Fandom: !Fanfiction, Glee
Scritta con: Liz
Personaggi: Dave, Kurt, Blaine
Genere: Drama, Romance, Horror
Avvisi: Slash, Angst, What if
Rating: NC17
Note: Zombies! Could we say no to three wonderful arts showing a bitten, slowly transforming Kurt? No, because you don't say no to zombies. And to wonderful arts as well. First rule: Cardio. Second rule: The Double Tap. Third rule: Beware of Bathrooms. Fourth rule: Take your soon-to-be zombie boyfriend to the nearest friend's house and try to keep him alive as long as you can. And that's basically what happens in this story. We really had fun writing it, even if the story is not funny at all. We wanted to write about a post Zombie Apocalypse scenario already, and the reverse bang gave us this opportunity. So, thanks to the reverse bang. And thanks, of course, to the talented Emily who drew the fan art we took inspiration from, you can see them in the story. Enjoy :) ~ reviews will be cherished, criticisms are welcomed, but please be gentle

Riassunto: After a zombie outbreak that reduced the world to a battlefield where only few human outposts are still standing, Kurt is bitten by a zombie and Dave does the best he can to keep him alive, with a little help from Blaine.

Everything started with a simple fever.

Then, it became a flu. The first case was in New York. It was followed two weeks after by the second one in Washington. And then the third one came, on the West Coast, in sunny California. News channels started reporting some vague information on a seasonal flu that now was confining people all over the United States in hospital wards. Reporters said it was just a variation of a weaker form of Spanish flu, for which the World Health Organization had a perfectly working vaccine. There was nothing to fear.

To a world that was scared to death by the H1N1 virus just six years before, it should have sounded like an alarming bell. Unfortunately it didn't.

When it turned out the first case has not been the first at all but the tenth – maybe even more – and that it has never been flu, but a mutation of the rabies virus that boiled your brain, it was too late for everyone.

By the time the first cases appeared in Canada and South America, closing the borders was completely useless.

At the beginning, the disease took two weeks to incubate. Subjects were highly feverish and in a strong state of confusion for days. They started to lose appetite and show signs of restlessness and exhaustion, followed by the quickly decay of their mental faculties. The end of it was a short state of coma, in which they fell during their sleep. After that, they would either die or wake up a few hours later with no knowledge of who they were and prey of such a madness, forcing them to attack, bite and eat other people like deranged animals.

Eventually, restraining them proved to be impossible. Subjects at the final stage of the disease had an unusual strength – probably adrenalin induced – and no self-preservation instinct, which means they would pursue their chasing even if beaten or wounded, and they were in no way affected by tranquillizer of any kind.

One bite was enough to be infected. So, the disease spread fast.

The governments of the world tried to contain the outbreak but acted too late and failed. Through airports the virus reached every state of America and then crossed the Ocean. Within a month Europe and Asia were already infected too. The world population was quickly reduced by 60%. But the mortality rate of the disease was actually very low. So, people who weren't healthy, unfortunately were hardly just dead.

Millions of diseased creatures started roaming the streets of the cities around the world, while the army evacuated as many people as possible. Sometimes it succeeded. Most of the time, it didn't.

Now, what's left of the human race lives in guarded places called oasis. Small communities of about fifty people, usually located in strategic facilities that are easy to defend or have a practical use, like small airports, hospitals, abandoned malls, schools. They were gathering points for evacuations. When those failed and there were nowhere else to evacuate to, they became homes for the people who remained.

A world state of war have been declared right after the collapse of the human race, six months after the outbreak. So, oasis all over the world are ruled by the army. They serve as shelters as much as headquarters for the military expeditions aimed at exterminate zombies, while ONU and other international organizations try to put back together a world in pieces.

A few makeshift labs in different parts of the world are trying to come up with a vaccine, but with no results as of yet. So, at the moment, the resolution depends totally on the army. The plan is to maintain the current number of healthy people, however low, and reduce the amount of zombies by incursions in the infected areas. Where possible, great cities have been bombed, sometimes even leveled. Everyone's desire to preserve the human culture and history was lost the very moment the risk of losing the human race itself became real.

As for the origin of the virus, speculations have been made.

Most people think the virus is the result of a very badly conducted experiment that got out of control in a lab near New York, where the patient zero was. However, a thorough investigation that would confirm such hypothesis can not be done, since right now there is no way to track down the movements of the virus or the possible labs involved. Lately, the recent discovery of cases in France, Japan and Australia contemporaneous to the one in New York and kept hidden from the governments of the respective countries, has fed a second line of thought supporting the idea that the outbreak has been the result of an attack by a still unidentified terrorist group. However, in default of any kind of claim, the experiment failure is still the main hypothesis.

Right now, people just try to survive another day.


Strangely enough, the new group arrives in the late afternoon.

Usually, the search and rescue squad leaves to reconnoiter at dawn and stops searching by three o'clock in the afternoon, weather they find something or not because patrolling for survivors in the dark is too dangerous. You have to be able to see zombies to shoot them dead for good.

In the beginning, when this was only a very big mess and nobody really knew what was going on, the squad would always come back with survivors. In time, they became fewer and fewer until there were no more survivors at all.

This is the first group that's been found in months.

They are six, four men and two women. The squad found them one mile north of Bellefontaine, in a city park not much bigger than the place they are now. They are malnourished, one of the men coughs like crazy and the youngest female has got a fever, but she says she is not infected.

According to what they say, they have been living in some hunting cabin, feeding on what they would find in the bushes nearby, too scared to go find something better in the empty shops of their abandoned city. They were a lot more. They lost five people in the past eight weeks.

Five people who didn't die.

As of yet, the group has not been allowed into the little community of survivors that has gathered in the tiny mall of Lima, Ohio. There is a strict routine newcomers have to undergo before they can cross the borders of the oasis. And even after that, nobody really feels safe around new faces until at least six months have passed. You can't never be too sure when just one bite turns you undead.

The six are confused and look around suspiciously as much as the people of the oasis look at them from behind the secure railing that marks off the place. It's like looking at wild animals at the zoo. If zoo still existed. Dave is there with everyone else, but it's not boredom that brought him there. He needs to speak with the squad commander, so he has to wait for the man's speech to end.

“You will be placed in quarantine for about three weeks,” the commander is saying, standing in front of the group of newcomers. He is embracing his shotgun and two of his men are aiming at the group. “This is how it goes. If you don't turn, then you will be free to stay. If you do, we will shot you in the head. We won't wait any more weeks. We won't wait for the disease to take its course until the final stage. Basically, we won't wait. At the first signs of the plague, we will put you down. We look at it as both a way to keep everybody as safe as possible and an act of mercy.”

After voting, the people of the community decided they would rather die when still holding their humanity than waiting to lose it day after day to the disease and turn into some flesh-eating monsters. Dave knows of this choice and he has actually voted for it, but he can understand the confusion and the horror on those people's face. It's because they come from outside, where all that counts are the people with you. If you are surrounded by zombies, you cling to all the human beings you have around and who were lucky enough to survive like you, no matter the relationship you have with one another.

You find strength in the humanity you still share.

But in oasis things are different, or at least they are here. People in Lima live in community but they are not a community at all. Every rule and every routine aims to keep the status quo. Everybody loves so much the outward safety of the oasis that tend to remove everything suspiciously dangerous before it can actually prove to be so. People here don't live hoping in a better place, but for the place they already have to stay as it is. Dave has already seen it happen too many times before. He and Kurt have experienced it on their on skin.

Burt was shot two minutes after a creature bit him. Kurt didn't even have the chance to say goodbye when his father still understood him. Dave was there, next to him, restraining him before he could go running to his dad and risk to be shot too. It was devastating.

At least, everybody was sure Burt has been bitten. Finn was put down two weeks after, on account of a confused state that was really suspicious, but never really proved to be the result of the disease. People were just scared of what it might have been.

“What about Candice?” The woman asks, holding the feverish younger one by the shoulder. “She is sick but not with the disease. It's just a common cold. She needs medicines.”

The commander looks at the girl, whose cheeks are flushed. She trembles and coughs every now and then. She really seems just normally sick. Besides, everybody always does. “If she gets through the incubation period, we will give her something. But not now,” he says. “Antibiotics slow down the disease. They would alter the result of these three weeks.”

“What if she gets worse?” One of the man cuts in. “You would let her die of flu when you can cure her?”

The commander doesn't even flinch. “It's three weeks, sir. Or the woods again.”

The man and the woman huddle around the girl who coughs again. None of them speaks again, so the commander nods to his men and starts leading the group toward a small, squat building made of concrete, a few feet away from the bigger structure of the mall. “If you make it,” he says, opening the door so they can go inside “in three weeks, you will be given a safe place to sleep inside the mall, a job, protection and access to a radio frequency to try and see if your family and friends – if you have any left – are safe and sound in some other oasis. Until then, you will stay here.”

One after the other, the six newcomers enter the quarantine building. It is an old warehouse, big enough to contain three or even four times their number. But aside from some makeshift beds and a supply of food, there is nothing else in there. They might as well die of boredom before the incubation period ends.

When everyone is inside, the commander looks seriously at them through the door. “This is your last chance,” he says, holding the door. “If anyone of you has been bitten, say it now. Or you will be closed in here with them until the quarantine ends. And by then, you will be all as good as dead.”

He is looking at the young girl, who hides herself behind the woman. “Nobody's infected,” the woman says, angrily.

The commander shrugs. “I just hope you are not lying,” he says, and then he bolts the door. He and the soldiers start to head back to where the other people are. Everybody is leaving, there is nothing to see anymore. Dave waits for him to dismiss his men and then approaches him.

“Commander, can I have a word?”

The man looks at him for a moment, as if to recognize him and then nods quickly, his expression as cold as stone. “Tell me you bring good news, kid,” he says. “'cause all I have seen coming all day is shit.”

Dave starts walking with him down the road that would bring them back to the mall. “Something bad happened, sir?” He asks politely, crossing his arms behind his back.

“Not bad, just something,” the man answers. “Something happening is already bad enough.”

David understands he is talking about the new group they found in Bellefontaine. “Do you think they might be infected, sir? They seemed okay to me. Except for the girl.”

“Would you tell me your sister is infected if you needed a place to stay?” Dave stays silent. The commander sighs and pats him on his shoulder. “My point exactly. So, what's that you wanted to talk about? If you want to enter the squad, again, it's two weeks since the last time you asked. You are still too young.”

“No, it's not that, sir,” he says. Then he looks around to make sure nobody is listening. “Did you see Kurt on your way back?”

The commander frowns. “I haven't seen him all day. Wasn't he supposed to be out on the fields?”

“Yes,” Dave nods. “He was. I left him there this morning. But it's been almost ten hours, now. I'm starting to worry. He always takes the wrong turn. I'm afraid he got lost, or something.”

The commander remains silent for the longest time. “Kurt works inside the oasis borders, isn't he?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then, you have nothing to worry about. Borders are safe. He would never be so stupid as going out on his own, am I right?” The man continues, looking at him straight into his eyes. “He will be back by the curfew. And if he's not, we will look for him tomorrow. Alright?”

“Sure, sir.”

Dave watches him leave and follows him with his eyes as he goes back to the darkening silhouette of the mall. Evening is approaching and Dave doesn't believe a single word the commander said. What he read on his face was neither calm nor the belief that Kurt is okay.

The commander already thinks the worst, as he usually does.

Dave can only hope Kurt really got lost during the afternoon and wait for him to show up at the noise of the hurricane siren set on the roof of the main building. It rings every day for ten minutes at five o'clock. People are supposed to get inside the borders of the oasis during this period time. If they don't, they stay outside, with all of the related undesired consequences.

Unfortunately, the siren comes and goes and there is no trace of Kurt. Dave waits for him on the border for ten minutes after the noise stopped, right next to the soldier who is going to mount guard tonight. The sun sets and he has to acknowledge the fact that Kurt is out there and that he is probably in danger. He meets the commander's eyes for a brief moment.

For the man, his boyfriend is already dead.

“Me and the rescue squad will look for him first thing in the morning. I'm sure he got lost and he hid somewhere safe,” the commander says. His words sound reassuring, but his hand on Dave's shoulder invites him to be strong, which is something Dave is not willing to do at all, for the moment. You only are strong when there is something to pull through. But Kurt is okay.

He nods to the commander, though. He doesn't want him to think he has something in mind, because he actually does.


Going out is easier than he has thought.

There are just two soldiers along the perimeter. The commander has no men to spare and they all have to rest at night to be ready the morning after. Night shifts are very short and soldiers change continuously, so everybody gets to sleep but the borders are covered the whole night through.

Dave knows the routine because he has been studying it for months, planning as he was to enter the squad.

The oasis is a circle. Each guard walks half of it. They meet at the center of every semi-circle every forty-five minutes, for four times. Then, two other soldiers come to take their place. So once every hour, half of the perimeter is clear. Maybe not long enough to get inside the oasis if you are a brainless creature only driven by hunger, but enough for him to climb the metallic net and jump over it.

He is all dressed up in black, which makes him feel totally stupid, but apparently action heroes in movies are right. Black clothes work just fine when you need to hide in the shadows, and they are many tonight since it's crescent moon.

He waits for the guards meeting to happen, then slips the other way. It takes him at least five minutes to find the right place to jump over the net and land on the green grass outside. Only when he feels the cold metal of the net against his back he realizes that there is nothing protecting him here. Last time he was dangerously close to a zombie was almost a year ago, during the evacuation; when the army almost failed it.
The van in which he and ten other people were traveling to get to the oasis had to stop because the street was blocked by cars of people who had tried to exit the city by themselves. Most of them had died, and their cars were now stopping them from using the highway.

Zombies showed up all of a sudden, literally out of nowhere.

One or two of them just threw themselves against the half open window of the van on his side. If he closes his eyes, he can still see their putrescent claws trying to grab him and smell the stink coming from their rotting wounds. They say you can tell how long a zombie has been dead by its smell. Like you need a more specific time-of-death evaluation beyond the simple fact that what it's clearly a corpse is wondering about and wants to eat you.

Dave understands the need to find normalcy in the hell they are living in now. Analyzing everything, giving order to something that lacks of it helps people to cope with the walking dead and stuff, but sometimes things get too far. He doesn't care about smelling the dead to guess when they died. Finding a cure, that would return everything to normality.

He looks around and sees nothing but the vast expanse of the country around Lima. The mall is outside the city – or what's left of it – and that is what makes it a perfect shelter. Cities are good places to find supplies but they are also dangerous since the majority of deaths happened there and usually dead people just stay where they are – this at least hasn't changed – even if there is nothing left to eat or pray on. Also, cities are harder to defend, especially when you can't enclose just one portion of it without having the zombie colony of the whole neighborhood surrounding you night and day.

After their group has settled in the mall, the army has pulled a net all around it, creating the oasis. A smaller building has been used as a warehouse to stock supplies and then another one has been needed to keep people in quarantine. The place quickly became a tiny city with places to go and things to attend to. A small portion of land that has not been covered in concrete like what once was the mall parking lot has been recently prepared to try and grow some vegetables and wheat. The chance of being rescued and brought to a bigger and better supplied place somewhere in the country has got thinner and thinner every day, especially because there aren't places like that on Earth anymore. So their little colony might as well start to be all-sufficient.

Kurt has been assigned to the fields two weeks ago. He is not happy about it, but he has no other choice. Everybody needs to do something to contribute to the maintenance of the oasis and it's the commander the one deciding the tasks. Dave is basically a drudge. He helps whoever needs an extra pair of hands. It's a tiring job, especially because there is always something to take care of in a place like this. He would love to work in the fields, instead. It would be so much more relaxing.

Anyway, Kurt spends all day taking care of the delicate seeds they have planted recently, preparing new soil and building a greenhouse, so they will be able to grow something during winter. He should have been there today too, so Dave decides to start looking for him there. The fields are inside the net, but quiet far from the mall and you can't see them from it. This is not very safe. According to the commander's orders, nothing can be done out of sight-range from the mall. But they had to make an exception for the fields, because of the concrete everywhere else. So, it takes Dave almost twenty minutes to get there, given that he has to avoid the guards too.

The fields are silent and a little spooky too. Tomatoes are slowly growing and the shadows of their lines extend towards him like long, slim fingers making him shiver. He never got really used to all this silence. When hell hasn't broken loose yet, his house was in the town center and he would fall asleep at the whirring of cars passing by. Silence in the streets has slowly became the first sign of the disaster and he has grown afraid of it. The first nights at the oasis, he has slept with his mp3 player continuously turned on because the lack of sounds around him would make him imagine those creatures crawling just outside the windows.

He looks around, hoping to spot Kurt as quickly as possible, so they can be back home before dawn. He is not sure they will be able to go back in without being noticed and the idea of ending locked up in the quarantine warehouse with some possible infected strangers doesn't make him jump for joy, but this is a problem he will face only when he actually has Kurt with him.

Dave starts walking around, first checking the fields and then quickly moving toward the greenhouse, which is only half finished. Sometimes he murmurs Kurt’s name softly, but he doesn't hope it will help. He just needs to hear someone's voice. The greenhouse is made of wood and some old plastic sheets. They're trying to find some more during recons but, apparently, plastic is a luxury now and it's not easy to find.

Luckily, the door is not bolted. He opens it and quickly gets inside. The moon shines through the many holes in the roof so he can see quite clearly. The place is almost empty, except for some tables and a couple of plants that are too delicate to be left outside during the night. Having four walls around makes him feel safe enough as to call Kurt aloud but no one answers.

He doesn't know what keeps him inside the greenhouse. Why he doesn't turn around and go looking for Kurt somewhere else. He just keeps walking toward the end of the room where all the tools lockers are. He moves slowly, calling Kurt every now and then. Maybe his brain has already registered the sound moments before he actually hears it, but there's a soft sniffing somewhere in there.


The sniffing stops, but he has heard it. He reaches the first locker and stays close to it. He tries to calculate the chances that there is actually a zombie behind it. But they don't cry or hide. They just growl and scream.

“Who's there?” He asks again. “Kurt, is that you? It's Dave.”

This is when the sniffing starts again and from the little sob that comes right after, Dave just knows it's Kurt. He turns around the locker with a quick movement to win over his fear to end up face to face with some undead and for a moment he just stands there, staring at an empty wall. He needs to look down at the next sob to spot Kurt curled up on the floor.

The weight on his chest disappears almost immediately. He doesn't know what he would have done if he had to go back to the mall alone. “It's okay,” he says softly, even smiling a little. He squats next to him and strokes his hair ever so gently. “I am here now.”

Kurt says nothing. He just stands there, hugging his legs and looking down at his shoes covered in dirt. Some time ago, he wouldn't let it happen, but now he's got just one pair of shoes and planting vegetables doesn't exactly help in keeping them clean. Sometimes it is in the smallest details that you really see how the things around you changed.

“Why are you here?” Dave asks. “Didn't you hear the siren?”

Kurt nods slowly and sniffs. “Dave, I don't think you should be here, right now. You really should go back to the Mall. They will be looking for you.”

“Nobody knows I'm out,” Dave smiles proudly. “And I will think of a way for us both to sneak back in. Don't worry, we're gonna be fine.”

Kurt stares into nothing for the longest moment. He moves his lips but he makes no sound and it takes him quite some time to find the words. Enough time to make Dave worry. “I can't go back there.”

“Of course you can,” he says uncomfortably. Kurt's behavior is giving him the chills. “We just need to figure out–“

“I've been bitten.”

Those words make no sense to Dave. It is the red, swollen mark on Kurt's neck that gives them a meaning. The bite is undoubtedly human, 2 inches long, uneven and already turning purple at the edges. The skin has been torn apart, probably when Kurt has tried to escape. Dave grabs Kurt by his shoulder, careful not to touch the wound on his nape. He tries desperately to imagine a possibility where Kurt's wound has not been infected, but of course this is not possible. Every wound does. Especially one like this, so deep Dave can see the muscle. It must have bled a lot.

“How did it happen?”

Kurt takes his time to work around the strong dizziness he's been feeling since he's got bitten. His head spins and the wound is pounding ferociously. “I was working in the field,” he says. “I was digging the soil to plant those cauliflower seeds we found last week. It literally came out of nowhere. I... I don't know. There must be a hole in the fence, but I didn't see it. I just had the time to stand up and it grabbed me. I couldn't...”

Kurt stammers and then shuts up. There is not much else to say. The creature has grabbed him and then bit him. Sometimes they are so strong, you can't yank free no matter what you do. They have the same strength of those dogs that once they have sunk their fangs in you, you can't make them open their mouth unless you knock them down.

“Where is it, now? Is it in the oasis?” Dave asks.

Kurt shakes his head, his eyes fixed on the floor. “I killed it,” he says. “Good timing mine, hm? I thought about the hoe in my fucking hand when it was too late.” Kurt's voice comes out in a growl as he throws something he has been holding in his hand. The handle of the hoe hits the door of another locker, making an incredibly loud and tinkling sound. “This place was supposed to be safe. It was supposed to keep us alive.”

Dave hugs Kurt as he starts to cry and places a kiss on the top of his head. Kurt turns around and hides his face in Dave's chest, sobbing so hard, Dave feels his heart clench. “Everything is going to be alright,” he murmurs over and over in his hair.

Probably not. But right now, it feels like they can use every bit of hope they can get.


They manage to sneak back into the borders of the oasis easier than Dave thought. He guides Kurt down the same road he took to find him, and watches out for the soldiers patrolling the borders to pass through the wire net unnoticed.

Sneaking inside the actual mall is harder – the building hardly has any open spot, every exit is locked at night and they have to pass through a broken window, risking to be seen or heard and obviously to be wounded by the shards of glass still sticking out of the wooden window frame – but they manage to do that too, and Dave allows himself to breathe in and out again only when they’re safe in their room.

What they call “home” now, was once a small clothes shop. Every time somebody new arrives at the oasis and manages to pass the quarantine and become part of the community, one of the old shops gets cleaned up, its windows get covered with paper for some privacy and the room gets arranged as a dorm, with a couple of beds (or only mattresses, when beds can’t be found) and a drawer for clothes and underwear.

Kurt moved in with Dave after Burt’s death, and had been living with him ever since. He barely remembers the room he used to live in with his dad anymore. Everything surrounding the confusing days he passed through before and after Burt’s death seems blurred, and most of the time Kurt just doesn’t want to remember, and prays to forget.

He prays even now, sitting on the bed in a corner of the room, while Dave quickly fills an old bag with their clothes in silence. God, make me forget, he begs, looking at his boyfriend moving back and forth from the drawer to the bag on the ground and then back to the drawer, I know we’re not exactly in good terms, but please, just make me forget everything, and I swear, I swear…

“Kurt, stop it,” Dave says, and Kurt has to lift his gaze up on him without finishing his vow. Dave is looking at him with his eyes filled with tears, fists clenched around the fabric of an old checkered shirt he just rolled into a ball to make it fit better inside the bag, “If you keep crying like this, they’re gonna hear us.”

Kurt touches his own face – his cheeks are burning hot – and feels the tears under his fingertips. He really was crying. He didn’t notice.

“I’m sorry,” he says, swallowing his sadness with all the pain torturing him, “I don’t feel well.”

“I know,” Dave nods, sitting beside him and letting the shirt unfold on his lap as he holds one of Kurt’s hands between his, playing with his fingers to distract them both, “It’s going to get better, believe me. Once I’m finished with this,” he says, nodding at the bag still half empty on the floor, “I’m gonna sneak into the pharmacy and fetch some antibiotics. Then, I’m gonna clean up this mess on your neck, and we will be set.”

Kurt looks at him, resisting the urge to cry again. “Set for what?” he asks, “What are we gonna do, Dave? Fuck… I should just fucking kill myself,” he looks away, trying to free his hand from Dave’s hold, “I have no right to put you in this position. I don’t want to—”

“Would you just shut up?” Dave asks, and he doesn’t even sound angry, or frustrated. Just incredibly sad. He keeps holding Kurt’s hand, almost clinging to it as he keeps talking slowly. “I don’t want you to die.”

“It’s gonna happen, anyway,” Kurt says harshly, wiping away new tears forming at the corners of his eyes.

“I don’t care,” Dave insists, “I don’t want you to die. Not now, not like this. We were supposed to be happy.”

“We were never supposed to be happy, Dave,” Kurt shakes his head, “The fact alone that we fell in love with each other when the world was already fucked is enough to say that we were only supposed to end bad,” he looks away, biting at his lower lip as he tries to stop new tears from coming, “I honestly can’t imagine an ending more appropriate than this, actually.”

“Kurt, for Christ’s sake,” Dave almost moans in pain, tugging at Kurt’s hand to force the boy to look back up at him, “I don’t care about any of this shit. We were supposed to be happy because we fucking love each other, and that’s enough to hope for some fucking happiness.”

Kurt doesn’t answer, because all he would like to do now is to ask Dave where he lived up to now. If he noticed that people have died, that they keep dying, that they are dying even in this very moment, and that they will keep dying no matter what they do, or think, or how hard they try not to see.

“I don’t care if it’s impossible for you to survive,” Dave talks in whispers, playing with Kurt’s fingers again, “I wanna try, anyway. But I can’t, if we stay here. So we’ve got to go.”

Kurt tries to calm down, taming the wave of rage mounting in his chest with every sting of pain that makes the wound on his neck burn. “Where?” he asks in a low voice, leaning over Dave and resting his burning forehead against his shoulder, trying to find some refreshment against the mildly warm fabric of his t-shirt.

Dave takes a deep breath, searching for Kurt’s eyes. He thought about it for the whole time while they were walking back to the mall, and he only knows one other person, beside him, who wouldn’t be able to kill Kurt on the spot after he knew he had been bitten. “Blaine,” he answers in a weary sigh, holding Kurt’s hand.

Kurt backs off a little, shaking his head. “No, Dave,” he whines, “We can’t. I’m already putting you in danger, and that’s enough. We can’t drag Blaine into this. He doesn’t deserve it.”

“It’s our only hope,” Dave insists with a sigh, “He lives alone, he has a house of his own, he’s not subject to the rules of an oasis. And he loves you, Kurt, almost as much as I do. He’s going to help us. We have to go there.”

Kurt lets out a soft sob, covering both his eyes with his hands. “This is so unfair,” he murmurs, shaking his head, but he can’t say he’s really surprised about it. After all, life often is.


Dave tries to be as quick as he can, though he has to move carefully, because he told Kurt to wait for him outside, near the parking lot reserved to the jeeps used by the army. He had to give his boyfriend something to do, because he knew that, if he left him alone to wait for him in their room, he would have gone out of his mind. Kurt is too nervous, too scared and too sad to think straight. Dave understands him, it’s not like he himself wouldn’t find more comfort in just letting himself go and cry his heart out until it remains nothing of it, but he has to keep his mind clear. He has to think. He’s got too many things to do.

The pharmacy door’s lock opens with a soft click, and Dave holds his breath as he opens the glass door and sneaks inside. The pharmacy is dark and silent, and Dave walks between the stands searching for everything that could be useful, trying not to lose too much time deciding if he should take something or not, and how much he should take of it. The pharmacy’s not patrolled, usually, but it’s located in a very central spot of the mall, and it’s almost four in the morning. Soon, the first people are going to wake up and start walking around the building, and Dave can’t risk to be seen.

Plus, they can’t steal a car with the sun up in the sky. They have to do it now, and they have to do it quick.

Dave grabs some antibiotics, a couple of rollerbandage, disinfectant and some band-aids, he puts it all in a plastic bag and then moves to the fast-food they use as a kitchen and a dining hall. There’s not much that can be eaten without cooking it first, but he manages to grab some bread, assorted fruit and a couple of bottles of water. That should be enough for their trip – he puts everything in another plastic bag and then walks away.

When he manages to pass through the broken window and reach the parking lot, it’s already half past four. The sun won’t be up for another hour or so, but he still has to medicate Kurt and then find a way to leave the oasis, so he doesn’t have time to spare.

“Kurt?” he calls out softly, wandering through the labyrinth made of all the parked cars, “Where are you?”

“I’m here,” Kurt answers, leaning out of one of the cars’ windows and waving slowly. He’s shivering all over.

Dave approaches him walking faster, and kisses him on his forehead. It’s burning. “You chose this?” he asks, nodding to the car.

Kurt shrugs, looking away. “I was cold, I waited outside as long as I could, but then I just had to get in. I just chose the closest car.”

Dave nods, looking at Kurt as he moves from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s one, and only then he throws the plastic bags inside the car, and jumps to gets in through the glassless window. “Here, take one of this,” he says, reaching for one of the plastic bags and retrieving the antibiotics, “For your fever. And then take your shirt off.”

Kurt swallows a pill with a sip of water, chocking a bit. “I can hardly swallow,” he says, massaging his throat with his open hand, “It hurts.”

“Be strong,” Dave encourages him, brushing his cheek with his index finger. “Now, come on, take that shirt off and let me take a look at the wound.”

Kurt nods and puts the remaining pills and water away, slowly unbuttoning his shirt. He looks down at his own hands, feeling more ashamed and embarrassed than he did when he and Dave had sex for the first time. It was a hot night, months ago. They had drank some beer to gather enough courage, and when Dave had asked Kurt to take his shirt off he did it with hungry, shiny eyes.

Now, he asks for the same thing, but his eyes are dull, only sadness filling them. The look that Kurt used to long for is already gone, washed away by tears.

Kurt folds the shirt and puts it away on the backseat, and then moves closer to Dave, showing his neck. The wound is swollen, bright red around the little cuts made by the teeth of the zombie who bit him. The circular area surrounding them is purple, almost black around the edges. It looks bad. And it smells even worse, when Dave bends over to lightly sniff at it.

He sighs, parting from Kurt to fetch one of the plastic bags. He retrieves the bandage and the disinfectant and kisses Kurt on his forehead, trying to reassure him. “Now this is going to burn,” he warns him, pouring some disinfectant on a square of folded bandage and starting to clean Kurt’s wound out. The boy hisses, clutching his fists around the fabric of Dave’s t-shirt and holding onto it. “I’m sorry,” Dave says, paying more attention to what he’s doing, trying not to hurt him too much.

Kurt shakes his head, breathing slowly in and out. “It’s okay.”

It doesn’t take much, anyway. There’s only so much Dave can do, a couple of pills and some disinfectant can’t do any miracle, and Dave knows it. He knows there are ways to slow down the change, he knows the cleaning the wound every day helps, as well as taking antibiotics and eating simple, healthy food, but he also knows it’s going to happen, anyway. Kurt will die, and then undie, and there’s nothing he can do to stop the process.

He covers the wound with a bandage and fixes it up to Kurt’s skin with a couple of band-aids, and then parts from him with a sigh, retrieving an apple from the plastic bag in the backseat. “Eat,” he says, passing the fruit to Kurt.

He instantly makes a face, backing off a little. “I’m not hungry,” he answers, shaking his head, but Dave insists, holding one of his hands between his fingers and forcing him to take the apple.

“You’ve got to eat,” he insists, firmly but gently making Kurt’s fingers close around the rounded fruit, “It’s gonna keep you strong. And alive. Please, Kurt,” he says, and he’s got tears in his eyes, and Kurt can’t really say no to that.

He sighs, taking a bite of the apple and settling better on his seat. He can already see the sun lightening up the sky from behind the mountains on the horizon. The light of a new dawn never scared him that much.

He’s so concentrated in watching the sun slowly coming up and eating his forcefed breakfast that he only notice Dave started the engine when the car is already moving. He turns to his boyfriend, eyes filled with surprise as curiosity shakes away the bad taste the apple has on his tongue. “You started it,” he says in a low voice, blinking and swallowing another bit of the apple, “How?”

Dave grins, shrugging. “I made it work,” he answers, “When things started to get really ugly, down in the city, before I arrived to the oasis, I lost my father soon. That much you already know,” he explains, as Kurt nods, easily remembering how sad and weary Dave was the day he arrived at the mall, alone, “I had to learn how to survive, someway. My neighborhood wasn’t safe, so I ran, and when I couldn’t run anymore, well…” he shrugs again, barely smiling at the memory of his first clumsy attempts to make cars work like he always saw in the movies. It actually took some time for him to understand he could start engines that way, but he couldn’t do it if he kept making random wires contact. He had to find the right ones.

“You still surprise me,” Kurt comments with a small, weary smile on his dry lips, “I thought nothing in the world could anymore.”

Dave turns to him, chuckling softly. “You surprise me too,” he says, mocking him a little, “You managed to eat your apple.”

Kurt looks down to the applecore lying on his palm and smiles, but he can’t help tears from falling. “Yeah, so it seems,” he says, his voice unsteady as he sobs softly.

Dave holds out a hand to him, brushing his cheek, and Kurt leans on it with a soft sigh, closing his eyes. “You’re strong,” Dave tells him, and Kurt can hear in his voice he really believes it, “You’re gonna make it.”

It’s a lie. But Kurt needs something to believe in, and this lie sounds so painfully sweet to him he has no other choice than to blindly believe it too.


Dave has been driving since the break of dawn at a very high speed to put as much distance as possible between them and the mall. By his reckoning, it is going to take the search and rescue squad at least a couple of hours to realize they are both gone. First, someone has to report Dave's missing too and before doing it, they have to search for him in every possible place, because the last thing the squad needs are false alarms. Sure, the commander knows Kurt has gone missing and so he is probably going to put two and two together and understand Dave has gone after him but even with that, Dave hopes they have enough head start to reach Blaine's house.

They are not going to be safe there, especially if Dave's wrong and Blaine doesn't want to take care of Kurt together with him. But since Dave is pretty sure he will, then at least they will have a place to stay, somewhere to hide Kurt while the disease takes its course. Dave is aware this is desperate. There is no way out from the disease and the sooner he will cope with that the better. Still, he wants to give Kurt a chance; even if it is just the chance to live a little longer. He wants to keep his death at bay as long as possible. Nobody really knows how long a sick person can be kept alive and self-aware before the deterioration calls for a killing. Maybe they will be able to keep Kurt with them long enough for some doctors somewhere to find a cure. Who knows, it can even happen.

Kurt is dozing on and off from sleep. Sometimes he leans on the window and just drifts off for a few minutes, sometimes Dave turns his head to look at him and finds him looking sadly at the street beyond the windshield. His temperature is still too high. Dave knows this is not good. If the pills don't work, Kurt must sweat it off. Another reason why they need to get to Blaine's as soon as possible. Taking Kurt away from an all in all healthy place won't make him any good.

“How do you feel?” He asks him, smiling a little.

Kurt feels Dave's eyes upon him, but he doesn't turn his head. “Like someone who is going to die soon.”

Dave tightens his grip on the wheel and tries to stay calm. Kurt always reacts angrily or sarcastically to things he doesn't like, and this is the worst of them. So he can allow him a little anger, as long as he copes with his efforts to keep him alive. “Whatever is going to happen, it won't happen any time soon,” he says.

Kurt stays quiet for a moment and then he just smiles a little, but it is not a happy smile. Actually, it's the saddest thing Dave has ever seen. “I appreciate that.”

“Appreciate what?”

“That you never say that I am not gonna die,” Kurt answers. “That would be patronizing me, and it just wouldn't work.”

Dave doesn't want to answer to that. Since the moment he found him, he has calibrated the things to say and how to say them. He knows it would be foolish to tell him everything is going to be alright, because it won't and they both are aware of that. However, he hates telling him lies as much as the truth, because things said aloud become suddenly too real to handle. So, instead of focusing on the worst part, that is the future awaiting them, he is determined to stick with the things they can do to avoid it as long as possible.

“I think we are getting close,” he says, changing the subject all together. “His house should be around here, I guess.”

“I don't know,” Kurt shows the first sign of real interest, sitting up straight to give a better look to the countryside. “How far are we from Worthington?”

“We just passed it,” Dave says. “That was actually one of the few roadsigns still standing.”

“Then, it must be around here. Whenever I drove to his house, I would always look for Worthington, so I'd know I didn't get lost.”

That was the past. A long lost one, where a zombie outbreak was really just the biggest fear of a bunch of characters in a horror movie. Back then, Kurt's biggest problem was how to win Nationals and had Rachel shut up about it. His whole world revolved around the show choir rehearsals, French tests and a hipster, talented boyfriend, with whom he was proudly fighting the sexual orientation prejudice in his school.

Kurt and Blaine were a couple for a little more than year, then things started to change between them, and they slowly grew out of each other in a very safe and rather not painful way. One day they had just stopped being in love with each other and gone back to be just friends. Back then, Dave was nowhere to be seen.

He and Kurt met again a few months after Kurt and Blaine broke up, about the same time the patient zero was found. That's why Kurt says they were doomed from the beginning

It wasn't love at first sight.

Actually, it wasn't for Kurt. Dave had loved him for most of his years at McKinley, so when he saw him again after being away in another school for almost a year, he wasn't surprised to find himself still madly in love with him like the first day. Kurt was simply marvelous – quite unbearable sometimes, but still very charming – and now that he had worked out his own issues and coped with the fact that he was indeed gay, Dave could afford himself the luxury to be in love without feeling guilty, which led to him being friends with Kurt as a way to know him better. Something he hadn't be able to do when he was still struggling with his own sexuality.

Their love has come slowly, one baby step at the time while the world was heading towards its end. Sometimes when he thinks about it, Dave finds it incredible romantic. Like they were getting together no matter what. They survived both their families' death, the hunger and the fear, the knowledge of them being now completely alone in this world and forced to live on their own. At some point, it has appeared like nothing could stop them. Like they were ready to survive everything.

It makes him cringe now, knowing it's not everything, after all.

As he looks at Kurt, who is now busy trying to make out the silhouette of Blaine's house, Dave thinks about their first real kiss. It always makes him smile because there is nothing sweet about it. In fact, they were arguing badly over something really stupid. They were both stressed for a lot of other things too – something you can somehow expect from two teens caught up in the middle of a zombie apocalypse – and Dave was also very attracted to Kurt's lips curling. So, what happened was that they screamed at each other for the longest time, until Dave got fed up with Kurt's nonsense and kissed him, pushing him into the wall behind. When they parted, he was expecting a kick in the balls at least and was prepared for it. But Kurt just stared into his eyes very angrily for a moment, and then pulled him down by grabbing his hair.

They never stopped since then.

If he tries to remember what was the argument about, Dave can't quite recall. But he bets it was football. They always fight about football, since Kurt finds it one of the things the world can do without now, while Dave strongly agree with the line of thoughts of the search and rescue squad that uses sport as a way to blow off some steam at the end of the day. He plays with them every once in a while. Or at least, he did.

“Kurt?” He says, wondering if this could be a good way to make conversation. “Do you remember what we were arguing about right before our first kiss at the oasis?”

Kurt doesn't answer. He just calls his name. “Dave...”

“I can't remember. It was football, wasn't it?”


Dave finally turns to him and finds him holding his head against the windows of the jeep. “What?”

“Stop the car.”

“Did you find the house?” Dave asks, looking around. But there is nothing around here. Just the desolate outline of a countryside that was already as unadorned as it is now.

“Just stop the car! Please.”

That is when Dave hears the desperate tone in his voice and hits the brakes. The car has barely the time to stop moving that Kurt opens the door and just lets himself roll out of it, like he has not enough strength to stand up and get down properly. He falls on his knees and throws up, making the most hideous sound Dave has ever heard.

“Kurt! Kurt, are you okay?” Dave runs around the car and kneels next to him, holding his head as he bends over again and vomits something black, gelatinous and bloody that doesn't look like what he just ate at all and for this reason it is so much more worrying. Dave is not a doctor, but he knew the disease as much as everyone else, so he can tell it's too soon for Kurt's internal organs to be shutting down; but it's the infection nonetheless and probably the very first reaction to the shock of the bite, aside from the fever. Something that must be taken seriously.

He has hoped it would start at Blaine's house.

With every retch comes the sound again. It's like whatever stuff Kurt is pushing out of his body is making a hell of a mess along his throat to keep coming. Kurt can't keep it down, but the effort of throwing it up is giving him pain. The sobs that cut his breath every in between retches are enough proof of that.

When he finally calms down enough to sit down on the burning tar of the road, Dave opens his arms and Kurt immediately crawls into them, hiding himself in his embrace.

“It's okay, babe. It's over,” Dave says, trying to sooth him as the sobs become hiccups and then tears.

Kurt's feverish body is shivering against his own and he can't do anything but holding him closer, hoping it is enough, for the moment.


Blaine has lost both his parents during the outbreak. He doesn’t even know how it happened, he just knows they were on the missing person list that the general in command of the Dalton oasis has read to all the living and healthy people assembled in the hall of the school the day it was finally possible to count and identify who made it there and who didn’t.

His parents didn’t.

After a month of being considered missing, the army usually took you for dead and stopped searching for you. They would take down the photos and the names from the wall showing missing people so to remind to both soldiers and civilians who could still be found during patrols outside the oasis’ perimeter, to replace that information with the ones regarding the newly missed people, and if one of the photos was of somebody you held dear to your heart, you just had to accept it.

Missing people almost never came back.

Blaine has lived with this knowledge since the first day, so he already knew what to do: he had to leave the oasis and come back home, to take back into his life the only thing that remained of his family.

And he has done it.

When he sees the jeep approaching down the dirt road that connects the highway with his house, he can’t help but frown, worried, as he leans against the shovel he was using to cover his garden with fertilizer. His two cows have been generous with him, and even if they hadn’t he would have had to use whatever they could give to him, since he run out of chemical fertilizer more than six months ago and he needs his garden to grow vegetables fast.

It’s one of the army’s cars, and he’s annoyed to see it as always: first of all, he doesn’t like to be distracted while he’s working in his garden. The food serves not only for him, but also for the other families still living here in the countries in their old farms. Sometimes, when they can’t live only on what they’re producing, Blaine helps them, because his garden, his cows and the chickens are healthy, and he’s alone. He sometimes has food to spare, and he does it willingly.

He always thought that this farm was nothing more than one of the countless, silly obsessions of his father, one of the most hated by his mother, also, but after he lost them both he knew there was no other place he could accept to live. He’s been living here for more than a year now, and he has no intention to come back to the oasis, despite what the soldiers that every now and then come visiting him – both to rest during their long trips from an oasis to another and to check on him – tell him. This is his house. This is where he chose to live. His survival begins and ends with this place. If he loses the farm, he can just as well die.

That’s why he walks towards the street wearing his best annoyed face, still holding the shovel in one hand, ready to use it. He already had to, in the past, when a group of soldiers – probably judging him out of his mind – tried to force him to come back.

He understands something’s off when he tries to see the uniforms the men must be wearing, and fails. They’re wearing normal clothes and that can be easily seen even from the distance still parting them, so they can’t be soldiers.

Then, why are they driving that jeep? Why are they driving at all, actually, and unescorted, moreover?

“What…” he starts asking, protecting his eyes from the sunlight with his free hand, but he stops abruptly when the jeep’s finally close enough to recognize who’s driving it.

It’s Dave. And there’s Kurt by his side.

When Blaine sees them, his heart instantly starts to beat faster. They shouldn’t be here, they shouldn’t even be traveling, they should be safe in their oasis, working and living their life behind the protected borders of the mall. The last time he heard from them, through a letter that the soldiers had delivered to him during one of their visits, they seemed happy, ready to move on with their lives or what was left of them.

They just shouldn’t be here now, that’s all Blaine manages to think when the car stops on the driveway and Dave comes out of it in a quick jump.

“Dave!” he calls out for him, and if he didn’t already suspect that what had brought them here couldn’t be anything but something bad, the tense, worried expression on his friend’s face would have made it clear in just one look. “What happened?”

Dave comes closer to him and grabs him by his shoulders, squeezing a little. “Blaine, I need to talk to you,” he says in a whisper.

Blaine tries to look past his shoulders, to see what Kurt’s up to. He lifts himself up on his tiptoes, but Dave’s hands on his shoulders bring him down again. “What’s happening, Dave?” Blaine insists, now looking at him with a sort of desperate anxiety in his eyes, “Why are you here?”

Dave bites at his lower lip, trying to find the right words to tell him. There’s no such a thing, though, and Dave knows that, as much as he can keep searching for them, he will never succeed, so he’s ready to just bluntly tell his friend what happened, when he hears a strangled noise from behind his back.

He turns around, and Kurt’s climbing down the jeep, his body shaking violently, his legs unsteady. “Dave,” he calls out, his voice barely managing to escape his inflamed throat, “I can’t…”

He doesn’t manage to tell what he can’t do anymore, because he falls on the ground unconscious, the burning red mark on his neck perfectly visible even from where Dave and Blaine stand.

And there’s no need for explanations anymore.


When Kurt starts to wake up again, Blaine and Dave are talking. He can hear their voices, but they sound so distant he couldn’t get a word not even if he wanted to.

Right now, he doesn’t want to, anyway. He can’t open his eyes, his eyelids seem so heavy he could just as well be dead, for what he knows.

The mere thought is enough to trigger him into remembering how he felt right before he fainted. He doesn’t know how long he has slept, it feels like ages, but the feeling is still so strong it could only be a couple of minutes.

He couldn’t bring himself to breath. Something so simple, something that he has always done automatically for his entire life, and all of a sudden he couldn’t do it, he couldn’t even remember how, or believe that up to that moment he had done it without even thinking about it.

His chest wouldn’t move. The air wouldn’t pass through his nose and mouth. His lungs just wouldn’t pull it in.

It seems over now – he’s breathing regularly, he can feel it, he hears himself do it – but it was terrifying.

Kurt realizes he never saw anybody change into an undead, so he doesn’t really know what it’s like. Back at the oasis, nobody asked, mainly because nobody wanted to know, and secondly because to every unnecessary question the commander answered always in the same way: you don’t need to know, so why should I tell you?

He actually agreed with the commander’s reasons. They were all terrified enough already without knowing the details. But now that he’s in this situation, well, he misses the details the most. He wants to know what’s going to happen to him, how’s the changing going to be, how it’s going to feel. If he’s gonna feel the pain, if stopping to breathe will be as hard and painful as it felt before.

Because if it is, if it’s gonna be this hard, Kurt’s not sure he wants to go through this. He’s not sure he doesn’t want to take the easy way and just leave painlessly and gracefully while he still can.

“I can’t believe it happened,” Blaine says. Kurt still can’t open his eyes, but at least he’s starting to focus enough to understand what they’re talking about, “How are you feeling?”

“What kind of a question is it, Blaine?” Dave answers, sighing sadly, “I’m broken. Fuck… I don’t even know what to do. I don’t know why I came here, I don’t know what I’m hoping for. I just needed to take him to a safe place, you know?”

Kurt finally manages to open his eyes, at least a bit. In the darkness of the room, Blaine and Dave can’t see him, but since they’re sitting beside the candlelight he can see them.

Blaine nods, but his voice is sad and low when he speaks. “You know, though, that there’s no such a thing as a safe place when you’ve been bitten. Eventually…”

“I don’t wanna hear anything about it, okay?” Dave interrupts him, waving a hand in mid air and shaking his head, “I just can’t bring myself to think about it. Whatever it’s going to happen, I swear, I’m gonna take it like a man, but right now… it’s still too soon.”

Blaine holds out a hand and pats him on his shoulder, trying to reassure him. “I understand,” he nods, forcing a little smile, “I do, really. I’m gonna help you. As much as I can, I’m gonna help you both.”

Dave looks at him, and in the dim light of the candle Kurt can see tears trembling in his eyes. “Do you mean we can stay?”

Blaine nods again, and Kurt sees one of the tears in Dave’s eyes roll free down his cheek. He instantly turns around, not to show Blaine he’s crying, but Blaine says “ow, man, come on, you know you can feel free to cry with me around, it’s okay,” and the next thing Kurt sees is his boyfriend turning around and leaning against Blaine’s shoulder, crying his heart out while he tries to keep his voice low, so not to disturb his sleep.

Kurt wants to cry too, but he’s got no shoulders to cry on right now. And since Dave’s trying so hard not to wake him up, he think he should at least reward his efforts going back to sleep again, so that they’re not in vain.

Not these too, at least.


They settle down, somehow. Blaine gives them a room – his parents’ old room, since he doesn’t use it anyway – and offers them discretion and protection.

Some days are good. Some days, Kurt feels better. He wakes up and comes out of the bed and helps them to take care of the house, the garden and the animals. And he laughs and jokes, and if it wasn’t for the bandages to change, the pills to swallow and the sporadic indispositions, Dave wouldn’t even remember he was bitten.

When he’s not sick, Kurt’s just like his old Kurt. He’s witty and snarky and he can talk for hours about how much he hates zombies for killing Vivienne Westwood. “Really,” he says, “I could forgive them everything, but not that! Just look at what I’m forced to wear,” he comments, pointing a finger against the simple t-shirt and anonymous jeans he brought with himself from the mall.

When he’s not sick, Kurt’s still funny and always smiling. He still answers like his old self. He’s still able to make a face and a disgusted noise when Blaine cooks lion’s meat for dinner – a lot of animals set themselves free from every zoo in the world soon after the outbreak, now they can be found roaming freely almost everywhere, the world divided equally between the zombies and them – and tell him “I can’t believe it, Blaine, you just killed Simba, how can you live with this?”, and then laugh when Blaine answers “I don’t care, he killed half of my chickens, he deserved it.”

When he’s not sick, Kurt still recognizes Dave, and still talks to him like he cares about him. About them. They still sleep together, they hug. Kurt asks for kisses and Dave covers him in them, on his forehead, on his cheeks, on his temples, wherever he can safely reach. Then Kurt cries because he wants more and he can’t have it, and Dave wants to cry too because he wants just the same thing and he can’t have it either, but he doesn’t. Dave never cries, not in front of Kurt, anyway. Especially when Kurt’s not sick. Kurt doesn’t have to see him sad. He doesn’t need it. The only thing Kurt needs is to be told that everything’s gonna be alright, that he’s gonna have all the help and support he needs. And this, as long as they’re together, is never gonna change.

When Kurt’s not sick, everything’s easier. Dave can still imagine, pretend, that things are just like they were a month ago.

But then, some days are not so good at all. Days in which Kurt wakes up and his eyes are empty. Days when Dave can’t sleep, he lies there beside his boyfriend listening to the feeble sound of his breath getting weaker and weaker, and then disappear, and then start again, leaving him in tear because Kurt didn’t even notice.

This would probably be the worst thing of them all, if finding a worst thing among the others was actually possible. That sometimes Kurt doesn’t even notice. That he’s changing so violently, and there are days in which he’s not even aware of it. Days in which he kneels on the floor and keeps throwing up blood and rotten insides for hours, and then, after he finished, he just stands up and lies down on the bed, and his eyes are just as cold and empty as they were before.

There are days – horrible, horrible days – in which he growls and shakes and snarls so much they can’t keep him in the house, because somebody could hear him. Those days are the worst. The days in which Blaine, with his eyes filled with tears and with shaking hands, grabs the keys of the basement and leads them there. And Dave has to chain Kurt to the wall and stay away from him, guarding him like a rabid dog from the distance, to prevent him from setting himself free and bite everything on his way.

There are days that are so hard to pull through, that Dave wishes he had the guts to just kill Kurt.

Days like this.

Kurt started bleeding in the middle of the night, and he hasn’t stop up to now. He has bled from his nose and gums and ears and eyes for hours. His fingers are rotting one after the another. They keep them wrapped in bandages soaked in disinfectant, but it’s not enough. Nothing’s ever enough.

They started bleeding too and Dave had to unfold them to check on them. Kurt didn’t want to look, and he made the right choice. They’re starting to come off his hand. Swallowing all his tears, Dave could onl fold them up in new bandages, without telling him anything.

They didn’t have to bring him to the basement, today. Kurt was himself. He was just falling apart.

Now, he’s sleeping. They had to give him something to help him, because he kept murmuring that his insides were giving him hell, and after he took the pill he fell asleep almost instantly, drained from the day of suffering.

Dave walks in the kitchen and lets himself go on one of the chairs surrounding the table. Sitting right in front of him, Blaine is meddling with the radio, searching through the frequencies to find the right one.

“How’s he?” he asks, concentrating on the little numbers appearing on the led.

Dave shrugs, resting his head over his crossed arms on the table. “Asleep. Finally.”

“And how are you?” Blaine asks, this time looking at him with that spark of compassion in his eyes that Dave’s starting to love and hate at the same time.

“Fine,” he answers. Blaine knows it’s a lie, anyway. “You didn’t find it yet?”

“Almost there,” Blaine says, and soon after that the buzzing coming from the radio starts to turn into words. They both listen closely, in perfect silence.

“To whoever still lives and listens out there, this is the seventy-second bulletin from Toronto oasis,” a pause, some buzzing, Blaine meddles with the knob to set the frequency better and, in a couple of seconds, the metallic voice coming from the device is filling the silent air of the kitchen again. “The alive population has decreased of another 2.5% in the last seven days. Paris, Shizuoka and New Delhi are lost. The last oasis fell on Monday, Thursday and a couple of hours ago, as far as we know. The British Museum oasis in London is out of food. If there’s a nearby oasis that is getting this message: they need supplies now.”

Dave sighs, covering his face with both his hands and rubbing it to keep himself from burst into tears. “Why do you even listen to this shit?” he asks, “It’s always bad news.”

Blaine shushes him softly, waving a hand in mid-air. The voice starts talking again. “The fifth clinical trial for the cure has ended yesterday. The result was a failure. The cure isn’t working yet. I repeat: the fifth clinical trial for the cure has ended yesterday, and the result was a failure. The cure isn’t working yet.” The man speaking takes a couple of seconds of silence, holding his breath. “God…” he says after a while, “We’re almost there. It doesn’t work, but it will. Just… hold on. Whoever you are, wherever you’re lost… hold on.”

The communication is cut off right after, and the voice fades away to make room for the low, regular buzzing of the radio.

“Yeah,” Dave snorts, standing up and turning the radio off with a frustrated slap, “Yeah, that was definitely worth listening,” he says, leaving the kitchen and walking upstairs.

Blaine sighs, putting the radio away and then sitting back on the chair, rubbing his eyes and then resting his chin on his palm as he looks at the dark night outside the window.

They have to hold on. If Dave can’t, Blaine’s going to have to do it for him too.


When the soldiers come is past lunchtime. Dave and Blaine have spent good part of the morning tending to Kurt, who's not having a good day at all. He has woken up feeling sick already and thrown up the little he had for dinner the night before. Since then, he has been restless and nervous like never before. Everything seems to bother him a great deal, resulting in fits of rage or tears, depending on how much pain is involved.

Dave had really hoped there would not be any visitors today because they are the last thing Kurt need right now, but of course the soldiers' jeep shows up behind the hill like it has done for the past six weeks.

Since the Lima Oasis found out Dave and Kurt were missing, not a day has passed without the soldiers coming over to ask Blaine if he has seen anything. Dave doesn't know if it's because they suspect something or if they are just sure he is going to see them sooner or later.

When it happens, Dave and Kurt have to go in the basement, and be as quite as possible until the patrol squad goes away. Dave is so sick and tired of doing this. He wonders why the command has decided to grow a heart just now and keeps looking for them instead of giving up right away like he has always done for every missing person since the colony's institution.

“They're coming. You better get going,” Blaine says, watching from behind the curtains of the kitchen's window. He takes the shovel next to the door to give them the impression he has something to do and he can't waste too much time with them. “I'll try to keep them out of the house. You just keep quiet.”

Kurt is sitting on a chair and he shivers badly. “I don't wanna go downstairs,” he says. He's nervously passing his fingers through his hair and every time he does, a lock of it comes away.

Dave quickly crosses the room and put a little canvas hat on Kurt's head, both to stop him from tearing at his hair and not to see his scalp quickly revealing underneath it. Sometimes he feels the only one worrying about things like these and he doesn't know if this is a good thing or not. “I know, honey. But it won't be long, I promise.”

“We just got out from there,” he protests.

Last time they got in the basement was yesterday. Dave closes his eyes and tries to bear the wave of sadness that clings to his heart and squeezes it at the thought that Kurt is confusing the events, now. He has been suspecting it all along, because Kurt is having problems keeping track of time lately, but he had just hoped it was the pain confusing him, not his mind losing its way in the disease.

“It wont' be long, babe. I swear,” he repeats. He gently grabs his wrist and takes him toward the door that leads to the basement. Eventually, Kurt obeys and follows him. As they close the door, they hear the jeep stop and Blaine greet the soldiers in the most cheerful way he manages to pull out.

The basement welcomes them with nothing but foul air and cold drafts. They brought in there some furniture from one of the upstairs rooms that nobody uses, but it is not enough to make this place cozy.

Kurt walks around and he hugs himself, his eyes glued to the floor to avoid looking at the chain on the walls and at the stains on the floor, each marking one of his previous attacks.

Dave leans on the door and listens. He can tell Blaine is on the porch, casually leaning against one of the columns to block the entrance of the house. He hears him pointing out to the soldiers what a beautiful day it is and that they haven't seen any zombie today. They actually never see zombies around here. The house is too deep in the country for the nearest city's zombies to venture there.

“Dave, I'm sick,” Kurt murmurs, hugging himself more. His teeth are chattering and he feels awfully tired. The simple act of walking is wearing him out but he doesn't wanna stop moving because he is not sure he will be able to stand up again if he just sit down for a moment. “I'm really sick.”

The soldiers are talking too much. Ten minutes have passed and they are still here. Dave didn't hear the main door open again and their voices are muffled, so they are still outside, but he doesn't like them being around for so long. He turns to see Kurt walking around restlessly and swinging his head a little obsessively, which is always a bad sign. “Why don't you go over there and sit on the couch,” he suggests, whispering. “You can take a nap, so time will pass more quickly.”

“I am sick,” Kurt repeats. He doesn't really speak, though. He just murmurs the first one or two words, then goes on mumbling the rest of the sentence, if there is any. Dave knows what it means when Kurt starts doing that and he can't really let it happen now.

“Oh God, no.” Dave goes down the stairs as quickly but silently as he can. “Listen, babe, listen to me.”

Kurt turns to him, following the sound of his voice but when he looks at him, his eyes are empty. Dave can see the light in them dimming by the second. “Something is not right,” he says, completely lost in whatever time or place is in his mind. “I feel strange.”

“I know you do, but listen. Listen to me, Kurt, please. Just, focus on me. ” Dave takes him by his shoulders and gently forces him to turn. He tries to keep eye contact with him, but Kurt always looks away, his head hanging like it is too heavy for him to keep it up. “Kurt, I know it's hard but please, just look at me. Do that for me, okay? Just fight it back a little longer. As soon as they're gone, I will let you rest. I promise you.”

Kurt whines, giving up on words all together. He just stands there, barely moving except for the constant swinging. These are the worst moments because suddenly he looks exactly like one of those creatures, even though he has been talking and moving just the moment before. His brain just turns off for a while, sometimes several minutes at a time, and the periods are getting longer and longer. It makes Dave's heart hurt so much seeing him like that.

He brings himself to hug him and strokes his skinny back and pretends to ignore the feeling of his spine getting more and more distinct every day. Dave is ashamed and he hates himself for thinking this, but Kurt is starting to gross him out, let alone scare him. His body is deteriorating, there aren't other words to say it, which means Kurt is not only falling a part but he smells too. What it has been only a vague foul odor around his neck, it is now expanding to the rest of him and it is as bad as it can be. It would remind Dave what is going on, even if it weren't so painfully clear. Sometimes a voice in the back of his head tells him this must be the limit, that the disease will not let him go further without getting dangerous for him too. But he just shuts it down and keeps going.

“Everything is going to be alright,” Dave says, looking at the door above them, swinging back and forth together with him, so at least he can pretend this is something they are doing on purpose. “Just hang in there a little longer. Blaine is sending them away.”

But Blaine is not. Actually, he goes back inside and asks the soldiers if he can offer them something to drink and he does that in a loud, clear voice, going on forever about homemade orange juice to make sure Dave can hear him an know what is going on.

“Shit. Why can't they just leave?” He whispers.

Dave is about to gently move Kurt to the couch when he suddenly becomes aware of the humming sound he is making. It is actually a low growl, coming from the back of Kurt's throat and giving him the chills. “Please, Kurt, not now. Please, just—”

But it is useless. For the moment, he is gone.

Kurt snaps at him, growling louder. His eyes focus on him but they are empty. Dave is quick at grabbing both his wrists before he can jump at his neck and bite. At this point, it's fear more than caring that helps him restraining Kurt quickly. The chains are fastened about six feet from the ground and hang from there keeping Kurt from moving more than three feet away from the wall. Kurt doesn't understand it, anyway. He keeps pulling and pulling like if he is not even chained. Whatever force governs his mind right now, it only tells him to walk toward Dave. And he will until his body eventually shuts down and he falls asleep.

Hopefully or not – he doesn't even know anymore – Kurt will wake up himself again.

Dave passes a hand over his face. He feels tired as if he hasn't slept for ages. He knows Kurt is making too much noise right now and that if the soldiers hear him, they will come downstairs and put him down. But he doesn't know what to do and maybe, just maybe, a tiny part of him desperately wants to give up. If it happens like this, it is not too bad. It is not, is it?

Kurt's growls seem to grow louder and louder. They will come, he just knows they will, and then it will be over. He closes his eyes and covers his ears, realizing he doesn't want to see or hear what is about to happen. How bad is it that he won't do anything to stop them, but he has not the guts to watch?

Nonetheless, when they touch his shoulder, he springs on his feet and yells.

“Wait! Don't hurt him!”

Blaine smiles sadly at him. “Don't worry,” he murmurs. “They are gone.”

It takes Dave a few moments to realize what's going on. He stares blankly at Blaine's face and then looks around and sees Kurt hanging from the chains. He passed out. “What...?”

“You were zoning out, I guess.”

Dave rubs his eyes and tries to pull himself together again. “It's been a tough one.”

“I know.” Blaine sighs and then sits next to him on the couch. They stare into nothing for the longest moment, both avoiding Kurt's slouched figure. “Dave, I don't know how to say this, but... We really need to do something. We can't keep going on like this. It is not fair for anyone.”

Dave nods, slowly. His mouth opens and closes a few times before he can actually say something. “For a moment today, I thought I was ready to... you know,” he swallows hard. He can't even say the word, how can he go through with it? “But I'm not, Blaine. I look at him and I see what little is left of him in there. But at least it's something and it's still there and I can't let it go.”

He starts crying and Blaine holds him close, trying to soothe him. Dave hasn't cried much since they've been here. All his tension and sadness was just bound to explode sooner or later.

“I know it's going to happen,” Dave says after a while, sniffing. “And I know it's going to happen soon. But as long as he will open his eyes and recognize me, I will never have the strength to do it.”

Blaine strokes his hair and sighs. “You know, there is still something we could try.”

Dave looks up confusedly. “What do you mean?”

Blaine has been thinking this for days now but he hasn't said a word because he didn't want to give Dave false hopes. “We can't stay here anymore,” he says, staring at him. “Kurt is not getting any better and every time the soldiers come, we risk a little more. If he goes on like this, in a week or two his conscious periods will be less than the raging ones. And if it happens, you know the next step is the coma.”

The mere word brings back tears to Dave's eyes. “There is nothing we can do about it. Medicines don't work on him anymore.”

“We can't do anything. But maybe other people can,” Blaine says. “In a couple of days we can be in Canada. The radio says their vaccine is almost working. Maybe it can't turn people back, but it can make them better.”

Dave doesn't answer and, for the longest moment, they both stay quiet.

“If we pack now, we can leave in the morning,” Dave says eventually, clearing up his throat. “Kurt should be awake by then.”

“We take the jeep, so he can lie in the back seats,” Blaine nods, sharing his disenchanted tone of voice as they both stare at the door of the basement without seeing it. “And we can take turn driving, so we won't need to stop.”

Dave just nods. They really can try.


Dave puts the last suitcase on the jeep and slams the trunk closed.

He walks around the car to reach the passenger's seat. Kurt's feeling well today and he even manages to smile under the peak of his cap, shading his face from the burning sun. Dave even smiles back and pushes his nose with the tip of his finger to tease him. “Alright, we can go,” he says and Blaine nods, starting the engine.

At the sound of Kurt's voice asking for some music to listen to for once, everything seems suddenly so very possible. And it doesn't matter if it's probably not.

They just need to believe so.

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