I want to thank Ridley for letting me borrow a certain character. Also for letting me tell the story she mentions in "The Truth Will Set You Free"
Now a little announcement. If you want to join a fun group of writers come on over to SNFanfiction at yahoogroups. Another great site to talk about all things Winchester is; Winchesterboys over at yahoogroups
Now on to the story.
Once BittenChapter 1
Pastor Jim sat at the kitchen table going over the accounts for the church. His was a small parish making the task fairly easy. As he was finishing he could hear laughter coming from the field next to the house. The spring rains ended and the three boys under his roof were outside running off their extra energy. The laughter continued and Jim stepped towards the window. His three charges were throwing a baseball between them. Jim knew Caleb Reeves didn't consider himself a boy any more, not since he turned eighteen. To Jim he'd always be a boy. The dark haired hunter made a comment to the ten- year old, who promptly gave him the finger. The pastor raised his eyes to heaven for patience. Maybe Caleb wasn't quiet as mature as he thought. Dean Winchester smiled when he got the reaction he wanted. Jim knew the blond could hold his own against Caleb. The youngest of the group at six was Sam Winchester. He was a lanky boy and Jim knew one day he'd be bigger than Dean. The older Winchester threw the ball towards his brother, catching it in his mitt before Scout could get a hold of it.
"Don't let her get it!" Dean warned. "She'll just slobber over it."
"And if that mutt does I'm not playing any more."
"What's the matter, Damien, you only like to be slobbered on by women?"
"Shut up, Deuce."
Sam laughed as he threw the ball to Caleb. Scout ran full out towards the older hunter. The young lab jumped on him, trying to get the ball. Sam laughed as Caleb tried to push the dog down. The young boy couldn't remember the last time he'd had this much fun. He loved staying at Pastor Jim's farm. It was the only time he felt like he had a real family. Dean was here along with the dogs and other animals. The only thing missing was his Dad. John Winchester was on a hunt. He watched as Dean kneeled down to scratch Atticus. The older lab left the running around to the pup and was content to lie at Dean's feet. Just as Dean went to pet Atticus, Caleb threw the baseball his way. The ball went sailing over his brother's head, rolling under the shed. Scout tried to stick her nose under to get it, but couldn't and began to bark.
"Nice one, Caleb," Dean complained as he stood up.
"I'll get it!" Sam yelled from across the yard.
"I got it," Dean said as he trotted towards the shed.
Caleb shook his head trying to figure out why he was wasting his time playing with two brats. He'd rather be on the hunt with John then stuck at the farm. John had asked if he'd stay with the boys for a few days. Caleb complained, saying Jim could watch them. The eldest Winchester confessed to Caleb that Dean had been looking forward to spending some time with the younger hunter. Not that Dean would come right out and say it, but John knew his son admired the dark haired hunter. Reaves was flattered. As he watched Dean jog towards the shed he felt his stomach twist. Suddenly, he grabbed his head as a vision hit.
There was a rattler coiled under the shed, close to the ball. Scout was barking a warning.
"Scout hush," Dean said as he pushed the dog out of the way. "It's not like barking is going to make it come out."
The older Winchester brother reached under, patting the ground trying to find the ball.
"Dean, No!" Caleb yelled, running towards him.
Dean shook his head at Reaves's over protectiveness when suddenly he heard a curious round. He was unable to pull his hand out fast enough.
"Ah!" Dean cried out, hugging his left arm against his chest.
"Dean!" Sam yelled, running behind Caleb.
The older hunter reached the boy and clamped his hand tightly just above the snakebite. "Sam run up to the house and tell Jim, Dean's been bitten by a rattler."
"No," Sam protested. "I have to stay with Dean!"
"Do it, Runt!" Caleb yelled. "Now!"
The fear in Caleb's voice had the young boy running full tilt towards the farmhouse.
"Good one, Mr. Sensitivity," Dean growled. "Just scare him half to death."
"You saw this? That why you yelled?"
"Yeah." Caleb lifted Dean and started back towards the house.
"Think maybe next time your Jedi senses might kick in a little earlier," the youngster complained.
Caleb was grateful Dean was holding it together. He knew the bite had to hurt but he wasn't complaining. Reaves could tell Winchester was scared. It was kind of hard not to get a reading as he ran back towards the house with John's oldest in his arms.
"Pastor Jim!" Sam crashed through the back door followed by both dogs.
"What is going on?" Jim demanded. "Haven't' I taught you better?"
Jim's reprimand died on his lips when he saw Sam was crying. "Dean's been bitten by a rattler."
"Damn," Jim cursed as he reached above the fridge and grabbed the first aid kit. "Sam go get a blanket."
The small boy disappeared into the living room, returning in record time with an afghan. Jim grabbed his keys as he followed Sam outside. He made sure the dogs were inside as he pulled the kitchen door closed. Caleb was just reaching the house, heading for the car. The dark haired hunter pulled open the back door and sat down. Sam scrambled beside him, pulling the door shut. Jim went around to the driver's side. He passed the first aid kit back to Sam.
"Sam I need an ace bandage," Caleb instructed. He shifted the injured boy so Dean was hitting on his lap. The ten-year-old fidgeted, uncomfortable at being treated like a child. Caleb grinned. "Work with me, Deuce, your arm needs to remain below your heart."
The injured boy relaxed, and allowed the hunter his ministrations.
The youngest handed him the bandage as Jim made it to the road. Caleb felt the car accelerate. The two puncture marks were still oozing blood as Caleb wrapped the ace bandage just above them. Dean hissed in pain as Caleb tightened the bandage.
"You're hurting him!"
"It's all right." Dean reached out to his brother with his uninjured arm.
Next thing Caleb knew, Sam had climbed into his lap too.The six-year-old clung to his brother as the older boy ran his hand over the younger boy's hair. The hunter knew the action was more to comfort Dean than Sam. Reaves kept his hand on Dean's chest to monitor his breathing and heart rate. So far his breathing was a little faster than normal but not threatening.
Pastor Jim glanced in the review mirror while talking on the cell phone. Caleb had his hands full with both boys in his lap. The ten-year olds color wasn't good and the pastor stepped on the accelerator. He ended the call and dropped the phone on the seat.
"The hospital will be waiting for us."
"They better be," Caleb said, glancing down at Dean. "Hey, Dean, don't go to sleep!"
Sam looked up to see Dean's eyes closing. "Dean!"
"What?" The blond mumbled, opening his eyes.
"Caleb said don't go to sleep." The younger boy insisted.
"Please, Dean!" Sam cried. "Open your eyes!"
There were very few things Dean could refuse his baby brother. The older boy opened his eyes, forcing them to stay open.
Caleb was glad Sam was there. The younger boy looked up at Reaves. The teen was hit by the intense desire for Dean to be all right. Blinking broke the contact with Sam's blue eyes, ending the emotional onslaught.
"Everything will be all right, Sam."
"I can't do that."
"Well I can," Dean said, glaring at Caleb.
Again Caleb was assaulted by the emotions of another Winchester, Dean's desire to protect Sam. The physic blocked both boys before he ended up with a migraine. Dean squirmed to try to get comfortable, bumping his arm.
"Fuck!" Dean cursed, squeezing his eyes shut.
"Dean, open your eye!" Sam yelled.
"Damn it, Sammy, they didn't hear you on the moon." Dean teased, opening his eyes.
Caleb checked Dean's arm and could see it was already swelling. The bandage kept the swelling to below his elbow. The wrist was no longer defined. The swelling was spreading to the boy's fingers. Sam gasped when he saw the arm. Dean just shuddered and looked away.
"Easy, Deuce, we're almost there."
A few minutes later Pastor Jim pulled into the emergency parking. A nurse and two orderlies were waiting with a gurney. Sam scrambled to open the door for Caleb. The teen climbed out of the car as they pushed the gurney closer. Dean was placed on the gurney. Sam tried to climb up with his brother, but one of the orderlies gently pushed Sam out of the way as they took Dean inside.