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The Last Of

By Cj Ilene Sutton

Thriller / Action

Croatoan?

It started earlier this year, as soon as those winged dicks turned tail and ran to God doesn't give a fuck where. No, in that damned town with that damned carved in telephone pole. He should have turned and drove back the way they came. Better yet, he should have put a bullet in both their heads!! Just like all the times before, he should have just listened to Dad. He didn't though and here they were, consequences ten fold. ..Story of the Winchesters damned life.

The virus had spread and took lives typically but more lives were taken out of fear and greed. People didn't want to become “Zombies” and they certainly didn't want to share whatever it is they could get their hands on. So if they weren't killing themselves, they were offing others as quickly as possible. It made the situation a whole lot worse and as time went on, people dwindled. Eventually, you were either known as the Hunters, The Hunted or the Croats. As Dean liked to call them. ..It never hurt to have humor in these dark times, despite some protest.

“No matter what choices you make, whatever details you alter, *we* will always end up... here.”

Dean stepped back from glaring out the window and launched the nearest thing he could find into the opposite wall. Pieces of the destroyed item scattered about and what remained dropped to the floor with a thump. Dean took a few deep breaths, then settled with a growl as he covered his face with his hand. Lucifer was right, Dean said no to Michael and just as predicted, 2014 came about and here Dean was. Leader of a small group of Hunters in a large failing world.

He contemplated on whether or not he should eat a bullet, but his train of thought was derailed when he heard the groan of the door. He glared up, prepared to chew out whoever it was. He just wasn't in the damn mood to lead right now! ..His face went soft when he saw it was only Sam. The younger brother brought up a hand from behind his back and smiled revealing a bottle of beer.

Okay, Lucifer wasn't completely right. With one last ditch effort, Lucifer fought with his dying rent-a-vessel and basically took his own life to gain a victory. He may have died before seeing his plan come full throttle, but he died with a smirk on his face. The bastard knew, even though the Winchesters were still Winchesters. They were gonna live as both that and failures. They'd be the reason the world failed and they'd have to live with it.

Sam stepped up to Dean, shoving the bottle into his hand. He quickly opened up one of his own, smirking at the look on his brother's face. “You'd be surprised what a person would give up for a little food.” Dean's glare from earlier returned. Sam shook his head softly, rolling his eyes. He was pissed, what else was new? “Oh..come on, Dean! It was the expired stuff. Besides,” He eyed his brother, taking a sip from his beer. “You've looked like you've been needing it.” He shrugged. “Bossing me around is one thing..but a whole town?” He chuckled putting some space between the Hunters.

As the world had gone to shit, so had Dean's attitude. He ran a tight shift as leader and an even tighter shift as brother. If he thought Sam needed a whooping, whether it be for wasting ammo or just being a pain in the ass. Dean gave it no second thought. It hurt like a bitch, but it kept the others in order. Besides, that was nothing new and Sam wasn't afraid on giving it back if he felt it was deserved. At least they were together, broken world or not. What's a love tap here and there?

Dean halfheartedly shrugged at his brother, brows raised in annoyance. “Are you here just to butter me up or was there something you needed?”

Like Sam said, Dean's attitude was shit. “No chick flick moments” still stand.

Sam eyed his brother quietly and took another sip of beer, noticing Dean hadn't touched his yet. “Bobby doesn't think the virus is Croatoan.”

Dean blinked and looked at Sam like he was a damned idiot. “Why the hell not?”

Sam shrugged softly. “Out on our run. We ran into one of the Croats.” He motioned at his head, grimacing. “It's head..it wasn't human.”

Dean rolled his eyes, turning his back to Sam with a huff. “Sam! None of them are human, that's what makes them Croats!” He slammed his untouched beer bottle onto the dresser and rest his hand down on the creaking wood, looking out the window as he did. Outside, his Hunters were scattered about. Probably talking about the next runs or whether or not tomorrow was promised to them. He reached down for his holstered gun and ran his thumb over the butt softly.

When Sam and Dean had reached Bobby's, they quickly got to work on calling all the hunters they had come to know and mostly love. Gathering them together, they then begin surrounding the Junkyard with a fence of broken down cars and barbed wiring. After stock piling of course. Alarms warned them of other Hunters, but also brought in the Croats. It was a win/lose situation, but it was certainly better than nothing. As time went on and the virus grew, the junkyard was beginning to become unsafe and eventually the hunters were forced from safety. In their move, Bobby was injured and demoted to a wheelchair. On the spot, he elected Dean the new leader.

Sam watched as Dean pet his gun. A tick he had picked up whenever he got nervous..or nearly pissed enough to waste a shot on an idiot. He looked to the back of his brother's head. “It clicked, Dean. It was like a bat using sonar to find it's way around. It only went wild whenever someone made a sound.” He quickly finished off his beer. Though he could barely get a buzz out of it now, it certainly helped keep things at ease. “We managed to kill it without drawing in any unwanted guest. We figured you'd want to take a look at it before we burned it.”

Dean turned to his brother with a stern nod. He threw up his hand, dropping it quickly to his side with a thump after. “Lead the way..”


As the brothers approached a cabin with a red cross painted haphazardly on the door, Sam threw his arm out in front of Dean, making him bump into it suddenly. Dean glanced at him with a raised brow. Sam held out a surgical mask. “Better safe than sorry..”

Dean snatched up the mask and pulled it on with a roll of his eyes and a grumble. After Sam put on his own, they shared a look. “That it or would you like to give me a sponge bath too?” Sam stepped aside, motioning towards the door. Dean shook his head with a huff and head on inside. “So whose the lucky gal, Bobby?”

Again, attitude was shit, but he still had room to joke. It kept Sam from shooting him himself.

“Har har..” Bobby sat in front of a beaten old stretcher, which had a half covered body lying on top of it. Other than a few more gray hairs, longer beard and wrinkles. Bobby was still a hat wearing, liquor drinking hard ball. According to Dean, the wheelchair just shit coated his already bitterness and made him faster. Sam, to this day is still ashamed he missed the chase down that proved it. “Get over here and look at this ugly thing, will ya?” The brothers approached the stretcher and though Sam had already seen it, it still disgusted him. Him and his brother had a mirrored look of disgust on their faces.

The body was pretty normal looking..from a distance. But up close, it was riddled with what looked like boils and scales of a reptile. Dying and decaying, the look only got worse as it got up to the head. The teeth were still human teeth, but were blackened and yellowed from what Dean assumed was gnawing on people. Where eyes once were, there was nothing but what looked like a huge blooming flower bud. It was no flower though.

Dean crossed his arms with a short nod. “Well, it's not a Croat.” Sam stopped himself from rolling his eyes as Bobby did it for him, huffing out a “laugh”.

“Well I'll be damned, I'd have never guessed!” The older man looked over Dean. “What idjit made you leader again?” Dean glared, but shot it at the body instead. He knew better then to throw attitude at Bobby. Wheelchair bound or not. He was broken, but he still knew how to shoot.

Dean rubbed at his left upper arm absentmindedly. “What is it then,” He glanced sideways at Sam. “Einstein?”

Out from behind a curtain that was a make shift door for another room, Chuck stepped out holding a clipboard with some papers on it. “It's a mutation.” He shrugged softly. “..Like the Croatoan, I suppose.” He held out the clipboard to Dean who took it without looking. He eyed the three men as Dean skimmed over the words. “Ever hear of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis?”

Though Chuck wasn't a Hunter, he being a prophet made him number one on the list of grouping up with. He had visions so of course the boys thought that'd give them the upper hand. No one expected he'd lose those visions though when Heaven went to Hell and gave the world a virus in a hand basket. So trading in his robe for some jeans and flannel. Chuck became Bobby's right hand man. Nurse, as Dean liked to tease, and the groups supply expert.

Bobby tilt his head at Chuck. “English for the kids, hmm?”

Chuck eyed Sam and Dean and smiled nervously. Sam smiled back with kindness but meanwhile, Dean just stared. Oh, if looks could kill..this would have never happened.

“It's a fungus that's spread through the air. It attaches to it's hosts brain and takes away their higher functions.” He shrugged, chuckling softly. “In simpler terms, it turns you into a Zombie..” He looked down to the body on the bed. “But there is good news.” Dean lowered the clipboard as the three Hunters looked to the ex-prophet. He glanced from the body, to the three, then suddenly removed his mask. Dean reached swiftly for his gun, dropping the clipboard. Sam moved in-front of Bobby, protective on instinct. “It's okay!” The Hunters blinked as Chuck smiled. His hands were raised, the mask in one. He shook like a leaf. “Th-They can only spread the virus through a bite!” He lowered his hands, stepping up to the other side of the body. “..The only danger are the spores.”

Sam stepped back beside Bobby, smiling sheepishly as Bobby wheeled himself back to where he was before the scare. In the move, Sam had shoved him back. Beside them, Dean kept his gun trained on Chuck. Sam quickly brought his hand up and shoved the gun down to aim away. Chuck looked down. “..Thought that'd lighten the mood..” Though he spoke softly, Dean glared even harder. He moved to raise his gun again, but stopped when an alarm suddenly blared loudly.

Outside, a voice yelled. “It's The Angels!”

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