Disclaimer: I don't own anything Supernatural related.
Sam didn't question his brother's order, he simply obeyed. Even if he hadn't been able to make out the word, he could still hear the urgency in his voice.
"Run, Sam, go…" Dean's voice echoed behind him and he picked up his speed.
He let the branches scratch across his face, rip out his hair, he just ran as fast as he could.
It had to be bad if Dean wanted him to run.
Wait. Where was Dean?
The creature half-howled, half screamed and Sam forced himself to stop and stand completely still. He was listening for Dean's footsteps.
He'd always been able to beat Dean in a footrace, Dean couldn't compensate for his shorter stride despite his athleticism, and he knew that Dean knew the odds.
Dean had told him to run because he hadn't known if he could protect Sam from whatever the hell was hunting them.
And Sam took the bait like an amateur.
He'd been hunting with Dean for months and as easy as it had been for them to fall back into the patterns of being teammates, there were still times like this when Dean just treated him like a little brother.
Okay, he needed to focus. He needed to think. There was a monster in the woods that wasn't afraid of fire, could break through the circles intended to keep out evil spirits and was unaffected by silver or salt.
And Dean was somewhere back there with the monster.
Shit, Dean hated when he called the things monsters, said that it made it seem like they were afraid of them.
But Dean wasn't here right now.
Sam had to come up with a plan. Sam had to come through for Dean, he had to focus on the issue at hand and come up with a solution.
He took a deep breath and stepped out from behind the tree, careful to be silent with his steps.
His dad had taught them how to walk in step with each other, creating less noise by walking in unison.
But Sam was walking alone this time. No flashlight, his gun left back at the start of his sprint.
He really was an amateur.
Dean's confidence rubbed off when he was standing by his side, but Sam was feeling just like a little brother again right now, he needed Dean to come back and help him kill this thing.
He knew the thing was corporeal, the bullets they'd fired had hit it, just didn't hurt it. It wasn't a spirit.
It was some kind of animal. Superpowered and superpredatory.
But it had to have a weakness.
He stopped, hearing something.
He cursed himself when he realized he'd been walking and still hadn't picked up a weapon or anything.
He could hear Dean now, talking about how the 'college boy' missed his common sense class.
He had to find Dean before the monster found him.
Dean gritted his teeth to keep from crying out.
Well, this night couldn't get any worse.
He had to be quiet, had to keep his mouth shut and his eyes open.
He wasn't some kind of fucking amateur, sure, working with a partner had made him lose a little of his edge, but not enough for him to go out bleeding in the middle of bumfuck.
At least Sammy had hauled ass. Dean couldn't have handled it if Sammy was the one lying on the ground under a rotted out tree with a mangled leg.
The scent of his blood was going to rat him out eventually.
The creature had got him by the leg when he'd split off from Sammy's direction and he'd had to slash at it with his knife to escape.
But he knew he hadn't gotten that far.
He needed to stop bleeding and move his ass.
Sammy would be fine, he'd run back to the car and hopefully keep his ass there until Dean made it back.
He squinted in the darkness as he tried to get a good look at his leg with only the slight moonlight to illuminate it.
It hurt like hell, but most things did these days. He was in good shape but fighting the things that go bump in the night had been hell on his body and the aches and pains he had were worthy of a 60 year old man.
Not to mention his fucked up leg.
It was too dark for him to do much triaging, but he could tell by the pain that the animal's claws had almost cut through to the bone.
He needed to do something about the leg now.
He had to be quiet, silent, so the creature wouldn't hear him.
He'd injured the fucker, but he'd probably pissed it off, too.
He took the sticky knife, still clenched in his hand and cut off the t shirt that he was wearing under his jacket and managed to pull it off in shreds.
He wrapped the scraps around his oozing leg and tightened them until it was screaming in pain.
Mouth shut, eyes open. Mouth shut, eyes open.
Sam was safe, Sam was out of danger and now, he had to get back on top of the problem.
He'd worked solo for over two years, he could do this.
He'd been hurt worse than this and made it through on his own. Nothing was different now.
He checked to make sure that the blood wasn't seeping through the makeshift tourniquet and then steeled himself for what was coming.
He held his breath for a long moment to make sure that there were no new sounds in his immediate area.
That fucking thing was big and now that it was injured, Dean was sure that he'd be able to hear it coming.
He exhaled as he pushed himself to kneel on his good leg, leaning heavily against the rotted out tree as he struggled not to fall over from the pain that the slight movement of his bad leg.
He could do this. He stood up and gingerly lowered his foot to the ground to test it.
It wouldn't support his weight but he managed not to fall down and stay quiet.
Mouth shut, eyes open. Be silent.
He started walking at a slow pace, the only pace he could manage, making sure to be as quiet as possible despite the pain. It was tough going, finding a handhold in the trees, making sure to be quiet, focusing on the noises of the unfamiliar forest…
He glanced back and realized that despite his exhaustion, he'd only managed to make it a few yards.
This fucking night only got worse.
Sam heard something and froze in place.
Something shuffling through the brush. Limping, almost.
He opened his mouth to call out, but stopped himself. He wasn't an amateur, you didn't go running through the woods yelling, that would bring the predator right at you.
As much as he hated his father's lessons, he'd learned them and they had saved his life on an almost daily basis.
But it wasn't about him this time, it was about Dean.
His dad already hated him, what would he think of him if he managed to leave his brother behind to die?
Sam wasn't going to leave Dean. Dean wouldn't leave him and he was going to come to the rescue this time.
The shuffling continued and Sam searched the brush in the moonlight to try and find the source of the sound.
Then he saw it.
The creature, monster, whatever.
It had its nose to the ground and was dragging its back paw as it followed a scent.
He could kill that animal right now and search for his brother without the fear of being mauled and eaten.
But what was he going to kill it with?
Before he could come up with a plan, the animal snarled loudly and Sam realized that Dean was there.
He rushed over, still empty-handed and watched Dean struggling to stay on the animal's back.
It was like he'd dropped out of the air and attacked it…it was fucking surreal, but it was Dean.
"What the hell, Sammy…" Dean panted, not sparing a glance at him as he buried his knife to the hilt in the creature's neck before being thrown off.
The animal turned to charge Dean but Sam jumped in front of him, conscious of the fact that Dean hadn't moved from where he'd fallen.
"Dammit, Sammy…" he heard, as he was pulled to the ground before the beast collapsed in a bloody heap at his feet.
"What the hell, Dean?"
"You're asking me? You're going to get yourself killed," Dean growled.
Sam waited until the animal stopped breathing to turn to his brother. "Dean…"
"I told you to run," Dean said, his voice low and gravelly.
Something was wrong, Sam could tell by the tone of his voice. "I did run, Dean, but I wasn't going to leave you here…"
"Is it dead?" Dean asked, meeting his gaze for a split second.
"Yeah…are you all right?" Sam asked, kneeling beside him and trying to search him for injuries.
"I'll be all right, give me a hand…" Dean muttered, reaching out his hand.
Sam ignored the blood coating his hand and supported his weight getting to his feet and Dean settled his arm around his shoulders. "Your leg?"
"Yeah, it's mangled, I need to get back to the hotel and bandage it up. It's nothing…"
But Sam could tell that it wasn't nothing because his brother's weight was damned heavy. Dean would never be leaning on him for this much support unless he was really hurt. "Dean…"
"Less talking, more walking…"
It took them until dawn to make their way back to the car and Dean had been so quiet that Sam had to keep glancing at him to make sure he was still conscious.
He didn't get a clear look at Dean's leg until they stepped into the rest area's parking lot and leaned him against the Impala.
Dean was pale, he looked worse than Sam had ever seen him. He knew that the leg had to hurt like hell, but Dean hadn't said a word.
"Another good night's work," Dean muttered before shakily sinking to sit on the pavement with his bloody leg extended in front of him.
Sam knew that he couldn't just stand there, but he was frozen as he watched Dean gingerly unwrap the bloody bandages off his trembling leg. "Dean…"
"Can you get the first aid kit for me? We need to get moving soon, I don't really feel like explaining what happened to the cops," Dean said, not looking up from the bleeding mess that was his leg.
"First aid kit, Sam. Now."
Sam didn't argue, he unlocked the trunk and searched through the weapons until he found what he was looking for. He closed the trunk and brought the box around to Dean.
"Thanks," Dean grunted, taking it from him.
"Man, let me do that…"
"I got it, Sam," he snapped, gruffly. "And don't ever pull shit like this again. If I tell you to run, you better damned well listen to me."
"You would've died out there," Sam said. Dean was so fucking bullheaded…
"I would've made it out…"
Sam remembered Dean taking down the monster. Dean could hold his own, but even if he'd killed the animal, he still wouldn't have been able to get out of the forest without assistance.
"Sammy, I mean it. You're my responsibility…"
"Oh, shut up, Dean," Sam replied. "I'm a grown man, I'm nobody's responsibility but my own. I've got your back…"
"My back could have waited until daylight," Dean grumbled, leaning back against the car as he unscrewed the cap off the bottle of rubbing alcohol.
"Dean, what…" Sam couldn't believe what his brother was about to do…
Dean ignored him and poured a generous amount of the alcohol onto his oozing leg, hissing as the pain literally knocked the bottle out of his hand.
"Stupidass," Sam muttered, recapping the bottle and reaching into the box for bandages.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm taking you to the hospital…"
"No, Dean, you're not in charge, we're in this together and I am taking you to the doctor whether you like it or not…" Sam stated seriously.
"Stop calling me that," Sam snapped, taking the gauze and lifting Dean's leg to start binding the wounds. He focused on the task and didn't realize until he was almost done that Dean had closed his eyes and was gritting his teeth to fight the pain. "Did I hurt you?"
"Every day, Sam. I really liked these jeans," he muttered.