A DeanCas zombie apocalypse!au wherein Dean and Cas are separated from the very beginning due to their relationship not being recognized by the state. Six months after being placed in different Survival Groups and both thinking the other dead, they’ve long since given up hope for happiness in such a different, dark world.
Until Sam goes out for a supply run.
Insisting on going by himself, he gets trapped in a beaten down car surrounded by the Undead, and is saved by a mysterious bed-headed man with a wooden baton. With darkness quickly approaching and so close to a hot zone, Sam and the stranger bunk in the nearest, safest nook they can find for the night, and exchange stories of Before and During with mouths full of baked beans.
Or, rather, the mysterious man talks… Sam listens, raptly, to a love story that transcends even the end of the world.
The man moves his beans around his mouth as if savouring every greasy bite. He swallows with solemn blue eyes. “Before has been put to rest,” he says, voice gravel-rough. “What’s before us now is what truly matters.”
Sam bites his lip and nods into his can. “Who’d you lose?”
For the first time since they’ve met, the man looks shaken. He pushes around his food and swallows thickly, shoulders tense. “A man,” he says cautiously. The corner of his lips turn up in a ghost of a smile. “The most wonderful man.”
I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
What are we holding onto, Sam?
That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.