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Parks and Recreation fic: It's the End of the World (And Andy Feels Fine) 1/1

December 26th, 2014 (02:27 pm)
grateful

feeling: grateful

Title: It’s the End of the World (And Andy Feels Fine)

Disclaimer: I do not own Parks and Recreation.

A/N: Fills my dystopia square for hc_bingo. No beta.

Summary: It’s the end of the world, which is mostly life as usual in the parks and rec department.



-o-

When Andy wakes up, April is standing at the end of the bed staring at him.

“Oh, hey,” Andy says, groaning as he rubs a hand over his face.

“I want brains,” April says.

Andy grunts, flopping over to look at the time. He swears. “No time for brains this morning,” he says, flinging the sheets back. “We’re so late.”

Brains,” April says again.

“Maybe for lunch, I don’t know,” Andy says, reaching down to look for any item of clothing that looks remotely clean.

“I want braaaaaains,” April says, more insistently this time.

Andy finds a t-shirt and as he puts it on, he looks up at his wife. “Wait,” he says, starting to frown because she looks different. Like, different different with super pale skin and dark circles around her eyes. And blood around her mouth and splattered down her front. “Do we still have Halloween makeup? Because you look really awesome--”

Brains!” April yells.

“Um,” Andy says, a little disconcerted now. “Am I supposed to be Burt Macklin, Zombie-killer? Because I’m not sure we have time for roleplay if we want to get in before lunch.”

April looks at him with a dead, dead stare, and Andy realizes that maybe it’s more than makeup. Maybe April really is paler than usual, and maybe that really is blood on her mouth.

Andy swears again. “Wait,” he says. “Are you actually a zombie?”

“Brains,” she groans, gnashing her teeth as she lunges at him. “I want your brains!”

-o-

Andy shows up at City Hall because he doesn’t know where else to go. There are zombies, like, everywhere, and the only good news is that since they’re really slow, they’re not hard to outrun.

Or run over.

Seriously, zombies are really stupid and walk in the middle of the road, and Andy tried honking at them for a while, but that really didn’t do much good.

Of course, it’s only his luck that the doors to City Hall are locked.

That will teach him to be late.

Though, he thinks maybe the my wife tried to eat my brains excuse might go over pretty well this time.

Still, with a zombie horde approaching, he may not even have the chance to use it. Frantic, he pounds on the doors. “Help!” he screams. “Let me in, let me in, let me in!”

Another person runs desperately around the side of the building. It’s Kyle. “Hurry!” Kyle yells. “They’re coming!”

Andy slams himself against the door with new vigor. “Help!”

“You just have to enter the passcode!” Kyle says as twenty zombies converge on their position.

“Wait, we have a passcode?” Andy asks.

“How have you gotten inside for the last two years?” Kyle asks incredulously while the zombies start to close the final gap.

“I wait until someone shows up and let them type it in,” Andy says. “If I had know there was a passcode--”

Kyle shakes his head. “Five-five-one-seven,” he says. “Type five-five-one-seven!”

Andy complies, and the door unlocks right as the zombies make their move. Once inside, he closes the door.

Which is a good thing, too, since the zombies totally are there. They start eating Kyle and everything.

“Whew,” Andy says. “That was a close one.”

-o-

Inside, Andy takes a moment to breathe.

Zombies.

How crazy is that?

It’s actually zombies.

He wonders if he could be the last survivor, like Will Smith in I Am Legend. Or maybe he can head up a team of rag tag survivors like in the Walking Dead. As long as he’s not Brad Pitt in World War Z, because Brad Pitt didn’t even fight the zombies, so where’s the fun in that?

When he gets to the parks and recreation department, he finds the door barricaded. He knocks a few times.

From the other side, there’s a terse silence.

“What if it’s a zombie?” someone asks.

“Zombies don’t knock!”

“They could be evolving!”

“Oh come on--”

“State your name and intention!”

“Um, Andy Dwyer?” he says, glancing down the empty halls. “And it is my intention to, um, not get eaten by the zombies.”

There is another pause, then a scuffle.

Then the door opens.

Standing there, is a very serious Leslie Knope. “Hello, Andy,” she says. “Welcome to the end of the world.”

-o-

Although Pawnee seems to be in a state of chaos, the parks and recreation department is sort of the same as it’s always been. Although the furniture is pushed against all the exits and the windows are boarded over, things actually don’t look all that different.

Because Tom is checking his phone, and Donna appears to be live tweeting the apocalypse. Jerry is tripping over the trashcan in his haste, and Ron is frowning in the doorway to his office. Leslie seems to be freaking out in a very controlled and organized fashion.

Which is pretty much how it always is.

For a second, Andy wonders if he imagined the whole zombie thing.

“Dude,” he says. “Did you guys see that out there?”

“Well, it’s flesh eating undead people,” Leslie says, matter of fact. “It’s sort of hard to miss.”

“I ran over about fifty with my Mercedes on the way here,” Donna says. “They’re lucky they’re dead, because I’m going to kill them when I really take time to assess the damage to my paint job.”

“And someone said they like cashmere,” Tom whines. “If they’ve gotten into my place, I’m totally screwed!”

“I have amassed supplies and gold for just such an occasion,” Ron says.

“Oh, well, that’s a relief,” Andy says.

“Unfortunately, it’s all at a remote location, and the zombies are currently converging on the center of town,” Ron says.

“Yeah, it’s a nightmare,” Leslie says. “The zombies move slowly but since most people in Pawnee are grossly overweight, they’re getting overtaken left and right.”

“But hey, look,” Tom says, holding up a picture from his phone. “At least it’s business as usual at the Paunch Burger.”

Andy squints, looking at the image of zombies happily eating their burgers.

At least, he thinks they’re happy.

It’s hard to tell since they all have dead, vacant stares.

“That probably doesn’t say good things about Paunch Burger,” Leslie says.

“Yeah, I’m not sure the zombies are going to take time to pay,” Andy adds.

They look at him.

He shrugs, scratching the back of his neck.

Even if it is the apocalypse, he has to think Paunch Burger would want to make money.

It’s Leslie who nods after the awkward silence. “Wait,” she says, eyes narrowing on Andy. “Where’s April?”

Andy’s shoulders fall, because he’s been really busy not dying that he hasn’t had time to really think about what happened at home this morning. “She tried to eat my brains when I woke up,” he says. “At first I thought it was just, you know, a typical Tuesday but then she actually tried to do it.”

“Oh, Andy,” Leslie says, taking his hand. “I’m so sorry.”

Andy inclines his head, trying to rally his optimism. “I mean, at least I know she’d appreciate dying this way,” he says, because becoming a zombie has always been number three on her list of Best Ways to Die. Right after spontaneous combustion and getting eaten by a t-rex. “Though honestly, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. Is she really a zombie?”

“That seems to be the case,” Leslie confirms.

“Yeah, that’s what Joan Calamezzo is calling them,” Tom says, bringing up another page. “Peril in Pawnee: Attack of the Zombies.

“Perd is taking the high road,” Leslie says. “He aired his program called The Dead are Undead and Want You to Die to Live With Them.

“At least until the studio was overrun,” Donna says. “Now it’s just Brains.

Leslie looks thoughtful. “It’s actually not that much of a change.”

Andy frowns. “But what happened? Mutated flu virus? A vaccine intended to save lives ends up killing us all? If we could find Patient Zero--”

“There’s no need,” Ron says.

“They’ve tracked it back to chemicals at the Sweetums factory,” Leslie says. “Apparently they were experimenting with a new additive, Sugarene.”

“Designed to put more sugar into all your treats without having to actual use any natural ingredients,” Tom says. “Sugarene: Sugar for Your Serenity. It’s brilliant marketing.”

“And terrible in every other way,” Leslie says. “When fumes are released into the air, it literally turns people into flesh eating machines.”

“Besides that,” Tom agrees.

“Most of the town is already gone,” Ron says. “They estimate that there are only several hundred people holed up in strongholds such as our own.”

“Although some of those probably just haven’t gotten out of bed yet,” Leslie says.

“Oh, man,” Andy says, considering the bleak picture. “That’s horrible. Wait -- where’s Ben?”

“He left when the news broke,” Leslie says. “To get help from Indianapolis. It was very heroic. We kissed a lot.”

Andy nods in total agreement.

“We can only hope that Ann and Chris have gone underground in Michigan,” Leslie says. “If the human race is on the brink of extinction, then they are our best hope to repopulate the species. With beautiful, healthy, smart, super babies.”

“But wait,” Andy says. “Jerry survived?”

Jerry looks almost apologetic. “Honestly, I thought I was a goner,” he says. “I got outside and they were all around me, and they just kept coming and coming and coming but they all walked right past me. It was horrible, though. Watching the other people die--”

“And you just let them die?” Tom exclaims.

“What is wrong with you!” Donna exclaims.

“Damn it, Jerry,” Ron says. “You are everything that is wrong with this world.”

“Well, to be fair,” Leslie says. “They’re dead, not stupid.”

Andy nods because that does sound reasonable.

Except, no, nothing about this sounds reasonable.

His wife tried to eat his brains, which means April might actually be dead, or undead, which maybe is a little better, but he’s not sure how much fun the whole brain-eating thing will be on a long term basis.

And do zombies play in rock bands? Can they watch TV? And what if Andy really wants gummy worms? Gummy worms don’t have brains, do they? What sort of world would it be without gummy worms?

It’s not a world, that’s the answer.

That’s when Andy realizes. “Hold on,” he says. “Is this really the end of the world?”

Ron crossed his arms over his chest. Tom made a goofy face of resignation. Donna puts her phone down. Jerry rubs his hands together anxiously.

Leslie nods. “Yes,” she says. “It very well could be.”

-o-

The ominous silence lingers.

For about three seconds.

It’s Jerry’s fault; he gets so nervous that he farts, and even if the world is ending, that’s sort of funny.

And really smelly.

“Well, that settles it,” Leslie says. “We can’t stay here.”

“Come on, guys,” Jerry says. “It doesn’t smell that bad.”

“No, it does,” Leslie says. “But that’s not what I’m talking about. We have never faced a problem with inaction. We have never sat back and let things happen without us.”

“Um, that’s like all I do,” Tom says.

“Yeah, doing nothing is usually my first preference,” Donna adds.

“Against the end of the world?” Leslie asks. “I mean, so there are zombies. We’ve faced down irate citizen over time capsule and gay penguins. We put on the Harvest Festival, which effectively saved our entire government! We have pushed through a merger with Eagleton -- but if I think about that, that really should have been a surefire sign of the coming apocalypse.”

Andy raises his eyebrows.

“But that is not the point!” Leslie says. “No matter what the harbingers of doom may be, we will fight! Because we are civil servants! And if it is not our place to fight, then I don’t know whose it is.”

“They are sending the National Guard,” Tom says.

“And possibly the Army,” Donna adds.

“Aw, geez,” Jerry says. “I hope Gayle’s okay.”

“Jerry, this is not the time to be so selfish,” Leslie snaps.

Jerry hems. “Right, I’m sorry--”

“All worried about your wife and probably your stupid daughters, too,” Tom says, rolling his eyes. “What about me? I’m too pretty to die! But I would be one dope zombie.”

“I, for one, have no intentions of dying,” Donna says. “Not when I still have a first class flight to South America this weekend.”

“So! We need a plan!” Leslie continues. “I do not intend to sit back and let our town come to ruin!”

“And I do not intend to die on government property,” Ron says with a nod. “So I agree with Leslie. We need a plan.”

“Great!” Leslie says, clapping her hands together. “Planning session in the conference room! In, like, two seconds!”

“Wait,” Andy says. “I may need a few more minutes.”

Leslie wrinkles her brow. “Why? What are you going to do? There are literally zombies right outside.”

“Oh,” Andy says. “Yeah, in that case, two seconds is cool.”

-o-

Andy is never sure how things actually happen in the parks department, but in this case, it’s even more confounding than usual. Because you would think, with a zombie infestation outside, that they might be pressed for time, resources and enthusiasm, but Leslie somehow has an entire slideshow presentation to kick off their brainstorming session, and she even provides treats for every good suggestion they offer.

Andy has never been more productive in a meeting. He provides ten ideas.

But he only gets two pieces of candy.

Apparently, Leslie’s standards are higher than calling Brad Pitt and Will Smith.

Still, it only takes them an hour to come up with a strong plan.

That Andy had nothing to do with.

“So,” Leslie says. “We’re decided. We’re going to make a run for it. We stay together, move fast and quiet, and go straight for Ron’s car. We should all fit in there, might be a tight fit, but--”

“I’m willing to compromise on comfort in this situation,” Donna says.

“And we stay together, right?” Tom says. “Because I’m small, and my hands, while perfectly moisturized, are not meant for fighting -- zombies or otherwise.”

“Well, I totally know kung fu,” Andy supplies helpfully.

“The main goal is not to make contact,” Ron says. “We move quickly and efficiently, and we should be able to escape this hell hole. And the zombie infestation as well.”

“Great,” Leslie says. “So. Is everyone ready?”

“I was born ready,” Andy says intently. “But, um, if possible, can we stop by a vending machine on our way out? I totally forgot to get a drink this morning.”

They all look at him.

Andy reconsiders his proposition. “Oh, yeah,” he says. “We can just pick up drive through on the way out of town.”

-o-

Despite the fact that plan is to run, they all do take a moment to arm himself. It’s worth noting that Ron actually has a gun.

“Good God, Ron!” Leslie exclaims. “Do you have a permit for that?”

Ron skewers her with a glare. “Is now really the time to be asking that?”

Leslie arms herself with a three hole punch. Donna opts for an umbrella. Tom picks a fashionable cane. Jerry tried to grab a baseball bat but he can’t hold it long enough to make it outside.

Andy weighs his options and finally picks the perfect weapon.

His laptop.

“What are you going to do?” Ron asks. “Type them to death?”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Andy says, disappointed, taking Jerry’s bat instead. “The extension cord won’t go that far anyway.”

-o-

At the door, they huddle together. Leslie looks at them each, very seriously. “No matter what happens,” she says. “I want you to know how much I love and respect each and every one of you. Tom, you are smart and resourceful, and you’ve really gotten a lot less smarmy in recent years.”

“Thanks,” Tom says, doubtfully. “I think.”

“Donna, you are bold, beautiful and brilliant,” Leslie continues. “You make our department classy and unbecoming all at the same time, and I mean that as a compliment.”

Donna smiles smugly. “Compliment taken.”

“Ron, you know that I have disagreed with you about many things,” she says. “But I’ve always known that I can turn to you when it matters. No matter the situation, good or bad.”

“Likewise,” is Ron’s reply.

Leslie looks to Andy. “Andy, I feel like I’ve watched you grow up from a lazy, immature slacker to a lazy, immature parks employee,” she says. “Your positive outlook is inspiring. And sometimes a little confusing, but mostly inspiring.”

“Aw, thanks, Leslie,” Andy says with a blush.

“Oh, and Jerry,” Leslie says, as if she remembers for the first time. “I hope you don’t die!”

Jerry beams.

“Honestly,” Leslie says, shaking her head. “There is no group of people I would rather spend the end of the world with.”

It’s a good moment.

It’s a damn good moment.

Rousing and inspiring.

Which is probably why Andy figures a lot of people are about to die.

That’s how it is in movies, anyway.

“Come on,” Leslie says, putting her hand on the door. “We’ve got one chance to do this!”

-o-

Andy’s not usually right about a lot of things. In fact, he’s spent most of his life being wrong about everything. He’s never the smartest or the brightest or the best or the most talented. He’s never the fastest or the strongest or the most capable or basically anything.

In fact, there’s no good reason why Andy Dwyer should even still be alive.

And that’s not just because of the zombies.

That’s because he’s really accident prone and has no common sense.

Even so, he’s going to do this for his friends. He’s going to do this for Pawnee. He’s going to do this for April.

So he takes a breath and wields his baseball bat.

And promptly runs like hell.

-o-

At first, it’s sort of not that exciting.

They are, after all, just running really fast through the empty halls of City Hall.

Something which Andy has done countless times since starting his job there as a shoe shiner all those years ago.

But then, they get outside.

Which is when the zombies start their attack.

-o-

Andy has played a lot of war video games. He’s watched a lot of war movies. He knows how this is supposed to go.

And honestly, it’s not supposed to be like this.

Zombies are disgusting, and though they’re slow, there’s just so many of them. They press forward, trampling over each other, moaning and groaning.

Leslie waves her three hole punch frantically. “Run, run, run!”

Andy leaps over a few zombies, neatly landing in a crouch and rolling to safety.

That’s his intention anyway. Really, he lands flat on his stomach and fortunately trips a few zombies before scrambling out of the way on the lawn. Heart pounding, he looks back in time to see Leslie and Ron clear a way while Donna impales a zombie with her umbrella. Tom is right behind her until one of the zombies grabs him from behind.

“Brains!” the zombie cries out. “Braaaains!”

“Ah, no!” Tom says. “Eating my brains will mess up my hair! No!”

Leslie turns back for him, but another zombie comes between them. Then another and another until Tom is surrounded.

“Please!” Tom cries. “Don’t get blood on my shirt! It cost more than I make in a month!”

Leslie is about to go after him when Ron grabs her arm. “I’m sorry,” he says. “It’s too late.”

Leslie looks horrified back at the mob.

“Come on,” Ron says. “My car’s not far.”

-o-

So getting chased by zombies isn’t really all that cool. Now that Tom is dead, Andy thinks about April being dead. And he thinks about everyone in town, and about how Pawnee is going to be entirely overrun and that sucks, right?

Who will buy Mouserat CDs or hire Johnny Karate if Pawnee is overrun?


That’s very sobering for Andy, so he pushes himself like he hasn’t pushed himself before. He wants to get out of here. He wants to live.

Behind him, Donna cries out. “Oh, hell, no!”

He looks back in time to see her thrust four zombies out of the way on her umbrella before the horde overtakes her, too.

“Come on, come on, come on,” Leslie says. “We have to survive! For everyone who didn’t!”

Andy runs harder and harder, looking back again in time to see Jerry fall down some stairs in the parking lot.

He stops to turn back, but Leslie shakes her head. Ron pushes Andy forward. “Come on, son,” he says. “You know that was just a matter of time.”

They make it to the far end of the lot, and Andy sees Ron’s car parked across the street.

“Wait, you couldn’t have parked in the parking lot?” Leslie asks.

“I refuse to pay for parking on public grounds,” Ron says.

“But we’re under attack by zombies,” Leslie insists.

“Peril is no time to compromise your morals,” Ron says. “In fact, it is only under duress that we discover what we are really made of.”

“That’s right,” Andy joins in. “And Ron’s made of the stuff that makes him park really far away when there’s a dire emergency in which we may all die a horrible and painful death.”

Ron glares.

Leslie sighs. “Well,” she says. “That’s going to be a problem.”

Andy’s not often right, but Leslie usually is. And as Andy looks across the street filled with zombies coming at them, he knows exactly what that problem is.

“Ron,” Andy says. “You’re parked too close to a fire hydrant!”

Ron sighs, too. He purses his lips and checks the ammo in his gun. “You two go.”

Andy cocks his head.

Leslie looks confused. “Wait, what?”

“I’ll hold them off,” Ron says. “I will provide you two with the distraction you need to make your escape.”

“Ron, no!” Leslie says, eyes going wide.

“Leslie,” Ron says seriously. “It’s the only way.”

Leslie looks at Ron.

She looks at the zombies.

She takes a breath.

She nods her head.

“We won’t let you down,” she promises.

Ron smiles. “I know you won’t.”

-o-

That is such a good moment, that Andy is actually a little awed for a moment.

But then Ron lets out a war whoop and starts firing his gun. He takes off at a run, howling with primal rage as the zombies start to follow him. Lines of them start to fall down, and Ron cackles in glee as he reloads his gun.

Leslie tugs at his arm. “Andy,” she says. “Come on!”

“Dude,” Andy says. “Did you just see that?”

“Yeah,” Leslie says. “Ron is running off to sacrifice himself so we can get away.”

Andy blinks at her.

“Which means we need to get away,” Leslie conclude.

Then Andy understands. “Oh!” he says. “That’s what we’re doing!”

And then they both start to run.

-o-

Given Ron’s heroic sacrifice and all the super inspiring speeches, Andy is totally ready to do this thing.

Then he gets about ten feet and the zombies start to close in around them.

Leslie fends some off with her three hole punch, rather effectively, actually. Andy smashes one in the head with a baseball bat. But there are so many.

Like, so many.

Andy smashes a few with his bat, but then he remembers that he was never very good at baseball. He’s much more of a football player, which isn’t so useful in this situation.

You know, since he doesn’t have a helmet and all.

It’s only another ten feet but it might as well be ten miles. Because they’re not going to make it.

“Leslie!” Andy yells, craning his neck to look at his boss.

She impales an approaching zombie with the heels on her shoes. “Damn it, Andy, swing harder! Swing harder!”

“I’ll hold them off!” he yells.

“What?” Leslie calls back, grunting as she ducks a poorly timed lunge from a zombie that looks suspiciously like Kyle. “Ron already did that! For both of us!”

“But there are too many!” Andy says, glaring as a zombie tries to take his bat and eat it.

“No,” Leslie says, shaking her head and setting her face firmly. “I’m not leaving you. We do this together.”

Andy finally gets the zombie off his bat and then pummels it into oblivion. He stops and comes to Leslie, looking at her with as much resolve as he has left.

Honestly, it’s not much. But Andy’s always been good at making snap decisions without thinking them through and damn it all if he’s not going to use that now.

“Leslie,” he says. “Let’s face it. Only one of us is getting out of here alive. And it should be you.”

“But,” Leslie says, looking absolutely distressed. “Why?”

“You’re my boss,” he says. “It’s in my job description, to die, horribly and painfully, for you at any given time.”

Leslie tilts her head. “No, actually, it’s not.”

“Really?” Andy asks. “But still. I have nothing left to live for.”

Leslie nods in commiseration. “Because April’s gone.”

Andy blinks. That hadn’t occurred to him. “I was actually thinking about how all my clothes are probably covered in zombie goo, but that’s a really good answer, too.”

Leslie clearly doesn’t know what to say to that.

Andy has left her speechless.

Pride swells in his chest. He takes her by the shoulders and nods. “It’s up to you now,” he says. “To carry on our legacy.”

“You have my word,” she promises.

“To remember Pawnee, as it was,” Andy says. “Fat and full of complaints.”

“Well, yeah,” Leslie says.

“And to remember Parks and Recreation,” Andy continues.

“Um, okay,” Leslie says.

“And me,” he says. “You remember me and April, and when you have your first child, you name it after us. Andrew April, if it’s a boy. And April Andrew, if it’s a girl.”

She looks somewhat distressed. “Andy, I’m not sure--”

“I’m okay with Andrew April for a girl, too,” he says. “She’d have to play sports, but I think she could pull it off--”

“Um--”

“I’m not as sure about April for a boy, though,” Andy says. “But if you have to repopulate the Earth, he’d probably still get laid--”

“Andy!” Leslie says.

He looks at her.

“Zombies!”

“Oh!” Andy says, looking around at the impending horde. “Right!”

“So this is it,” Leslie says.

Andy nods. “This is it,” he agrees. “The end of the world.”

“Well, not for me,” Leslie says.

“You get the idea,” Andy says.

“Yeah,” Leslie agrees.

Then she turns to run.

Andy turns toward the zombies and raises his bat.

With that, he charges to meet his fate.

-o-

Andy’s always aspired to be a rock star. He made a pretty damn good shoe shiner. He’s worked faithfully for the parks department for a few years.

But as a zombie fighter.

He’s actually pretty terrible.

He knocks out the first two before, like, twenty converge on him. They clamor for brains as they take him down, and Andy looks back to see Ron’s station wagon peel out from the curb.

Leslie made it.

It’s nice to think that all of this was worth it.

At least, until a zombie bares its teeth and rips the top of Andy’s skull clean off.

His last thought is of April.

And he reflects absently that maybe he should have just let April eat his brains that morning. April makes everything better.

Even the end of the world.

Still, as the zombie eats his brains, he thinks the joke must be on the zombie.

After all, Andy’s never had a lot of brains to begin with.

-o-

When Andy wakes up, April is standing at the end of the bed staring at him.

“Oh, hey,” Andy says, groaning as he rubs a hand over his face.

“Andy,” April says. “You’re awake!”

Andy grimaces. Waking up is harder than he remembers. But then again, considering the last thing he remembers is getting his brains scrambled by a zombie--

His eyes widen. “Wait,” he says. “Do you want my brains?”

“What?” April asks. “I want to make sure you still have your brains, yes.”

“But you don’t want to eat them?” Andy asks with genuine concern.

April’s face contorts in frustration. “What?”

Andy realizes that she actually doesn’t know what he’s talking about. More than that, she doesn’t look like a zombie. She’s a little paler than normal and sort of disheveled, and she looks like she hasn’t slept, but her eyes don’t have that dead look and since she’s not demanding brains, Andy feels decently confident in his conclusion that she is, in fact, not a zombie.

More than that, he realizes suddenly, this isn’t his house.

This isn’t his bed, and what the hell, he’s not in his own clothes.

“I’m in the hospital?” he asks.

“Um, yeah,” April says, and she sounds strained.

Andy considers this. All he remembers is the top of his skull being cut off. He reaches up, running his hand through his hair. There’s a bald spot and stitches. He swears. “Did a zombie try to rip my skull off?”

“What is with the zombies?” April demands. “I’m not going to let you watch monster movies before bed anymore!”

“What? No!” Andy says. “I just...I thought the world ended.”

April sighs, slumping wearily to a chair by his bed. “Well,” she says. “It did.”

He creases his brow. “Zombies?”

“Ugh, Andy!” she groans, running a hand through her hair.

“Okay, okay,” Andy says.

“You really don’t remember?” she asks.

“Honestly,” he says. “Unless Pawnee was overrun with zombies, then no. I remember nothing.”

Her shoulders slump. She looks at him, then looks at her hand. “I’m pregnant.”

He blinks, certain this must be another dream.

“I told you that while we were on our work,” she mumbles, not quite meeting his eyes. “And then you crashed the car and had a bad concussion and you were unconscious for two days and they were worried you had brain damage and so here we are.”

He blinks again.

A bad concussion.

Unconscious for two days.

None of that matters.

His eyes widen. He starts to smile. “You’re pregnant?”

She nods disdainfully, glancing at him cautiously. “So,” she says. “Maybe it is the end of the world.”

“No, way!” Andy says. “It’s just the start!”

She looks up, hopeful.

He reaches out, and she gives him her hand. He squeezes. “April, honey,” he says. “You being pregnant is awesome.

“Well,” she says nervously. “Then why did you crash the car?”

“Probably because I’m a terrible driver,” Andy says.

“So you’re not upset?” she asks.

“Why would I be upset?” Andy says. “This is, like, almost the best news I’ve ever heard!”

She bites her lip. “Yeah? What was better?”

“The day you said you’d marry me,” he says.

She smiles, shy and small. Like she doesn’t want to but she just can’t help it.

That’s the best kind of April smile.

It’s the smile that made him fall in love with her.

It’s the smile he hopes their kid gets.

He tugs her closer, kissing her. “You’re going to be a great mom.”

April shakes her head. “Ugh,” she says. “I think maybe zombies would be better.”

“Well,” he says, shrugging. “Maybe the baby will eat your brains.”

She looks hopeful. “You think?”

“I think I’d like to find out,” he says. He pauses. “If that’s okay with you.”

April sighs. She inhales. “Fine,” she says. “But next time I give you good news, try not to crash the car.”

“Deal,” he says. “And next time, try not to become a zombie.”

“No deal,” she says.

“That’s fair,” he concedes, pulling her close to kiss her again. She uses tongue -- a lot of it -- and even though Andy’s sore and his head is throbbing and he’s suddenly realizing that he probably almost died, he doesn’t care.

“If I were a zombie, I’d eat you first,” April promises.

“Uh uh,” Andy says. “The baby comes first.”

She grins.

Andy grins.

That’s how the world ends for Andy Dwyer.

Then starts all over again.