The barn was an eyesore. Old and derelict, most of the children in town thought it was haunted. It wasn't. Sam Winchester knew this for a fact.
He could remember Dean checking for cold spots while Sam ran over every inch of it with and EMF meter in one hand and a pistol in the other. It was a routine check. Dad's orders.
Unfortunately, they'd been spotted leaving by the biggest gossip in town. She, of course, embellished the story until they were both running out of their like they'd just committed a crime. "They looked shifty, you know," she had said, "Probably had weapons and such." They did have weapons but that was beyond the point. She ignited the suspicion. The lines of communication in a small town were quick and others soon had their own opinions.
"The father's hardly ever there. When he is, he's out back shooting targets with those boys. Who gives their children guns? Really!"
"That older boy is trouble. I see him with a different girl every week. He's been making eyes at Dana. She's struck but my little girl don't know better and I got my shotgun ready."
"The youngest? He doesn't say much but, you know, it's the quiet ones you got to watch."
Dean and dad didn't even seem to hear them but Sam did. He kept his head down. It wasn't like he could go up to them and say, "Well, you see ma'am, if we don't shoot properly, we'll be getting our throats ripped out by the next demon we run across. Then, who is going to save you from that pesky little werewolf that's been prowling your outskirts? I also hate to break it to you sir but you're not watching your little girl as good as you think are. How do I know this? My brother came back from the barn last night with hay all over him. He informed me that little Dana Parker can do this wicked thing with her tongue. Well, now you know why I don't talk much. I don't want offend you."
It was just another crappy town with another half-witted Sheriff who trusted them as far as he could throw them. It was all the same but Sam was excited this time. Nervous would be a better word. Time had seemed to crawl since he snuck away for the interview. The letter would be arriving anytime at a post office box in Topeka. When his dad went to go pick up the mail, he wasn't sure what he expected.
All in all, he didn't expect the storm that came the moment his dad walked into the house. It had started with a "What the hell were you thinking?" and ended with a, "If you leave, you just don't come back!"
For Sam, it started with, "What's the problem?" and ended with, "Go to hell!"
For Dean, it started with, "You're just going to walk away from this, from us?" and ended with a cold silence that somehow hurt even more than all the cutting words coming from his father.
All in all, life had slapped him across the head, kicked him in the ass, and dropped him in this ramshackle barn with a suitcase for company. He wanted to maintain his fragile hold on sanity so starting a conversation with said suitcase was out of the question. He would just lay here, try to sleep, and ignore the panties with the initials DP that were strewn among the opposite haystack.
Sam shifted as a howl cut through the silence. It was a full moon. This was their first full moon here. It was supposed to be their last. Wait for the werewolf to come out to play, put a bullet in it, and hit the road. Dad was supposed to pick up some more equipment on his way back for Topeka. Sam didn't see anything in the car. He snorted. Yeah, dad did seem a bit distracted by the mail. They had three silver bullets left. They'd been low on cash until the newest credit card arrived. There was three left, one in each gun, just in case.
Not enough to even attempt to hunt that thing down. It was reckless. Dad wouldn't do it. He wouldn't be out there tonight.
Sam was going to be.
It's stupid. It's reckless. Sam checked his gun. The silver bullet was still there. It was a crazy idea. He'd have to do a lot of physical rough and tumbling to get close enough for a good shot. They were fast. There was no guarantee he'd hit. If he missed…well, he wasn't under any delusion that he could outrun a werewolf.
But he couldn't sit here in this place that screamed 'home' from the salt to the protection symbols to the empty beer bottles to the initialed panties.
He needed not to think. He needed danger and adrenaline that ran through him and narrowed down his thought processes until the only thing that could be screamed at him was 'hunt'.
Knife; wasn't silver, wouldn't kill it, but hey, it would hurt like hell.
Sam went out without thinking about the past or the future. There was only now and right now he wanted to hurt something, badly. It was his little farewell present to the supernaturally inclined.
Sam sliced open his pinky. Not too deep. Not too long. You don't want blood-loss to affect the hunt. You just want to lure it here.
'This is insane Sammy!' his subconscious yelled at him and he knew it was his subconscious because it sounded like Dean but Dean wasn't here. He surveyed his surrounding just in case. Nope, no Dean.
'You're going to kill yourself.' I'm not suicidal.
'Don't do this.' Stop telling me what to do!
'Do you really think you can pull this off?' You could but that doesn't matter right? You're the freaking best while I'm an amateur! You're daddy's little soldier while I'm the disappointment!
'I don't want anything to happen to you.' Then why aren't you here? Why'd you let him kick me out? Why weren't you happy for me? Why wasn't big brother there when I really needed him?
'Dad didn't mean it.' That's your favorite phrase isn't it? When dad comes home plastered on every anniversary of her death and yells about how, just maybe, it was our fault, he doesn't mean it. When he tells me I can't do anything right because I get an A in chemistry but miss one perfect shot, he doesn't mean it. When you're bleeding to death in the backseat because of a hunt he dragged us to and all he could tell you is to toughen up, he doesn't really mean it.
'This is insane Sammy!'
Crackling of leaves, growling, extremely bad breath; the werewolf has arrived…behind him.
Sam dropped and the beast flew over his head, his teeth just missing a shoulder. Its momentum carried it a few feet away before it stopped and turned back to him. Sam was back on his feet. The werewolf crouched and growled. Its dark coat blended so well into the night that it seemed it was only a shadow with sickly yellow eyes and teeth shining from out of the darkness. Its shoulders rolled. Its claws scratched the dirt beneath them. Its mouth pulled up to its gums so that you could see the full extent of its teeth.
Sam crouched, ready to spring in whichever direction. His gun was on his hip. His knife was in his hand. His eyes were narrowed. His expression was cold. He was a hunter, he was a Winchester, and he was in a shitty mood. His shoulders rolled. He licked his lips. His body was pumping with adrenaline and his subconscious Dean was gone. There was only one mantra playing in his head: 'hunt'.
So, that's what he did.
He spun sideways and brought around the knife as it came at him again It slammed into his left shoulder with tremendous force. That only gave more momentum to the right hand, which was holding the knife. The thing let out a cry of pain as the blade was plunged into its back. Sam twisted. It retaliated by swinging out a leg, catching him in the face and sending him careening backwards.
Sam maintained his balance and swung out again as it turned. Cut it across the face. Artificial. It would heal any time now.
He charged it. As soon as he was eye to eye, he grabbed huge handfuls of hair with each hand and jumped over it. He pulled the hair with him. The werewolf was caught off guard. It rolled onto him as he hit the floor on his back. Maybe that wasn't the best idea. He could barely breathe with the weight that slammed onto him. Or maybe that was good. He was behind its back and the teeth were in the front. Sam bit his lip to prevent crying out as it squirmed, hitting his stomach so hard that something cracked.
He let go of the hair and quickly moved his hand around it until he had a grip on the top of the head and the jaw. He twisted. There was a crack and another cry of pain. He let it roll off him.
A second later, he was on his feet and it was facing him again. Its head was bent at an odd angle. There was no more hunger in its eyes. There was just hurt, desperation, and rage. Sam distantly wondered if he looked that way right now.
It charged again and Sam wasn't fast enough. It hit him head-on, dislocating one of his shoulders and pounding his head against a tree root. Its mouth moved toward him. He grabbed it around the throat. Just slowing it down, really. Pain spiked through his left shoulder as he grabbed for the gun. It was certainly a close enough shot. He could see the inside of its throat as he shoved the gun under the werewolf and pulled the trigger. Maybe he should have put a little more thought into the aim. However, miraculously, it worked.
The thing let out one more sound, this one less of a cry a pain and more of a whimper of defeat, before it crashed down on top of him. With much effort Sam shoved it to the side.
Sam lay there, staring up at the treetops that were splattered with blood. The back of his head felt wet. Probably bleeding. His whole torso refused to respond to his commands. Don't move the shoulder. His hip was aching from where the gun had been smacking against with every attack. Everything hurt, especially his head.
This was bad. What did you do when a hunt was bad? You called dad. That was the simplest thought his mind would summon at the moment.
His hand went to his pocket. Unbroken cell phone. One good thing in an all-out bad hunt. Where was dad again? Where was Dean?
He hit number two on his speed dial and put the phone to his ear. It rang over and over and over again. There was no answer, which was odd. Dad always answered his cell phone. He must be on his own hunt. Dean always went with him.
Dad and Dean aren't available. Call Jim.
He hung up and hit number three. It rung once, twice, three times. Jim picked up. He let out a tired, "'Lo."
"Did I wake you up Jim?" Sam asked, contrite. Why was his breathing so heavy?
Apparently, Jim also noticed his irregular breathing. "Sam, is that you? Is something wrong? Where are you?"
There was a pause. Too many questions at once. His brain just wasn't working right now. He answered in the order that the words were processing. "Yeah, Sam…there was a bad hunt…went wrong. I'm in the woods Jim." The last question was the easiest. He just had to look. "It's dark and bloody and it stinks 'cause, you know, dead werewolf stinks. That's it…werewolf hunt…it stinks - ."
"Sam," Jim interrupted. "Where's your daddy?"
There was another pause. Where was dad? They hunted werewolves together, always. Besides, Sam wasn't allowed to hunt alone. Dad or Dean were always there, so where were they? Where - ?
Then why aren't you here? Why'd you let him kick me out?
Sam took a deep, shuddering breath. Oh, yeah.
"Sam," Jim's worried voice came through. "Sam, are you still there?"
Tears started to roll down his cheek. He couldn't stop them. It was too much and he was too injured. There was no more anger to fuel him or physical strength to keep him moving. He was drained. "I'm still here, Jim. Dad…we had a fight and I left. He said not to come back so I left and I – uh – I did something stupid. I got the werewolf though. It's dead. Did I mention how much it stinks, Jim?"
"Yes, Sam, You did." His voice was defeated now, like a man who had just had his fears confirmed. "I'm going to pick you up, okay? I need to know where you are."
"Pick me up?" Sam said distantly. Things were getting fuzzy again. "Far away."
Jim's voice got more concerned. "Sam, I'm only a few miles off. Don't you remember? You boys have been living only a few miles off from me for the last three weeks. Do you remember?"
Three weeks. "I think so."
"Good, now where are you?"
Sam thought back. Where did he come from? "The forest. I came in from the east side. I walked a while. Not too far in. Just so they couldn't see." Was he making sense?
He made enough sense for Jim. "I'm going to pick you up."
"Okay. It smells Jim."
"Stay close. He said there was a werewolf," Caleb whispered. He walked carefully with his gun out, loaded with silver bullets.
"He said he killed it," Jim replied, also whispering. He held the flashlight.
"No, he said it was bloody around him, it stunk, and that a dead werewolf stinks. He didn't put that together."
"He wasn't putting anything together."
Caleb acknowledged that with a nod. He didn't let the worry show on his face but damn, he was worried. At best, the kid was badly injured. At worst, he had got bitten. Caleb cringed at that last thought. No, Sam was good. He would've taken a killing stroke before he let that happen. Freaking John. He was gonna' have a long talk with him after tonight.
Caleb ignored the smell that assaulted his senses as Jim shined the light on a hulking figure on the ground before them. The branches around it were covered in blood. He moved forward with his gun outstretched. Jim came behind him and passed the light over the whole body, stopping at a gaping bullet wound on his chest. Dead werewolf.
Jim moved the light around. It fell on a smaller figure beside the monster. "Oh, god."
Jim lowered his gun and pulled the flashlight from Jim's hand. He ran it over Sam's face. Sam groaned and his eyelids flickered. Good signs. Blood was coming from his head. He moved down. The shoulder was out of its socket. The shirt had been stretched enough to see the bruises on his collarbone. He could make a bet they covered the whole chest. Nothing else seemed to be out of place on appearance. They'd do a full check at Jim's.
He passed Jim the gun and flashlight, which were then both held at the ready. Jim knew what he was doing. Caleb put one arm under Sam's legs and the other beneath his neck and lifted. He paused when Sam let out a whimper as his midriff bended. Ribs. He sighed. There was nothing he could do right now.
He got a good grip on him before looking at Jim. "Forgive me, Pasteur. I will sin. I'm going to shoot John Winchester."
Jim tried to laugh that off but, just for good measure, he was going to keep hold of the gun when they got back.
It took three days to get in touch with John and Dean Winchester. It took twenty-eight minutes for them to get there, giving a whole new meaning to 'put the pedal to the metal.' It took an excruciating four minutes of John and Caleb arguing and Jim trying to be a peacemaker before Dean could find out where Sam was.
It took a full minute for Dean to comprehend the note on the empty bed:
Thanks for the help, Jim. I'll call you when I get there
After reading it, it took one second for his world to fall apart.
(Oh, yeah, John didn't get shot. It was a close call though)
A/N Tell me what you think so far.