'There must be something worth living for. There must be something worth trying for. Even some things worth dying for'
Brendon knew from the get go where he would find his parents. So it wasn't really a case of trying to find them, it was more a case of trying to get to them before something else got there first.
The church was the only illuminated building to be seen for miles, the other buildings surrounding either abandoned or made to look as if they were. The gesture of stubbornness from his parents in regards to their faith and pride would have made Brendon smile if he weren't so out of his mind with worry. He did, however, have the comfort of knowing that some things never changed – despite the death, chaos, panic and destruction. Good old mom and dad, pressing their religion from the beginning to the bitter end.
A distant crash made Brendon's ears vibrate and his heart thud impossibly harder in his chest. His pulse felt like a clock ticking, signalling the ever constant passing of time, God knows how long he had left. Not long anyway.
Numerous abandoned cars lay between Brendon and his goal. He spared a small and fleeting thought as to which one would be best to steal once he left the church. Assuming he succeeded in his mission (and there was some ironic word choosing right there) he would have to appease his band in some way for doing something so foolhardy as running away from them at a time like this. Besides, nothing said 'I'm sorry for being difficult during an unexpected killer alien invasion' like a convenient stolen car, right? Brendon had a feeling that it was going to take a lot more than a car for Spencer to forgive him for this. A small wave of guilt almost brought Brendon to a standstill. He didn't stop however, as he knew that if he died, Spencer would kill him. As he continued his sprint towards the church he barely took notice of the fact that the grass surrounding the building was signed to a dull brown. They had obviously already been there then and left their mark. Surprisingly though, the actual church was still totally intact despite the indications that the grounds had already been 'attacked'.
Brendon gasped for breath as he finally reached the doors to the church. A thick cloud of black dust, brought over by a sudden gust of wind, made it suddenly harder to breathe. Brendon thanked the God he no longer believed in that he had spent what seemed a lifetime doing breathing exercises while practising his singing. He had a feeling he would have been really struggling had it not been for that. The worry he had for his band-mates, his best friends, pressed heavily on his mind as he reached to pull one of the giant doors open.
Which in true Hollywood fashion remained firmly closed.
Brendon growled in frustration and ran a hand through his dust and sweat covered hair.
He kicked at the door once and then peered around at the area surrounding. It would be a risk to call; after all, what if one of them heard him? Then they would all end up in deep trouble. He decided to chance it however after taking a thorough check for them. There were none about, of that he was sure as they were pretty freaking hard to miss, but he knew how fast they could move.
“Mom!? Dad!? Are you guys in there!?” He shouted as loud as dared towards the locked doors.
“Who's there?” His father's voice came sharp with an almost manic edge to it from behind the door. The warm relief that filled his body from simply hearing his father's voice was indescribable.
“It's Brendon,” the youngest Urie spoke directly to the door, his mouth pressed close to the wood. He didn't want to push his luck in terms of attracting them back there. Knowing him, it would probably end up happening if he continued bellowing.
He jumped back a few steps as the door slowly creaked open until it was cracked open wide enough to see through. His father's pale and drawn face appeared in the crack between the two doors. “No you're not, you're one of them.”
Say what now? How did his father honestly think he even remotely resembled one of those huge, alien, robot like things? Brendon froze, his eyes wide as he took in his father's icy glare. Never, not even while they had been 'fighting', had his dad looked at him like that.
“Hey no, what, dad no. Are you being serious? It's me, Brendon, your son!” The expression on his father's face didn't change at Brendon's words, but he saw another figure appear and then the crack between the doors suddenly widened until one door was almost fully pulled open. The warm hands of his mother pulled at his shoulders until he too was in the church and she immediately wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug.
“Oh Brendon, my baby, thank God you're all right. I've been worried sick.” Grace pulled back until her arms were once again on Brendon's shoulders and she had a chance to take in his worn and scared features while he did the same. She was pale, even more so than his father, and it pained Brendon to see her in such a state.
She was still dressed in her Sunday best. It was probably the first time she had worn an outfit two days in a row ever in her life. Of all the things to have to really highlighted the severity of the situation for him, he figured his mother’s clothing was probably the most ridiculous ever. Big scary, robot space monsters? Meh. His mom wearing the same clothing two days in a row? Holy shit, apocalypse.
“Get away from him Grace! He is one of them!” Boyd pulled his wife back violently, causing her to wince. Brendon felt his face turn red with anger, but did nothing – he never really could do anything when it came to his father. Besides, he didn't want to yell and attract the attention of the beings from outside the building.
“Don't be stupid Boyd, it's Brendon. Our Brendon,” Grace tried to reason with her husband. Her voice echoed despite the fact she hadn't spoken particularly loudly. Once upon a time, Brendon would have picked up on it properly and remarked upon the amazing acoustics of the room. Funny how an alien invasion can change a person.
“They've taken you too,” Boyd snarled, pushing his wife away. She fell back with a yelp of surprise, but was caught by Brendon who had snapped out of his anger fuelled stillness the second he saw her begin to fall. “You're one of them, a devil!”
“What the fuck is wrong with you!?” Brendon yelled indignantly, no longer caring whether they were heard from the outside of the church.
“I saw the devil’s sign! The green flash in the sky. His demons were here all along, in our hearts and souls, just waiting for a sign from him and now they are destroying our world!” His father was manic in his preaching and he ended by dramatically kneeling on a nearby pew. His usually calm features were distorted with panic and hysteria and at the sight something small died within Brendon. The hero he had grown up with was de-masked, no longer a figure of strength and hope.
“They're not demons, Boyd, they're Martians,” Brendon's mother tried to calmly explain, but he still heard the tremor in her voice as she tried to communicate with the man she had been married to for years. Brendon had never expected his mother to attempt to be the voice of reason; she had always just gone along with what his father had wanted. He had a feeling she had never wanted to kick him out of the house at seventeen. A very distinct feeling. Well, she had chosen a hell of a time to change her ways.
“Look, the church isn't safe, nowhere is really, but Ryan, Jon, Spencer and I are planning to try and escape. Come with us. Please come with us.” Brendon begged, having finally gotten around to explaining the true reason he was there. He just wanted his family safe, everyone. He knew Ryan and Jon were safe – well they had been when he had left. Spencer had to be safe, something within him would know if he weren't and Ryan and Jon would look after him for him. Brendon just couldn't bear the thought of leaving the people who had raised him behind. Despite their differences – he still loved them.
“I will go nowhere with you, sinner. You've always been a demon and now you've taken your mother too.” Boyd Urie scuffled backwards on his knees on the pew, inching away from Brendon in a way that would have upset him had it not frustrated him more. He acted more like a rabid animal than a rational human being.
Out of the corner of his eye, Brendon saw black smoke fill the view of one of the small windows high on the church wall. He tensed as he heard one of the Martian fighting machines approach the building slowly, the characteristic zapping sound growing louder and louder with ever thudding step it took. They looked like giant spiders, only with four legs and really, really big – it was the only way Brendon could describe them and God knows Spencer teased him mercilessly every-time he did. God, Spencer...
“We have to go. Seriously. As in we have to go right now. Unless we want to end up melted, or probed, or whatever it is aliens do these days,” Brendon babbled as he switched between watching the machine come closer via the window and his mom attempting to calm his hysterical father on the pews. The fighting machine started to cross the road, spraying jets of the steam that turned the smoke to thick black dust. It coated the window almost immediately. Brendon didn't know if it really bothered him, at least he wouldn't now have the frightening knowledge of how close it was. Not visually anyway, he could still hear it drawing close.
“Dear God, help us,” Brendon heard his mother murmur. He spun round and saw both his parents had stopped their arguing and were now staring transfixed at the blackened window. His father slowly turned towards him and Brendon saw something flicker in his eyes, something different from the hysterical panic. It made him feel safer somehow.
“It's too close. We'll never all get out without it seeing us,” Boyd said, his change in tone surprising both Brendon and Grace if her expression was any indication. Grace threw herself into her husband’s arms and he in return clung on for dear life. They both pulled away and seemed to have, what Brendon thought was, a conversation using their eyes. His mother gave a sad smile and his father nodded in grim determination. Something heavy settled deep in Brendon's chest. Fuck, those were not good looks on their faces.
“Brendon. Do me a favour?” Boyd spoke to his son, not looking away from his wife.
“...What?” Brendon asked hesitantly, knowing he was most likely not going to like the request.
“Find that boy of yours and look after yourself,” he turned and gave Brendon a sad smile. Brendon's heart clenched and for a second he worried that it might not ever beat again. What. No way.
“Oh fuck no.”
“Watch your language Brendon.”
“I'm not just going to leave you guys here to die. No way. No way in hell.”
His mom sighed and grinned, “You always were the 'rebel' of the family. Always doing what you were told, while simultaneously doing the things we told you not to. We knew you were destined for something great, something different. It's been difficult, but we've never ever stopped loving you just the way you are. So do us a favour and for the first time in your life, shut up and do what we say Brendon. No arguments.”
She pushed gently away from her husband and enfolded her youngest son in her arms. He wasn't ashamed to admit he was crying at that point, the idea of leaving his parents almost killing him.
“Please don't do this. Don't make me, mom.”
“Bren-” Grace was interrupted by a loud crash as the fighting machine banged and against the wall of the church. The entire building wobbled with the force of the impact. Brendon and his mom held tighter to each other and almost fell due to the vibrations of the floor. The sudden appearance of his father’s arms kept them upright, however.
Brendon felt more a part of his family than he had in years.
It was a shame that it had come too late.
The window Brendon had been watching was broken by a sharp blast of green light. His body shook as he gazed at the giant circular metal 'head' of the fighting machine, its green glass 'eyes' glinting ominously in the small glints of sunshine not blocked by the black dust.
He knew he was about to die. He knew they were all about to die. He just wished he could see Spencer one last time. He heard the whooshing noise as the machine geared up to blast him away to nothing but dust, felt a strong arm push him away, heard screams come from.. somewhere, but all he really focused on as he fell into darkness was the thought of piercing blue eyes.
“Brendon! Brendon! Come on you fucktard! Where the hell are you!?”
It was unfair that Brendon was plagued by Ryan Ross even in death. An angry Ryan Ross by the sounds of it.
“Brendon! Come on dude! You're freaking us out now!”
Huh. Jon Walker had joined the post-mortem party too huh? Well, that was a bit fucked up. He really hoped Ryan and Jon hadn't died.
“Bren! Brendon. Please Bren...”
The sound of Spencer Smith's voice made something flutter in Brendon's chest, like it always did. He really was a teenage girl, he though vaguely. Then he realised that he was indeed actually thinking, therefore causing him to come to the conclusion that he was perhaps not dead. He just felt it.
As he felt himself slowly come closer to full consciousness he slowly wished he hadn't. Everything hurt. His ribs, his arms, his legs and especially his head. He blinked his eyes open and was met with a view of a fairly clear sky that was slightly obscured by a layer of dust and what appeared to be stones. He tried to move his head, but when he did so was met with a torrent of nausea and dizziness and decided that maybe perhaps maybe he should just stay still for a couple of minutes... He could totally pull that off. He closed his heavy eyes and willed the pain away.
“Oh shit! Bren! Guys, I found him!” Ryan's voice rang through Brendon's head and Brendon was met with a strong urge to punch him, or just tell him to shut up. Whatever worked. This urge grew stronger as he heard the sound of rubble and bricks shifting as people scrambled their way towards where he lay (with Ryan apparently nearby).
The sound of more bricks, rubble and dry wall shifting filled Brendon's senses but this time a weight that he hadn't noticed was lifted off him. Brendon found that he could instantly breathe easier. He coughed and winced as the action seemed to set his lungs alight.
“Brendon? Can you hear me?” Ryan sounded uncharacteristically quiet and Brendon deeply appreciated it. He could only moan in response, he hadn't quite reached the proper communication level of 'alive' yet.
Suddenly there were other people surrounding him. Two. He felt someone drop down to their knees in the rubble. He cringed in sympathy at the sound made when the bricks banged against their legs. They didn't seem to mind though.
The person reached out and softly stroked his cheek. Despite the pain in his head, it was oddly comforting.
“Oh God Bren...”
Spencer. Spencer Smith. If he could, he would have sat up and wrapped his arms around his partner, but as it was, he was content to stay still and let Spencer do the touching.
“Shit, Ry, he's bleeding. How the fuck did he even survive that?”
Now that was something Brendon hadn't cast a thought to. What the hell had happened to him?
Spencer's hand was shaking as he continued to stroke tenderly at Brendon's cheek. “Sweetheart, can you open your eyes for me?”
Brendon hated to hear Spencer worry like that. He absolutely hated it. So he decided to be an over-achiever and make an attempt at the communication thing.
“D-don't... call me sweetheart. M'not a girl.”
He heard Ryan and Jon give shaky sighs of relief and Spencer a very watery laugh that sounded more like a sob.
“I'll stop it when you look at me.”
Always so pushy.
Brendon grumbled as he made the effort to open his eyes. He was rewarded by blue, but he only had a minute to bask in it before the memories came flooding back into his mind. The church. The Martians. Being pushed away. Heat. Screams. His parents. Oh shit. His parents.
He felt his eyes widen as he tried to sit up in his panic.
“Brendon, dude no. Not a good idea,” Jon's hands gently pushed at his shoulders, guiding him back into a prone position. “A church kinda fell on top of you. It's great that you can move and all – no spinal injuries to worry about or what not, but I would suggest maybe not moving for a bit?”
Okay, yeah, he could do that.
But his parents were... oh God. He had failed. Failed so freaking badly.
“What the fuck were you playing at running away like that?! You asshole, Brendon. You complete and utter asshole.” Spencer had tears of both anger and relief spilling down his cheeks and he gazed down at Brendon's slightly broken form.
Brendon couldn't help but break down, “They're gone Spence. I was too late. No getting them back this time.”
Spencer's gaze softened, “Oh fuck Bren. I'm so sorry.” He gingerly wrapped his arms around Brendon's aching body.
Brendon was close to just allowing himself to break down and mourn in Spencer's arms but Ryan put a stop to it, “I'm really sorry Brendon, seriously, but we should move. The thing could come back. We think we managed to hide from it after it caused the building to collapse until it moved far away for us to start looking for you but you know... you can't really be too careful right now.”
Brendon nodded, ignoring the pain in his head. He slowly sat up with the assistance of Spencer. Nothing seemed to be broken, maybe a rib or two, but he just hurt everywhere. He could feel blood oozing down his cheek from a cut on the side of his forehead. He was alive however. He really shouldn't be, but he was and in a miraculous condition considering.
Spencer pressed a quick kiss to Brendon's lips once he was fully sat up, “Don't do that to me again Bren. Seriously.”
Spencer and Jon then began to slowly ease Brendon to his feet, while Ryan kept a watch out for any approaching danger. Spencer longed to run his hands all over Brendon's body, to check for broken bones, to attempt to soothe the pain he knew Brendon was feeling. He wished he could hold Brendon in his arms, try to help him forget the fact that his parents had just... even for just a little while. To help him forget that they were all in danger, all being chased.
He knew that before anything, they had to get to safety. Quick.
Brendon yelped in pain as he put weight onto his left ankle. Well, he hadn't really thought that he would have gotten away from a building falling on him with just cuts and aches anyway. His ankle felt pretty bad though and very swollen, like there was a freaking grapefruit in it.
Spencer didn't miss a beat and pulled Brendon's arm so it was resting on his shoulders and arranged his arm around his waist. Jon followed his lead and together they made a very effective crutch for Brendon to lean on. It wasn't ideal, but they had to get away. Brendon could get fixed up when they got away from the rubbled remains of the church he almost died in.
“Let's go,” Ryan lead the way, always a silent leader of the band. He navigated them through the rubble as easy as he would navigate them from fans (most of who would be trying to paw at them – Brendon especially).
Brendon knew he would break. He knew eventually he would have to face the loss he had just endured. Eventually he would have to face up to the fact that his father had saved his life at the cost of his and his mother’s own, but as he looked at the men surrounding him he knew he would eventually be okay.
He had something to live for after all.