
Well not so much ended per say. I mean the sun still rose and set, the earth kept spinning, and she was fairly certain somewhere birds were still chirping. But when the dead rise up to feast on the flesh of the living…well that's pretty damn close to the end in her book.
She decided it was karmic retribution or something of that breed. I mean she spent a good three years trying to make everyone around her as miserable as she was, so of course when the opportunity for happiness came along for her, something had to majorly fuck it up.
She was finally ready though, the fears and the pride and the hopelessness were gone. She didn't have time for that shit anymore. Rachel was going to marry Finn Fucking Hudson. So no, she didn't have time to worry about what her mom would say, or about what their peers would think. She was so sick and tired of being sick and tired that she just couldn't handle it anymore.
She wanted to be honest for once in her life. She wanted to do something that would actually make her happy. She wanted Rachel Berry.
Of course things don't always turn out like you want them to.
April 24th 2012
McKinley High Choir Room
Quinn took a deep calming breath as she ran, mentally pumping herself up one last time. She had left a message on Rachel's locker to meet her in here at lunch and she knew that the girl would show in less than a minute.
Rachel was nothing if not prompt and polite. It was one of the many things that Quinn loved about her.
God…love. That word had been a thorn in Quinn's side for so damn long she could still feel the pain of it.
The pain of having her father's love torn away from her for one stupid mistake.
The pain of not being there to feel her daughter's love everyday. Beth. Her perfect little thing.
The pain of knowing the love she got from her boyfriends was conditional on what she could do for them and what she would allow them to do with her.
And most of all the pain of loving Rachel Berry for so long it had festered in her heart like the broken tip of a knife.
She hadn't always known that's what it was. The pain in relation to Rachel. For the longest time she had denied it in every way, shape, and form. She had always written it off the erratic heartbeat and sweaty palms she suffered from every moment she was around the petite brunette as hate. Hate that is all it is. She had told herself constantly till she believed it. Pure hatred. She knew hatred. She was comfortable with it.
God knows she hated herself.
But Rachel didn't. Rachel had been a constant in her life for three years. Never wavering from her spot. A lighthouse in the distance calling her safe to harbor. Quinn had thrown every bit of fury she had at the girl but the girl had come back each time, strong, and offering her the same thing every time. Friendship. Camaraderie. Love.
The realization that she loved the little diva came at her in a very Rachel Berry like fashion; powerful and absolute. And like Rachel, once it started there was no stopping it. She passed it off to the old saying. The heart wants what the heart wants. Who the hell was she to stand in its way?
It was actually quite freeing. Quinn Fabray had spent her entire life trying not to feel anything. Whether she was a porky little girl or the head cheerio she had kept her heart locked up in a cage surrounded by a moat; because if you don't let yourself feel anything then you can't get hurt.
But that was the old Quinn. The new one standing in the middle of the choir room on her lunch break was ready to fight. Her love for Rachel, her acceptance of that love, it made her feel powerful; more powerful than she had ever felt, and she was going to keep that feeling.
Inside her head she was as brave as William Wallace, preparing her troops for battle. Inside her heart she was as wise as Albus Dumbledore, reminding herself that love conquered everything. And inside of her body she was as strong as Frodo Baggins, ready to climb a mountain without fear of what lay on the other side.
She was pulled from the mini nerdy epic dramas going on in her head when she heard a throat clearing and looked over to see Rachel looking at her rather peculiarly.
"Hey Rachel," she said blushing bright red as she rubbed the back of her neck.
"Hello Quinn," Rachel said smirking slightly at the blonde and tilting her head to the side. "And hello William, Albus, and I believe it was Frodo?"
Quinn sucked in a deep breath and shook her head at this. "I was talking aloud to myself wasn't I?" She asked grimacing slightly.
Rachel giggled at this and nodded softly. "It's okay. I promise to hold onto this little bit of gossip. People just can not find out that Quinn Fabray is a closeted nerd."
"No they can't," Quinn said narrowing her eyes at the shorter girl and smiling. "It would disrupt the very foundation of life at this school. It would be like finding out Kurt is straight or that you use auto-tune."
At this Rachel full on laughed, throwing her head back, and holding her stomach. Quinn couldn't help to smile at this. She loved it when Rachel sang; don't get her wrong, but this sound of pure unadulterated happiness that poured out of her. That was her favorite tune.
Wiping her eyes of run away tears Rachel shook her head and composed herself. "So Quinn how can I be of service to you on this fine lunch period?" She asked smiling fondly at the blonde.
Quinn's entire body gave a lurch and she had to steel herself from running away from this. Now or never she thought to herself before nodding almost imperceptivity. "I have something I need to tell you," Quinn said softly before gesturing for the brunette to sit down.
"Okay," Rachel said slowly, her eyebrows rising in confusion as she took her seat.
Quinn looked into chocolate eyes before taking a deep breath and starting. "We've been through a lot these last few years Rachel. You and I."
"I would have to agree," Rachel said slightly uncomfortably as she looked down at her hands.
"Rachel…I was horrible to you," Quinn said sadly.
"Why were you Quinn?" The petite brunette softly questioned.
"That's a hard question to answer," Quinn sighed setting down next to her. "My father… He's not a good man. He's very judgmental and cold, he always has been. He sees things as black and white and that is what I was taught to see as well."
"So my fathers then?" Rachel asked her voice gentle with understanding.
"I was taught to hate you before I even met you," the blonde said shaking her head and looking down at her hands in shame. "But then once I did meet you. I mean really meet you, here in this room. God it was so hard for me," she said looking around the room that had become a safe haven for her.
"Why was it so hard?" Rachel asked placing a hand on Quinn's clenched fists.
"It was hard because that's all I knew. I never questioned my Dad on anything; certainly not the notion that everything wasn't black and white, that there were shades of gray out there. I wanted to fight it. I didn't want anything to change. But it did the night he kicked me out," Quinn said looking up and meeting Rachel's eyes. "And it changed when you came up to me in the hallway despite everything and offered me friendship."
"You looked like you needed a friend," Rachel said softly before reaching over and brushing a strand of blonde hair out of Quinn's eyes.
"I did. But I couldn't take it then. I was just so…so messed up. I feel like I've spent all of my life messed up," Quinn said shaking her head. "But you kept coming back to me. You kept trying. And I just…I want to… No, I need to thank you for that."
"Oh Quinn," Rachel said shaking her head and smiling gently. "You don't have to thank me for that. I knew one day we would be friends."
"There's more," Quinn said before standing up from her chair and pacing in front of the brunette.
"Whatever it is you can tell me Quinn," Rachel said reaching out and taking one of the blonde's hands to give it a squeeze.
"Okay," Quinn said taking a deep soothing breath before looking straight into Rachel's eyes. "Rachel I just can't be friends with you."
Rachel dropped her hand instantly and sat back in her chair. Her chocolate eyes swam with confused tears and she shook her head as she looked up at the blonde. "You…you can't be friends with me?" She asked, her voice sounding completely broken.
"No, I can't," Quinn said shaking her head before kneeling down in front of the singer. "I can't just be friends with you when I want so much more…when I need so much more."
Rachel's face turned from a mask of confusion to a slightly obvious angry one and Quinn carefully shifted back on her knees. "What are you trying to say Quinn?" Rachel asked, her voice shaking.
"Rachel…what I'm trying to say is I love you," Quinn said softly, her hazel eyes trained on suddenly fiery chocolate ones.
Of all the reactions she had been expecting this was not it. She had expected to be let down gently, and a small part of her had hoped for some small miracle in the form of Rachel jumping into her arms. But neither of those things were happening. Instead Rachel's face had turned to a stony glare that would make Santana flinch.
Slowly the two girls stood up, their eyes matched for a second before Rachel's right palm collided with Quinn's left cheek in a deafening slap. "How dare you Quinn Fabray," the petite girl snapped even as tears rolled down her cheeks.
"Rachel please," Quinn said holding her cheek as she started to cry.
"Don't please me!" Rachel shouted her voice now thick with emotion as she shoved a finger in the blonde's face. "How dare you sit here and sell me a load of crap about all we've been through together and then try to pull this."
"Rachel please let me explain," Quinn begged reaching out for the brunette's shoulder.
"Don't touch me Quinn!" Rachel shouted through her tears.
And then it happened. Just as Quinn was about to drop to her hands and knees and beg for all the mercy under the sun it happened. A single scream rang out through the school. And then another one. And then a volley of them until it felt like the whole world was filled with screaming.
And it was.
January 24th 2013
Nine Months After Z-Day
80 Miles South of the Canadian Border
After that day there wasn't time to talk it out. Time to make Rachel understand. It was just running and surviving.
The Glee kids managed to find each other in the chaos of the end of the world and stick together for the most part. There were some losses.
Some were sudden and they left a slow burning sadness in their hearts. Mr. Schue who had gone down trying to save Rory. Rory who had gone down trying to save Mr. Schue.
Some had left with a quiet dignity when they realized that they wouldn't be able to survive in this new world. Ms. Pillsbury. Artie.
And others. Others they would never know what had happened. Sugar. Coach Sylvester. Coach Beiste. Their parents. Beth. They were always the "what ifs". What if they got away? What if they're waiting for us somewhere?
So they ran together. But just because civilization was collapsing around her, and just because she was fighting for her life, did not mean in any way that Quinn's feelings for Rachel were out of mind.
They stayed where they had been for three years. Safe in her heart, pushing her forwards each day. Before they had served to weaken her, but now they made her stronger. Now they inspired her to wake up every morning.
They never talked about that day in the choir room. There wasn't any time for awkwardness about it. Quinn figured the matter was as good as closed anyway when they had found Finn and Rachel had practically tried to meld their bodies together. It was obvious that the thought of Quinn having feelings for her infuriated Rachel. The slap had spoken volumes. Quinn couldn't blame her though. Of course the girl would be disgusted by it after Quinn had tortured her for so long.
Quinn faced the fact that she had to respect that. She had to respect that Rachel loved Finn. She didn't like it, but right now was not the time for dramatic love stories. This was the part where the hero fought the evils of the world. But even still, she did it for Rachel.
She kept an eye on Finn because he was Rachel's protector. And she knew that the boy, whilst usually good meaning, was not the most reliable. A fact that was proved just one month after the world ended.
May 24th 2012
One Month After Z-Day
Quinn quietly watched the fire as her friends shuffled around preparing themselves. It had been four weeks since they had holed up in this mall. Three weeks since a helicopter had dropped them a menagerie of weapons and food. Two weeks since a breach downstairs had left them no choice but to live on the roof. And one week since they had realized that they couldn't stay here, due to the fact that they had enough food to last maybe another two weeks, if they were lucky.
Human beings were odd she figured; what seemed like a lifetime ago she had been the leader of their little world, and now in this world she found herself in the same position.
They looked to her for direction; had since the first day when they had torn out of the school and headed to this place. She figured it wouldn't do any good to tell them that the only reason she was so damned and determined to keep them safe was because Rachel was with them.
Of course that wasn't the only reason, but it was what kept her going.
The only exception to their loyalty was Finn. Quinn found it laughable that even in complete and utter chaos the boy just couldn't stand to not be the center of attention. He had tried several times to be the leader and each time he had been shot down by the group. Sure it had never been an open argument but it was what it was.
And Quinn let it be, because every time she looked at Finn she saw Rachel clinging to his side like he was the only thing keeping her from drowning.
So she did what Quinn Fabray did best. She put on her bitch face and kept the ship from sinking.
Currently sitting a few feet away from her Santana and Puck were in the process of making malotovs cocktails. Quinn knew that going back into the mall would be a suicide mission. The entire place was crawling with zombies. They had barely made it to the roof with all of their supplies as it was.
No instead the plan was toss the cocktails over the side of the building and thin out the herd standing below. Hopefully then they would have a fighting chance of making it to their cars using a service ladder and getting the hell out of here alive.
Everyone had backed up her plan and was currently preparing to make a break for it. Everyone but Finn. He was convinced that they should stay on the roof and wait for help to come. Despite the fact that the pilot in the helicopter had been the last living thing they had seen. Despite the fact that the radio airways had gone dead two weeks ago. Despite the fact that they would starve up here.
Finn said he was the only one being smart. But Quinn knew better. She knew what that slightly constipated look on his face meant. He was scared. And that was too bad because she would shoot him before he got Rachel or any of them killed.
She was brought out of her musings by a presence and she wasn't surprised when she looked up and saw Finn staring down at her. "What is it?" Quinn sighed, standing up and looking in the boy's eyes as everyone stopped what they were doing.
Santana and Puck who were making malotovs.
Blaine and Kurt who were going through their weapons.
Tina and Mike who were pouring over maps.
Brittany and Rachel who were organizing their medical supplies.
And Sam and Mercedes who were organizing their limited food stock.
"We're not doing this tomorrow," Finn said sternly, her face taking on his gassy infant look.
Sucking in a deep breath Quinn closed her eyes for a second before narrowing them at the boy. "Yes we are Finn. We have talked about it enough. We can not stay up here."
"No," Finn barked defensively. "You have talked about it and bullied everyone into following your orders. This isn't high school Quinn! You're not in charge!" He punctuated the last line with a poke to the chest and Quinn saw red for a second before she saw Rachel's frightened brown eyes in her peripheral vision. She had to try and remain calm.
"Finn we are going tomorrow. Everyone but you has agreed that we can not stay up here any longer," Quinn said gritting her teeth angrily as she felt Santana move to stand beside her.
"Quinn is what is fucking keeping us alive Finnoscence so back off," the Latina said clenching the bottle in her hand.
"Oh fuck you Santana," Finn growled rolling his eyes. "Of course you're going to back her up."
"Yah because she's fucking right," Santana snapped angrily.
"No because you're her little bitch," Finn snapped. "You and your stupid girlfriend have and will always be Quinn's bitches."
"Fucking take that back!" Santana shouted grabbing a hold of the boy's collar and jerking him forwards. "You can say what you fucking want about me but you do not talk about my girlfriend like that!"
"Get your hands off of me!" Finn shouted furiously trying to rip the Latina off of him.
"Fucking take it back!" Santana shouted as the group finally realized what was happening and all moved to stop Finn's now eminent slaughter.
It all happened so quick that no one could stop it. The temper that had shown up when Finn got into the fight with Puck and the temper that had kicked a dozen chairs across McKinley roared its ugly head.
In his anger Finn reached back and pushed Santana with all of his might. The slender Latina hit the ground and her hand that had been clenching a Molotov cocktail went straight into the fire, shattering the bottle, and sending flames ripping up her arms like mini bursts of napalm.
The Latina let out an almost inhuman wail as the fire ran up left arm like a speeding bullet. Her body twisted in agony as she rolled on the ground screaming from the pain of having the upper half of her body engulfed in flames.
Finn stumbled back, his eyes wide with horror as Brittany practically flew through the air to throw her body onto Santana's to put out the flames. The scene was chaos as everyone rushed around trying to make sense of the disaster.
The blood in Quinn's body pumped red hot as she ran to grab the hose next to the door and forcing her self not to puke at the smell of her best friends burning flesh Quinn threw the water onto full blast and sprayed it directly onto the girl. Steam rose up from Santana's blistered flesh and the girl gave one last wail before going limp in her girlfriend's arms.
"Oh god San," Brittany wailed, her face scrunched up in horror as she pulled the Latina to her chest and cradled her there.
The only sound on the roof top after that were Brittany's cries and the heavy breathing of everyone standing in complete shock. Fury clouded Quinn's mind and she turned on the spot to see Finn staring down at Santana and Brittany in horror.
"You," she growled flinging the hose to the side before taking three long steps and slapping him across the face so hard he fell down to the ground with a like a rock.
"I-I'm sorry," he stammered uselessly, his eyes wide and remorseful.
"Save your fucking sorry Hudson!" Quinn shouted angrily. "Goddamnit you want to be a leader but how can anyone except you to lead them when you can't even fucking control yourself!"
"I said I was sorry!" He cried out stumbling to his feet.
"Sorry isn't good enough!" Quinn roared. "I swear to fucking God Finn you are the most selfish idiot on the entire planet."
"Hey back off! It was an accident!" Finn shouted trying to furiously wipe his eyes.
"You make me sick," Quinn growled shaking her head. To the side she could see Rachel watching him, her face scrunched up in horror and fear. Turning back to Finn she brought her self up to her full height and leveled him with her most affective glare. "From this moment on I am going to be watching you like a hawk. If you fuck up one more time. If Ra- if one person gets hurt because of you we will leave you behind. Do you understand me?"
If Finn had noticed her almost slip of tongue he didn't show it. But Rachel did. Quinn heard a soft gasp from the girl and she looked out at her at the corner of her eye to see the girl looking at her with a mask of confusion. Taking a deep breath she turned back to Finn. "Do you understand me?"
Finn swallowed deeply and nodded, his eyes bright red from crying. "I understand," he mumbled looking down at the ground when Brittany let out a loud sob from behind them.
"Good. Don't forget it," she growled, looking one last time at Rachel who still looked at her in shock before turning back to her friends.
January 24th 2013
Nine Months After Z-Day
50 Miles South of the Canadian Border
Santana lived. But the damage that the fire caused was ghastly. The fire no matter how short had burned so hot that almost her entire left arm, the left side of her neck, and the left side of her face were a mass of tight scars that would never leave her. Her left eye had also been damaged and the girl was forced to wear an eye patch to protect it during the day from the harsh sunlight.
Quinn admired Santana greatly. Of that there was no question. The girl had bounced back from the brink of death, had fought through horrible pain, all because she had promised her girlfriend when they were five years old she would always be there to protect her.
Where others would have been changed horribly by that event Santana was stronger because of it. She was fiercer and more determined then ever to go through with Quinn's plan of getting off the building. Even though her body still hurt immensely; even though she had lost part of her vision; she wasn't about to give up. In fact the first words out of her mouth when she woke up after telling her Brittany she loved her were "Lima Heights Adjacent for life bitch."
Unfortunately the fight hadn't changed Finn all that much. After years of fucking up and being forgiven for it he assumed that was going to happen again. This was not the case. Rarely anyone spoke directly to him unless it was absolutely necessary. Brittany's face snarled up in hatred at the mere sight of him and Santana downright refused to acknowledge his existence any more.
And caught up in the middle of this was Rachel. It was obvious the tiny diva was terrified. This was not the kind of world she was supposed to be in. She was supposed to be leaving for New York City to make her dreams come true, not sitting up with the group wondering where they would go when they got down from here.
But she clung to Finn. If only because he was the rock she needed then. She needed one thing to be the same in her life and Quinn understood that. But she wasn't lying when she said she was watching Finn. If Finn was to be Rachel's protector then Quinn was to be Finn's shadow.
Because of Finn they had been forced to stay on that roof for another three weeks until Santana was healed enough to move on her own. By that time their food was all gone. The malotovs had done their job in dispersing the mob of zombies, and it would have been enough if they hadn't all been so weak from hunger.
They had lost Mercedes and Sam and the rest of them had barely escaped with their lives.
After that it was a constant learning experience.
They learned that the best place to find medical supplies were in veterinary clinics as opposed to hospitals. Quinn theorized that it was something left over in the brains of the undead; an instinctual memory of their lives before hand that led them to places like malls and hospitals. Places were humans had been in large quantities before this had all started.
They learned that back roads were always ALWAYS safer then main roads.
They learned that if they were in an urban area the best place to set up for the night was in the low income housing areas. Those places had bars on the windows and doors. Those places also had more post apocalyptic friendly food sources.
Santana had been the one to explain that. Wealthier people could afford to buy fresh vegetables and fancy bottles of waters. Poor people on the other hand had to buy things in bulk that could last, like canned vegetables and meats, and gallon jugs of water.
Slowly the group made its way east and then eventually south, trying in all the disaster to find a place where they could be safe for more than a night. A place they could make a home. And hopefully a few more people to make it with.
Quinn watched over the group as their leader with a scarred but still terrifying Santana at her side.
The love she carried with her for Rachel kept her going. Every day became about her more than her own self. Where would they go so Rachel could be safe? What could she do to make sure Rachel was safe? The petite brunette seemed to have no idea that she was the woman behind the woman. The only one who knew was Santana. Of course she knew. Santana knew all. But she understood. Brittany was her reason for getting up every day.
She actually helped Quinn a lot. There would be nights when Quinn just wanted to cry her heart out when she watched Rachel bed down with Finn, and Santana was there to let her.
She was also the one to point out a flicker of hope to Quinn. Whilst Rachel still clung to Finn it was no secret that the couple fought almost constantly. Santana surmised that eventually Finn would fuck it up. They didn't know how right theory would turn out to be.
July 24th 2012
Three Months After Z-Day
San Antonio, Texas
Quinn nervously gripped her gun as she looked up at the faded Walmart sign. Normally the group stayed away from big outlet chains like this, but today was different. They were running low on just about every supply they could imagine right now. Batteries, ammo, clothing, medical supplies, the list went on and on and they knew they needed a big score this time.
To make matters worse the parking lot of this place was absolutely jam packed with broken down cars so they had had to park the vehicles they had acquired at the back of the lot. The only upside to that was the two hummers and truck were all three pointed directly at a clear access road.
"Okay," Quinn said tightening her grip on her gun and surveying the broken glass doors leading into complete darkness warily. "Santana and I are going to go in and check out the front first. We'll call out if it's clear."
"I'm coming with," Puck said slinging his AK-47 over his shoulder and staring into the darkness.
"No," Quinn and Santana said quickly, their eyes darting to Rachel and Brittany for a second before looking back at Puck. "You're the best shot out here," Quinn explained. "You need to keep guard out here."
Puck followed their line of sight and nodded. He understood.
"Alright," Quinn said quietly as they neared the front doors. "You know the routine. Keep silent until we call out that its okay."
"You got it boss," Puck said raising his gun and pointing into the darkness beyond the girls. Quinn fought the urge to put a bullet into Finn when she saw him roll his eyes at this and begin to shuffle in place.
"Let's do this Q," Santana said pulling off her eye patch and squinting against the bright sun as they carefully walked through the broken glass doors.
Slowly both girls raised their flashlights and swept them around, looking for any signs of a hoard. Quinn was about to suggest they go deeper when she heard something that made her blood freeze.
Turning slowly she looked at Santana and their faces mirrored each other's as they looked back out into the parking lot to see Finn staring in shock at a car whose alarm was echoing all around them. His gun and backpack lay on the hood.
"Oh fuck," the two former Cheerios said in unison as they heard a volley of snarls and groans ring out around them from the darkness.
Turning on their heels both girls shot for the doors. "Run!" Quinn screamed her eyes wide with panic as she heard the unmistakable sound of a hoard moving behind them.
Everyone shot towards the vehicles screaming as they made their ways through the maze of broken down vehicles. In all the pandemonium Quinn could hear Puck screeching at Finn and the boy bellowing apologies back.
All she could hear now was the wind whipping past her ears and the sound of the undead pouring out of the chain store. And then a sound that made Quinn stop so fast she nearly fell down.
Whipping her body around she heard it again, Rachel was crying out for help. Her eyes frantically searched the scene and she spotted the girl lying on the ground clutching a gaping wound on her leg from where a bent license plate had torn through her flesh.
In that moment it was as if nothing was happening but Rachel lying on the ground. The world wasn't ending. Over a hundred zombies weren't closing in on them. It was just Rachel laying on the ground clutching her leg and crying out for help.
Quinn's hazel eyes were wide with fear and she turned her head to see Finn looking at Rachel too; his eyes just as wide. And then time slowed down exponentially. She could see every tear fall down Rachel's cheek. She could see the blood ooze out of her leg. And she watched in horror as Finn's face became drowned in sorrow and he mouthed the words "I'm sorry" to his girlfriend, his fiancée, before turning on the spot and running away from her. Leaving her for dead.
Rachel's eyes widened and the girl looked like she had just been slapped across the face. Something inside of Quinn broke at this and time sped up again. Less than ten yards away from her wounded love the hoard of famished zombies was closing in and the girl could barely stand on her own.
Adrenaline surged through Quinn's body and before she even realized what she was doing she was pounding the pavement towards Rachel. Behind her she could just make out the sound of the two hummers tearing out of the parking lot and the sound of Santana screaming her name, but she didn't care. Rachel was her entire reason for living, she would rather run into the mouth of hell before she let her die.
When she reached Rachel who was lying on the ground in something of a crash position at this point, Quinn had just enough time to look up. The zombies were so close she could make out the nails still clinging to the dead flesh of their fingers.
Pulling the strength that Rachel gave her out of her heart the blonde reached down and hauled the girl into her arms, wrapping slender legs around her waist, before she began flying back through the maze.
Santana stood waiting for her next to the large truck, her gun raised as she shot wildly into the hoard. Brittany was leaning out the open window begging for Quinn to hurry up and for Santana to get back inside.
Using the last of her strength Quinn deposited Rachel into Santana's arms before clambering into the truck and then pulling Rachel up with her. Santana slammed the door after her and quickly jumped into the passenger's seat as Brittany slammed on the gas the truck lurched out of the over ran lot.
"Where'd the others go?" Quinn yelled as she pried a shocked Rachel off of her body and quickly began wrapping her leg in bandages from her medical kit.
"I don't know!" Brittany screamed fish tailing onto the highway and narrowly avoiding colliding with a broken down car.
"What the fuck happened back there?" Santana shouted rolling down her window and leaning out to shoot some of the undead that had made it onto the road.
"Finn!" Brittany growled angrily as she shifted gears and blew through a herd of walkers. "We were all watching the door and then the alarm went off. He just threw his gun and pack onto a car."
"What a fucking idiot," Santana growled as she began wrapping a bandana around her head to protect her sensitive eye. "Is she alright?" The Latina asked looking into the back seat.
"The wound isn't too deep," Quinn murmured, her breath returning to normal as she finished taping it up and looked at the shaken brunette. "Rachel, are you okay?"
Watery brown eyes looked up at her for a second before the tiny girl clambered into the blonde's lap and clung to her tightly. "Hey its okay, it's going to be okay," Quinn whispered holding the girl tightly in her arms. "We're safe now. I'm not going to let anything hurt you."
"Where should we go?" Brittany asked glancing in the rear view mirror at the two girls for a second.
"We need to find a place to sleep for the night," Quinn murmured as Rachel trembled in her arms.
Santana nodded once and then pulled out their map. "We should head to the South Side. I had cousins who lived there. There are bars on everything."
"Okay," Quinn murmured letting her head fall forwards and rest on Rachel's. "We'll sleep for the night and see if we can find the others tomorrow."
"Quinn," Santana said turning back to the blonde and nodding towards Rachel curiously.
"Later," Quinn mouthed back shaking her head and holding the seemingly cationic brunette tighter in her arms.
At this Santana nodded and turned back to her maps. "All right baby we need to stay on this road, I-10 until we see the exit for Loop 4-10."
Thirty minutes later the girls were cruising through a rundown neighborhood covered in graffiti and shady homes. The ride had mostly been silent with the exception of Santana giving directions to her girlfriend and Quinn occasionally cooing in Rachel's ear. The girl had been silent the whole time and there were a few times Quinn had thought she might be asleep. Each time she had glanced down at the girl to see her staring at her with shocked reddened eyes and an unreadable expression.
"How about that one Q?" Santana asked as they stopped in front of a one-story house with burned downed lots on either side.
Shifting so she could get a better view Quinn surveyed the house quietly. It did indeed have bars on all the windows and more importantly there was an attached garage. The only thing that worried Quinn was the closed front door. "Let's go check it out. Make sure to grab the lock kit," she murmured attempting to shift Rachel off of her lap only to hear the girl let out a whimper in protest.
"I'll hold her Quinn," Brittany whispered opening up her arms.
Quinn nodded to Brittany before looking down at Rachel. "It's going to be okay. Brittany will protect you."
"Come on Rachie," Brittany cooed softly, her blue eyes sad. Rachel seemed to hesitate for a moment before squeezing Quinn tightly and then slowly crawling over the seats into Brittany's waiting arms.
"Alright S, let's do this," Quinn mumbled grabbing her gun out of the floor board before cautiously slipping out of the truck. Next to her Santana clutched her own gun and a lock picking kit.
"You think someone might already be holed up here?" Santana asked warily as the two girls crossed the lawn, their eyes scanning the building.
"I'm not sure," Quinn murmured.
It was a genuine concern. They had encountered few people on their travels so far and all of the encounters had not been pleasant. There had been a few tense moments with other bands of travelers here and there, but those had all ended with them peacefully going their separate ways.
The real problem had been the few times they had attempted to hole up for the night only to find the house they wanted was already inhabited. Some people. People who were alone when Z-Day went down had opted out of traveling like their group did. These people had holed up in their homes, barring the doors and attempting to wait out the end of the world. They did not like someone trying to wait it out with them. There was a bullet wound on Quinn's shoulder and Puck's leg that could attest to that.
When they reached the door Santana kneeled down in front of it and swiftly began to pick the lock as Quinn waited behind her, gun trained on the door. In the truck Brittany held Rachel tightly but watched the scene carefully, one hand resting on her pistol.
"Got it," Santana murmured standing up and pointing her shotgun at the door.
"Okay on the count of three," Quinn whispered. "One, two, three." When she reached three the blond swiftly turned the knob and flung open the door, her eyes quickly scanning the dark room.
"Lights," Santana whispered reaching up and pushing up the bandana covering her eye as Quinn flipped on the lights attached to their guns.
Cautiously the two girls walked into the house, their eyes scanning the room for any signs of life. Directly ahead of them lay a kitchen and to their right a door leading to what Quinn suspected was the garage; to their left a dark hallway.
Motioning with her hands Quinn pointed to the hallway and the girls slowly began making their ways down it, carefully peeking their guns first into the open doorways of a bedroom and a bathroom.
At the end was a closed door and Quinn motioned for the Latina to watch her back as she slowly turned the knob and eased the door open. The room was pitch black and Quinn slowly stepped into it, her light casting a pins eye view over the room.
Movement out of the corner of her eye startled her and the happenings of the day caught up to her suddenly. Feeling scared and out of control she swung her gun to the side and began to blindly fire rounds.
The sound of glass shattering erupted around her and Quinn was half aware that she was shooting at her own reflection but she couldn't stop herself. She was exhausted emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Santana charged into the room to find tears rolling down the blonde's cheeks as she shot bullet after bullet into the now empty mirror. "Quinn stop!" Santana shouted grabbing the girl's shoulder and squeezing tightly.
As soon as she felt the pressure Quinn let out a roar of emotions and threw her gun away from her before sinking to the ground in a mess of tears. Quickly Santana unstrapped her gun and kneeled down next to the girl. "Quinn it's okay, it's okay," she murmured pulling the blonde to her chest and rocking her in place.
"I almost lost her San," Quinn cried burying her face in the right side of Santana's neck and crying out in frustration.
"But you didn't," Santana whispered soothingly. "She's safe. She's alive because of you Quinn."
"He just left her," Quinn growled, her emotions flipping from fear to anger. "He looked her right in the eyes and left her on the ground to die."
"And you saved her Q," Santana murmured slowly rocking the girl till the tenseness seeped out of her body. "You saved her."
"I couldn't leave her San. I would have died first," Quinn murmured, her eyes feeling heavy.
"I know Quinn. I understand," Santana whispered blinking away tears from her good eye and pulling them both off of the floor. "We're going to be okay."
Quinn sighed before reaching down for her gun and tossing the strap over her shoulder. "If I ever see Finn Hudson again he is a dead man," she said darkly as she dried her eyes on her t-shirt.
"I'll hold him for you," Santana said snarkily as the two girls made their way back into the living area. "This place looks dead," she said running her finger over the dusty kitchen table.
"Check the fridge?" Quinn asked smirking.
"Oh hell no," Santana growled holding out her hands expectantly.
They had learned what was in the fridge was a tell tale sign of if a place was inhabited. If they opened it and were hit instantly with the smell of rotted food it meant that no one had been in here in months. If it was empty of the perishables it meant that someone had likely been here to eat them and was probably still here. Checking the fridge was usually a job reserved for Finn.
"Fine," Quinn growled playfully before meeting Santana in a game of rock, paper, scissors.
"Ha sucks to be you," Santana gloated when she slammed her open palm down on Quinn's closed fist.
"Yah yuck it up," Quinn grumbled as Santana backed far away. Steeling her stomach the blonde pulled open the door and was instantly met with the putrid smell of rotted milk. "Oh god," she groaned closing the door quickly as she fought back nausea. "Definitely vacant."
"Thank god," Santana said smirking as the two made their way to the closed door leading to the garage.
Keeping their weapons in front of them they were met with thankfully a completely empty room and a manually opening garage door. Whoever had lived here before had most likely been at work when Z-Day went down. "Okay," Quinn said pulling up on the handle whilst Santana stood guard.
When the door was opened they quickly scanned the empty streets for any sign of life. Seeing none they quickly waved to the truck and Brittany waved back before carefully shifting Rachel into the passenger's seat and backing the truck into the garage.
As soon as the door closed and the truck went silent Brittany reached below her seat and pulled out a LED lantern, instantly casting a bright light over the garage. Quinn quickly shuffled to the passenger side door. The second she pulled on the handle Rachel was out of the truck wrapping her legs around Quinn's midsection and resting her head on her shoulder silently.
"Go on Quinn," Santana says as she handed a sleeping bag to Quinn.
"I'll be back to help with the stuff," Quinn murmurs nodding to the supplies in the back of the truck.
"No it's okay," Santana says jumping up into the truck bed and then helping Brittany up. "We got this. Go on and take the back bedroom. I'll bring ya'll some food in a bit." Quickly the Latina pulled out another lantern and powered it up before slipping it onto the gun strapped to Quinn's back.
Quinn hesitated for a moment before she felt Rachel shiver in her arms. "Okay," she nodded before turning and quickly making her way through the dark house. "I've got to put you down for a second," she whispered into the girl's ear.
Rachel didn't speak but she nodded and reluctantly stood up on her own and took the lantern from Quinn. Quickly Quinn threw the sleeping bag open onto the bed and unrolled it. At the bottom of it was a fitted sheet and a couple of mismatched pillow cases. Keeping on eye on a trembling Rachel the blonde quickly stripped the bed of the dusty covers and set it up for them.
Taking a deep breath she turned back to Rachel. The girl was holding herself tightly, her watery brown eyes locked onto Quinn's hazel ones. "Come here," Quinn murmured pulling the brunette gently forwards and pushing her down on the bed.
Quinn went to leave but surprisingly strong arms wrapped around her midsection and pulled her down onto the bed as the tears Rachel had been holding back burst forwards. "Hey its okay, it's okay, you're safe" Quinn cooed pulling the sobbing brunette against her chest tightly and running her fingers through tangled hair.
"He left me," Rachel sobbed her head shaking as she clung tightly to Quinn. "He looked at me and he left me!"
Quinn wanted to kill Finn Hudson right then. No, not kill, annihilate. And she wanted to tell Rachel that he was a fucking bastard who never deserved her in the first place and now she was better off. But she didn't. She didn't think Rachel wanted to hear that. Choking back bile the blonde clenched her teeth and buried her face in the girl's hair. "He was scared Rachel."
"No!" Rachel shouted angrily pushing away from Quinn's chest and looking at her with fiery eyes. "He fucking left me!"
"He was scared. He wasn't thinking," Quinn defended weakly, her head feeling light at being this close to Rachel for the first time in months.
"And you weren't!" Rachel shouted angrily. Quinn tried to look away from her but petite hands grabbed her face and forced her to look at her. "Tell me you weren't scared Quinn Fabray!"
The resolve to hold back her feelings broke suddenly at the determined look in Rachel's eyes and her voice cracked with emotion. "I was terrified," she said softly reaching a hand up and resting it on Rachel's cheek. "When I heard you cry out for help…I've never been more scared in my entire life."
"But you came back for me," Rachel whispered in slight awe, her voice trembling with emotion as she relaxed into Quinn's arms.
Taking a deep breath Quinn steeled her nerves. Now might not be the best time for it but her heart wasn't going to let her brain do any of the talking. "That's because I wasn't afraid of the hoard," she whispered closing her eyes and shaking her head. "I was afraid of losing you Rachel," she murmured opening her eyes to see confused brown ones staring into her soul. "I was afraid of-of waking up in a world without you tomorrow. I-I couldn't handle that. I didn't know if I was going to be able to get to you in time, but I knew that if I didn't I wasn't going back to the truck."
"Oh God," Rachel murmured, her eyes widening with shock as she leant away from Quinn.
"You're my heart Rachel Berry. Nothing has ever changed," Quinn whispered through her tears.
"Oh my God," Rachel said shaking her head as tears began pouring down her cheeks. "You love me don't you? You're in love with me?"
At this Quinn's eyebrows arched in confusion as she tried to calm her breathing. "Yes I do. I told you I was," she whispered shakily.
"Oh my God Quinn," Rachel whimpered before surging forwards and pulling her into her arms. "Oh God I'm so fucking sorry Quinn."
"Y-you don't have anything to be sorry about," Quinn said quickly, completely thrown by the apology.
"Quinn I yelled at you! Oh God that must have been terrible! All of this time. Oh God I slapped you!" Rachel said in horror shaking her head and clinging to the blonde.
"It's okay," the blonde said swiftly. "It was my fault. I was stupid to think that you could love me back like that after everything."
"Oh Quinn, oh no Quinn," Rachel said quickly pulling away from her and shaking her head. "I'm so sorry."
"Stop apologizing," Quinn said sitting up in the bed and shaking her head. "It's not your fault. You just reacted."
"And I reacted all wrong!" Rachel yelled sitting up in the bed and slamming her face into her hands. "I didn't let you explain yourself. After everything we'd been through I should have done that!"
"Rachel what are you talking about?" Quinn asked, completely confused at this point as she tried to rest a soothing hand on the girl's shoulder only to feel her shaking with tears.
"I thought it was a prank," Rachel sobbed looking up at her through teary eyes. "I thought you had-that you had found out. I should have believed you."
"Believed me? Found out what?" Quinn asked gently forcing the girl to look at her. "Rach what are you talking about?"
"That day in the choir room…God Quinn…I thought you had found out that I was…that I was in love with you and you were making fun of me! I thought you were-you were- God I should have listened to you." Rachel sobbed out flinging herself into the blonde's arms.
Suddenly the pieces locked into place and the blonde understood what the brunette was trying to say. She hadn't slapped her because she was disgusted by the ideal of Quinn loving her. She had slapped her because she thought Quinn was pulling another prank in a long line of them. A myriad of emotions poured through Quinn's body but she latched on to the smallest of them all. Hope.
"You loved me?" She asked weakly her voice shaky with disbelief.
"Love," Rachel murmured into the blonde's neck. "And then everything happened and you didn't say anything about it again. I thought you had given up on the joke in light of the circumstances."
"Oh Rachel," Quinn whispered shaking her head and wrapping her arms around the girl. "I love you. I've loved you since the first day I saw you. All of this. All of this hell we're living in. The only reason I kept going every day was because of you."
"Oh Quinn I'm so sorry," Rachel whimpered tilting her head and looking up at the blonde. "I'm so damn sorry."
"Stop," Quinn ordered gently taking the girls face between her hands. "Stop apologizing and please just tell me again. Please."
"Oh Quinn," Rachel murmured leaning their foreheads together. "I love you."
"Again," Quinn asked softly as she felt happiness flood through her body for what might have been the first time in her life.
"I love you, I love you, I love you," Rachel whispered. "I don't know how or when or why, but somewhere in all the fighting we did I fell for you."
"Oh God please tell me I'm not dreaming," Quinn whispered closing her eyes tightly.
"You're not," Rachel murmured.
"And Finn?" Quinn asked, her eyes snapping open and boring into Rachel's.
"I thought if I still had him at least one could be normal in my life. He loved me and a small part of me loved him…but not near as much as the part that loved you." Rachel cried shaking her head. "And it just kept getting harder and harder to be near him when all I wanted to do was run to you. I never thought I would be here with you like this. I never let myself dream."
"And now I am," Rachel said shakily.
"And now you are," Quinn murmured before leaning forwards and capturing the girl's lips in a kiss.
Fireworks could not sufficiently express the feelings running through her body as Rachel's lips melded into hers. In this context fireworks were cheap. Fireworks were a loud flashy display at the end of a celebration. This was like coming home after a lifetime away. This was like being reunited with a body part you didn't realize you were missing.
She wanted to pour all of her emotions and feelings into the kiss. She wanted Rachel to understand just how much she loved her.
Both girls let out simultaneous moans at the contact and Quinn's body shivered when petite hands tangled in her shaggy hair. "Oh God," she murmured in between kisses as she pushed Rachel down onto the bed beneath her. "I fucking love you," she whimpered moving to the girl's neck and pressing hot open mouthed kisses against tanned skin.
"Show me, please show me," Rachel begged reaching down and pulling at the bottom of Quinn's rutty shirt.
Without hesitation Quinn pulled herself away from Rachel and both girls began tearing off their own clothing. Now was not the time for slowly undressing each other. This was the end of the world after all and every second counted.
As soon as they were both naked Quinn quickly straddled Rachel's thighs and leaned down to kiss her, careful of the girl's wounded leg. "I love you so much," she repeated over and over again like a mantra as she nipped and sucked on the girl's tongue and lips.
"Oh God Quinn, please," Rachel begged, her nails gripping the girl's back and her hips thrusting upwards.
Quickly the blonde reached between them and ran her fingers through slick molten flesh. "Oh God," Rachel growled as her body tensed and one of her hands slipped around to Quinn's core.
"Oh God I love you," Quinn moaned as the two girls began to jerk against each other. "I was so scared today, I was so afraid I would lose you," the blonde whimpered as two slender fingers pressed into her opening and began to pump in and out of her.
"You didn't -oh God- I'm right here," Rachel moaned, her body arching off the bed as Quinn pressed two fingers into her and began to pump in and out of her at an all consuming pace.
"Don't leave me Rachel," Quinn begged, her head falling to the pillow next to the girl's head and lips engulfing her sensitive earlobe. "I can't live in this world without you."
"Never, God never," Rachel cried out, her forehead damp with sweat as their bodies thrashed together. "Not now. I couldn't. I'm so sorry Quinn," the brunette panted.
"Oh fuck," Quinn howled as she felt Rachel's fingers begin to hit at her G-Spot. Clenching her teeth the blonde quickened her pace inside of tight wet heat and pushed forwards until she hit the spot that made Rachel howl with pleasure.
"Right there," the petite brunette whined breathlessly as Quinn began slamming in and out of her forcing moans from deep inside of her chest only interrupted by the words "I'm sorry" over and over again.
Rachel's palm began slapping at Quinn's clit and the blonde's body began to jerk uncontrollably. Using all of her upper body strength the blonde rested her free hand next to Rachel's head and brought their lips together in a scorching kiss. "To-together," she managed to stammer out breathlessly as their bodies rocked in sync.
"Yes," Rachel hissed as her stomach began to tighten.
"I love you. I'm going to protect you, I am going to protect you no matter what. Till My last breath. I swear it." Quinn gasped out unable to kiss any longer. Instead the girl's forehead rested together, their eyes boring into each other's souls, and their breaths mingling as each girl let out a simultaneous cry of relief and exploded on each other's fingers.
"Oh God," Rachel panted, her body going slack under Quinn's as the blonde lowered her body down next to hers and removed her fingers.
"I love you so much Rachel," Quinn whimpered, her eyes swimming with tears as Rachel rolled into her body and clung to her.
"I'm so sorry Quinn. I'm so sorry I didn't believe you," Rachel whispered pressing lazy kisses to the blonde's collar bone. "I want you to know that Finn…I couldn't…we weren't ever together again after that first time. I just couldn't."
"It's okay," Quinn murmured kissing the girl's forehead and holding on to her tightly. She would never let go again. "We found each other."
"In a hopeless place," Rachel whispered before exhaustion over took her body and she collapsed into Quinn.
Later through her exhaustion Quinn opened her eyes to find Santana gently covering them up with the sleeping bag and smiled weakly. "Get you some Quinn," Santana murmured softly leaning over and kissing the girl's forehead.
"Lima Heights Adjacent right?" Quinn asked yawning tiredly.
"Fuck yeah," the Latina giggled as her girlfriend came up from behind her and lovingly kissed her scarred face. "You know I was thinking, maybe the four of us should head out on our own. We'll still look for the others…but I…I don't know."
"I think that could work," Quinn murmured softly kissing Rachel's hair line and smiling when the girl let out a sleep filled murmur of agreement.
"Oh my God! We're totally gonna be like the Fantastic Four only with zombies," Brittany giggled leading her girlfriend out of the room; her hand tightly clasping Santana's scarred one.
Smiling to herself Quinn looked down at the tiny brunette nestled in her arms and sighed. Inside her William, Albus, and Frodo were throwing a party.
January 24th 2013
Nine Months After Z-Day
20 Miles South of the Canadian Border
Quinn couldn't help but think sometimes that maybe, just maybe the world going to hell in a hand basket was the most awesome thing that had ever happened in her young life.
I mean sure there were zombies everywhere, no electricity, and regular access to hot running water was but a distant heart breaking memory; but other than that? Well things had been just as bad if not worse in her life before. She had been safe and comfortable, but never really happy.
It was moments like this that made her feel this way.
Currently she was behind the wheel of a 2012 Ford F650 Extreme that they had adopted when their last truck died. Her best friend was sitting next to her in the passenger's seat whilst Brittany was leaned forwards mindlessly stroking the scarred tissue on her face as they talked about ducks. And her girlfriend was sitting behind her leaning forwards in her seat as well; one of her hands softly stroking the scar on Quinn's shoulder as she put in her two cents worth about ducks as well.
They had a full tank of gas, enough pilfered bottled water to float a boat in the back of their truck, and their stomachs were all achingly full after gorging themselves on steak. Real steak. Steak that had come from a cow that they had shot and then grilled. Thank God Brittany had random interests like agriculture.
Really if it wasn't for the fact that they were passing burned out cars and occasional walking dead it could have been a road trip with the girls.
Things had changed dramatically in the last six months. They had spent the better part of a week driving aimlessly around San Antonio looking for the others but it had been pointless. There wasn't a trace of them anywhere. They were worried of course. These were their friends with the exception of Finn after all. But they knew that with them gone Puck would take over and under his leadership the group would survive. But still, they were greatly missed.
They had learned that traveling in a small group actually had its rewards. It was much easier to gather the necessary supplies for four people then it was for ten, it was easier to find places to sleep, and it was easier to keep track of each other.
Brittany's assessment of them being the Fantastic Four had been spot on. Away from the group the responsibility of having to be the quote unquote leader had slipped from Quinn's shoulders. Instead now the four of them moved and made decision as if they were one body sharing four brains.
Whilst Quinn and Santana still considered themselves the protectors, Brittany and Rachel had learned how to survive in this world. Before they had had eight people looking out for them. Now there was only the four of them, which meant sixteen less eyes, sixteen less hands, and sixteen less legs.
All four girls had matured a lot in the ways that mattered, but had managed to make their new mature personalities their own.
Brittany had maintained her innocent care free look on life despite all that the girl had seen. In moments where it felt like all hope was lost she would say the most random beautiful thoughts that would remind the others that the world was still turning and it would be turning for the foreseeable future.
She also had the ability to analyze what people were feeling before they were even sure that they were feeling it. And nowadays the girls were all letting themselves actually feel things besides fear and anger. They had time to breathe and to truly grieve for their lost lives, and Brittany was there to help them all through it.
She was there when Quinn broke down suddenly one day at the sight of a child's car seat overturned on the side of the road. She had given the blonde a revitalization of faith when she had help her close to her chest and told her that Beth was in a better place now, and that she would never be gone as long as Quinn kept her alive in her heart. After that the girls left obvious messages painted on buildings everywhere they went for Shelby. Telling her and anyone else they knew that they had been there and where they were going. It was a sense of hope.
She was there when Rachel had accepted the fact that her dreams for the future would never come true. One day when they were holed up in an abandoned farm house waiting out a torrential downpour they had talked about the things that they missed. Rachel had said she missed new music. A week later when Britt found an acoustic guitar in the house they were in she had brought it to Rachel and they had set down for three hours until they had written and strummed out a new song. A new melody never heard before. Something truly new in a world where everything around them was just a relic. To Rachel it was as good as gold.
And she was there for Santana when the girl had first looked in a mirror. Really looked in a mirror. Looked in a mirror and saw her self and let her new reality sink into her. Before the Latina hadn't had time to truly process the damage done to her body on that roof top. After she had woken up there hadn't been time to think about it beyond the pain she was in. They had to move, had to run, moments for self realization were few and far between. But now that it was just the four of them and they could actually spend more than a night in any place without major threat she had that chance, and it devastated her the first time she got it.
The four of them had just settled down in a small two story house in East L.A. Rachel and Quinn were downstairs putting together a meal and Brittany was setting up her and Santana's bedroom when she heard a sob come from the bath room. Full of fear Brittany had forced open the door terrified she would find Santana hurt but what she saw was worse. The usually strong stoic girl was pressed flat against the wall, her good eye wide with horror as she took in her naked scarred body.
"Baby?" Brittany had whispered slowly stepping towards her. Tears rolled down Santana's right cheek and a shaky hand rose to feel out the flesh of the left side of her face. "Baby its okay," Brittany whispered setting her hand on her girlfriend's and pulling it away from her face.
Trembling Santana had turned to her, her face a mixture of pain and confusion. "I look like a monster," she whispered shakily, her voice husky and uneven.
"Oh no," Brittany murmured carefully pulling the girl to her chest. "You look like the girl I love."
That night Brittany made slow love to Santana for hours, her lips making sure to cover every scarred inch of skin on her body.
Rachel's prosperity for meticulous planning and details had saved their asses multiple times over. Before when they had been with the group she had more or less turned in on herself. Because she kept Finn so close to her even though the feelings had long since passed because it made her feel normal, she hadn't let herself feel just how un-normal their lives had become. But now that she had three lives depending on her and a love that literally taken the end of the world to start she drew out of her shell.
She accepted the fact that her life would probably never be what she had dreamed it would be. Barring a sudden act of God himself Broadway was now and would forever be just a rundown street filled with bones and broken things. But with Quinn by her side, holding her close at night and making her feel her love, she realized that maybe it was this feeling that she had really always dreamed of; this feeling of being absolutely consumed by something she loved.
Santana liked to maintain that she was still just a fucking BAMF and not a damn thing had changed. But it had. With the group she had forced herself to remain stoic at all times with the exception of Brittany and at times Quinn. She had always seen shows of emotion as weakness, and in this world weakness turned you into a convenient Happy Meal. And that couldn't happen because she had Brittany and in her eyes nobody with the exception of Quinn could be trusted to protect her. But now her girlfriend had grown up. She could protect herself if needed be. And if not there were two more sets of eyes watching out for her.
She had also been pleased to discover that Rachel Berry was a BAMF of her own kind. Sure leading up towards Z-Day the two had started an uneasy friendship but fear of judgment had kept her from really getting to know the tiny brunette. And then well the world had gone to shit and Rachel had drawn in on herself and oh yah, her boyfriend had permanently disfigured her so chats about common interests were not exactly common place.
She had been shocked and horrified when Rachel had come to her one night a few weeks after the day they had lost the group balling her eyes out. She didn't exactly do emotional stuff with anyone besides Q and Britt. But that had been pushed out when the girl had quite literally thrown herself at her feet and begged for forgiveness for her ex-boyfriend being a bigger tool than all of the undead currently craving their flesh. After Santana had calmed the diva down they had had a long heart to heart in regards to that and every other moment of their shared existence. Afterwards Santana realized that no one was watching them anymore and Rachel realized that Santana wasn't going to magically find some slushy and dump it on her. An uneasy friendship had turned into a closeness that was akin to sisters. It was nice. They had both been only children after all.
And Quinn. Ironically for the first time in her life, Quinn was the happiest she had ever been. It was strange to be surrounded by so much disaster and feel this way. But it was what it was.
Her entire personality had shifted after that first night in San Antonio. When she had woken up the next morning holding a still naked love of her life in her arms and the girl had looked up at her without a hint of regret or shame the blonde had felt an immense weight slip off of her shoulders. She knew that this moment frozen in time was exactly where she was supposed to be. Zombie apocalypse and all.
After six months of living on the road moving from town to town though the girls were starting to get worn down. They knew without a shadow of doubt that somewhere out there was a place for them. A place where they didn't have to move every night. A place where going outside wasn't a full scale mission into hell. A place where they could just lay down their guns and live.
And now for the first time since that first scream had echoed through the halls of McKinley High there was some kind of light at the end of the apocalyptic tunnel. A small glimmer of a light, but beautiful at the same time. The hope had come to them a month ago, as a combined mixture of all of their best traits and qualities, an now as Quinn pressed her foot to the pedal they could see it in their grasp.
December 24th 2012
Eight Months After Z-Day
Quinn was positive that to an outsider looking in they looked absolutely bat shit insane. The world was ending all around them and they were celebrating Christmas Eve around a roaring fire exchanging gifts like Z-Day hadn't occurred. Of course if someone would have been there to observe this the girls would have answered without a single fuck as they held him or her up at gunpoint.
It had started a month ago when they all pulled into Denver on nothing but fumes and exhaustion. They had arrived right on the cusp of the worst snow storm any of them had ever seen.
It had been freezing that night Rachel more so than the others and they hadn't had time to search out one of the low income neighborhoods they so much preferred. When the last of their gas ran out and their truck gave one last heave before dying Quinn and Santana had stared at each other in horror before glancing into the backseat where Brittany and Rachel were shivering, wrapped up in each other's arms and every spare piece of fabric they had.
Outside the truck the wind howled angrily at them and the two former Head-Cheerios had steeled their nerves before heading out into it armed with only their guns, one flashlight, and a determination to find shelter for their girls. It was no small favor to them that their wasn't a walker in sight because they could only make out a few yards in front of them as they went house to house trying to find a suitable location.
When they had happened upon the two story ranch home that conveniently had a fire place and a sizeable stack of wood they hadn't thought twice before hurrying back to the truck and grabbing the girls.
The next week as the storm raged around them the girls had hunkered down in the living room around the fire place living off of canned soup and stale crackers. When the storm finally passed they had realized that trying to make it out of the city wasn't going to happen any time soon. For one thing their truck was a complete goner and for another thing there was at least four feet of snow on every road.
Thankfully with the snow that deep it slowed down the zombies as well so the girls weren't too worried. The original plan had been to ship out as soon as they were able to but on December 8th when Quinn and Santana were raiding a local store for some food Santana had made a discovery.
Rachel had been especially quiet all morning and when the girls proposed the raid the petite brunette had just silently shook her head and stared into the fireplace. They were all worried but they had to go so Brittany had offered to stay behind with her.
"Hey Q," the Latina called out from the back of store, her voice curious.
"What's up," the blonde asked jamming the last few cans of Spam into her backpack before making her way to the girl.
"I just realized something," Santana said coming out of the back office holding a calendar and frowning slightly.
"And that would be."
"Today's the first day of Hanukkah," Santana murmured showing the blonde the calendar.
"Oh God," Quinn sighed staring down at the piece of paper sadly. "No wonder Rach is so upset. She said that Hanukkah with her dads was always her favorite time of year."
"We should do something," Santana said snapping her head up suddenly and looking around the deserted store.
"Like what?" Quinn asked shaking her head slightly.
"Well okay let's be reasonable about this," Santana explained as they started to walk to the exit. "There's no fucking way in hell that we're gonna get out of here any time soon. For one thing the roads are all still four feet deep with snow and another thing we've got to find new wheels. I say we just hunker down here until after Christmas."
"That could work," Quinn murmured as they trudged out to the snow mobiles they had thankfully found in the ranch home's garage.
"And in the mean time I say we give Rachel and Brittany an actual holiday. I mean why the fuck else are we busting our asses to stay alive if we're not actually living," the Latina questioned as she pulled on her helmet.
Quinn thought about it for a moment. Thought about all they had lost and how much the world had changed. But Santana was right. They were alive because they hadn't given up, but they hadn't done much else but survive until now. Maybe this was an opportunity no matter how childish it seemed to get back a small sense of normality in their lives.
"If anything we could use the damn break in my opinion," Santana continued as they scanned the street and took note of the few walkers at the end who were slowly trying to fight their way towards them.
"Let's do it," Quinn said turning to her friend.
"Fuck yeah," Santana laughed pulling a map out of her bag and staring down at it. "Now we just gotta find synagogue to get the Midget a menorah and we'll be set."
"Wow," Quinn laughed throwing her leg over her snow mobile.
"What?" Santana asked scowling over at the blonde for a second before staring back at the map.
"Nothing it's just…never thought I'd see the day when Santana Lopez was so intense about giving Rachel Berry a good Hanukkah," Quinn said fondly smiling at the Latina.
"Yeah well fucking end of the world and all that shit," Santana grumbled crawling atop her snow mobile. "Besides at least I'm not fucking like bunnies with her," she said sticking out her tongue before taking off.
And that is how the four girls found themselves sitting around a fire singing Christmas carols and exchanging gifts they had pilfered from the many malls in the city.
Santana was currently staring in wide eyed wonder at her new military grade cross bow, Rachel was strumming away gleefully on her new guitar, Quinn was entranced by an E-Reader the girls had spent the better part of week loading with books from random E-Readers they had found scattered across the city, and Brittany was clutching a kitten to her chest smiling as she looked out the window as it purred softly against her chest.
"This is fucking epic," Santana mumbled as her fingers danced across the titanium arrows.
Rachel smiled and shook her head at the girl before glancing over at Quinn whose eyes were lit up as she poured over Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Chucking lightly to herself Rachel looked over to Brittany who looked deep in thought.
"What's up Britt?" Rachel asked setting her guitar aside and walking over to lean against the girl. Following her line of vision Rachel frowned when she saw three zombies standing down the road moving at a snail's pace towards the house.
It had stopped snowing completely a week ago and since then the sun had been doing a good job of melting everything. But the air outside was still bitingly cold at the moment.
"They don't like the cold," Brittany murmured scratching Lady Tubbington behind her ears mindlessly.
"What do you mean?" Rachel asked moving closer to the window and watching the way they barely moved down the street closely.
"Well when the snow was deep they couldn't move but now there's hardly any left and they're still moving really slow," Brittany mumbled, her eyebrows furrowed in thought.
"I suppose it has to do with their bodies," Rachel reasoned quietly. "I don't think their blood is flowing properly any more. When we get cold our body draws all of our blood to our hearts and brains to keep those warm because they're vital."
"So you don't think it's doing that for them?" Brittany asked in slight confusion.
"No I don't think so. I mean have you noticed whenever you shoot one that they don't bleed much? Maybe that has something to do with this," the petite brunette murmured looking at the blonde.
"Maybe," Brittany murmured back before looking down at her kitten.
Behind them Santana and Quinn shared a look that was one part curiosity and one part hope. Rachel and Brittany might not have latched onto the implications of this observation but they definitely had.
That night after they were sure that their girlfriends were asleep the two former cheerios quietly made their way out of the house and into the freezing cold. Carefully and wordlessly they had walked towards a lone zombie who was standing in the middle of the street facing away from them.
They stopped about three yards away from it and watched it closely. "This could be a bad idea," Santana whispered making sure her gun was loaded before glancing over to her best friend.
"It could be," Quinn agreed nodding slowly. "But Rachel had a point. This could be it Santana. This could be what we've been looking for."
"Alright let's do this," the Latina murmured glancing towards the house once to make sure the lights were still off before looking down at the ground. "We should try throwing something at it."
"Here," Quinn said picking up a rock and taking a deep breath. "Be ready to run," she whispered before throwing it at the zombie's back.
Both girls froze when the rock bounced off and hit the ground with a dull thud. The zombie froze in place as well, halting the slight sniffing motions it had been doing before. The girls tensed up as the zombie slowly turned towards them, his skin pale blue in the light of the bright full moon.
Their eyes widened as it took a slow step towards them and then another. "It should be charging at us," Santana noted softly, her head tilted to the side slightly
"I think Rachel was right, it can barely move," Quinn murmured stepping to the side and watching as the creature slowly turned towards her and shuffled towards her arms outstretched.
"I'm going to try something," Santana said pulling a machete off of her belt and slowly raising it above her head.
"Be careful San," Quinn mumbled stepping back slightly as she tightly gripped her gun.
"Alright," Santana said taking a deep breath before brining the machete down with all her might.
The zombie let out a strangled moan as his arm hit the ground with a sickening splat and his body jerked as he turned towards Santana. It was obvious in his eyes and his snapping teeth that he wanted to charge at the Latina and devour her, but it was more obvious that just taking a step took more energy than it was capable of producing.
"Look at his arm," Quinn said pointing at the bloody stump which was slowly leaking dark red blood. "It's barely dripping. Any other time and that would be running like a water fall."
"Holy fuck our girlfriends are geniuses," Santana said moving next to the blonde and staring at the creature that now seemed just pitiful to them.
"Come on," Quinn said throwing her gun over her shoulder and shivering slightly. "We need to try out a few more."
The next three hours were spent walking around the neighborhood observing the creatures that had sent their world into a tail spin. When they finally returned home they were convinced that Rachel had been right.
These things couldn't survive right in the cold. Their bodies were practically useless and unless you lied down in front of one they were less threatening then a speeding slug.
The next few days had been a whirlwind of activity for the four of them. With this new knowledge came hope. Hope that they could find a place to settle down. Hope that they could find other survivors like them because surely they couldn't be the only people alive who had made this observation.
And so they had headed North.
January 24th 2013
Nine Months After Z-Day
1 Mile South of the Canadian Border
Quinn was brought out her inner musings when Santana let out a whoop of job and pointed at the mile marker.
All around them the land was covered in a blanket of white and the mood in the truck was jovial beyond compare.
"One more mile," Rachel whispered leaning forwards and kissing the shell of Quinn's ear as Brittany pushed Lady Tubbington out of her lap and clapped her hands in excitement.
"Oh fuck," Santana murmured suddenly making the three girls snap their heads to her.
"What's wrong?" Quinn asked slowing down the truck and observing her friend carefully.
"Check your rearview Q, we've got company back there," Santana said pulling a pistol out of the glove compartment and checking the barrel.
Quickly Quinn's eyes flashed to her side mirror and Brittany and Rachel turned in their seats. Behind them about a half a mile down the road they could see four black motorcycles gaining on them. The men atop them all wore blue parkas and their faces were covered by helmets.
"I'm gonna stop," Quinn said carefully.
"You two stay in here," Santana ordered as she pulled out another gun and handed it to Quinn when she stopped the truck.
"Please be careful," Rachel said leaning between the seats and pulling the blonde into a deep kiss.
"I will," Quinn murmured getting out of the truck.
A second later she heard Santana's door slam shut and discreetly locked the doors to the truck from her pocket as her best friend stood beside her gun pointing to the ground.
The four motorcyclists slowed down and stopped about ten feet from them and the girls tensed up when they all slowly dismounted their bikes. "Keep your guns down," called out a man's voice as he slowly stepped towards them, hands out stretched in peace.
"Who the fuck are you?" Santana asked as both girls tightened the grips on their guns.
"It's alright," the biker said slowly removing his helmet to reveal a clean cut guy that looked about thirty. "We're border patrol. Is anyone with you infected?"
"No," Quinn snapped, her eyes narrowing as they darted from him to the three people standing behind him now.
"How many are you?" He asked calmly, his hands still rose softly.
"The two of us and our girlfriends in the truck," Quinn said carefully.
"And a cat," they heard Brittany call out only to be shushed by Rachel a second later.
The man smiled softly as his eyes darted to the truck and back to the girls. "It's okay; we're not going to hurt you. We're just here to make sure that nobody infected crosses the border."
"Are there a lot of people?" Quinn asked her voice thoughtful as she began to loosen the grip on her gun.
"A couple thousand," he said smiling widely. "And more coming every day."
"And it's safe?" Santana asked still holding her gun tightly in her hand.
"As safe as it can be in this world," he said in amusement. "I can direct you to where you need to go to find a place but first I need cheek swabs," he explained slowly pulling a small case from his belt, his eyes trained on their guns.
"Fuck that, you're not putting anything in our mouths," Santana snapped as Quinn raised her gun warily.
"Hey its okay, I promise," he said pulling the cap off the case and pulling out five plastic colored swabs. "Look I'll do me first," he said slowly. "These will turn pink if a person is carrying the infection, blue if they're not."
"No," Quinn said stepping forwards cautiously. "You don't get to pick which one you use."
"Fair enough," he said holding his hand out the blonde.
Quinn's eyes darted between the five swabs looking for anything that might differentiate one from the others. When she was satisfied they were all identical she took them from his hands before holding one out to him. "Do it," she said stepping back quickly.
Smiling softly the guy chuckled. "I can tell why you four have survived so long and look so healthy," he mused before pulling it out of it's wrapper and swabbing the inside of his cheek. A second later he pulled it out and showed them the now blue end. "Satisfied."
"Barely," Santana growled before turning to Quinn. "I'll go first."
"No me," Quinn said her eyes flitting between the girl and the man.
"Fuck that I called first," Santana growled shaking her head.
"Really Santana," Quinn moaned rolling her eyes.
"Yes really," the Latina growled back.
"Fuck that we're doing it together," Quinn said shaking her head and pulling the wrappers off the two swabs. "On three."
Three seconds later the two girls swabbed their own cheeks and pulled out blue ones. "That's good," the man said smiling as he opened another case and pulled out a smaller swab. "For the cat," he chuckled nodding the truck.
Keeping her eyes on the men Quinn discreetly unlocked the doors and a second later felt Rachel sinking into her back. "San," Quinn said still watching the men carefully.
"Got this," Santana said before quickly swabbing Brittany, Rachel, and then Lady. "All blue," she said holding up the sticks.
"Well ladies," the man said smiling happily at them. "Continue on this road for twenty miles North."
"And what will be there?" Quinn asked as her girlfriend and friends got back into the truck.
"We like to call it home," the guy laughed shaking his head. "My name is Jeff Daniels. When you and your girls get situated look me up. I think you and your friend would make some awesome patrols." He said holding out their swabs and a few pieces of paper. "Hand these to the guards at the main gate."
Warily Quinn reached out and took them before climbing back into the truck. "Santana keep an eye on them," Quinn murmured as she started the truck and pulled off.
"You think he was telling the truth?" Rachel asked nervously as they crossed the border.
"Only one way to find out," Quinn said softly.
Thirty minutes later the girls were wide eyed as they pulled up to a large building. Outside of it there were men standing watch, heavy duty weapons leaning on their shoulders. "This is fucking bizarre as shit," Santana mumbled shaking her head as she saw people beyond the gate stopping to watch them.
"Everyone keep their guns handy," Quinn mumbled as she slowed down and stopped in front of the gate.
Carefully she rolled down her window when she saw a man approached them and tightened her hand on her piece. "Papers," the man asked holding out his hand expectantly.
"Here," Quinn said handing them through the opened window.
The man went through them before handing them back over with a smile on his face. "Welcome back to civilization ladies," he said waving at the guards to open the gate.
Quinn went to move when suddenly the gate froze. Frowning she tightened her hand on her gun as a man wearing a large hooded parka began running towards them. "Puckerman what are you doing?" The guard who had taken their papers asked eyeing Quinn's gun.
Inside the truck the four girls froze and their jaws dropped when the running man stopped in front of their truck and threw back his hood to reveal a familiar face and Mohawk. The five teenagers sat in shock for a second before the boy's face broke out in a wide grin and he climbed on the hood. "Fucking Fabray!" He yelled throwing his hands up in the air and whooping loudly as the girls burst out in laughter.
Barely managing to control her relieved laughter Quinn pulled forwards and the gate was closed behind them as Puck beat on their window and yelled at them repeatedly. When she turned off the truck the four girls poured out and instantly wrapped their arms around the boy.
"I should have fucking known you four would be okay," Puck laughed holding them all tightly to his chest.
"Well of course we were. Did you ever doubt us?" Santana laughed as Rachel practically crawled up the boy to hug him around the neck.
Quinn stood back and watched on as they all talked animatedly about this new world they had found themselves in. Her eyes caught Rachel's and she smiled when the girl stepped towards her before leaning up to kiss her softly. "Have I ever told you you're the prettiest girl I ever met?" Rachel asked softly smiling up at the blonde.
"You might have mentioned it," Quinn chuckled shaking her head before dipping the girl back and kissing her soundly on the lips.
That night after being reunited with Mike, Tina, Coach Sylvester, one of Rachel's fathers, Santana's aunt, and Holly Holiday the four girls collapsed into bed in the temporary housing they had been allocated until a more permanent one was found.
They found out that because of the colder climate and sparse population Canada hadn't been as easily over run as the States had. The thousands that had survived it had secured one month after the roof top incident that had left Santana so scarred and had been taking in survivors since then. It was constant struggle at the borders to keep it safe but it was worth it.
Ranging the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast there were towns everywhere being filled up with survivors from as far away as Columbia. On the other side of the world Russia was playing host to everyone from China to Egypt to France. Human beings when faced with a greater threat then themselves would survive with each other, regardless of race, religion, or politics.
Smiling Quinn sunk into a warm bed after her first hot shower in nine months and pulled Rachel's body against hers.
It had taken the world ending to bring peace about, but in her mind, this moment right here holding onto Rachel as she heard soft moans filter through the walls from Santana and Brittany, this moment was the best outcome the broken place had brought about.
So what did you guys think? I might do a few more one-shots out of this universe.