Okay, here is the usual disclaimer: I do not own supernatural, nor any character created by the show, nor some of the ones in this story 'cause I stole them from almost 'real' life (my friends). Nor am I making any money from this unless my friends try and bribe me not to put it up, but I will anyway, so alas no money.
A/N: This is the story before 'The Appointment' for anyone who was wondering how Dean could hurt Sam this is it! Also a friend was added as a cameo and hopefully a pleasant surprise for said friend, wink wink! ;p And I make a kinda Firefly quote, sorta.
A/N 2: The song I quote is my own personal anthem; it is 'Let It Go' by Great Big Sea from their Something Beautiful album. The song is wonderful and has gotten me through a lot of stuff, I highly recommend this band.
Beta'd: By the wondrous morning sunlight to whom I dedicate this story, and hope on her trip she has fun akin to the luck Zoe has in this one ;)
Serenity for all
Sincerely Rae Artemis
Blind Man's Hunt
"So, there really are werewolves in Texas, who knew!" Sam threw a bored look at his older brother who tried to look innocent and failed miserably. "What? Seriously I thought they were more west coast or woodsy types." Sam continued to give Dean the silent treatment and a serious glare.
"Come on Sam, this is immature and that is my thing, not yours." More silence. "It's been an hour! How much longer can you keep this up?" Sam began to grin smugly, as Sam's silent routine began to wear on his older brother.
"Well, to be honest, I wasn't going to give you the silent treatment but after that comment about me not only looking like a girl but acting like one too, I was mad enough to be immature. I did learn from the best after all." Sam waited for the inevitable quippy comeback but Dean didn't say anything. Instead he was staring at the clearing, which they had been watching for the past hour and a half, a horrified expression on his face. Sam turned to see what Dean was looking at and wished he hadn't. The werewolf they had been waiting the entire night for had finally shown up and was in the middle of his change, it was rather disgusting to watch, Sam felt his dinner fighting its way up his throat. Swallowing hard, he looked to Dean who had blanked his face and was preparing to go to work, all business now. Using hand signals, they both agreed to separate and circle the beast, coming at it from either side and then shoot the bastard in the head and heart simultaneously.
As Sam moved around the clearing, he heard the moans of pain from the creature in the middle and felt an unasked for pity. It, he used to be a man and now he was an insane murderer, a killer of children and the defenceless. Sam knew there could be good werewolves but once they changed especially in the first few years there was only madness when they changed and unless caged and restrained they would kill anything they came across.
This one in particular had made no attempt to control himself, apparently the man felt that if he had killed his own family why worry about other people's. When Dean and Sam had visited the man earlier that day he had answered the door, drunk and barely functioning though it was three in the afternoon on a weekday and had chased them off his property once they had mention the reason they were there. To be fair Dean hadn't been the most diplomatic but they had given the guy a chance, even offered him Pastor Jim's number if he had wanted to talk to someone who had also lost family to the beast. But the man had been too far gone in grief to care, Sam almost considered his behaviour now to be suicide by Winchester as the boys had warned him what would happen if they met him in the woods.
"Don't go into the woods, 'Big bad wolf', this time Little Red won't be there." Dean had leaned into the man threateningly, a cocky smile on his face.
"Who will be there? You?" The man had slurred out, stinking of whiskey reminding Sam of the bad, old days with his father. "I'm not afraid of you little boy, why should I be?" The man had growled as his eyes had shimmered from a muddy brown to a silvery white. It was then that he actually began to growl and chased the shocked brothers off his property. Sitting in the car after the humiliating experience they had agreed to track the man to the clearing and kill him before he took anymore innocent lives.
Now here they were, to cold bloodedly kill this man before he killed another person. Sam shivered though the night wasn't cold, the thoughts running through his head a distraction from the noises of pain that came from the mass of flesh in the glade. Sam looked across to the other tree line trying to see Dean but even in the strong moonlight his brother was too skilled a hunter to be seen.
The plan was after the creature had turned they would jump out and kill it before it could recover from the confusion of the transformation. The only problem was both boys hadn't known how hard it would be to watch the process and kept looking away, swallowing back their suppers. Eventually the moaning and struggling stopped, the creature apparently done. Sam looked and saw a huge wolf the size of a Newfoundlander dog and a half. The animal lay on its side, gasping in air, getting back its energy. Now was the best time for it and Sam almost saw movement on the other side of the tree line.
Both brothers jumped out at the same time, as planned and rushed the creature, guns at the ready, silver bullets aching to be shot. But as they neared the werewolf, it jumped to its back legs and sprang over Sam, who fell backward. Cursing they chased after it, losing it in the woods only to find the trail and chase it down until losing it again. This went on for hours until Sam and Dean stopped at the glade again and tried to plan what to do.
"We have to kill the bastard while he's still in animal form, with any luck he'll stay that way and there'll be no body to explain." Dean plotted, not wanting to have to tell the cops why there was a dead body in the woods, they knew they were going to burn it after but still the less found the better.
"We've got to find him soon then Dean, its dawn in another hour. Forty five minutes and we'll be hunting again tomorrow." Sam replied with obvious distaste, Dean nodded in agreement.
"I vote we try and avoid werewolves they are a pain in the . . ." Dean trailed off as he saw a shadow behind his brother, pushing Sam aside he saw a startled racoon, the little bandit looking affronted at the confrontation. He heard Sam laughing at him and spun around. "Shut up, we've got work to do."
He pushed Sam in the direction he didn't think the beast was in and stalked off in the right direction. He hadn't gone five feet when he heard movement on his left, aiming his favourite .45 at the movement in the bushes, holding his breath to try and listen for the animal. There was a low growl and a fuzzy shape, which appeared to be the creature, Dean was firing before he was sure but he was rewarded with a cry of pain. Dean was celebrating already when there was more growling from his right side. Dean spun around, and as he did the werewolf leapt out of the bushes at him, all slobbering teeth and tearing claws. Dean fell backwards, emptying his clip into the head of the animal. The body landed on top of him and for one moment Dean thought he was going to die or worse become a werewolf!
"Dean! Oh God, Dean are you okay?" Dean tried to respond, Sammy sounded so worried, but couldn't as the weight of the body squeezed the air out of his lungs. All he managed were some gasping sounds as the air escaped.
"Dean?" Sam pulled the dead thing off Dean, dragging Dean into a hug before his brother could stop him. Sam shoved Dean away punching him in the shoulder. "Don't do that I thought you were dead!"
"Sorry princess, no such luck. Now what are we going to do with…" Dean trailed off looking at Sam's shoulder in the feeble morning light. What's that?" He asked pointing to Sam's left shoulder, blood seeping from under Sam's hand.
"It's a hole in my body made by a bullet." Sam replied dryly, a sour look on his face. "Dean I don't know how to say this but…"
"Oh no, it didn't get you did it? It's all my fault; we never should have split up! Don't worry Sammy we'll find a cure or-"
"Dean! The wolf didn't get me, you shot me! I was waving at you, trying to signal that the werewolf had looped behind you and you shot me." Sam stated, looking at his brother as this information sank in, seeing the horrified look on Dean's face he tried for a joke. "You are going to see an optometrist tomorrow, you must be going blind in your old age."
"What? I'm not that old." Dean was distracted for a moment by the snide comment, but couldn't believe he would shoot Sammy. "No, I mean I would have seen you, someone else must have shot you." Dean was appalled to think he could have shot Sam, he'd never hurt Sam, well he'd never shoot him!
"There is nobody else Dean and I didn't shoot myself! We'll deal with this later, right now let's finish the job and then deal okay? Dean?" Sam walked to his brother who appeared to be slipping into a mild form of shock. "Dean? Chill, I'm okay. I mean it hurts like a bitch but I'm alive and so are you, so chill, okay?" Dean's eyes were slow to meet Sam's but he nodded. They burned the body and even though Sam argued that it wasn't bad Dean insisted on going to the hospital.
"Dean I'm fine, it's not that bad." Trying for what seemed like the hundredth time to convince Dean not to go to the ER. Dean had been hurt much worse and refused to go, and now with a mere bullet hole he was dragging Sam to the hospital. Sam looked over at Dean who was covered in the beast's blood and smelt of smoke; this was going to be interesting to explain at the hospital. Dean reached over and not at all gently poked the hole in his shoulder. "OW! Jesus! What the Hell was that for?"
"We're going to the hospital." Came the inevitable monotone reply. Sam flinched at the defeated undertone in his brother's voice.
"Dean really it's not that-" Sam was cut off as Dean slammed on the brakes, making Sam hiss in pain as his shoulder was jolted by the seatbelt.
"Dammit Sammy! We're going there whether you like it or not!" Dean jumped back on the gas and the car shot forward again jolting Sam's shoulder, but this time he bit back the pain.
Sam could see Dean felt bad enough as it was and that he had to take Sam to the hospital because if he had hurt Sam, maybe that meant he couldn't fix Sam. Sam rode the rest of the way in silence, hiding his pain from Dean's watchful eyes.
When they got there, Dean parked the car, then hurried around to the passenger door to open it for Sam who hadn't said a word for the last fifteen minutes of the drive. Dean had thought he'd passed out from blood loss, but when he'd looked Sam'd gotten that far away look in his eye that meant he was lost in thought.
Inside the ER, Dean wasn't any better, mothering Sam until the orderlies took Sam away from an anxious Dean in a wheel chair while Dean argued with the unit clerk about following Sam.
"It's the middle of the night and it's not like you guys are busy!" He exploded as the clerk, Sandra blocked him from trailing after the wheelchair.
"We have rules here Mr. Brady, one of those is that family waits in the waiting room." She gestured to an alcove with uncomfortable looking chairs, a couple of people sitting, reading magazines or sleeping or by the looks of an older gentleman dead.
"He's been shot and I need-"
"To sit in the waiting room or be thrown out by security." Sandra crossed her arms and gave him a stern look. He hung his head realizing he wouldn't see Sam, not without making a bigger scene than he already had. Fortunately Sam and he had figured out their story in the car, before the silence of death had came crushing down. They'd been hunting and someone else had shot at them thinking they were deer or something. Sam had been hit and they'd gotten out of there before anything more had happened. Sandra seeing Dean's distress smiled gently, her face softening.
"I'll tell you what, I'll come get you before he comes out, might even be able to get you in there yet. Just not right now, okay?" She looked at Dean, his eyes meeting her slowly, tears glimmering ready to fall.
"It'll be okay Eric, we have some great doctors on call tonight." She patted him on the shoulder and gave him a gentle push towards the waiting room.
Dean walked towards the waiting room, a little shaky and not all that reassured by Sandra's words. He looked at the people in the room, there was a young woman leafing through a magazine, she looked up as he approached, a friendly smile turned towards him. An older man sat in the furthest chair from her an unpleasant scowl on his face, and an antisocial vibe very distinctly coming from him. Dean elected to take a seat near the kind young woman, returning her smile with a shaky one.
"Hi." Dean's voice cracking as his stress broke through again,
"Hey there looks like you're having a rough night." She gave him a sympathetic look and another dazzling smile. "I'm Zoe, what are you in for?"
"I'm fine, it's my brother he's uh…he's um…he was shot." Dean looked down at his hands, clenched together but still kind of shaking. "Oh, yeah, I'm Dean." He looked back up and found her patiently watching him, empathy in her eyes.
"That's terrible, is he okay? I mean obviously 'no' but he'll be okay, right?" Zoe put down the magazine, and turned slightly in the uncomfortable chair to face him.
Dean began to focus on her and take in details, details that normally didn't take him this long to notice. She was probably 5'7", couldn't be older than thirty, dark wavy hair that had coffee and blonde streaks, slightly longer than shoulder length, warm green eyes that peeked out from behind a stylish set of glasses, rather pale skin, and she spoke in a soft English accent.
"Hey! You're British!" She smiled at him ironically, as he slapped his forehead with the palm of his hand. "What are you doing here in the middle of nowhere?"
"Is that where this is? I was wondering. I took a year off to travel and was visiting a family friend in Kansas; funnily enough she's named Missouri. She managed to get me a ride out here because I wanted to visit New Orleans. Anyway I was hitching a ride with a friend of her's, a guy named Joshua who was going to look for some friends, apparently they were out there recently."
"Really?" Dean sat back in his chair, his mind racing. Could this be Missouri, the psychic he and Sam had met in Lawrence? That would explain Joshua, and Sam and he had just left New Orleans. How many women were there in Kansas named Missouri anyway?
"That was nice of her. Did this Joshua guy give names or anything?" Dean jumped at the mystery, something to distract him from his guilt for Sam's injury. Even though he'd tried to be subtle with his question he saw her eyes shut down.
"Nope, nothing at all."
"Listen, I'm sorry I'm a little wound up tight what with my brother and all and I didn't mean to freak you out. It's just I know a woman in Kansas with that name who knows a man named Joshua and it seems like a huge coincidence. My brother and I may be the friends he's looking for." Dean gave her an innocent look, hoping that she might believe him; he couldn't do the puppy dog eyes like Sam could.
"I guess with your brother being shot and all you might be a little on edge. What are you and your brother's names?"
"I'm Dean and my brother is Sammy, well he says Sam but really it's Sammy. We are travelling around and we…uh we are family friends of Missouri and Joshua. Honest, scout's honour." He tried holding up the right amount of fingers but couldn't settle between three and two. "However many it may be. " He threw her a charming smile, his flirting helping to calm his nerves as he waited for Sam.
"I think Joshua did mention something about a Dean and Sam, but he made them sound a lot younger." Zoe looked him over intently. "How old are you?"
"Twenty-seven last Thursday, I even got a cupcake from my brother." He grinned remembering Sammy's cupcake with a candle in it and Sammy's off-key singing.
"Really? That is so strange my friend Joyce's birthday is January twenty-fourth! I called back long distance and everything! How bizarre." She laughed and the wariness left her eyes. Dean sat up straight suddenly as though he'd been pinched.
"Geez, where are my manners?" He asked as he slapped his forehead, realizing he'd been blathering on, he grinned sheepishly. "What are you in for?"
"My ride, Joshua we were driving when he suddenly passed out, we slammed into a ditch and while the car and I were fine, he appeared to have been hurt sometime last night and the paramedics brought him here. They were saying something about blood loss and that some of the wounds look fairly old. It was strange; suddenly I'm wondering what is this guy into? How did he get so hurt and whom was I hitching a ride with exactly? I called Missouri to let her know about her friend and she said something about his work being very dangerous but she was fairly vague. When I asked she said he was in public relations." Zoe couldn't help but give Dean a puzzled look as he held his hands over his mouth to keep from laughing in her face. 'Public relations' he would have to remember that one!
"What's so funny? Did I miss something? Missouri said he was a professional problem solver." She quirked an eyebrow at Dean and waited for him to gather himself, at least he doesn't look like he'll shatter anymore.
"I'm sorry, its just he's…a professional bounty hunter and sometimes his work gets a little physical is all. I just never heard him refer to it as public relations, it is kind of funny with some of the stories he has to tell." He smirked remembering some of the times they'd worked with Joshua, always a memorable time with Josh.
"Well the nurse came by a little while ago and said he would be able to have visitors shortly, since you know him I'm sure he'd be happy to see you, especially since he's been looking for you." Zoe gave him another warm smile and Dean felt the rest of his worry for Sam fleeing to the back of his mind, other thoughts replacing them.
"We'll see him sooner or later but I was wondering what you're doing right now? Are you going to need another ride or will you wait around for Josh?"
"Right now I'm not doing much, and I'm not sure how long it will be before he can move while I'm kind of on a schedule." She leaned across the chair closer to him, a seductive smile on her lips. "You going to New Orleans?"
"I'm pretty sure that for a friend of Missouri Sam and I could find the time." Dean gave her a suggestive leer and leaned further into her personal space.
"Really? That's very kind." Zoe murmured back, a fraction of an inch away from his lips just about to-
"Miss Solaris? Your friend is asking for you now." A nurse interrupted, a note of disapproval in her voice.
"Thank you." Zoe muttered, sarcasm thick in her voice, leaning back into the chair the moment of electricity suddenly gone.
"Yes thank you very much yo-" Dean began only to be silenced as Zoe grabbed him and kissed him. Dean was totally unprepared but pleasantly surprised. As she leaned away, he blinked his eyes widely astonished. "Um, thanks."
"When I started my trip I made the vow to not over think things and live for the moment, you know 'No day but today'? I take that vow fairly seriously."
"Good vow." Dean agreed slightly dazed. "What's say you check in on Josh while I quickly check on Sam's condition and we meet in say five minutes? By the ER entrance? I don't know about you but I could go for dinner and a drink or two?" He grinned as she blushed, but nodded. He raced to the unit's clerk to ask about his brother, worried now that Sam might be ready to leave now that Dean had plans with the lovely Zoe.
"Hello Mr. Brady, can I help you?" Sandra gave him a dazzling smile, considering the early hour. "Your brother is okay, but they are going to have to take him up to the operating room because there's some debris from the bullet still in there, or so I was told." She gave him a strange look. "Mr. Brady the fragments that they have taken out so far, well there is something odd about them." She paused again, her eyes drilling into him.
"What was so strange about them?" Dean asked, trying to remember what he'd told them had happened.
"As far as we can tell they were silver, or at least that's what it looks like. Now you said you and your brother were hiking, became lost and then your brother was shot by an unknown assailant, that's correct?" Sandra raised an eyebrow her disbelief showing through her professional detachment.
"Yep, that's about it, we were just out for a hike and suddenly Sam's ruined a shirt." Dean deadpanned back, daring her to question him further.
"Well, we are going to have to compare this statement with your brother's and alert the police to the fact that there could be someone out there with silver bullets, thinking…well I don't know what they could be thinking. Admittedly there have been a lot of dead animals showing up, savaged by coyotes or something and a couple weeks ago a couple went hiking and never came back but everyone around here figured they eloped. Some crazy person out there might have a different thought in their head." Sandra looked at him earnestly, questions still hiding in her eyes.
"I'm sure that's what it is." He said giving her a reassuring smile. "Well if Sam's going to be out of it for the rest of the night I'm going to go grab something to eat and find a place to crash for the night." Seeing her look of distrust, he put up his hands in the gesture of universal surrender. "I'm promise I'll be back in the morning, I wouldn't leave you astray." Dean smiled to take the sting out of his words but she had already turned to go back to her station muttering about the crazies she had to deal with. He shrugged his shoulders and figured that she was having a hard day or something.
Whatever, I got time to kill and a lovely 'distraction' to kill it with, he thought a smug smile lighting up his face, time to track down Zoe. He clapped his hands together and walked triumphantly down the hall to the doors and the enchanting angel he'd met after shooting his brother. He leaned against the wall and tried to stop feeling guilty for leaving Sam. He began humming and bashing the back of his head into the wall, his eyes closed. A hand on the back of his skull stopped his rhythm and opened his eyes, Dean saw Zoe looking up at him a worried frown on her face.
"Shouldn't do that sweetie, might hurt that gorgeous head of yours." She drawled in her English accent, a sly smile illuminating her face. "What's wrong?" Her emerald clear eyes gazed up, a shadow of concern flickering across her face.
"I just…I feel, I just feel guilty that I don't feel guilty for leaving Sam." He hung his head as he said it, adding dumb to his internal list of emotions. "It's stupid but I feel bad about not feeling bad."
"I get it honey, you're his brother, I'm the same way with my sister, Tae. Its just family."
"Tell my father that." Dean muttered thinking how his father hadn't shown up: when he'd been in hospital for his heart, hadn't come when they'd gone back to Lawrence, when they'd tried to call Dad he hadn't come. Did Dad feel guilty at all? Should I feel bad for not feeling bad? He gazed down into her eyes and saw understanding and empathy there. Naw, Sammy's a big boy, he'll be fine over night by himself. Dean was pulled out of his thoughts as he heard Zoe softly singing quietly, gently, soothingly. He felt himself relaxing as the words washed over him, Dean quirked a smile at the mention of 'devils'.
"Let it go, let it go
This is smaller than you know
No bigger than a pebble lying on a gravel road
Let it go, let it go
Got to leave it all behind you
Give the sun a chance to find you
Let it go
Hey man, what makes you so special
Can't seem to find the angels for the devils
Don't you think that if you learned to love a little
You'd live a whole lot more."
Zoe continued singing even after she saw him watching her, she finished the song and looked down and away. "Sorry, but a friend gave me that song and it is a good philosophy to hold with, along with 'carpe diem' of course." She began to blush, as he didn't say anything. He tilted her chin up to see her face.
"Nothing to be sorry for, it's a nice song, not exactly my favorite type of music but it does have a nice ring to it. Ready for dinner? Or is it breakfast by now?"
"Breakfast I think, shall we go find an IHOP an get some flapjacks?"
"Flapjacks? I think you mean pancakes, babe." They walked towards the Impala, content with each other's company; the sun had begun to rise, the first sunrise Dean had seen in a long time.