Beautiful Ruins

Author's Note: Hello there! So, AngelisIgniRelucent and I have our new theme…ZombieApocalypse!Klaine. :) So, I hope you enjoy! Don't forget to read her story after this one! It's called 'Being Alive'.

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or anything else mentioned.

"Few buildings, few lives

are built so well

even their ruins are beautiful."

-Phantom Limbs, Anne Michaels

"Boys, we need to hurry. I know it hurts, Kurt, but you gotta keep up. Come on, buddy." Burt kept saying things like this as he grabbed his son's free arm. Blaine was supporting Kurt from the other side. Burt wanted to grab Kurt and throw him over his shoulder so that they could get the hell out of there, but Blaine wasn't good enough with a gun yet. The boys needed him to shoot at any that got too close.

Kurt hissed in pain again, but didn't slow down. Burt admired his son's resilience. You'd think having his leg nearly torn apart would hinder this boy, but no; he was a Hummel. Blaine was looking more nervous by the second as he supported as much of his boyfriend's weight as possible. "We're nearly there, right?" he asked breathlessly. He didn't look behind him—because Burt told him to only concentrate on moving forward—but the older man could tell how much the boy was worrying.

"Yeah, almost there, kiddo," he said, looking around them intently. They had about one more block until they got to their shelter, but Burt wasn't going to let his guard down one bit until they were safely inside those steel doors. He hated being out in the open, running down the middle of the street like this, but Kurt was in no shape to sneak on rooftops like they usually did. They would have to risk being seen if it meant they could get to safety as quickly as possible.

They were making halting progress down the middle of the road, avoiding demolished vehicles and dead bodies. Burt saw the trail of blood following them, the frighteningly pale skin on Kurt's face, and prayed to anything that they could get back to their shelter and get his son some help.

Suddenly, the window of a nearby shop shattered. Somebody—something—went flying threw and launched itself at them. Blaine screamed, but Burt swiftly shot the thing before it could get to them. Too close. They needed to move faster.

The gunshot caught the attention of some more creatures near them. Burt shot two more in the head. Zombies. What had started off as an isolated disease outbreak soon mutated into an all-out, worldwide epidemic. Normal people started changing into mindless, bloodthirsty, instinctual cannibals. Burt, Blaine and Kurt were running through what was left of Lima, Ohio. They assumed the rest of the world wasn't faring much better.

Burt nearly threw up when his next target was the old lady who used to own the post office. He took one look at his two boys, then shot her in the forehead without hesitation. Anything to keep them safe. That's all that matters.

They were so close to their safe place when Kurt stumbled. Blaine yelled for Burt, trying to hold the taller boy upright. The older man cursed harshly, then shoved the gun into Blaine's hands. He grabbed his son, who had obviously passed out, and threw the unconscious boy over his shoulder. "Let's go!" he commanded, and he and Blaine took off running. Burt saw that the boy was attempting to aim at the zombies in pursuit, "Don't bother, Blaine!" he shouted, "Keep moving; we're so close!"

Blaine was always good at reacting, at taking instructions instantly. He shoved the pistol into his jacket pocket and ran ahead of Burt to open the door. The latch was easy enough to work, but required enough logic to keep the brain-dead zombies out. Blaine pulled the metal door open and held it just long enough for the man to run in, still carrying Kurt over his shoulder. As soon as they entered the house, he slammed the opening shut and closed all the locks and latches. Burt moved up the stairs with his son while Blaine made sure that they were protected. Over his own heaving breaths, he heard the undead creatures attempt to get through the steel door, but they gave up after a few fruitless attempts. And the house was silent once more.

That is, until a muffled scream came from upstairs.

Blaine still had a lot of adrenaline in his system, so it took him mere moments to ascend the stairs and burst into the 'medical room'. Kurt was lying on the cot as his father worked on his right leg. The boy had unfortunately woken up during the process and was now crying silently. Swallowing hard, Blaine walked forward and numbly handed him a piece of cloth to bite down on. The pale boy did so, then desperately clung to Blaine's hand.

Blaine didn't want to look, but he couldn't keep his eyes away from Kurt's leg. They had been going for their weekly search for supplies when the three of them got cornered in a back alley. There had been a little bit of a struggle, as one of the zombies nearly got hold of their gun. Blaine had been preoccupied with bludgeoning what used to be a middle-aged man with the lid of a garbage can. Somehow, Kurt had ended up out of reach, hiding behind a metal dumpster, and three of the creatures had decided to push it against the wall. Caught between the metal and the brick, Kurt was getting crushed. He had yelled for his dad, who finally got the gun away from the zombies and now shot most of them out of the alley. However, others soon took their place, so they knew they had known to leave as soon as possible. They had desperately tried to pull Kurt from his trapped position, but the teenager's leg was caught on a jagged edge of metal somewhere. It had gotten to a really intense point after that, when the only thought on their mind was survival and Kurt had yelled at them to just pull him out of there, goddammit. So they did. It had scraped up Kurt's leg really bad, but at least they were back at the shelter in one piece.

However, Blaine was having trouble seeing the good in this situation as he held his boyfriend's hand. Burt had cut away Kurt's pants up to the knee. The wounded teenager whimpered when his father poured anti-septic on his injury from their first aid kit. Blaine couldn't tear his eyes away from it. Kurt's leg was a mangled mess of blood and torn skin. He thought he was going to be sick, so he concentrated all his efforts on keeping Kurt calm.

Kurt was really pale, and he was shaking violently as tears ran down his face. Blaine was no paramedic, but he knew signs of shock when he saw them. Keeping one hand firmly holding his boyfriend's, Blaine leaned down and touched the other boy's pale and clammy cheek. "Hey," he muttered, "Hey, look at me."

Kurt spit out the piece of cloth and stared fiercely into his hazel eyes, "Blaine," he whispered.

"I know, baby, I know." Blaine had no idea what he was saying. All he wanted was to make Kurt feel better. He saw in the corner of his eye that Burt was now wrapping up the leg with some white fabric. Kurt's breath hitched in pain from the pressure. "You're gonna be okay, Kurt," he muttered, gently brushing his boyfriend's sweaty hair from his forehead. "Your dad and I, we got you. We're still safe, all of us. It's gonna be okay." He kissed Kurt's cheek, his forehead, his nose. "I love you."

"I love you, too," Kurt sobbed, but he was quieting down. Blaine's words were having some sort of psychological effect, and it helped that his leg was now bandaged and he wasn't straining it anymore.

Blaine didn't even know that Burt had left the room until he returned with a bottle of water, a clean cloth, and a glass of juice from downstairs. "Here, buddy," he said, handing Kurt the glass, "Drink that." Kurt gingerly sat up, trying not to move his leg and also trying to control his tremors. He could barely grip the glass, he was shaking so hard.

"Here, give that to me," Blaine said gently, taking the juice from the other boy and setting it on the nearby table. He grabbed a blanket from the chair across the room and gently put it over Kurt. While he was doing so, Burt had wet the cloth and was gently dabbing at Kurt's face.

Kurt was comforted by these actions, by the environment, and by the company. After a little while, he was able to drink the juice. Once he finished, he looked up with bright blue eyes. "Dad, can I sleep now?"

Burt leaned down and kissed his son on the forehead. "Of course. Call if you need anything, alright? Blaine and I will be downstairs."

Kurt nodded. Blaine stopped by the head of the bed and moved so that their foreheads pressed together. He gripped the front of Kurt's shirt fiercely, as they both stayed like that, silent accept for their breathing, eyes tightly closed, drinking in each-others proximity. After his heartbeat returned to normal, Blaine moved slightly, brushing their noses together. "I love you," he said. Kurt didn't reply verbally, but the kiss he gave him was answer enough. The shorter boy reluctantly stepped out of the embrace. "Sleep well," he said, then left the room.

He walked down the stairs and into the kitchen, where Burt was using the mechanical can-opener. "What's for supper?" The young man asked absently, sitting down wearily at the kitchen table.

"Beans, again," Burt replied.

When the outbreak really hit, when the zombies started roaming the streets searching for humans to eat, Blaine had been over at Kurt's place for dinner. Burt was there too, but Carol and Finn had gone to visit Carol's sister in Marysville. The three men had barely enough time to pack a couple bags full of necessities (clothing, weapons, a little food, and a few pictures) before their home was invaded as well. They had driven through the streets, looking for anywhere that seemed safe, when they found the house near the edge of town. They had debated skipping town altogether, but this place looked peculiar.

It seemed like a normal house—average size, garden in the front lawn, white shudders on the windows—but, on closer inspection, it didn't seem so. The windows and doors were heavily barricaded with strong metal hatches and there were surveillance cameras attached to high corners of the roof. Blaine had decided that they had nothing really to lose, so they knocked on the front door. They had waved at the camera facing them, hopefully confirming their humanity, until the door opened an inch.

"What do you want?" A weary green eye watched them from the crack. It was the voice of what sounded like a middle-aged woman.

"Um," Burt had said, scratching his neck and looking around nervously, "I was wondering if me and my boys could hide out here for a bit?"

There was a pause, "…Are you that mechanic? You have a shop downtown?"

He raised his eyebrows, "Yes. That's me."

"Okay you can come in." The door was opened a little more and the two teenagers plus Burt had gone into the house without hesitation. The opening was locked in various ways before the woman turned to them properly. "My name is Alice and the only reason why I let you in is because I need you to fix my furnace."

Alice was a woman of average height. She had brown hair that was graying at the roots and piercing green eyes. "I can do that," Burt had said, "And, in return, you'll let us stay here? It's safe, right?"

Alice had nodded. "This is probably the safest place in the whole town. I predicted this would happen, I knew it would, so I took the appropriate precautions."

"That's really smart," Blaine had said, causing her to turn to him.

She narrowed her eyes, "People thought I was crazy at the time. I guess karma's a bitch, isn't it?" Blaine had swallowed and nodded. "What're your names, fellas?"

"I'm Kurt, this is my friend Blaine and my dad, Burt."

Alice had nodded, "Pleasure to meet you. Now, about that furnace?"

The three men and Alice had lived in companionship for about a month. Then, one day, Alice disappeared. Burt had to shoot her re-animated corpse the next morning.

The house really was the best thing that had ever happened to them, though, and they didn't take it for granted. It had three bedrooms—one was the 'medical room' where they kept everything related to first aid, one was Burt's bedroom, and the other was Kurt and Blaine's. There was also a kitchen stocked with non-perishable foods, a basement stocked with weapons, and a living room. Also, two bathrooms. They all knew this couldn't last forever, though, so they went out into the town weekly to get supplies. Originally, Burt suggested that only he was the one to go out, but the teenagers instantly disagreed. If they did something, they did it together.

Blaine snapped out of his daydreaming when a can of beans and a spoon was placed in front of him on the table and Burt sat down. "What's on your mind, kid?" he asked.

The boy shrugged miserably. "I'm just worried about Kurt," he said.

"Me too." Burt said solemnly, grasping Blaine's hand for a second.

The teenager sighed, "I'm not really hungry," he admitted, staring at the can of beans blankly. He didn't think he could eat after seeing the damage done to Kurt's leg.

Burt stood up from the table, "Well, that's too bad. You're eating that. Be thankful we got stuff to eat, Blaine. Be thankful we want to eat beans, not brains."

"I know, I know," Blaine said, thoroughly reprimanded. "It's just…I can't get Kurt's injury out of my mind. He's in so much pain. And I can't do anything about it."

A strong hand clasped his shoulder. "I gave him something for the pain. He should be alright." Blaine just sighed, so Burt continued, "How about you eat half that can of beans and then you go to Kurt."

Blaine looked up in weary gratefulness. "Okay," he agreed, then choked down the food quickly.

Burt watched him sadly as the teenager ran up the stairs as silently as possible, so not to wake Kurt. He sat down and finished off the rest of Blaine's meal, thinking hard. Some nights, he would go into Kurt and Blaine's room, gun in hand, with full intention of easing their suffering by killing them painlessly while they slept. And then the doubts would set in. What right did he have to decide whether they would be put down like animals? What right did he have, holding their lives in his hands? He didn't. He didn't have that right.

Also, whenever he walked in the room and saw how Blaine held Kurt close, like he was the most precious thing on Earth, and how Kurt looked so content and at peace…he would wonder if killing them really would be doing them a favor. As long as they found some happiness in this shell of a life, wasn't it worth living?

Burt finished off the can, then made his way up the staircase to go to his own bedroom. He glanced into Kurt and Blaine's room, but Blaine wasn't there. Instead, Burt found him in the medical room, curled up on the cot next to his unconscious boyfriend, using Kurt's chest as a pillow and holding on to the front of his T-shirt like he was never letting go.

As soon as Kurt started to wake up, he wished he would have stayed unconscious. His head was muffled and pounding, he felt sick to his stomach, and there was a hot pain radiating from his right leg. He heard himself groan and then cracked open an eyelid. No light ever got through the barricaded windows, but the clock on the bedside table told him it was almost 8:30 in the morning.

He tried to shift around, only to find that his left arm was trapped beneath a warm body. He opened his eyes fully and drank in the sight of Blaine, still blissfully asleep. Warm breaths from his lax mouth gently ticked the side of Kurt's neck, his face was worry-free and his hair was a rumpled mess. Kurt, even as he fought through a haze of pain, couldn't stop a gentle smile. He crossed his right arm over his chest to tenderly stroke his boyfriend's cheek, where he felt the evidence of light stubble. Even in this mess of a world, Blaine made time to shave every day.

At his touch, Blaine shifted a little in his sleep. Kurt couldn't stop himself from kissing the shorter boy's nose. At this, his eyes finally opened, revealing a gorgeous, sleepy hazel. "Mm, morning," Blaine mumbled, rubbing his face on Kurt's shoulder.

Kurt was still in pain, but he let out a little laugh. He waited for Blaine to realize where he was, what had happened, and start to worry. It took about 15 more seconds before it hit him. "Ohmygod, Kurt!" the shorter boy exclaimed, moving his weight from on top of Kurt's body. "Are you okay? How do you feel?"

"I'm fine," Kurt said automatically, but then looked away at Blaine's accusing look. He couldn't lie to this boy. "Okay, my leg really hurts."

Blaine pressed a kiss to his cheek before scrambling off the bed. He grabbed the pitcher of water and a pill from the bottle beside it. "See?" he said, handing a glass of water and the drugs to his boyfriend, "You get rewarded for telling the truth."

Kurt managed a smile. "Thanks," he muttered before draining the water back with the pill.

"It should take a while to kick in, though," Blaine was still watching him with those observant, empathetic eyes.

Kurt beckoned to him. "Then cuddle with me until it does," he commanded. Blaine looked at him fondly and complied. Soon they were back in their original position, with Blaine snuggled into the taller boy's side. They could hear Burt down in the kitchen, singing off-key country songs.

Blaine was staring at Kurt's leg, which had bandages in need of changing. The pale boy watched him carefully, looking for any telltale signs. Then, he saw them. Blaine's eyes became filled with hopelessness and his breathing became short and shaky. "Blaine," Kurt said calmly, "Look at me."

Hazel eyes met stunning blue. Kurt brushed his fingers lightly over the contours of his boyfriend's face, trying to erase the helplessness that had sunk into his skin. "Don't think like that, okay? We've talked about this."

Blaine kept his gaze fixated to Kurt's pale face, but his eyes were filling with tears. "I know, but…"

"Please, Blaine. It could be worse, right? We're safe, we're fine."

"How could it be worse?" the shorter boy whispered, searching Kurt's soul with his golden eyes. "The world is dead, completely over-run by unfeeling, cannibal monsters. We don't even know if… Y-You nearly died, Kurt. And now you're in pain. But you're gonna get better…and for what? What's the point of existing in these ruins?"

Kurt brushed away the tears that fell. "Blaine, you and Dad are my world. I've always said that, even before the outbreak happened," he touched their foreheads together, "As long as you guys are with me, then there is something to live for. Please don't tell me that we should just kill ourselves. I couldn't bear to hear it the first time you said it. And I thought I convinced you otherwise."

"You did!" Blaine choked out, "But I just…I can't…It's just so…"

"I know, baby, I know." He hugged Blaine to his chest, feeling the tears soak the front of his T-shirt, and started to sing. "When the world gets too heavy, put it on my back. I'll be your levy. You are taking me apart like bad glue on a get-well card." He felt Blaine's breath even out a little bit and he attuned himself to the way the shorter boy was relaxing. "There was always you falling for me, now there's always time calling for me. I'm the light blinking at the end of the road. Blink back to let me know."

Blaine stopped crying to listen, then piped up, his head still resting over Kurt's steadily-beating heart, "I'm a fly that's trapped in a web, but I'm thinking that my spider's dead. Lonely, lonely little life. I could kid myself in thinking that I'm fine."

They both sang together for the chorus once more, then joined their voices for the bridge. "I'm skin and bone; just a cane and rusty throne. Oh, the castle's under siege, but the sign outside says 'leave me alone'."

Burt had come up the stairs to wake up his boys, and he now stood in the doorway listening as they sung the chorus together and finished the song.

"There was always you."

Kurt placed a kiss to the curls on top of Blaine's head as the shorter boy's shaking finally subsided completely and he came back to a healthier state of mind. Burt entered the room. "Hey, boys," he said. Blaine quickly wiped his eyes, even though the older man had seen him break down a couple times before. "How ya doing?"

"We've been better," Kurt said and his father nodded in understanding.

Burt took off his baseball cap and rubbed his head. "Well, we got some canned peaches for breakfast. If you could go get them, Blaine, I'll change Kurt's bandages while you're gone."

Blaine reluctantly left his boyfriend's side. "Okay, yeah, I can do that."

Blaine took a long time opening up the cans that Burt had brought from the basement. Part of the reason for this was that he didn't want to hear Kurt's noises of pain. The other part was that he had thought about his family again this morning. Truthfully, Kurt and Burt were everything he needed, but he couldn't help thinking about his biological family. Were they even alive?

Blaine had never gotten along with his parents like Kurt got along with Burt. But they were still his mom and dad, and he missed them like crazy. Most of the sadness stemmed from the fact that he didn't even know what had become of them. What if they were alive and thinking the same things about him?

What if they weren't?

And, most of all, Blaine missed his big brother. Cooper was always there for him whenever he was in any kind of trouble and not having him here really hurt. Even though the actor was usually away from home, he was the one that Blaine felt he could go to if he had problems. His older brother could be a little annoying, but he was still his brother.

Blaine just really hoped that his family was okay…or that they died painless deaths.

He bit his lip and brought their meal up the stairs. Burt was just tying up the ends of the white bandages on Kurt's leg. The wounded boy in question looked paler than usual and his mouth was set tight, but he stubbornly didn't voice his obvious pain.

"Breakfast!" Blaine called out with as much cheer as he could manage. He was trying really hard to suppress the feelings from earlier because he knew how much him having a bad day affected the other two men. Kurt usually could take care of Blaine when he got like that, but this time is was Kurt who needed taking care of, and it wasn't Blaine's place to make it about him. He concentrated on the happiness and contentment he felt with the two Hummels, and not on the conflicted desperation weighing down his heart.

They all ate in the medical room to keep Kurt company. About halfway through the meal, it seemed like the pain medication finally kicked in, because he stopped looking so tense. Blaine was still struggling to keep his feelings from overbearing him, and he couldn't stop himself from climbing in the bed beside Kurt again, even though Burt was still in the room. He didn't look at the older man, so he didn't see the understanding look he was given. Blaine placed his head on Kurt's chest and listened to the steady rhythm of his heartbeat.

As long as the three of them were together, they would be okay.

It took about a month for Kurt to be able to walk on his leg again. He still had a limp, but it didn't hurt too much to move around. While he was recovering, Blaine and Burt went out for supplies by themselves. Kurt would worry himself sick the whole time they were gone, and feel inexplicably relieved when they came back safe and sound.

It was kind of unsettling how comfortable they were getting within their new lifestyle. It had been quite a while since even Blaine had lost control. They were getting used to life now. Kurt wasn't sure whether that was a good or bad thing.

However, they weren't allowed to relax for very long. One morning, all three of them were eating some oatmeal for breakfast. Blaine was sitting by the counter, absently fiddling with the radio. He had it on a low volume setting because it was pretty much all static and white noise.

He almost dropped his bowl when he heard a voice on one channel. That is, he nearly choked on the food in his mouth. "Blaine, you okay?" Burt asked, concerned, as he looked up from the book he was reading.

Blaine coughed a little, making rapid motions towards the radio before turning the volume up very loudly. "What are you—" Burt started to complain, before he heard the words, too. "Kurt, get in here!"

"What?" Kurt looked uncertain when he limped into the kitchen, "What's going on?"

Blaine finally gained control of his voice, "Listen!" he rasped.

"—will be waiting. I repeat, if any survivors in Ohio can hear this: come to Columbus. We have a safe place for everyone, with food and supplies. However, we need to keep this place totally clean, so no one infected is allowed in. Any survivors in Ohio: travel to Columbus…"

The message proceeded to repeat itself in a couple other languages before re-saying the same phrases, as if it were on a loop. The three men stood frozen for a few moments until Blaine launched himself at Kurt and hugged him around the waist. The taller boy stumbled a little because of his injury, but held his boyfriend close. Kurt felt how Blaine clung to him and, when his dad walked over and hugged them both, he couldn't stop a few tears from falling. It's amazing how quickly hope can affect a life.

There were just a couple things they needed to work through. It was only about a two-hour drive to Columbus…but they needed a vehicle. Burt's truck, which they had driven to Alice's house originally, had been taken apart by the zombies in a brain-dead tantrum. The windows were smashed in and the engine was missing some key parts. However, this didn't deter the three men. They knew that the rest of the cars in Lima were probably in the same state, so they pushed their damaged truck into the garage adjacent to the house (well, Blaine and Burt pushed while Kurt complained about being useless).

That was the starting point for a scavenger hunt of sorts. Instead of going out for supplies, Burt and Blaine would raid the abandoned vehicles in the streets, looking for the right parts they needed to repair their own motive of transportation. Blaine didn't know much about mechanics, so he simply carried the objects that Burt would place in his arms. Then, they would bring those objects home, where the Hummel father-son duo would roll up their sleeves and get to work. That was Blaine's turn to feel useless.

Burt and Kurt worked well together. Blaine would sit on a stool and occasionally hand them things, but mostly he just watched with a smile on his face. He really felt at home where he was, even considering…the state of the world. Not to mention, Kurt's grease-monkey alter-ego was incredibly fascinating and also kind of hot.

Any of them could recite the message being broadcasted over the radio on loop. They had it written down in multiple places around the house. It was their symbol of hope, their light at the end of the tunnel, their goal to strive for. Bags were packed with all the essentials, ready to go whenever the transportation was ready.

Due to their un-relenting efforts, the truck was fixed in just over a week.

Blaine took a deep breath as his hands smoothed over the pistol in his hand. He had gotten better at shooting under Burt's instruction, but he still wasn't completely confident. The seventeen-year-old watched his boyfriend load the last of their belongings into the backseat of the truck before feeling guilty. He shoved the gun into his pocket again before hugging Kurt from behind. "I'm sorry I'm not really helping," he said into the taller boy's shoulder.

Kurt turned around and Blaine could feel the solid weight of Kurt's own pistol hidden in his jacket. Each of them was equipped with a gun, just in case. Kurt preferred knives, but they were only good for close-range attacks, which they were hoping to avoid. The pale boy leaned town and pressed their foreheads together lightly. "It's okay," he said with a soft and understanding smile, "You just needed some time to think. I get it."

Blaine brought his strong arms around Kurt's waist and held him, trying to ignore the flutter of nerves in his heart. They were so close…to what, he wasn't sure. But close to something. And he simply wasn't prepared to lose either of the men in his life. Burt and Kurt were everything now. They had to make it to Columbus and whatever waited for them there.

"Alright boys, lots of time for that later," Burt called out good-naturally when he entered the garage, loading his own gun. Blaine and Kurt reluctantly left the embrace, but stood close enough to the other to feel their body heat. "Are we ready to go? Got everything?" the father checked the truck for the fourth time that morning and found no unexpected malfunctions.

Kurt sighed, "Yeah, I think we're all set."

"Okay, let's go," Blaine said confidently, gathering his strength before opening the passenger door and sliding into the truck. Courage, he thought to himself. Burt got in the driver's side as Blaine helped his boyfriend into the passenger seat. He saw Kurt's grimace of discomfort when too much weight was put on his bad leg, but he also noticed the way that the pale boy masked it automatically.

As Burt opened the automatic garage door, Blaine tried to cling onto the safety he felt, sitting between the two Hummels, his family. Kurt looked over at him with a completely understanding look in his blue eyes. He grasped Blaine's tan hand firmly and the two boys found strength in their proximity.

It seemed like the sun was brighter than before as the garage door opened fully and they backed out into the street. It was weird to travel by truck instead of on foot; the sky looked smaller and the bodies looked more still through a pane of glass. Blaine gripped the gun in his pocket nervously. So far, none of the zombies were aware of their immediate escape. The creatures usually didn't venture out in full daylight but, when something provoked them, they would stop at nothing to get at what stimulated their sluggish brains—human life.

They drove through the cold, empty streets in silence. Burt occasionally swerved the truck to avoid a body or a misplaced appliance. Blaine felt like he was holding his breath for the whole eight minutes it took to exit the town; once they were driving quickly down the highway, his chest stopped feeling like it was being crushed. However, he stopped himself from being too at ease, because they weren't in Columbus yet…only starting.

It was about a two-hour drive from Lima to the capital of Ohio, but it felt like a day had gone by when they were only half-way there. The sun was in the middle of the sky when disaster struck. Burt was watching the horizon for any signs when they moved to avoid a demolished car. So, he wasn't looking intently enough at the road to notice copious amounts of broken glass littering the asphalt. There was an unexpected bump and worrying sounds, then the truck was being pulled over to stop at the side of the road.

"What happened?" Kurt asked, nervously biting his lip.

Burt opened his door and got out of the vehicle to assess the damage. "Flat tire," he said and Blaine gulped.

"You mean…we're stuck here in the middle of nowhere?" He knew that they had their supplies with them, piled on the back seat, but he really didn't want to feel so isolated…so vulnerable.

Burt saw that the boys were getting worried. "No, guys, it's okay," he said, "I got a spare." As the older man moved towards the truck box, Blaine and Kurt breathed sighs of relief. Thank goodness that Burt Hummel thought of everything.

Blaine analyzed the countryside around them as he waited in the passenger seat of the truck. Kurt and Burt were changing the tire and the younger boy was trying to stay calm, humming a song to himself. It was by sheer luck that he saw the threat.

Glancing in the side mirror, Blaine caught sight of something moving up the highway behind them, getting pretty close. He frowned a little, sitting up straighter. The object wasn't a vehicle… It was hard to see through the slightly-dirty mirror, so Blaine turned around in his seat to look through the rear-view window.

Stumbling down the middle of the highway, gaining on the unsuspecting Hummels, was an undead zombie.

Blaine shot out of the truck as if electrically shocked. "Kurt, Burt!" he yelled, trying to get their attention. The creature used to be a man in his forties, by the look of him. He had a gaping hole in his ribs, which was leaking blood all over the road. Blaine shakily took the pistol out of his pocket. The zombie was close to the Hummels, who were reaching for their own weapons. Too close.

Without leaving any room for thought, Blaine took aim and pulled the trigger. His first shot flew just over the thing's shoulder, his second going through its rotting stomach, but the third shot went straight through the middle of its forehead. It crumpled in a heap right at Burt's feet, as he stood protectively in front of his son.

The father's steady green eyes met Blaine's frantic hazel. "Good shot, son," he said.

"Only took me three tries," Blaine replied shakily before approaching on weak legs. He tried not to think about how it felt to point a gun at another being, to pull the trigger, to watch it go down. He tried to convince himself that he wasn't really ending that man's life…that had happened a while ago.

Burt clasped his shoulder and Kurt reached for his hand when he stood next to them. "We're almost done with the tire," Burt said, kneeling down once more, "Just give me a couple more minutes and we'll be ready to get going again."

Blaine nodded and looked once more back to where they had been. "Um…you'd better hurry, though…" he said, swallowing hard. Coming up the highway was a group of about six of the undead. Either they had heard the gunshot, or had been following their vehicle the entire time.

Burt glanced at the advancing group, then renewed his efforts, working quickly and efficiently on the tire. Kurt didn't bother offering his assistance because he knew that his father would work better on his own at this point. Instead, he drew his gun. He and his boyfriend steadied their hands and narrowed their eyes, waiting until the zombies were in range.

Kurt fired the first shot, causing the creature on the receiving end to stumble and fall, only to get back up. "Any time now, Dad," he said, taking aim again before shooting again. This time, the zombie didn't get back up.

Blaine missed his first few attempts, so he waited until they were closer to try again. He wasn't as good a shot as Kurt and he didn't want to waste his bullets. "Almost done," Burt said. Blaine fought the panic down as the five remaining zombies gained ground. "Done!" The older man grabbed his toolbox and flung it into the back of the truck. "Let's go boys!"

But one of the undead creatures was faster. It seemed to sense that they were going to slip through its grasp and picked up speed. Burt and Kurt had already started running to the doors, but Blaine stood his ground and took aim at what used to be a blonde teenage girl. However, he faltered when he recognized the dead brown eyes. His hands relaxed a little on the weapon. "Quinn?" he whispered.

"Blaine!" Kurt screamed. Burt was already starting the truck and Kurt was standing by the open passenger door. He wouldn't be able to make it to Blaine quickly enough on his bad leg. All he could do was watch, petrified, as the zombie staggered closer to the love of his life.

Then, a gunshot rang out into the air. The zombie, not three feet away from where Blaine stood, crumpled to the ground like a doll. Blaine's gun clattered to the pavement after it. Kurt wasn't sure where his boyfriend had found the strength to shoot, but the relief overran everything when Blaine numbly made his way over to the truck and Kurt hugged him fiercely.

They didn't have time to waste. Almost as soon as Kurt and Blaine sat down and slammed the door shut, they heard the thuds as the remaining zombies in the group ran into the truck from behind. Burt quickly hit the accelerator and they sped off down the highway once more.

The silence was filled with shuddering breaths as they fought to get themselves under control. Kurt looked over at Blaine, sitting between him and his dad. The shorter boy was staring out the window with this terribly blank look. He had shot the zombie at such a close range that he had blood splattered on his face. Slowly, Blaine reached up and touched his right cheek. His breathing stuttered when he saw the red staining his fingers.

He looked over and Kurt nearly drowned in his hazel eyes as they filled with tears. "Kurt," Blaine whimpered, "I…I just shot Quinn."

Kurt let out all his breath and reached for his boyfriend, who curled into his side and trembled. The taller boy felt nails digging into the skin of his back, but didn't say anything, simply let Blaine know that he was there and that he wasn't going anywhere. "No," Kurt said firmly, but he wiped the blood off of Blaine's face as gently as possible, "It wasn't Quinn. It was something that used to be Quinn."

"But still," Blaine's voice cracked and Kurt thought he had never seemed so young, "I still killed her, Kurt."

"No," Kurt said again, rubbing his boyfriend's shoulder, "The disease killed her, Blaine. You set her free."

Burt placed his large hand on Blaine's knee and Kurt held the smaller boy close. By the time they made it to Columbus, Blaine had fallen into an exhausted sleep.

An organization had been created because of the outbreak. It started with a group of survivors who got together and made a plan. They called it "The Revival". They established safe houses in the capital cities of as many of the states as possible. They started repairing vehicles and hording supplies, creating safe houses for the uninfected to stay in. Once all of that was ready, they began to broadcast messages over the radio. Now, dozens of people from all over were joining together. It was surprising how many survivors had managed to live in this environment, and how many were determined, trusting and strong-willed enough to make the trip.

Ever since they were met at the gates of Columbus—literally, they were building a wall around the city—Burt, Kurt and Blaine were welcomed with open arms. The new community they were a part of was wonderful. There was no violence or thievery or hatred. All of a sudden, there was a much bigger picture for people to think of, and everyone needed to cooperate in order to achieve their vision.

The Revival was simple: bring the survivors together, protect them, wait until it's safe to go back out beyond their borders, then try to rebuild the world.

The Hummels and Blaine adapted well to life within the protected walls. Blaine's panic attacks lessened and Kurt's leg healed even more. By the time The Revival was ready to begin, they were also ready for the change. Because, really, it could only get better from this point, right?

When Burt watched Kurt and Blaine sing and dance again for the first time since the outbreak; when Blaine would join the local football tournaments; when Kurt sewed clothes for the children down the street; when the Hummel family continued to have Friday-night dinners…none of them regretted the fact that, even though so many people close to them were lost, they had survived.

Because life is worth it…when you have someone to live for.

Author's Second Note: Happy Apocalypse, everybody. ;) The song used was 'Always' by Panic! at the Disco. I really hope you liked this story because it took a lot out of my brain to write, phew. Once again, I showed that I kind of suck at writing endings... Anyway! Congratulations on getting this far! Now, go read the companion fic to this! It's called 'Being Alive' by AngelisIgniRelucent.

Take care.

-Patricia Sage