Apocalypsewhennow

The world ended. Well, technically. It's not like there isn't anybody left to pick up the pieces.

Some gold old fashioned end-of-the-world fanfic.

The Bartlet Farm, New Hampshire

"Hey, Walker." 

She turns and looks at him, feeling tired, and she knows that something is still broken in her leg, but they can’t go anywhere, so there’s not a damn thing she can do about it. 

"Sir?" 

Former president Josiah Bartlet is fighting with a mostly broken can opener and a can of beans. 

This was supposed to be a week-long job. Protect the former president from whatever Luthor had been up to. Make sure he’s safe, debrief, and then head back to Burbank.

One week, and then she was supposed to be back with her husband and their friends and their usual job. 

One week. 

It’s been three. 

"What’s your name, Walker?" 

She turns to him, frowning. “Sir?” 

"It looks like we’re gonna be here a while," Bartlet says as he pries the can open. "And you know my name is Jed, so you can drop the sir crap. I doubt there’s anybody left who’s gonna tell you to have more respect. So what’s your name?" 

She blinks. “Sarah,” she says. “Sarah Walk…” she takes a breath. “Sarah Bartowski.” 

He dishes out the beans for them. “Newlywed, huh?” 

She doesn’t reply. 

"I’m sorry, Sarah," Jed says quietly. "Was he CIA, too?" 

She nods. “He was. He was…he had…” she closes her eyes. 

There’s silence then, until the scratching starts. 

Her eyes shoot open and she gets to her feet, hobbling as she pulls her gun out. “stay behind me, Sir.” 

"It’s Jed," he corrects, moving to stand behind her. 

The door is kicked open then, and she cocks her gun. “Don’t move! CIA!” 

"Whoa! Whoa whoa whoa." 

A burly man carrying his own gun stands at the ready at the door. “Special Agent Booth. FBI.” 

"Oh, great, no wonder you’re so sloppy," Sarah snaps. 

"Hey!" 

A woman steps in from behind Booth, tall and beautiful with white hair. “We’re here to take President Bartlet to a secure location,” she says. “Do not be afraid.” 

Sarah clenches her jaw. “You’re an X-Man,” she says. “Storm. Right?” 

"Yes, that is who I am," she says. "We are not here to hurt either one of you. We were sent to make sure you are alive, and stay alive. We wish to help you." 

"Both of you," Booth adds. "Even though you’re a creepy CIA agent." 

"She is not creepy," Bartlet snaps. "She’s been keeping me sane for the last few weeks. Now put your guns down." 

They lower them, and the mood in the room relaxes somewhat. 

"Where are you going to take us?" Bartlet asks. 

"Stark Tower, sir," Booth replies.

"You’re working with Tony," Bartlet says, and nods. "Yeah, alright. But I call shotgun. And Walker here is gonna need her leg checked out." 

"I’m fine," Sarah replies automatically. 

He snorts, and then starts following Booth and Storm out of the house and through the wreckage. 

The J Edgar Hoover FBI Building, Washington DC

It took a couple of hours to get some lights going, but it had given them a chance to get to know each other. 

Dick, Sam, Veronica and Rose click instantly, all riffing off of each other and gabbing about their lives and experiences. 

Ororo just listens voraciously, taking everything in, learning from observing. Booth was right, she muses. They are all so very young, despite their qualifications. She also notices how Booth hangs back and lets them meld together, like a real team; a unit. 

Owen sometimes gives his own two cents, but mostly, he’s just insulting. 

Booth grins at her tiredly. “Ah, let Owen be Owen. He’ll learn to love us.” 

"Or euthanize us," Rose says, overhearing him. 

Booth shrugs and grins. “Okay, people, pull up a chair, and have a seat. We got a list of people to save as long as my arm, and they’re all over the place.”

Owen gives him a bitter look as he leans against one of the cubicles. “What are we doin’ here, then?” 

"Establishing a base of operations," Booth snaps. "We gotta have a home to come back to and this is it. Learn to love it." 

"I think it’s homey, in a post-apocalyptic, depressing kind of way," Veronica chirps up. "At least there aren’t any dead bodies." 

"Not on this floor," Sam points out. 

"We should check the other floors for people living here," Dick adds. "It’s a big place. You never know." 

"Later," Booth says evenly. He pulls a folder out of his duffle bag and flips it open. "Tony pulled this list together for us. Possible survivors, with physical descriptions and last known locations. I think we should go after the most helpless first." 

"What counts as helpless?" Veronica asks, leaning forward. 

"Those without powers, or protection," Ororo answers her. "No weapons or means to defend themselves." 

"And there’s only one person on the list who fits that description," Booth nods. He pulls out a photo and holds it up for the others to see. 

Rose wrinkles her nose. “Isn’t that…Isn’t that…?” 

"Former US president Josiah Bartlet," Booth nods. "Last seen in New Hampshire. Let’s go get ‘em." 

The Louisiana Bayou, 4 am…

Dean can’t sleep, and it’s not really any wonder.

It’s a cramped little shack, and the cots are all shoved into a pretty small space. The kids are huffing and snoring and mumbling in their sleep. Some of ‘em kick at each other, and Damian woke up and nearly choked Puck to death.

That was fun to break up. 

Oddly, it was Ryan who talked Damian down, but it’s useful to know there’s someone in the group who can. The kid is a total nut, but he’s looking for somebody to guide him.

If Ryan’s it, well, hell, there are worse people on the team.

But that’s not why Dean can’t sleep. 

Mostly, he’s wondering how the hell he got to be a leader.

"I’m no leader," he mutters, sitting outside the shack on the grass. "I’ve tried before and I just get people killed." 

"You do not get people killed," a familiar voice chimes up from behind him. "Circumstances surrounding you do." 

Dean turns and sighs. “Was wonderin’ when you’d show up.” 

The angel Castiel strides over and stands in front of him. “You were not easy to find. Your ribs still carry the markings I gave you. And your cell phone isn’t working.” 

"There’s no cell service, Cas," Dean says, looking up at him evenly. "No cells, no internet, no nothin. The nerd herd must be goin’ nuts by now, not being able to check their myface statuses or whatever the hell." 

Cas tilts his head and squints. 

"Never mind." 

Silence blankets them momentarily, before Castiel shifts on his feet. 

"I am sorry I was not able to stop this," he says.

Dean shakes his head. “Between your angel buddies, Lex Fucking Luthor, and god knows what else, there’s no way anybody coulda stopped it. Hell, Superman couldn’t stop it, and he’s…y’know. Superman.” He shakes his head again, briefly wondering where the hell that guy’s been in all this. “No way to stop it. Now we just deal with it.” 

Castiel frowns. “We.”

Dean nods. “We. I got a bunch of bloodthirsty kids who think they know everything, and have a kill first, ask questions a week later when you’re kinda drunk attitude, and a medic who can’t really stand any of ‘em, or me. So yeah. I’m gonna need your help.” 

The angel is about to argue, Dean can tell. But after everything they’ve been through, it’s a losing battle and Cas knows it. 

"I…I will do what I can," Cas nods. "I cannot be present constantly, but I will do what I can." 

"All I can ask for," Dean nods. 

Awkwardly, Castiel sits next to him, and they sit in silence until the sun comes up, and the first argument can be heard from within the shack.

Wayne Tech Headquarters, Paolo Alto, CA

Alec Hardison is in nerdy technology heaven.

"Damn," he says, shaking his head as he looks over the state-of-the-art computer interface. "Damn! Is it legal in California to marry a computer yet? Because I have found my bride." 

"There’s no government," Tim Drake replies, slightly amused. "You can marry whatever you want." 

"Here," Alexis Castle says, walking up to the taller man. "By the power vested in me by…" she looks around and then picks up a fallen computer harddrive. "By this Toshiba 750G hard drive, I now pronounce you man and machine. You may kiss the monitor." 

"Oh please don’t," Clark Edison says in a pained voice as he walks into the communications suite. "Please. You’re just being embarrassing." 

"Don’t you talk to my new wife that way," Hardison says, pointing a mockingly accusing finger. 

Buffy follows Clark inside, but says nothing. She’s just thankful that Hank’s advice had paid off and her team is now starting to act like an actual team. 

Well, sort of. They’re still having trust issues. She knows for a fact that each and every one of them are working on something that could benefit them and keeping it to themselves; for themselves. 

Because there’s just no trust yet. 

She takes a deep, cleansing breath and then lets it out as she turns to the two men in the doorway. “All clear?” 

Giles nods. “There’s no one here. Everyone must have gone home for the night when it hit…or was crushed by the wreckage outside. In any case, we’re clear.” 

"Indeed," Hank nods in agreement. He’s about to say something more, but squints. "Alec, my good fellow. Did…did you just peck that supercomputer’s monitor with a kiss?" 

Clark slaps himself in the forehead. 

Alec, to his credit, looks flustered. “Look, okay? I have a lot of feelings!” 

"Maybe we should give him the room," Tim jokes quiet, obviously trying to hold back laughter.

Alexis doesn’t even try. 

Buffy sighs, but smiles. They’re getting along.

Now they just need that trust thing.

The J Edgar Hoover FBI Building, Washington DC

"You know, I’ve been dreading this place for a long time," Sam Winchester says as he walks in through the front door. "But it’s not so scary now that it’s empty." 

"Well, nobody’s gonna arrest you now," Dick Grayson notes, walking in after him and looking around. He clicked on his mag light and shined it around the front hall. "What were they gonna arrest you for, anyways?" 

Sam shrugs innocently. “You know. Murder. Grave robbing. Identity theft…credit card fraud…” 

Dick blinks. “Clearly you never spent a whole lot of time in Gotham…” 

"Too bad, too," Sam mutters as they move further into the building. "Lots of great architecture there." 

"Great," Dick says. "A nerdy criminal."

"I’m not a criminal," Sam replies, his face slightly sour.  

Booth steps in after them and sighs, shining his own flashlight. “This place is a wreck.” 

"Well, the world did end," Veronica says as she follows him. She sighs. "Man, I really wanted to work here, too." 

"Well, you’re gettin’ your wish," Booth mumbles. "Just no in the way you wanted." 

"Not too bad, either," Rose says, nudging Booth’s shoulder, attempting to lighten the mood. "We could each have our own floors to live on." 

"That is not a good idea," Ororo chimes in, stepping up behind them. "We should stick together, just in case." 

"You think there’s something here?" Sam asks, pulling a gun from the back of his jeans. 

"I think we should be prepared for that possibility," Ororo replies. 

"I need to get a few things off my chest," Owen’s voice comes from the door.

"Here we go," Dick grins. "More complaints from the peanut gallery." 

"You’d think he would have run out by now," Sam comments. 

Rose chuckles sardonically. “No such luck.” 

"Setting up camp here is a stupid idea," Owen tells them, ignoring their comments. "It’s obvious, and it’ll get us in trouble. Also, I hate all of you. Even though I want to shag all of you." 

"Flattering," Veronica smiles sweetly. "But don’t expect me not to kick your muppety face in." 

"Alright," Booth says. "Stop that. Let’s go take a look around, maybe try to find the backup generator and see if we can get this place’s lights on again." 

"And we would all appreciate it if you kept your foot to yourself, Veronica," Ororo adds, patting the younger woman’s shoulder. 

Veronica pouts, and Dick shakes his head at Owen, before following the rest of the group. 

Owen grumbles and follows. 

Deep in the Louisiana Bayou…

Logan Echolls sighs as he drops his duffel bag onto the floor of what could politely be called a shack. “Well…it’s not a Hilton…but it’s got some…backwater, redneck, inbred charm. What do you think, Puck?” 

"I think as long as I don’t have to share a bed with you, I’ll be fine." 

"I’m terribly hurt," Logan replies dryly. "Don’t you love me anymore? Think of all the good times we’ve had." 

"Don’t you two idiots ever stop?" Damian asks from behind them. 

Dean pushes past all of them and into the shack. “Knock it off.” 

"Tt." 

"What is that?" Illyana asks the boy. "That…’tt’ noise." 

"When words fail to express just how much I hate someone or something, it suffices," Damian replies. 

"Very nice," she says mildly. "Keep it up, and I’ll cut out your tongue and eat it on deli rye with mustard." 

"My kingdom for a loaf of deli rye," Puck mutters. 

Martha sighs as she walks in, followed by Ryan. “Can’t you lot get along? We’re supposed to be a team.” 

"One which you are not part of," Damian snaps. "You are merely our medical servant." 

Martha glares and rolls up her sleeves. “I’ll show you-“ 

Dean steps between them. “I said knock it off!” He turns to Damian. “First of all, you talk like that to her again, and I’m throwing your tiny ass in with the alligators.” He then turns to everyone else. “We’re in a bad situation here, and we’re gonna be making a lot of enemies. This is home base because it gives us the advantage. Everybody start settin’ up, and for god’s sake, try to get along. And don’t kill each other!” 

Gotham City: Park Row

He crash lands in front of the old theater, face first, and he’s really glad in that second that he’s half Kryptonian so it doesn’t hurt as much as it would have if he’d been a full human. 

He’s so tired. He’s been flying for days. First to Smallville (which was horrifying. He still can’t find Krypto), and then to Metropolis (equally horrifying. Thanks, Lex Luthor!), and now to Gotham. 

He’s in Gotham. He made it. 

When he rolls onto his back and looks up, and finds himself surrounded by a small group of people. 

Of course more Gothamites would survive than in any other city in the world. These people have already been through hell. 

"See if he’s got any food," one of them says. 

"He looks pretty meaty himself," another says, his voice ragged. 

"Oh," Kon-El, Conner Kent mutters. "This is awesome." 

Before he can start defending himself, one of the men is dragged off and doesn’t come back. Then another. And another, until there is nothing above Conner but buildings and ragged sky. 

And then there’s a face. The smudged face of a young woman in a mask. Her hair is dark and slightly dirty, and it’s hard to tell behind the mask whether or not she’s happy to see him. 

But he’s sure as hell happy to see her. 

Conner smiles. “What’s up, Cass?” he asks weakly. “Fancy meeting you here.” 

Cassandra Cain, the Black Bat, yanks him into a sitting position and hugs him awkwardly, but tightly. 

It hurts, but that’s okay.

Stark Tower, NYC, The Courtyard…

"And if you need anything, you’ll let me know," Dick says, his hands gripping each of their shoulders. "I don’t care how you keep in touch, just…just keep in touch." 

Tim grips his shoulder back, feeling worried. “It’ll be okay, Dick. We won’t lose touch.” 

"You worry far too much, Grayson," Damian says. "It isn’t as if we’ll never see each other again. You and I are far too skilled to be killed and Drake has somehow managed to survive this long." 

Dick can’t help laughing. He pulls Damian in for a hug and the young man struggles. 

"Unhand me!"

"No." 

"Grayson!" 

Dick shakes his head and pulls Tim in as well. “We’re it. So let’s make the old man proud.” 

"Tt." 

"Okay, maybe proud is too ambitious. How about…striving for his grudging approval?" 

Tim laughs a little and closes his eyes. “We’ll be in touch.” 

"Speak for yourself, Usurper, I never want to hear from you again," Damian spits out weakly. He’s clinging to Dick a little now. 

Dick sighs. “Damian, you gotta promise me.” 

"What now?" 

"Only kill when you have to," Dick says evenly. "And you," he says, turning to Tim. "No drowning in your own head. Shut it off once in a while. Give yourself a break." 

Both boys nod and Dick sighs again. 

"Okay. Go team Robin." 

"Tt." 

Stark Tower, NYC: The Roof

He steps out onto the roof and watches as Ororo Munroe sits on the edge, like it’s nothing. Like she won’t fall. Like she can fly. 

Well…she can, so…

"Been raining for days," Booth says. 

She’s not startled. “Yes.” 

"They’re a good group of kids," Booth says. "The team. They’re good." 

"Yes, they are," she replies. 

"I mean, Dick’s a little too cheerful, and Sam’s a little unhinged, but they’re a good group." 

She slides around gracefully and stands. “Is there something you wanted, Agent Booth?” 

"A second-in-command." 

Ororo tilts her head. “And you think I am a good choice.” 

"The others are good kids," he says. "But they’re kids. They’re young." 

She quirks a playful eyebrow. “Are you insinuating something about my age?” 

Booth huffs and rubs his eyes. “You picked a hell of a time to make jokes.” 

She smiles a little. “I will be your second-in-command, Agent Booth. Now, let’s get out of the rain.” 

He follows her inside. “So if you can control the weather, how come you don’t stop the rain?” 

"I only control the weather when it is required of me," she tells him. "If I started doing so on a whim…well, as we’ve soon thus far, Mother Nature has a temper." 

Tony’s Notes: Booth’s Team

It takes a hero, a real tried and true hero to agree to be bait.

I mean, yeah, these guys have the job of retrieving possible survivors of this mess, but their real job is to draw attention, be out in the open, draw fire, and not be afraid of what happens next.

So yeah, they’re my heroes.

I have a hand, often, in what Buffy’s team does, and I have a hand in some of Dean’s targets for his group, but I don’t screw with these guys. I trust them all implicitly. They are my goody two-shoes, the boring, vanilla, cookie-cutter team. The do-gooders.

If Steve Rogers were still alive, his big, patriotic heart would swell with joy at the idea of this team.

I didn’t even pick their team leader. They took a vote.

They voted!

They voted for ex-army ranger, ex FBI special agent Seeley Booth. Each and every one of them (with the exception of their surly medic, Owen Harper, who requested Dean’s team, but didn’t get it because Damian threatened to pull out his intestines) voted for this guy.

Ororo Monroe, Storm, voted not for herself as team leader, but for this guy.

Then again, Storm didn’t want to be leader. I think she’s had enough of having other people’s lives in her hands, so it’s not that surprising. But Ororo has worked with the best, so her voting for this guy is a big deal.

As is Dick Grayson’s vote. Batman Junior, the original student of the greatest detective on earth, voted for this guy.

It’s not too surprising that Sam Winchester, Dean’s younger brother, didn’t want to be leader. His luck with these sorts of things has always been dubious at best. Rose Tyler, former time-and-space-traveler and all around smart cookie and quick thinker voted for Booth, and it didn’t take too much for smarter cookie, and mild trouble maker Veronica Mars to follow suit. Out of all three teams, this team is the one that gelled together the best and acts most like a family.

Now you might think that the fact that they’re all such do-gooders means they’re boring, but…no. Not boring. Sure there’s less blood involved than Dean’s group and less science than Buffy’s… but when I told them to be visible, they kind of took it to heart.

Seeley’s team keeps blowing things up while they’re saving people.

Go figure.