Sounds Like Shadows

Summary: Hell hath no fury like a (dead) woman scorned… And Sam and Dean just got in her way.

Disclaimer: I got nothin'… You got nothin'… Nobody but the Hollywood types who clearly didn't learn about sharing in Kindergarten. September? We're supposed to wait until late September?

Chapter One

"How about Batman?"

"Are we talking Adam West, Batman, Michael Keaton, Batman, or Val Kilmer, Batman?" Dean asked. They both knew better than to bother including George Clooney.

"Michael Keaton."

Dean cocked his head to one side, as if giving the problem serious thought. "Han Solo could beat Batman."

"You can't be serious," Sam frowned. He leaned back so he could see his brother despite the slightly cramped quarters inside the car. Dean's face was barely visible in the dashboard light, but Sam could still see the faint quirk of his brother's lips.

When you spent as much time in the car as they did, you ended up playing a lot of games that absolutely no one else on the planet would appreciate. Fantasy fight club was one of Dean's favorites. Sam thought he probably had dreams about Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell, not Kevin Costner) vs. Robin Hood (Anyone, not Kevin Costner).

"I'm serious," Dean nodded for emphasis. "Han Solo could take him."

"There's no way!" Sam shook his head in disbelief, both that he was still playing the game and that it was amusing… in a Dean sort of way.

"First of all, Han would fight dirty… And just look at their sidekicks. Are you telling me in a tag team match that Robin is going to come anywhere near Chewbacca?" Dean demanded. "Wookie would tear his arms off and beat him with them."

"Whoa, whoa," Sam said waving a hand. "Who said this was a tag team event?"

"I did," Dean replied as if that made all the sense in the world.

"You can't change the rules in the middle of the g…" Sam abruptly stopped talking as the car's engine coughed, sputtered and suddenly died.

Dean grunted as the steering died with it and he had to fight the car to the side of the road. She coasted to a halt, coughed one more time, shuddered and fell silent.

The sound of insects outside was suddenly loud, filling the night air. Trees lined both sides of the road, a few yards away from the pavement.

"See what happens when you change the rules?" Sam said.

"Shut up, Sam," Dean huffed irritably, throwing open the car door. Sam followed suit, meeting his brother at the back where he was rummaging through the trunk.

"Here," he said, handing him a flashlight. "Make yourself useful."

Sam popped the hood and propped it open, shining the flashlight through the engine compartment while Dean kept rummaging for his emergency tool kit.

"See anything?" Dean asked, coming to stand beside him. They both spent several minutes searching, trying to find the source of the problem. Finally Dean took the flashlight from him and leaned over the hood trying to get a better look. Dean knew the car like the back of his hand, so Sam gave him room to work.

"Have we passed any houses?"

The response was a muffled no, from Dean still neck deep in the engine.

Sam let his head fall back and looked up at the overcast sky. "Great. Just great." A long walk was not what he had been hoping for. Abruptly, so much so that he thought he'd suddenly gone deaf, the woods around them fell silent.

No. The bugs had gone silent.

"Dean?" Sam said, anxiously scanning the trees. "We may have a problem."

"You're telling me," Dean muttered, briefly raising his head from his work.

Sam barely noticed a vibration in the metal stand holding the hood open. Not even stopping to think he grabbed Dean around the waist and pulled him back, both brothers tumbling to the ground in the glare of the headlights.

"What are you doing?" Dean yelled, just as the prop came loose and the hood crashed closed. "Ok. That was weird."

"The bugs, Dean," Sam whispered. "Listen."

His brother was silent for several seconds, scanning along the tree line just as Sam had done. "Not good."

"Can you tell what's wrong with the car?" Sam asked quietly, following Dean as he edged away from the headlights. If there was something out there, they didn't need to be in the spotlight.

"There's nothing wrong as far as I can tell."

"Except for it being dead."

"Yeah, well there is that," Dean acknowledged. "You have a gun?"

Sam shook his head and Dean swore as they stopped, squatting beside the driver side door.

They both froze, seeing something flash past the headlights, moving so fast they couldn't quite make it out. It moved from one side of the road into the trees on the other side.

"What was that?" Dean hissed.

"I don't know, but we need to get out of here now."

"Back in the car," Dean urged. They both climbed in through the driver's side and Dean leaned against the steering wheel almost as if in prayer. "Come on, baby. Start for me. You know you want to."

The car sputtered briefly, but refused to start. To add insult to injury, the headlights promptly flickered once and died.

"Ok, now what?" Dean said.

Without warning, the windows behind them, on either side of the car, shattered, followed by the vague recognition of movement passing behind them. Sam cried out first, followed by Dean, at the undeniable sensation of claws raking across their shoulders.

Sam hunched forward, fighting the pain away. He saw Dean hunch forward again over the steering wheel, both with pain and in another attempt to start the car. The rear window shattered behind them and both brothers shrank down immediately, feeling the hissing of whatever it was as it streaked past them and crashed through the windshield, spraying them with glass.

"Out!" Dean ordered, and Sam immediately kicked open the door, keeping low to the ground. He knew Dean would be heading for the trunk and weapons and hurried in that direction. He brushed a hand through his hair as he crawled, hearing the tinkling of glass as it fell out onto the pavement. His shoulders were on fire and he could feel several distinct tracks across his back, reaching from one side to the other.

Dean was already turning the key in the lock to the trunk as Sam rounded the rear of the car. Dean started to lift it when the trunk was slammed closed, something pushing on it hard enough to dent the top. He fell back at the force of it.

"We've got to find some cover," Sam shouted.

Dean ignored him and turned the key in the lock again. He barely had a hand around the handle of one of the duffel bags when the trunk slammed down again. Sam grabbed for it frantically, trying to lessen the blow, but Dean stifled a cry and Sam knew his arm was hurt. The trunk hadn't been able to close, however, and Dean angrily threw the trunk open and dragged the duffel bag out.

"There," Dean pointed and Sam followed his direction seeing a light through the trees.

They both turned hearing noise on the other side of the road, almost like a huge animal crashing through the underbrush.

"Hoof it, Sam," Dean ordered, jabbing at his shoulder to urge him forward. "It's not going to give us a second chance."

Sam ran for all he was worth, listening for Dean behind him. Never pausing, he reached toward his brother and took the duffel bag from him. "Flashlight, Dean," he called, breathing hard. "I can't see anything."

Dean must have had the same idea. Even as Sam was saying it, the bobbing light of a flashlight appeared on the ground in front of them.

"Faster, Sam. It's gaining on us," Dean urged.

Sam looked ahead of him and saw that the light wasn't coming from a house, but a barn. The sounds behind him were becoming louder and he knew with the speed their attacker had shown, they were quickly going to be outdistanced. In a last burst of speed, Sam sprinted for the barn, praying there wouldn't be any padlocks to slow them down.

As he approached, he could see that the light was dimly shining through an oversized door standing a few inches open. Sam rammed it, throwing it open at a run, grateful when it swung inward on well oiled hinges. Twisting around, he grabbed the door edge and readied himself to close it, waiting only for his brother to clear the opening.

Dean was halfway through when he let out a strangled cry and fell to the ground. Almost immediately, he began to be dragged away from the light, though he was clawing at the ground trying to stop the backwards movement.

Sam couldn't see anything of whatever was trying to drag Dean back into the trees. It was like a shadow hovering over him. Sudden, overwhelming pain crossed Dean's face. He grabbed his leg and tried to curl into himself even as he was being dragged.

Fighting back the pain, Dean looked straight at Sam. "Get inside! Shut the door, Sam! Shut it now!"

Righto… More tomorrow. This one's going to be a shorty since I've been called out of town unexpectedly and it wouldn't be nice to leave anyone hanging until I get back. I'm cruel, but not that cruel!