Chapter 1: Olga Bobrovsky - Zombie Slayer
Jody Shelley punching the face right off a zombie was probably the most badass thing Danny Briere had ever seen. Of course he’d seen plenty of badass things in his life, mostly on the ice, but seeing a Jody punch a zombie’s face clean off his head and onto the sidewalk after he tried to attack Bob while his back was turned had to top the list.
Everyone was taking their badassery up a notch since the zombies attacked. Sean Couturier looked like a sweet kid off the ice, but when the zombies struck he turned into a vicious zombie slaying machine taking zombies out left and right. Bryz made jokes that only made sense if you thought about them for a while about the situation, but if a zombie got too close he didn’t hesitate to take one out with the stick he still had from practice.
That was one convenient thing about the zombies attacking right after practice; They at least had something they could fight with. They also had numbers, but they couldn’t all stick together for long. Lots of the guys drove off to go find their families and make sure they were okay. Nobody could blame them. Braydon had a baby after all, and everyone knew he’d defend Nadine and Rory until the end of time. The others were the same.
Danny stayed to help fight them off. His kids were on vacation with his wife, they wouldn’t be anywhere near the zombies. Bob had his wife at home, but didn’t want to leave everyone behind, so he stuck with them. Claude, Scott, Andrej, Wayne and the rookies stuck behind too. When there was finally a lull in the action, Scott, Andrej and Wayne and most of the rookies took off, after exchanging well wishes with the guys still behind.
“Do you guys think they’re all gone?” Sean asked after Scott’s car disappeared as he drove away. He was covered in zombie blood, holding one of Jaromir’s sticks tightly since he broke all his own on zombie skulls. There weren’t any more zombies in sight at the moment, so he could take a break.
Claude took his keys out of his pocket and glanced around. “Uhh…looks like it.” He replied a little too soon.
Mere seconds after he spoke, more zombies appeared in droves. They crawled over buildings, crawled out of where they’d be hiding in trees, climbed out of sewer drains. It was as if they were just waiting for their numbers to get low so they could attack.
Bob muttered something in Russian, taking a step back and accidentally bumping into Claude. Claude just stared at the zombies for a moment before shakily asking, “What do we do, Danny?”
Unfortunately, Danny had no idea what to do. They needed to get out of there, but there was a zombie licking the windshield of his own car, and the other cars had zombies on them too. There was no way they could escape this. “I don’t know.” He responded, tightening his grip on the stick he held.
Before the panic could set it, a shiny black sedan zoomed into the parking lot, running over half a dozen zombies along the way. The windshield wipers smeared the blood off to the sides of the car, and a woman stepped out of the driver’s side door, with curly, dark brown hair, a stylish outfit, and a rifle in her hands.
“Cядь в маши́ну!”* Olga Bobrovsky shouted at the four of them, using her shotgun to put bullets through the heads of some zombies that were getting too close.
Nobody asked questions. Nobody thought twice. Neither Sean, Claude nor Danny even tried to figure out what she said. All of them rushed to the car, jumping inside. Bob got the passengers seat, and Claude, Sean and Danny all shared the back row, not made for three people their size. Danny somehow ended up in the middle, so squished between his current and former housemates that he couldn’t even attempt to find the seatbelt.
After Olga took out another zombie and got back in the car, she and Bob had a brief exchange in Russian, before she sped off, mowing down even more zombies as she drove. “You okay?” she asked the three in the back row, too focused on where she was going to look back at them.
“Yeah,we’re uhh…we’re okay.” Claude answered. He seemed shaken up by everything, and Danny wanted to place a comforting hand on his shoulder but he was too squished to move his arms.
“Where do you live?” Bob asked, turning around in his seat to look at them as Olga ran a red light and smashed some zombies at the same time, “We can drop you off at home.” He knew Danny and Sean lived together, but didn’t know where exactly that was.
Danny gave his address. “Claude can stay with us too,” He added, glancing over at Claude the best he could. “Safety in numbers.” They would be safer as a group, but Danny knew he’d worry himself sick about Claude if he didn’t know he was safe too. That was just better left unsaid. Claude didn’t protest, so it was settled. The three of them would be staying at Danny’s house.
The drive wasn’t a long one, since Olga ignored speed limits and stop signs. Nobody else was on the road anyway besides the zombies, so it didn’t matter. Getting everyone home safe seemed to be her top concern, not the law. It was eerie though, driving through normally busy streets when there was nobody on them. It was extra eerie viewing it through windows half covered in blood.
Danny’s neighborhood seemed completely normal when they got there. There weren’t any zombies milling around. No blood splatters in the street. No broken windows on houses, or people screaming. It looked almost unsettlingly normal.
Olga smiled sweetly at Claude, Danny and Sean as they stepped out of the car, looking more like a model than an incredible zombie slayer. “Bye!” she called out to them
“Be safe.” Bob added, giving them a worried smile.
“We will be, don’t worry. You guys stay safe too.” Danny told them before they drove off to get home themselves. Claude and Sean followed Danny as he went up to the front door, unlocked it and stepped inside.
As the three of them cautiously looked around, everything looked just how it had before they left that morning. No zombies in sight. Sean let out a sigh of relief. “Good thing—“ Sean tried to speak, but a crashing sound coming from upstairs made him stop and hold his breath again.
Claude froze, and gave Danny a nervous look. “Think we should check it out?”
Danny nodded and began walking toward the stairs. Whatever it was that made that noise, they couldn’t just ignore it. Zombie or no, they needed to take care of whatever it was going on up there right away. It just would’ve been nice if Danny had a moment to take a breather and fully comprehend that the zombie apocalypse was under way.
Wowowow okay I have a ton of notes for this.
1- I'm sure this has probably been done before. OTL Sorry for the unoriginality.
2- Nadine is Braydon Coburn's wife, and Rory is his baby daughter.
3- Olga Bobrovsky is Bob's wife and basically the coolest lady ever. In case you didn't know.
4- Cядь в маши́ну! = Get in the car, according to MasterRussian.com. I don't know how reliable that is, though. She used Russian there, and English everywhere else because I'm pretty sure she's still learning English. Asking if someone is okay and saying goodbye are pretty basic things you learn early on when you're learning a second language, but get in the car isn't, so she switched to Russian there.
5- Claude Giroux says 'uhh' a lot. Seriously. I'll try not to go overboard with it though.
6- This is mainly gonna focus on zombie slaying, and the relationships between Claude, Danny and Sean, and I may ignore some parts of canon to make things work, since this is AU lol. But other Flyers will probably make appearances at some point, as well as players from other teams. I can tell you this isn't the last they'll see of Bob and Olga. c:
7- Title inspired by this lovely song by Kaki King. The song has nothing to do with the fic, I just like it and thought the title worked for a title for this, lol. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVYp2sgA9M0&ob=av3e
8- 'Zombie or no' is a reference to the infamous 'turn on or no?' tweet.
Chapter updates aren't on a schedule. New chapters will just be posted whenever I finish them, and since I'm on spring break you might get a few this upcoming week.
Chapter 2: Dogs and Cereal and Sleepy Hockey Players
Claude, Danny and Sean have to figure out what that weird noise was upstairs...and Danny still needs to make sure his kids are safe. But they all learn this whole zombie thing is much worse than any of them thought.
Claude and Sean were silent as they followed Danny up the stairs. None of them dared say a word when a zombie could be lurking at the top of the stairs, waiting to attack. Once Danny reached the top of the stairs and looked around the corner, however, he didn’t see anything. Whatever made the crashing noise wasn’t in the hall.
Nothing was amiss in his sons’ rooms either. When Claude daringly checked Danny’s room on his own, he found nothing out of the ordinary. The only room left to check on that floor was the bathroom.
Sean stepped in the bathroom first, turning on the light after a moment of hesitation. When the light went on, Danny’s small dogs both fled the bathroom, weaving between Sean and Claude’s legs and out into the hall. Sean stared at them for a moment before walking the rest of the way into the bathroom. Nothing else was there.
“Maybe it was just your dogs.” Claude suggested, pulling back the shower curtain to reveal an empty tub.
Danny opened the closet door, but the only thing in there was towels. No zombies. “Then what…” Danny stopped mid-sentence when he noticed the source of the sound. Next to the sink, the glass cup that usually contained tooth brushes was on the floor in pieces, with the toothbrushes mixed in the shards of glass.
Instead of picking up the glass, Sean nudged it closer to the wall with the toe of his shoe. Danny would’ve stopped him if he tried to pick the pieces up anyway. No need to get even more blood all over himself by cutting his hands on it. “Maybe one of the dogs ran into the counter and knocked it over,” Sean suggested, looking over at Danny.
Danny nodded. “Yeah, that’s probably it. You should go change.” Not only was it probably terribly unhealthy for Sean to walk around in clothes with so much blood on them, but it was unsettling to look at him like that.
“Yeah, definitely.” Sean replied with a smile. He seemed much more relaxed now that the threat was over. He left the bathroom and went downstairs to where his own room was.
Danny sighed and left the bathroom was well, heading downstairs. Okay, so zombies were attacking. What was he supposed to do? Was there some handy dandy zombie survival guide he could get his hands on? Maybe he should double check the locks on the doors…
“Pretty crazy, eh?” Claude said to Danny, patting him once on the back.
It took Danny a moment to get his thoughts in order and come up with a response. “Yeah. Yeah, it is. I’m going to check the doors…”
Danny went off to the front door, and Claude went to the kitchen. Once every lock was checked and double checked, Danny walked past the kitchen where Claude and Sean, in clean clothes, were both eating cereal at the kitchen table. None of them could cook, and cereal didn't require any cooking skills.
“Hey Danny, you have a gun?” Claude asked, looking up at him from his bowl. Sean looked at Danny as well, waiting for an answer.
“You know, a gun. Like Olga had, to kill zombies.”
Danny always thought it was more dangerous to have guns in the house than safe, so he never bought one. He never saw the need. “No, sorry.”
Claude and Sean immediately went back to trying to formulate a plan to kill the zombies, other weapons they could uses, places they could get the weapons, and so on. Danny didn’t participate. He went to his bedroom, picked up the phone on the nightstand, and dialed his ex-wife’s number. The phone rang once, twice, three times, over and over. Eventually it just went to the answering machine, and Danny realized he didn’t know what to say.
“…Hey, it’s me. Just wondering if you guys are okay. Call me back.” Short, sweet and to the point. Perfect. Danny’s nerves weren’t calmed at all by it though. He didn’t realize how badly he needed that confirmation that his kids were all right until he didn’t get it. For now, he just needed to relax, watch out for the people he was with, and stay safe. That’s all he could do.
When Danny went back out into the kitchen, nobody was there. He felt a twinge of fear until he found Claude and Sean sitting on the couch, watching some Action News special about the zombie attack. The two of them were on each end of the couch, so Danny was stuck in the middle (again) but this time there was much more room.
The shots all over the news looked like what they’d seen themselves earlier that day. Zombies crawling around Old City and Chinatown, blood smeared all over streets that Danny assumed and hoped only belonged to zombies, hipsters in a coffee shop batting zombies away with chairs, the videos just went on and on. The zombies were everywhere. A few official looking people gave statements about the event, telling everyone to remain calm and stay inside. The mayor spoke, the governor, the president…it made Danny wonder just how big of a thing it was.
Then they showed video from Washington DC. New York City. Los Angeles. Boston. Seattle. Toronto. The zombies weren’t just around Philadelphia, they were everywhere…and nobody knew where they came from or how to stop them. Danny knew he wasn’t going to be able to relax any time soon. He nearly jumped right off the couch when Sean slumped over and leaned against his shoulder. It took Danny a moment to realize Sean had fallen asleep, and leaned over on him. All the zombie killing must’ve tired him out.
Claude was still awake, on the other hand. “You really think we’ll be safe here?” he asked, looking away from video of zombies on top of cars in Baltimore to look at Danny.
“…No,” Danny answered honestly, “I think they could still find their way in…” All the windows in the house would make that pretty easy. Glass wasn’t all that difficult to break.
“Then are we gonna get out of here?” Claude glanced back at the TV again.
Danny was too worked up to be able to think things through right tonight. He needed a good night’s sleep before he’d be ready to make big decisions. But he didn’t want to wake Sean up to go to bed… “We can figure that out in the morning.”
“All right.” Claude replied. He watched TV for a while longer before falling asleep on the couch himself, but he leaned over on the arm of the sofa instead of on Danny.
Danny felt strangely disappointed, and almost jealous at the arm of the sofa until he realized how utterly ridiculous that was. He just needed sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. Everything would make sense in the morning. As he drifted off to sleep there on the couch, he really hoped it would.
welp, this was the boring chapter lol. I have a lot more action planned for the next one, so please bear with me. OTL
1 - I didn't find any good places to squeeze in some 'uhh's in Claude speech, haha. But iirc he doesn't seem to say uhh as much when he's not doing interviews with journalists...
2- Chapterfics are REALLY HARD TO WRITE oh goodness. Whenever I've written things with chapters in the past, I just wrote the whole thing and then split it up later, so this is difficult for me since I'm writing chapter by chapter.
3- Namedropped some local areas and a local news station to make things feel more real...ish. I accidentally namedropped a TV station from my hometown instead of one from here though at first, haha.
4 - I'm completely aware this chapter is as boring as watching paint dry, and I'm super sorry. OTL I promise to throw some exciting stuff in the next one.
5- Kaki King's Junior and ...Until We Felt Red albums were my background music for this chapter. Good stuff.
Chapter 3: The Chapter in which Sean Couturier Sleeps on the Floor
After waking up in...unexpected places with an unexpected house guest, Claude, Danny and Sean know they aren't safe anymore just staying indoors.
Danny didn’t know quite how it happened, but when he woke up that morning, his head was against Claude’s chest. Whenever he’d leaned over on Claude in the middle of the night may have been around the same time Sean slipped off the couch altogether, since now he was sleeping on the floor, looking far more peaceful than someone sleeping on a floor should.
Danny knew he should probably move. He really, really should move. But Claude was warm and his fingers were brushing against Danny’s shoulder, and the sunlight shining through the window made his curly hair look like fire, and Danny could hear his heartbeat, and feel his breathing and—
The sound of glass breaking finally made Danny sit up. He was so disoriented from barely being awake and sitting up so quickly that he couldn’t figure out what was going on at first. Was it the dogs again? Danny ruled that out as soon as he heard that familiar groaning sound. It was a zombie. There was a zombie somewhere nearby, maybe the kitchen.
“Wake up!” Danny hissed at Claude, lightly shaking him. He couldn’t speak to loudly for fear of grabbing the zombie’s attention. His mind was racing, but he at least was focused enough to know that.
Claude simply rolled over, mumbling, “Quelle heure est-il?” barely loud enough for Danny to hear.
“It doesn’t matter, ça n'a pas d'importance! Wake up!” Danny whispered harshly, “Wake up!”
While Claude was taking his sweet time to finally sit up and look around, Danny went over to Sean. “Wake up, wake up. There’s something in the house.”
“What? Why?” Sean asked sleepily, staring at the tan carpet with a confused expression like he expected it to be a bed instead. “Who’s in the house?”
“I think it’s a zombie.” Danny told him as another loud sound game from the direction of the kitchen, sounding like pots and pans clattering against the floor.
Claude was fully awake now, looking around the room for something that could be used to kill a zombie. There had to be something he could use…somewhere…maybe…
The clinking sound of silverware hitting the floor rang through the room around the same time the grotesque face of a second zombie appeared in a nearby window. It clawed at the glass with the mess of bone and loose muscles and tendons that used to be its hands, but didn’t break through.
“We have to get out of here,” Sean said, quickly getting to his feet, “We have to go now.”
Danny agreed. “We can take my car. We have to get the dogs and some supplies first though…” Danny was not leaving his dogs behind, no way. And they wouldn’t live long without plenty of supplies, since they would surely be scarce now.
“I’ll get rid of the zombie. You guys get ready to go.” Claude volunteered, taking off toward the kitchen without giving Danny a chance to try stopping him.
Sean didn’t give Danny much of a chance to speak either. “We’re taking the bigger car, right?” he asked, already halfway out of the living room.
“Yeah, the black one.” Danny responded, trying to make a mental checklist of what they needed and stop worrying about Claude.
“I’ll get the dogs in there.” Sean told him, before going off who knows where to find them.
Now Danny needed to get to work. He had to ignore the awful crashing sounds in the kitchen and find… the first aid kit, that was important. He grabbed it out of the closet in the first floor bathroom and tucked it under his arm before going to Sean’s bedroom and pulling the blue blanket off the bed. What else, what else…he grabbed a handful of shirts from the dresser in Sean’s room, since his own would be too far away. No time for any other clothes.
Danny took off for the front door with just that. This wasn’t the time to worry about valuables; they just needed to get out right away. He nearly ran into Claude in the foyer, but luckily Claude didn’t drop the cardboard box filled with food in it that he was holding. He shifted the box to one arm, opened the door with his free hand and the two of them dashed out to the car.
The neighborhood was covered in zombies. They were crawling through the windows of other houses, wandering around in lawns, there was even one on the roof on one house somehow. Yeah, they definitely couldn’t stick around any longer.
Claude jumped in the back of the car to put the box there and ended up nearly sitting on the dogs. Both of them were sitting on the seat with their collars and leashes on, with the seatbelts going through the handles on the leashes so they were secured in. But Sean was nowhere in sight.
“Did you see Sean anywhere?” Danny asked, quickly throwing everything in the back of the car and looking around the front yard. A single, solitary arm lay near the mailbox, but that was it.
“Uhh...no, I thought he was here already.” Claude replied, looking around as well. “Did he go back in?”
Danny didn’t respond. He slammed the door and sprinted for the house. He didn’t see anyone when he ran around looking for Sean, no people, no zombies, nobody. But Sean had to be there somewhere, he had to… “Sean! We need to go!” Danny called out, not expecting a response, but definitely wanting one.
The response was quiet and distant, but it was enough for Danny to know Sean was alive. “Hurry up!” He yelled back, grabbing another blanket and some of his own clothes before running back to the car.
When he got there, Sean was already in back with the dogs and Claude was in the passenger’s seat. There was also a zombie at the end of the driveway, stumbling weakly toward the car. Danny quickly got in and put on his seatbelt, locking all the doors. He wondered what Sean was doing that took so long, but didn’t have time to question it. The second he heard the zombie banging on the back of the car, he put it in reverse and backed out of the driveway, running the zombie over just like Olga had the day before.
Once they backed out into the street, Danny didn’t hesitate to put the car in drive and speed down the street. He was far too focused on survival to give too much thought to everything he was leaving behind.
1- “Quelle heure est-il?” - "What time is it?"
2- "ça n'a pas d'importance" - "It's not important"
My French isn't very good though, so please correct me if those are wrong.
3- There won't be much French throughout the story, but I thought it would be appropriate for sleepy!Claude to use it here.
4- I liked this chapter last night when I finished it, but when I re-read it this morning I didn't like it...I'm just posting it anyway though, because otherwise I'd just keep nitpicking it for months. OTL I shouldn't be so hard on myself when I'm supposed to be writing fic just for fun.
5- Shook things up with my writing music this time. I listened to Radiohead's Pablo Honey album this time. Really great stuff, check it out sometime.
It might be a little while until chapter four, because I honestly don't know what to do next, haha. But thanks a bunch for everyone who's been reading this, you guys are awesome.
Chapter 4: Nebraska
Considering the situation, things are going pretty well. The gang formulates a plan, runs into some teammates, and gets some tasty food from Wawa.
Special thanks to Megan, Kaitlin and Hallie!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Danny’s first priority was simply to get everyone out of there. They needed to get somewhere safe, where there weren’t any zombies. Then they could take time to see what they had, figure out where to go, and try to formulate some sort of plan.
None of them spoke as Danny drove across the Pennsylvania state line and past Philadelphia. Claude tried to find the country station on the radio, but every channel came in as nothing but eerie white noise. Some AM stations still came in, but the one that come through clearest just interspersed repetitions of ‘Stay calm, don’t panic’ between oldies hits. Hearing Pleasant Valley Sunday followed by those impossible orders to stay calm while seeing zombies crawl all over the place they now called home.
“Where are all the people?” Sean asked eventually after at least a dozen minutes of silence. “Shouldn’t there be people around yet?”
The streets were certainly oddly empty. There were other cars, but not as many as would be expected. Instead of some massive exodus from the city, there was just the usual amount of cars that would be found in mild traffic. “Maybe the zombies got them.” Danny guessed, running down a particularly grotesque zombie. If he hadn’t woken up when he did that morning, there was a good chance the zombies could’ve gotten the three of them in their sleep. Of course they would’ve woken up when the zombies took their first bite, but it would’ve been too late then.
“Yeah…” Sean didn’t have much of a response. He stared out the window again, and Danny noticed from the rear-view mirror that he seemed so much younger again. He didn’t seem like the adult he was, he looked like that bright-eyed kid from draft day again, only scared instead of excited. He looked lost and nervous and Danny wished he could make him feel better somehow, but he was a little busy trying to save their lives at the moment.
The farther in-state they got, the less zombies and more cars they saw. Danny found a Target parking lot that was empty, but free of zombies and parked in one of the spaces.
“Why’re we going to Target?” Sean asked, holding one of the dogs in his lap.
Danny smiled a little. “We’re not; we’re just stopping to figure out what to do next. The dogs should probably be let out too.”
“I can do that.” Sean volunteered, taking the dogs by their leashes and cautiously stepping outside the car to take them to a patch of grass.
Claude had been busy silently staring at his phone for a while, but then he spoke up. “There’s nowhere to go.” He said, glancing up at Danny.
“What do you mean?” Danny asked, leaning closer so he could see the screen of the phone.
“They’re everywhere. Down south, up North, uhh…even in Canada. And they’re on the West Coast too.” He held the phone over so Danny could see a map he pulled up of the country, dotted with red spots indicating zombie sightings.
Danny thought for a moment before responding. “What about rural areas? Like here?” He pointed to an empty space on the map, somewhere around Nebraska. “Nothing there.”
“Yeah, we could go there,” Claude said, “But I think it’s a long drive.”
“We’ll make it.” Danny responded as Sean and the dogs got back into the car. “By the way, what food did you get?”
Claude smiled awkwardly, and it made Danny’s heart flutter but he tried to ignore it. “I don’t know, I just grabbed stuff. Ketchup, bread…”
In the backseat, Sean started digging through the box of food. “You got peanut butter too. And a bag of noodles, and Chex mix, some Tastycakes…”
They needed more food, gas, and some sort of breakfast. Wawa seemed like the perfect place to pick some of those up. There was one nearby, so Danny pulled out of the Target parking lot and drove over to it. After getting some gas, which was of course far more expensive than usual, the three of them went inside to look for food. Danny was trying to find something to drink when he heard a familiar voice behind him.
When Danny turned around, Bob, Olga and Jake were there. Olga still held her shotgun in one hand, and an iced tea in the other. The zombie apocalypse must have made people more lenient when it came to gun laws. “What’re you guys doing here?” Danny asked, smiling. It was nice to know at least some of his teammates were doing okay.
“Getting food, then we’re going to Alaska.” Jake answered.
“Why Alaska?” Danny asked. That was even farther away than Nebraska. A lot farther away.
Bob answered. “There aren’t many zombies there. And we’re meeting Matt and Clancey there.”
Someone started screaming before Danny could respond to that. A couple zombies were milling around the front of the store, scaring the sole employee off. Without even moving closer to the zombies, Olga lifted her gun and took each of them out with a single shot to the head, like it was as simple as sealing an envelope or opening a door. Her skill was more than a bit scary. Danny wanted to ask where she learned to shoot like that, but didn’t. “Time to go!” She announced, starting off for the door. “Not safe here.”
“Well good luck you guys!” Jake said with a smile. Danny didn’t even notice Claude and Sean rejoined him, neither of them said anything.
“See you later.” Bob added, also smiling. Then the two of them followed after Olga and out the door.
Claude’s arms were full of sandwiches and candy bars. Either he noticed the cashier left, or he was actually willing to spend that much on food, Danny wasn’t sure. “Where are they going?” Claude asked.
“Alaska.” Danny replied, picking up some extra food of his own before also making his way to the door. If the zombies were starting to show up around here too, they needed to get going. He was surprised the store was even open, but he was pretty grateful for it.
Sean and Claude followed. “And where are we going?” Sean asked.
“Nebraska.” Danny replied, picking up a US roadmap by the door. They’d definitely be needing that, he had no clue how to get there.
“Why Nebraska?” Sean asked, getting in the car once Danny unlocked the doors, “No zombies there?”
With all the doors locked, plenty of food, a map and a full tank of gas, they were ready to go. “Yeah, not as many as there are here.” Claude replied, taking the map from Danny and opening it up. “I think we take I-76 West for a while…”
“Okay.” Danny replied, reversing the car over a zombie he never even noticed, behind them. The radio was still a mess of ‘Please stay calm!’ and Steve Miller music, but at least they now knew where they were going. Hopefully they wouldn’t run into any problem between there and rural Nebraska.
Sorry for the delay. School as been killing me lately. @___@
1- Matt and Clancey = Matt Carle and his wife
2- Tastycakes and Wawa are local things, so if you're not from the area you might not know what they are. Wawa is a convenience store, and Tastycakes are god's gift to the world.
3- I've actually driven from Omaha, NE to Philly and back, but this is kinda different and it was a while ago. So no guarantees as to accuracy, but I never guaranteed a shred of accuracy with this anyway lol.
4- Another boring chapter sob. But I wanted to get Bob, Olga and Jake in it, as well as a bit of Briroux and I wanted to get them prepared to go.
5- The dogs make this so complicated but I can't just leave them behind. OTL
6- I'm too lazy/tired/dead to read through this and edit stuff so uhhhh you just get this. Sorry.
7- Wawa is open during the apocalypse because reasons.
Next chapter will probably be a roadtrip chapter. I've got some ideas for it, so it shouldn't take too long to get posted. Thanks for reading!
Chapter 5: Road Trip: Day 1
So far, the trip to Nebraska has been pretty uneventful. The motel the three end up having to stay in is certainly...interesting to say the least, just like their sleeping arrangements.
Even the occasional zombie sightings didn’t make the drive very interesting. There were long stretches where there wasn’t a single zombie in sight, and everything looked completely normal. But there were pockets where barely any living human beings were around, and zombies were absolutely everywhere.
Sean didn’t say much for most of the trip. He slept with his head leaning against the window and a dog in his lap for half the drive, and simply stared out the window for the rest. Danny guessed he must have left his phone behind, or he would’ve been using it.
Claude tried to find a working country station on the radio, but gave up pretty quickly and just turned the thing off. The trip was pretty straight forward so far, so even though he was the navigator, he didn’t have to give Danny many directions.
Danny just drove and drove and didn’t let his mind wander from the task at hand. He couldn’t worry about his kids right now. There was nothing he could do about them, and all dwelling on that would do was make him feel far worse. He had to focus on saving himself, Claude and Sean and just force himself to believe that his kids were fine, wherever they were. He tried his best to do that, but it didn’t really work.
They stopped for lunch and dinner where they found places that were still open, so they could save their food for when nowhere was open. About half way through Claude found a functioning Country station and grinned, only to have the Kenny Chesney song then cut off half way through and melt into white noise again. They ended up listening to fuzzy jazz for a while, interspersed with more ‘stay calm’s and dashes of Iron Maiden and Megadeath that leaked in from other stations.
They passed through the mountains of western Pennsylvania, and took extra care to drive north of Pittsburgh. They weren’t avoiding the city for any rivalry reasons; it was the last thing on their minds. They needed to avoid major cities, and Pittsburgh was big enough that it was probably loaded with zombies. The quiet neighborhoods farther north were a lot safer. The Penguins did cross Danny’s mind for a brief moment, but it was only in concern for their safety. The moment passed, and he was back to worrying about his kids and Claude and Sean and the dogs.
It was ten o’clock by the time they started looking for somewhere to stop. They’d made it to eastern Ohio, and a pretty rural area of it at that. “Maybe if we get to Columbus we could stay with Carts,” Claude commented, staring out his window at the sky above. It was clear, and looked like a sea of stars. That was a sight you could get out in Hearst, but not in Gatineau and certainly not around Philadelphia. Only quieter places like this could you see that many stars.
“Too bad he probably left already,” Danny replied, still focusing on the road instead of the stars. He could easily picture their old teammates Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, meeting up somewhere amid all this chaos and partying away. He was almost jealous. He could never loosen up and relax at a time like this. Even during the most stressful times, those two seemed to be able to let loose and get a little wild. Danny always thought that was just how they coped with stress, not that they partied because they didn’t care about the team.
Sean didn’t contribute to the conversation because he was already asleep, still leaning his head against the window while one dog laid in his lap and the other laid right next to him.
They found a lot of closed hotels as they drove around before the finally found one that was open. It was a small, dingy looking motel, but there were more cars in front of it than you’d ever expect at such a shady place. Danny and Claude left Sean to sleep in the car while they visited the front desk. The room had mustard colored carpet on the walls, a rotary phone held together by tape, and a broken TV that had to be older than Sean in the corner, but the person at the desk was friendly, and they were able to get a room for the night. That might have been because they decided to conveniently not mention there’d be two dogs in the room too.
After waking Sean and gathering up what they’d need for the night, the three of them went to go see their lovely accommodations for the night. Once Danny unlocked the door and flipped the nearest light on, they saw…well, it could have been worse. The walls were covered in very busy, very old wallpaper, and the carpeting on the floor looked ancient. In the room, there was a single king sized bed with neon green blankets, and a single nightstand next to it with duct tape around one of the legs. There was a digital clock on it, but the clock read ‘8:09am’. There was a tall lamp in one corner of the room, and a small desk across from the bed with an old, but functioning TV on it. A rigid red chair sat in the corner. The entire thing smelled like cigarette smoke and old books. “Welcome home,” Danny commented sarcastically, walking inside to check the room out more. The bathroom was outdated, but very clean. The rest of the room seemed to be the same.
“I stayed at a place like this in juniors,” Claude said with a nostalgic smile, taking a seat on the bed, “But that was out in Ontario.”
Sean looked like he’d never stayed somewhere like this, and stared quite a bit at the bright orange and cream colored wallpaper with bold patterns on it. “The walls are…nice colors. But where are we all going to sleep?” he asked awkwardly.
“Well, there’s only one bed,” Claude replied, looking down at the stained carpet, “And the uhh…the floor doesn’t look like a good place to sleep. So…”
Danny shrugged. “I’m fine with sharing the bed.” It wasn’t like he’d mind getting to sleep close to Claude again or anything…
Danny almost expected Sean to be bothered by that in some way, but he didn’t seem to be. “Okay,” was all he said before going over to the bed and pulling down the blankets to reveal surprisingly crisp, white sheets and clean looking pillows. He only said, “Good night,” before crawling under the blankets and curling up on one end of the bed.
“I’ll sleep too. Since we have a long way to go tomorrow,” Claude told Danny, “Is it okay to turn out the light?”
“Yeah, that’s fine. I’m just going to take a shower first,” Danny responded, and went off to do just that while Claude killed the lights and went to bed.
Usually showers made Danny feel better. He could clear his mind and think things through and relax. This time, having too much time to do nothing but think ended up being awful. All he could think about were his kids. How were they doing? Were they hurt? Were they scared? Were they somewhere safe? More than anything, Danny wanted to be there for them, to protect them, to tell them everything would be okay. But here he was thousands of miles away from them, in an overly-warm, prehistoric motel room in the middle of nowhere, Ohio.
Danny finished his shower and quietly slipped into bed, on the opposite end of Sean, right next to Claude. The room already felt too warm, and being so close to Claude made him feel even warmer. Danny tried not to think about his kids, or this awful situation, or the feel of the warmth of Claude’s back touching his own, but it took him a long time to finally fall asleep.
1- Sorry for the delay! The Flyers only got to round two, but I really liked the Kings as well, so i was pretty invested in the playoffs this year.
2- A lot of the fics I've read really antagonize rival teams so I wanted to take a different approach. All of these guys are just normal people off the ice, I didn't want to portray the Pens as evil scumbags!!1!!!1 and have them all get eaten or something lmao. I'm sure they're really good people. Most of them, at least.
3- Please don't ask when in the year this is taking place cause I really don't know haha. I was imagining spring, but then Danny wouldn't really be in his slump and Carts would be in LA. So let's not even think about that lol
4- Hearst = Claude's hometown. It's pretty small. Gatineau = Danny's hometown. Much bigger.
5- This chapter was boring, boooo. I'll try to throw some cuteness and maybe some more action and maybe some new characters in the next chapter. But no guarantees. Thanks for sticking with this for all this time!