The trio put the church behind them. Nobody talked about it, they just watched as it grew smaller and smaller in the distance, until it was gone. Out of sight, out of mind.
Dean was quietly relieved to be back on the road. Sure, he wanted what was best for Sam and Megan, which was a home. Or at least some place to call home. Dean knew that somewhere deep down, he wanted that too. But he was a hunter, and hunters were nomads. Whatever he wanted didn't matter. This was what he was good at: driving down the highway with Sammy at his side and a gun in his lap. Even though the world had all but ended, there were still monsters out there, and people to save. Who knows how many more travelers those pyschos would have killed in the name of God if they hadn't put an end to their delusions? This was what it meant to be a hunter, and if Dean wasn't a hunter...then he what was he?
As Sam sat in the passenger seat, he couldn't stop thinking about the priest. Father Gregory was only trying to do what was best for his group. He thought what he was doing was truly what God would've wanted. He did what he thought was right, yet he was so, so wrong. Honestly, Sam felt he could relate. Sam was always doing what he thought was right but nothing good ever came of it. Luckily, he had Dean to help him, but he couldn't rely on his big brother forever.
Megan sat alone in the backseat. She had really wanted this camp to work. She couldn't imagine spending the rest of her life driving to nowhere.
She glanced up at the front seat and sighed. Maybe she would, if it would mean spending that time with the Winchesters. There was something about them that drew her to them. She remembered her conversation with Dean. What he told her was so personal that it shocked her. He had never confided in her like that, and...It made her feel good. She couldn't really explain the feelings Dean gave her. Every time he touched her she felt warm and fuzzy, and she didn't want him to stop. She would deny it if anyone asked, but it was true.
Dean rolled the car into a parking lot of an abandoned hotel. It looked like it used to be a pretty nice place, but it had gone to hell in the last few months. Dean parked the car and turned it off. After a moment, Dean let his fingers drop from the wheel. "I figured this place would be good to stop for the night. Probably gotta clear out some zombies first though."
Sam got out first, running his fingers through his long hair. I really need to trim this, he thought, distracting himself from his other thoughts. Dean glanced into the rearview mirror at Megan, who just stared back blankly. Dean wished he knew what she was thinking- it was easy to read Sam's face, but Megan could hide behind her stare easily when she wanted to.
Dean and Megan exited the car slowly. Dean gripped onto his gun, remaining alert to any possible threats. Megan, on the other hand, was too lost in thought to pay attention.
"It's a big building," Sam commented once the other two caught up to him. "Should we work it together, or split up so we can hurry up and sleep?"
Dean frowned. He didn't like the idea of splitting up- anybody who's ever seen a horror movie knows what a terrible idea that is- but he also knew how tired everyone was. It would be quicker to split, and cover more ground. That way, they could all relax. "We'll split up," Dean decided, Sam and Megan agreed.
The whole hotel was five stories high. Megan took the top two floors, Sam took the next two down, and Dean took the ground floor and basement.
Megan worked cautiously. She was supposed to clear all the rooms of any zombies, while also keeping a look out for anyone alive. The boys told her that if anyone alive attacked her, she should shoot first and ask questions later, but Megan was pretty sure she'd never be able to pull the trigger.
The elevators were, obviously, not working, so she had to walk up all 5 stories. She and Sam walked together until the 3rd floor when Sam got off, but they did so silently. Megan continued up for two more flights, and by the end she was breathing heavily. As if today hadn't been tiring enough...
Sam worked quickly. He snuck through the halls and made sure to open every door along the way. Behind one of the doors he heard growling. Quietly, he creaked open the wooden door. The zombie didn't hear him come in, so Sam was able to run up and jab his knife into its skull rather than waste bullets.
Other than that, the floor was completely empty. It was eerily quiet and dark, and it put Sam on edge. It wasn't that he was scared of the dark- but he was afraid of what was in it.
Alone in the silence, Sam's thoughts shot through his head one after another. He thought about Dean and what his father confessed to him. He thought about the "angel" that wanted him dead. He even thought about Jess, and how much he wished she was here now.
Dean was much better at silencing his own mind. He swept through the ground floor, thinking only of his job. He didn't sneak around like the others, he just strutted through the halls, daring anything to come and get him. He kicked down each door as he passed it, and checked for signs of life. As he figured, there were quite a few of the dead stuck in these rooms. Zombies weren't particularly good at opening doors.
By the time he got to the basement, he felt an odd mixture of exhaustion and overconfidence. Maybe if he had been more alert, he would have heard the hushed whimpering sound coming from the next room, and he wouldn't have had so easily walked into the Dijnns trap.
He was walking through a doorway when he felt something hard and heavy hit the back of his head, and then he felt his face connect with the cold ground.
Dean awoke with a start. His eyes shot open as he took in his surroundings. What the hell...? He was lying in a warm, comfortable bed, staring up at a popcorn celling. A woman he did not recognize was lying in bed beside him. He sat up, holding his head. It surefelt like he had just gotten knocked out, but he couldn't feel any mark or blood where he had been hit.
He carefully crawled out of the bed, trying to not wake the strange and sleeping woman. He snuck out, expecting to see a hotel hallway like the one he had been in before. Instead, he found a living room and kitchen. Where am I? Suburbia?
The sound of a car horn interrupted his thoughts. He went over to the window and pulled back the curtain, just enough to peak out. A white car drove by, honking its horn at some teenagers in the street. In shock, Dean noticed the house across the street, with its lights on and a man taking out the trash. No...No way, he couldn't believe it. Everything was normal... No zombies... no dead…just, life…
Dean felt like he had just woken up from a long, terrible dream, but he had the feeling that he had actually just entered one.