Summary: It's just typical. Anytime he and Sam are separated, one of them dies, or sells their soul, or is nearly sacrificed, or starts the apocalypse.
Fandom: Supernatural; Bandom
Characters: Dean and Sam Winchester, Brendon Urie
Original Story: Forty Thousand Men and Women Every Day by ignipes
Notes: Thanks to my awesomesauce betas laurificus and musesfool, they deserve rewards for al the flailing they have to put up with from me, really. Also, credit for the title goes to musesfool
When the world ends this time, Sam is in Las Vegas.
Dean looks up from the flickering green of a monitor so old it could probably be donated to a museum, when the screaming starts in the library of whatever small town outside of fucking Omaha it is he'd ended up at. His shotgun is tucked up under the bench seat of the Impala and his brother is half a country away, probably not even doing body shots off of a stripper.
To be fair, Dean doesn't exactly know that it's the end of the world, but he's had this feeling of dread settling pretty heavy in his stomach since Bobby started talking about apron strings and two different jobs and drawing straws. It's just typical. Anytime he and Sam are separated, one of them dies, or sells their soul, or is nearly sacrificed, or starts the apocalypse.
He starts up the stairs anyway, weaponless and resigned.
The library has what Dean estimates to be around two dozen books, including two copies of the Harry Potter series, and a wobbly card table that doubles as a check out desk. There's a camping sized portable television set to one side of the table playing All My Children at top volume.
By the time he eases open the door, all he can hear is Erica Kane ranting about some sort of injustice in her life. It doesn't exactly make him breathe any easier as he slips around the corner to investigate—or get the fuck to the exit, whichever turns out to be more convenient.
There's a blonde in a simple blue dress leaning heavily across the table; her eyes are trained on the television set, as she gnaws absently on the liver-spotted hand of the eighty-something librarian who had waved Dean toward the basement. The entire ten by eight by ten room reeks like a grave reopened after about two weeks in the summer.
Dean, in a display of manliness he thinks would probably make Sam kind of proud, only gags a little. He takes ten long seconds to stare at his boots, waiting for his stomach to calm the fuck down, while he carefully weighs his options.
He hasn't exactly spent a lot of his life on this side of his fight or flight response. It takes him an embarrassing amount of time to figure out, that, well, there really is no way out that doesn't require him to walk right by it, out in the open, and without a weapon.
If he gets out of this without getting eaten, he's totally going to handcuff Sam to the Impala next time anybody starts talking about freakish codependency.
It—the girl, whatever, hasn't even blinked. She's just watching, intently, as Adam Chandler starts to loudly declare his latest evil plan. Dean takes a step forward, out of his hiding spot. His boot squeak on the linoleum, and she doesn't turn in his direction.
He lets out the breath he didn't completely realize he'd been holding and, well, walks toward the door. Steven Tyler suddenly sings out, loudly, Dude Looks Like a Lady, from the inside pocket of his jacket. It—She, whatever, doesn't move anything but her jaw as she continues to chew.
"Huh," Dean says, and answers his phone as he steps into the blisteringly perfect spring weather, squinting against the sunlight. "I swear to god, Sammy, I am never letting you go to Vegas without me again."
It isn't just the library that smells like a rotting corpse. There are nearly a dozen more of the things on main street. More of them than people; there's two to most of the bodies sprawled out—chewing things Dean very carefully does not think about; they've got bloody mouths, and glassy eyes, and splitting skin.
They turn toward him, one by one, like animals caught feeding. There's one limping toward him on a turned ankle, with patches of gray hair and an enormous pot belly, drooling blood as he goes, pulling a boy behind him that was maybe ten, if he was small for his age. The boy has a bright red t-shirt, and dirty blonde hair, and half of his jugular missing.
Dean's stomach has apparently remembered its previous complaints. "You," Dean says, into the mouthpiece of his phone, backing the fuck up very, very quickly, "obviously cannot be left alone for two days. You took blatant advantage of legal prostitution to ease the pain of having to look at that mug of yours in the morning didn't you? Then you got drunk, you lost all our money on the tables, and you caused the fucking zombie apocalypse."
He inhales sharply—a little too sharply; the stench hits like new again, turning his stomach over and over and— "Dean." Sam laughs, then shuts it down quickly, the way he does when Dean surprises it out of him. "It would take a lot of alcohol to make me lose at these tables."
"I've seen you drink, Sammy. You can't spread those lies with me." There are more of them turning toward Dean, and he glances over his shoulder as he shuffles backwards. The big guy is still advancing at the leisurely pace killers in movies use when they're just biding their time, waiting for their prey to wear out, and half the other damn things are starting to follow it too, trailing after the boy it's dragging behind with hunger in their eyes.
"They're really bad players," Sam admits, and, "I didn't start the zombie apocalypse," in a tone of voice that adds on you dick, loud and clear without it having to be spoken. It's totally an affectionate you dick though, and Dean—well, doesn't relax, because, zombies, but he does kind of feel a little better.
"Jesus, these things are disgusting," Dean says, and shudders.
"They kind of remind me of you after a hunt when you finally get a bacon cheeseburger in front of you."
He gets to his car, beautiful and shining and loaded with weapons and a full tank of gas, and slips in behind the wheel just in time for a bloody gray hand to smear his window instead of grab his face. He doesn't puke because he doesn't have that kind of time. "Remember when you were, like, eight, and we got pulled into the office of that really hot counselor at the school in, fuck, somewhere in Nebraska, I think, and she lectured us about how if we told the truth they wouldn't—"
"I did not cause the zombie apocalypse," Sam interrupts, his tone stuck somewhere between disbelieving and unwillingly amused. "You dick," he adds, just for good measure.
Dean sighs, shifts to hold his phone between his ear and his shoulder, so he can back out and get the fuck out of this stupid town before there is any unnecessary denting of his baby. As he pulls out of his parking spot, the zombies make a sound that's caught somewhere between a scream and a gurgle. It makes his skin want to crawl a hundred different directions just to get away.
"Sam, I want you to stay where you are. Barricade yourself in one of the hotel rooms, enjoy some fifteen dollar peanuts, build a fucking pillow fort, and stay put," he says, and only cringes a little when he realizes his voice is pitched down like Dad giving an order. "I'll be there as quick as I can," he adds, his voice softened, "you dick."
His phone beeps the beep of a dropped call. Service cannot be found, his screen declares. He knows better than to be surprised, but
"Fuck," Dean says, with a great deal of feeling, and slaps the steering wheel with the palm of his hand. "Fucking zombies." He throws his phone across the car and it hits the passenger's side door with a crack.
It takes twenty minutes of driving ninety down an open road, passing empty cars, and stumbling bodies, and enough carnage to leave the bitter aftertaste of hell in his mouth. Twenty minutes of going fast enough that everything blurs together until all he can focus on without getting sick is the solid yellow highway lines, before he's calm enough to wonder where the fuck he is.
He's got a map in the glove compartment. It already had all the routes between where he was supposed to be and Vegas highlighted before he'd dared to let Sam step foot on airport soil. He may not be the best maker of plans ever, but he's got years of practice at being a big brother, and not a lot of it at letting Sam go across the fucking country, where Dean can't keep an eye on him.
He turns off the highway, into a residential area where the dogs are all barking, the streets are all empty, and the houses are dark. He doesn't stop. There are trees standing tall all around, limbs reaching out to overlap above his head, shading everything just a little too dark. He can see the zombies stumbling around in the shadows, between the houses, limping and shuffling forward, and backwards, jaws always working. He slows down enough to reach over and grab his map, sliding through a stop sign.
There's a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye that makes him slam on his brakes out of instinct, almost before he can hear the shouting—what might be an actual word in another language, or just some bastardization of "help" and "oh my fucking god" that slips out when you're being chased by half a dozen zombies.
He doesn't hit the kid; the kid runs straight into his fucking car. "Holy shit," the kid gasps, half lying on the hood, panting and in pain and alive. "Holy shit," he says, again, and Dean has to agree with that. The fucking pack chasing him are actually making an effort towards it, not like the ones Dean had run across however-many miles back. Like they don't have most of a small town in their bellies, weighing them down. They're closing in fast.
"Get in," Dean says, "Get in, get in, get in." Because more of them just keep coming, and even though he's got his shot gun now, there are too many, even if he hit every shot perfect. Even if. "Get the fuck in the car," he shouts, pushing open the passenger's side door, as the kid scrambles across his hood with his big stupid red shoes.
He's only mostly inside when Dean takes off, because any time for sitting still has passed. The open door takes down two zombies before the kid manages to get it shut. The Impala bounces over two more like speed bumps.
The kid pulls his feet up in the seat, when he manages to get himself into a semi-upright position, and clutches at his side. He's sweating so hard his shirt is practically soaked; he's got stupid hair and a pair of obnoxiously bright green sunglasses that he managed to keep pushed up on top of his head. It takes a long time before he can catch his breath.
He snaps on his seatbelt long before he manages to do anything else.
Dean doesn't let his foot up off the gas at all for another twenty minutes.
Finally, Dean offers, "I fucking hate zombies."
And the kid laughs, startled, gaze darting out the window and then back to Dean again. "Why couldn't it have been unicorns?" he asks. "Zombies were way cooler when they were fictional. Or My Chemical Romance. Real zombies fucking suck."
The kid shifts around inside the confines of his seatbelt, fingers twisting up in it then releasing, then doing it all over again. "Um," he says, finally, tugging on the front of his hair like he wants to make it cover his face, only it's too short for that. "Thanks for, uh, thanks."
"It's what I do."
"Don't worry about it, kid. Do you have a place to go?"
"My family is, uh." He swallows, shifts around some more, like he can't get comfortable. He's maybe one tenth the size that Sam is, but probably not that much younger. He's got dark hair, and big dark eyes, and a pout that, frankly, could put Sam to shame on his best days. Dean's grudgingly impressed. It takes a lot of skill to get to that level. "They're in Vegas," he finishes, finally, and nearly breaks his voice on it.
Dean doesn't have enough ammo in the car; there's maybe half a Snickers and a bottle of that vitamin water shit Sam insists on having shoved under the seat, and the needle on the gas gauge is edging closer and closer to empty. There hasn't been a place that looked safe to pull over yet.
"How are you at reading a map?" Dean asks, before he even realizes he's going to. It doesn't make a lot of sense after he does it, unless you take into account how he's always caved when Sam looked at him like that. Wide-eyed and scared, and not wanting to ask.
"I almost never make detours for large balls of twine, anymore."
Even with the world falling apart and his brother too goddamned many miles away, Dean can't help but grin at that. "I'm Dean. My brother'd better fucking be hiding under the bed in his hotel room in Vegas. If he gets killed I'm going to murder him."
"Brendon," the kid says, leaning forward. He pulls out the map, already covered in hot pink lines. "You don't get us eaten, and I won't get us lost."
"Deal," Dean answers, and pushes down on the gas pedal just a little harder.