DISCLAIMER: I have short bangs now. I feel like a heroin from a Karen Marie Moning book. MMmmm... Highlanders... Anyway:shifty eyes: I don't own the Supernatural concept or either of the guys. But... yeah... Shigure, Ayame, Sam, Dean, Carth and Atton... Pairs are good.
A/N: So, I've now fixed Ch 13. There were some problems with it (mostly due to my failure to make sure I edited) and I have now repaired the booboos. :-D Remember, I need your suggestions for what the boys and Anna should go after next! If not, there's gonna be time hopping visions for Sam and wierdness. No joke. I'll do it:shifty eyes:
"He's coming!" She called to alert Lawrence and Dean.
"Are you okay?" Lawrence murmured.
"Dislocated shoulder, maybe," Anna replied. "He's on the riverbed, I'm about thirty feet behind. Keep an eye open."
Anna's side hurt like hell, but she ran through the mud desperate to keep Bernard in sight. Behind her, Sam focused entirely on the werewolf, ignoring the screams of tourists overhead. He hadn't transformed yet, but this whole thing would get ten times harder if he did.
Lawrence watched Dean for any sign they were approaching. Anna was focused on the hunt, now, and would be lethal. He only hoped she didn't kill his brother. Dean watched from his position for Bernard to come around the corner. Construction had cut off the river toward La Villita, leaving only the stretch toward the mall open. Anna was hurt and dean found himself close to panic. Even Sam injured had never left him feeling this way. He suddenly had a better understanding of why Sam and Anna's brother hadn't wanted to get involved in the family business.
There! He was coming.
"Look alive, Tibbs!" Anna called.
Bernard sprinted past the bridge and skidded to a halt. The river was closed. A glance over his shoulder showed Anna and the Winchester getting closer, and Bernard weighed his options quickly. The mall or the sidewalks? Too many people to slow him down up above. The mall.
Anna hid a smile as Bernard darted under the bridge toward the mall.
"He's here!" Dean called to Lawrence.
"Sam, keep on him!" Anna called over her shoulder as she passed the bridge. She had to get up. She couldn't fight in the mud.
She pulled herself up the construction equipment like a child on a playground and peeled her jacket off. People around her gasped and squealed in shock at the sight of a muddy girl covered in guns as she ran past them, heading for the pathways. Ahead of her, she watched as Dean and Lawrence dropped the teargas bombs into the riverbed, blocking the paths out. Bernard stopped and looked around. Sam came up behind Bernard, gun drawn, and effectively blocked the last path out. Bernard took his only route and jumped.
Anna stopped, amazed. Bernard had just jumped twenty feet in the air and landed on the center platform of the sidewalks. She was vaguely aware of Sam pulling himself up the sidewall of the river as Dean and Lawrence moved to block Bernard's possible moves. Anna's body moved on its own and she took up another block position as Sam moved into the last place. Bernard looked around him at the standoff that had begun, panic tinting his eyes black.
Anna felt the same way she had that night. He was a creature who needed freedom, and all she could do was catch him. Nevertheless, Bernard had become dangerous. He had to be caught.
Dean moved first, followed by Lawrence, with Bernard matching their blows. Dean was sent flying into a trashcan, a painful flight seeing as the wrought iron holder was bolted to the ground. Lawrence dodged a blow and got a good hit in that sent Bernard reeling back into Sam's waiting fist. Bernard recovered quickly and sent Sam crashing into Dean who had just about regained his footing. Bernard spun to square off with Lawrence and bared his teeth. To Anna's shack, Lawrence returned the challenge, his own eyes shifting to black.
She motioned to Sam and Dean to stay back as the brothers began to grapple. Snarls and growls became louder as the brothers began to morph out of and back to their human forms. Bernard ducked a cross from Lawrence and delivered a shattering uppercut that sent Lawrence flying.
Bernard spun to see Anna move toward Lawrence. He growled and she paused. Dean and Sam were on their feet now, and Sam moved toward Lawrence who was sitting up slowly.
Anna met Bernard's eyes and she felt like a deer in headlights. She couldn't look away. She was frozen under his glare.
Slowly Bernard began to change. Muscles bulged and reshaped, bones popped out of place before snapping into another location. In seconds, Bernard changed from a man to lichen, the werewolf of legend. Gone were the refined features and masculinity. Instead, Anna was faced with a terrifying creature. Calm spread through her as she forgot about the man and began to focus only on the creature. A creature, a killer, to be caught without remorse.
Sam brought Lawrence to his feet and the three men watched as both Bernard and Anna changed before their eyes. Anna unbuckled the guns from her chest and let them fall to the ground at her feet, all without breaking eye contact with Bernard. All she now had left on her was the gun in the small of her back, the gun she was never without. Then she sprang on him, and Lawrence watched in horror. Anna struck hard and Bernard had a hard time blocking her, even with his added power and speed. The Winchesters had no idea the small woman could move so quickly, but Sam saw the same competence he had experienced at the warehouse.
Anna's blows made Bernard stagger back a few steps into the rail. Anna then stepped back to deliver a kick, but Bernard took the advantage to lunge forward and knock her back onto the ground. Faster than she could recover, Bernard reached forward and grabbed her left arm, yanking her body around so Anna was on her knees. A scream tore from her throat as her shoulder became truly dislocated and Bernard changed back to a man, his clothes hanging from him in rags. He pressed a foot into her back, forcing the shoulder further from its socket, and Anna screamed again, a deep raw sound that Bernard found oddly arousing.
Dean and Sam pulled their guns and trained them on Bernard.
"Go ahead and shoot," he sneered. "I'll rip her arm off."
Anna bent her head to the ground, trying to brace her body with her free arm, trying to relieve the tension that shot fire through her arm. Her breathing came labored and ragged. She couldn't think for the pain, but she knew she'd be damned if she'd scream again. A sudden growl brought her head up.
Lawrence had abandoned his human form, and in his place stood a very large and very angry white wolf. Lawrence took a step forward and bared his teeth at his brother, willing for the first time to cause Bernard harm.
"Angry little brother?" Bernard taunted him. "Or are you just jealous I got her to scream for me." Bernard tilted his head and a cold grin spread across his lips. "Tell me, Lawrence. Did she ever scream for you?"
Lawrence snapped an angry growl and took another step forward. Bernard shook Anna's arm and she gasped, lowering her head again. Lawrence backed away, eyes burning. For the first time in his life, Lawrence could truly say he hated his brother.
Dean watched Anna struggling under Bernard's foot, but didn't dare fire.
"Anna," Sam said gently. "Was this part of the plan?"
"Not exactly," she answered. "But it'll do."
Before Bernard could react, Anna swept a leg forward to brace her body, reached back and pulled her gun to fire across her back into Bernard's foot. The projectile grazed across her skin and she screamed an expletive of her own as Bernard reeled back, taking her arm with him. He howled in pain and she spun her body, pushing the shoulder back toward, but not into, its socket and she fired again.
Pain exploded through Bernard's chest and he fell backward, releasing Anna, into the railing. She stood slowly and stared straight into his eyes, just as she had that night four years ago. And just as she had back then, she mouthed once again "I'm sorry."
Bernard looked down at his chest and was surprised to see a dart sticking out of his chest. He looked into her eyes as realization dawned. The little bitch had trapped him again.
Anna moved forward to catch Bernard as he fell to the ground, a clumsy catch considering she only had one arm functioning. She set him gently on the ground and then stepped away from him. Bernard was vaguely aware of voices and other bodies moving around him, but his senses remained tuned to Anna until the black took him.
Anna cradled her injured arm against her body as she tried to avoid the Den's retrieval team. They moved quickly and efficiently to strap Bernard to a gurney and remove him to the waiting ambulance. Lawrence came up beside her and Dean and Sam were already at her side. It made no sense.
Nothing about Bernard's capture made sense. It hadn't the first time, and this time was no different.
Since when, though? She wondered to herself. Since when has any hunt made sense?
The next day, Lawrence was ready to return to New Orleans and the Den. He wasn't sure what he could do for Bernard, but he had to try. Lawrence lowered the last of his few bags into his car's trunk and looked up the lawn to Anna. His breath caught in his throat at the sight of her.
With her shoulder injured, it would be a few weeks before she could hunt again, and she had welcomed her vacation with open arms. She stood now on her porch in a plain pair of jeans and a white crocheted top, her feet bare and her dark curls hanging loose down her shoulders and back. Her arm was in a sling and was the only indication of the previous night's hunt. She was lovely, and Lawrence felt the familiar pang of regret. Regret for having deceived her. Regret for having lost her. Regret at not having fought for her.
Lawrence crossed the lawn and took the porch steps two at a time. Anna watched him coming with a confused expression. He looked determined, a look she hadn't seen from him in years. Before she could react, Lawrence's arms were around her and his mouth had claimed hers in a searing kiss. His lips demanded, begged and teased. Old feelings, long buried, rose and responded, eliciting a small groan from Lawrence. A flick of his tongue requested entrance, and she opened to him. Lawrence reveled in the taste and scent of Anna. He'd been a fool to leave her, even for five minutes, let alone four years.
Anna was vaguely aware that someone else was now on the porch, but she couldn't think beyond Lawrence. Gently Lawrence broke the kiss and pulled away and her mind cleared slowly. Dean. Dean was behind her. Anna tensed, but Lawrence captured her chin and forced her to meet his eyes.
"I was wrong, and I'm not going to continue to be wrong." His eyes moved from hers to lock with Dean's glare. "I was wrong, and now I'm going to fight."
Dean raised an eyebrow, accepting the challenge silently. Lawrence gave an almost imperceptible nod and released Anna. She couldn't look away from him, and he studied her face for a long moment, then turned and walked away to his car. As Lawrence pulled away toward the highway, Dean moved up to Anna's side.
"I didn't know he would do that," Anna said slowly.
"I know," Dean answered.
Gently he turned her to him and placed a tentative kiss on her lips. Lawrence had been demanding, like a thirsty man tasting water for the first time. Dean's kiss was soft and gentle, almost as though he was introducing himself. Anna felt the ground pulling away beneath her feet and the clouds rising to carry her. Too soon, Dean pulled away and brushed a curl from her forehead, tucking the hair behind her ear.
"I don't know what this is," he murmured. Dean was not comfortable talking about what had been happening between him and Anna, and she knew better than to speak now. Dean couldn't quite bring himself to meet her gaze, afraid of what he might see. "I don't know what's going on, but I won't just let him have you." Dean turned away into the house and took the stairs to his room two at a time.
"What the hell?" Anna was alone.
Anna sighed and crossed the threshold, closing the door behind her. Sam was sitting in the kitchen with what had to be his third cup of coffee, checking his email on his laptop. Anna fixed herself a cup of coffee, cursing the extra time it took because of her bum arm. Sam laughed at Anna's inventive tongue and waited for her to join him at the table.
"Interesting morning, huh?"
Anna watched Sam through the steam from her coffee and smiled slowly.
"A very nice morning," she answered.
"Are you sure you want to stay here?" Sam asked. Anna nodded.
"I won't be any good to you right now. I'll take a week or so off until the sling comes off, then I'll use the next few weeks the doc suggested catching up in the warehouse."
"We'll miss you."
Anna smiled and took a slow sip of her coffee.
"Y'all can come back for me in a couple of months. I should be ready to go by then."
Anna waved from the porch in response to Sam's hand out the window. Dean stepped past her, moved toward the stairs, and stopped. Anna just watched him, letting Dean decide for himself what to do. He turned, hands in pockets, and smiled shyly. Anna swallowed a laugh at the frightened look in his eyes, and bent to kiss his cheek.
"Be safe," she murmured in his ear.
Dean stepped forward and captured his favorite curl in his fingertips.
"Don't go hunting until we come back." Dean's voice was pitched low and close to cracking. Anna heard all that he was trying to say in that statement and nodded her head.
"I already made plans to work from here on the warehouse."
Dean sighed in relief and, without another word, turned away and moved to his Impala. At the door, he paused and looked up at Anna again, taking a mental picture. The snap of a shutter echoed in his ear until Sam's voice pulled him out of his daydream.
"Look, I took a picture. Let's go."
Dean grinned and climbed in behind the wheel, bringing the black beast to life. One last glance at Anna as he shifted into gear, and Dean pulled away, following the road to the highway.
"We could have stayed," Sam said carefully.
"Shut up," Dean said with a smile. Sam returned the smile and leaned back, ready for the road. Sun glinted off Dean's hand and he looked at the almost forgotten gift from his dad.
"As I hold my honor by fang and claw," he murmured to himself. With kisses, too, he thought.
Sam saw his brother's gaze, and knew what Dean was thinking. With a smile, he leaned back again, getting comfortable. He made a silent bet with himself that they would be coming back to Texas before a month was done.