Hello all! Sorry about the wait... life is just pooh right now so you'll have to forgive me if some updates come on slowly... I'm trying the best I can...
To the reviewers: I'd leave you all lovely people a personal message, but I'm out of time and my next class is about to start so I have to run! But I love you all and you ROCK!!!
A sharp pain soaring through Sam's lower face brought him back to reality. His eyelids felt thick and heavy as he pulled them back. His vision was blurry, and he realized that someone was holding onto his chin making excruciating pain spear through him.
He moaned softly and heard the unmistakable sound of someone laughing. His vision cleared slowly, now allowing him to see the face of Vernin looming over him.
"You awake sonny?"
Sam stared up at him stupidly.
"I don't think he's really here Vernin. But we need to fix his injuries before they get infected and he dies," Bud explained knowledgeably.
Sam then began to lethargically try and roll away, but hands were on him quickly, holding him down to a wooden surface he couldn't recognize through the murkiness of his mind.
"Stay still boy," Bud ordered. The hillbilly watched in annoyance as Sam's struggles became more frantic at the sounds of their voices. He turned to his friend and sighed, "Maybe we'll need to give him something."
"Let me tie 'im down so he doesn't wiggle around so much." Vernin easily latched onto Sam's flailing arm and had it tied down to the arm of the table he was lying on top of. Soon all limbs were each bound to a different table leg.
"Get the moonshine Vernin."
Vernin rubbed the back of his neck in thought. "Moonshine?"
Bud shrugged his shoulders and nodded slightly. "Got a better idea moron? If ya hadn't a kicked the kid in the face, than we wouldn't need to be fixin' it now would we?"
Vernin gritted his teeth at his angry friend. "If ya hadn't a stuck the damn gun down than I wouldn't 'ave had to run after 'im in the first place!"
"Just get the moonshine Vernin," Bud ordered and turned back to his patient who still fought feebly. "He's got a fever too."
"Great," Vernin growled. "Maybe we should just lay 'im off now…"
Bud raised an eyebrow. "You really wanna do that?"
"Dean…" Sam moaned almost inaudibly. His brown eyes searched the room, looking for his older brother as his confusion set in. He couldn't remember where he was, why his body ached, or who these men were.
"Who's Dean?" Vernin asked Bud.
His friend looked at him as if he was the stupidest thing to grace planet earth, and then spoke to him as if he was talking to a particularly stupid child. "How in the hells-bells would I know that you moron?"
Vernin ignored Bud's insult and walked his jar of moonshine over to the two. "He's not even worth this moonshine. Ya know that right?"
Bud ripped the bottle from his friend's dirty hands and moved over to Sam's head. "Come and hold 'is head up and I'll pour it down. This stuff 'l have 'im feelin' good in no time."
Vernin followed the orders and moved to the head of the table where he fisted Sam's brown hair in his fist and lifted his head. He placed his other hand around the back of his neck for extra stability.
Bud unscrewed the lid quickly and took Sam's face by the chin, causing the young man to buck backwards from the abrupt pain. "Hold 'im Vernin!"
"I got him, just pour it down."
Bud knew this was going to be incredibly painful for the boy seeing as his jaw would barely open from the way his jaw was out of its socket. "Huh…" Bud started. "His jaw isn't broken Vernin, it's just dislocated… we can pop it right back in a minute."
Sam head was angled upwards, and Bud took one fat finger and set it on the inside of the young man's teeth, pulling his jaw open slowly.
Sam jerked on the table and began writhing around, gurgling blood-bubbles painfully only for Vernin to take his fat hand out of his hair and wrap a strong arm around his upper chest. The young man was too weak to fight against the arm that held his upper half still.
"Quickly pour it in Bud; he's flailin' like a damn fish!" Vernin growled and squeezed the back of Sam's neck to get his head to be still.
Bud tilted the glass, letting the liquid pour fully into Sam's mouth. The boy coughed and had drops of the strong scented liquid flying onto Bud's clothes.
"Come one boy, drink it. You'll feel tons better," Bud ordered.
But the order went to no avail when Sam spit the disgusting liquid from his mouth and coughed to help ease the burning in his throat.
"Bud, ya gotta cover 'is mouth or he's gonna keep spittin' it out."
Bud went in for a second try, quickly pouring a mouth full of moonshine into the boy's mouth and then slapping his palm over the boy's lips. "Just drink it or you'll be drownin' in it," Bud ordered the glazed eyed boy.
Sam's mouth was beyond burning from the moonshine and had no other choice than to let it slide down and smolder his throat.
"That's a boy," Bud accepted.
"Do ya think that's enough?" Vernin asked. This boy was beginning to become more of a hassle. He'd be making this kid's life hell, and the best part was, no one was coming to save him.
"It don't matter because it's all I'm givin' him. Alright Vernin hold 'im down so I can pop his jaw back in," Bud instructed.
"His face is pretty swollen; this is gonna hurt like a bitch…"
"If we don't do it now, then we'll be usin' more of the moonshine on him in the mornin'."
Sam seemed to slip from consciousness then. The small amount of alcohol in his system seemed to lull him into the darkness. His brother always did tell him he couldn't hold his liquor.
"He's out cold."
"Good," Bud said as he grabbed either side of Sam's face and set his palms directly under the back half of his jaw. "On three Vernin, I need you to hold his 'ead as still as possible."
Vernin removed his arm from Sam's upper half and brought both hands back to his head. "Ready."
"One… two… three!"
Sam's body shuddered and a moan left his lips unconsciously as his jaw was moved back into its socket, and blood began to once again trickle from his mouth.
"Untie him or he's gonna choke on his own blood," Bud ordered and set about taking Sam's head into his hands and turning it sideways so the blood could dribble all the way out. The young Winchester was turned onto his side where his body sagged limply.
"He's going to be cleanin' that up in the mornin'," Vernin hissed disgustedly, watching the bloody drool plop down onto the floor.
Bud laughed and clapped his friend on the shoulder. "He'll be cleanin' up more than that tomorrow," Bud affirmed.
Vernin sighed and took a dirty towel from Bud's hands and laid Sam on his side, using the towel to prop under the young mans face to absorb the blood steadily dripping from his mouth. "Help me get him on the couch."
The pudgy man rubbed his chin and went down to grab Sam by the legs while Vernin hoisted him up by the arms, ungracefully holding the towel against Sam's bleeding face.
"The moonshine isn't gonna keep him out all night Vern."
The taller man nodded, already coming to the same conclusion. "We'll just have to bring out the tranq."
Bud narrowed his eyes for a moment but then glanced over to Sam almost thoughtfully. "That will keep him out 'till the mornin'."
Vernin chuckled sadistically and ran a dirtied hand through Sam's brown mop of hair. "He better be worth it. He might just be my favorite pet already."
"And here I thought you wanted ta kill 'im just a few minutes ago."
Vernin shrugged and watched as Bud left to retrieve a tranquilizer. Seconds later the pudgy man entered with a vile and a dirtied needle.
Bud filled the needle quickly and abruptly stabbed Sam deeply in the thigh with the dulling needle. A smile graced the man's face as he watched Sam jerk to the sudden pain and moan.
"Oh, this ones definitely a screamer."
Dean's tired body slowly slumped to the ground. He'd been searching for his brother for hours, and his energy reserves were spent, causing his body to forge mutiny against his cause.
"Just a quick rest," Dean muttered to himself as he pulled himself back to rest against the trunk of a tree that allowed him to look up into the darkening sky.
Many scenarios ran through his worried mind concerning his younger brother. After all, Dean had searched for several miles around where he'd last seen his brother. Obviously he'd come up empty. He hadn't even located his Impala, making him wonder if he was just hallucinating everything, and he could possibly resting in a horrible hospital bed where his baby brother was safe and taking the roll of mother hen.
But he knew better, and could feel that Sammy needed him. Needed his big brother to come and pull his ass out of whatever mess he'd managed to do.
All in the day of the lives of the Winchester clan.
Dean snorted at that thought. Of all the shitty luck in the world, the two brothers had to be separated by freaking Wood Nymph. Sure the damn things were tricky and had managed to turn a Stanford Class-A student away from his brother by using his voice against him… but they'd hunted worse things, and it was damn near humiliating to have happen regardless.
The older Winchester brother sighed softly, rubbed at his sweat forehead and pulled himself painstakingly to his feet. He teetered for a moment and leaned back into the tree to prevent himself from falling flat on his butt.
"Where the hell should I go now?" he mumbled miserably. Part of Dean wanted to bash his head against the tree… any tree, so he could get some rest he knew his body deserved. The other part just told him to walk and not stop until he found his brother.
Out of good nature, Dean listened to the second part of him. The part that would lead him back to his annoying brother that knew way too much about everything, and served to annoy him further.
Just keep your mind off the pain Dean and you'll be just fine. Dean could almost hear his father whisper the words into his ear. A renewed sense of hope soared through Dean, and he pushed his tired body forward, patting the gun tucked in his pants to make sure it was still there.
Dean shook his head to ease some of the daze that was cumulating there.
"One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do!" Dean sang purposely off-key. "Two can be as bad as one; it's the loneliest number since the number one."
Dean let a half-smile grace his features as he heard birds squawk unpleasantly at him, then flew up from the trees and away from the squeaky voice, made dry by lack of water.
"I didn't think I sang that badly," he muttered while glaring up at the retreating birds.
As another wave of pain swept through him, Dean gritted against it and trudged forward. He sang every song that shot into his head, sometimes making up words if he couldn't remember the song completely. His technique served to help him keep alert in his quest to find his stray brother.
Oh how badly he wanted to rip Sam a new one for convincing him to wing-it even if this job came off harmless. Dean should have known better, they're the Winchester's, nothing is ever that simple. Ever. Luck was not on the Winchester's side this time.
Time passed slowly, but Dean refused to let his body stop, knowing in his heart and mind that if he did, Sam would meet an untimely end. The more emotional side of him realized with fear that one brother without the other would cause the one pertaining the heartbeat would fail, and it would all end.
Dean promised himself as well as his deceased mother that that would never happen. Ever.
Protecting Sammy was never about obligation; it wasn't based upon guilt, and is sure as hell was not because of an order his had given him. He was a big brother… and protecting younger ones was what they were designed for.
Years ago, a few days before Mary had given life to Sam, she'd taken Dean in her arms as she'd done many times and pulled him against the large bump of her protruding belly.
"Dean, you're going to be a big brother soon!"
Dean smiled up at his mother and boasted his chest proudly. "I know!" he chirped happily, planting a kiss on her tummy.
"I bet you're excited too. Are you going to play with him and protect him?"
"Uh-huh," Dean nodded quickly, leaning forward to rest his forehead against the kushy bump. "Can you hear me baby brother? We're gonna have so much fun. And I promise I'll never ever let anything hurt you okay?"
Mary smiled as she felt the baby kick against her stomach making Dean jump. "He heard you baby," she confirmed as she laid a kiss upon Dean's head.
Dean wiped a stray tear from his cheek as he remembered that moment from so long ago. And to his utter horror he realized he hadn't been paying attention to his surroundings.
"Shit!" he cursed. Stopping, he raised frustrated hands to the back of his head. His eyes took in the darkness that encompassed the trees around him and he admitted to himself that he would now and forever hate the color green and thanked god that it was dark.
With sudden clarity, Dean squinted at something through the disorderly trees.
It looked like a structure of some sort, with dim light spearing out of open windows. Could it possibly be a cabin?
Dean's heart leaped into his throat, and his battered body took off running into the distance. He didn't have to go far before the ugliest cabin he'd ever laid eyes on stood in front of him. The hunter in him doubted anyone would be there, but he'd go up to check just in case.
He was right up to the stairs when the most unsettling scream flittered through the thin wooden walls and straight into Dean's ears.
He knew that voice… he'd recognize it anywhere.