Close Encounters of the Hunted Kind - Chapter One

Disclaimer: I own nothing from the world of Supernatural; Kripke owns all.

Sam and Dean Winchester smacked the ground with the flats of their shovels. It had taken most of the night, but they had successfully dug up, salted, and burned Jim Dyer's bones before reburying them. The sky had lightened imperceptibly as they leaned on their shovels, the lantern almost superfluous. Sam's right hand was aching. It still ached on occasion since he'd gotten the cast off only recently. The two looked down a moment more. Dean stooped to grab his duffle and their jackets while Sam shifted his weight from one leg to another to ease a cramp.

The early morning stillness was broken with a thunderclap. It wasn't thunder or anything of a supernatural nature; it was a rifle shot. Both men dropped to the ground.

"Son of a bitch! What idiot is out hunting. . .?" Dean was furious. He lifted his head to see where the shooter was. He heard the roar of an engine; it sounded like a truck as he rose up to see if he could spot it. All he could see was the red glow of the taillights receding down the road. "Sam! You see anything?" Silence answered him. Dean flipped over to look for his brother. "Sammy!" He spotted Sam's still form lying where he'd dropped. "No, no, no, no," the words were a prayer of denial as he lurched over to Sam.

Lamplight was reflected in Sam's eyes. He couldn't figure out what had happened. He remembered trying to alleviate a stitch in his side when something had knocked him to the ground. Now, he couldn't catch his breath at all. It felt like an anvil was sitting on his chest. He heard funny gasping sounds, wondered what was making them, and realized it was him. Dean's face blocked out the sky as his hands grasped Sam's shoulders.

Dean heard Sam before he could see what was wrong. He ran his hands lightly up and down his brother's torso. Nothing on his front. He ran his hands underneath Sam and encountered something warm and sticky. He held his hand up into the lantern's light. Blood. Sam's eyes were open and blinking furiously. His breath was hitching in his throat. "What…" Sam coughed and started again. "What happened?"

"I don't know but I think someone shot you." Dean's world had been shattered by that gunshot. Someone had deliberately tried to hurt, maybe even kill, Sam. No matter what, he'd find that person and he would pay. No one would hurt Sam.

"What could someone be hunting in a graveyard?" Sam's words came out in a choked whisper.

Dean didn't want to answer his brother's question. He'd been afraid someone else would come after them like Gordon had. He was afraid that Sam, not some deer or elk, had been the target. "Not right now, dude. Let me see." Dean pulled out his knife and slit Sam's shirt in the back. "I've got to shift you Sammy; I need to see where you're hurt." Dean tilted Sam onto his right side and saw blood, too much blood. Dean wiped at it with the ragged ends of the shirt trying to see where it was coming from. He found the hole, high on Sam's left side. It looked like he'd been hit in the lung; it explained the bubbly sounds. He eased Sam back to the ground. "All right, Sam, we got to get you out of here. Can you stand?" He knew it would be quicker to drive Sam in himself. He hoped that sitting upright would help his brother breathe a bit easier.

Sam was in a dream state. He knew he was hurt but the pain stayed at a distance. His fingers and toes were getting numb. He wasn't sure if it was from lying on the cold ground or what, but he was getting a bit worried. "Dean?" Sam tried to control the panic he was feeling but he could hear his voice quavering a bit. He clamped down on his fear, for the moment, and tried to focus on breathing. It was like inhaling daggers. He felt Dean's hands pulling him upright; his voice coaxing him to stand. He must have faded out because when he next heard his brother's voice, he was seated in the Impala.

The car settled as Dean loaded the duffle in the trunk and climbed in himself. "You still with me Sam?"

Sam could only nod his head. He felt like he was smothering from a band tightening around his chest. His ears were ringing. His body was jostled as they drove down the road at a pace faster than it was built for. Dean cursed as the car bottomed out. He slowed down. If the car was damaged, he'd not get Sam to the hospital in time. He reached out and touched Sam's chest to make sure he was still breathing. He was having a difficult time breathing himself. "Just stay with me, Sam. Stay with me." He didn't know if his brother heard him or not.

A/N: This is posted all at once so enjoy!