Paying the Price
Author: Tara aka 'LovinJackson'
Summary: Dean's 18th birthday is near but Sam's plans to celebrate it are interrupted when a new hunt leads John back to Kansas.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately i do not own Supernatural, John, Dean or Sammy ... I just like to borrow them. I should give Ridley a mention too because i'm sure some of her characters will be at least mentioned because i cant help myself lol :-)
Note: Okay guys this is my new story that i've been working on. I finally decided to post the first chapter so i hope whoever decides to read it likes it :-)
Paying the Price
Chapter 1. It won't happen again.
It was dark, even darker now that he was inside the house. It was a catch twenty two situation really. He needed his torch to see properly but he also didn't want to give away his position. The moonlight shining through the broken windows of the abandoned old house wasn't enough so he quickly flicked his torch on. He could hear his brother breathing next to him and could tell that he was nervous.
"Take it easy Sammy," Dean whispered so that his younger brother could just barely hear him.
Sam glanced at Dean when hearing his hushed voice and rolled his eyes at the nickname that no matter what he did he couldn't seem to get his brother or his father for that matter, to stop using.
He didn't want to be here. He had tried and tried to convince his father to allow him to stay at the Motel that had been their home for the past month. It was kind of a dodgy looking place but all in all in wasn't bad as some of the Motel's and apartments they had stayed at in the past. This place at least had its own kitchenette, if on the small side, and an extra room. Sam's salvation. The extra room meant Sam had somewhere where he could lock himself away to study or read or something that didn't revolve around hunting. He had stressed to his father and to Dean that he had an assignment due on Monday and needed time to work on it. To top things off it was a math's assignment which had never been one of his strongest fields. John hadn't wanted to hear about it and had made it very clear that Sam was accompanying them on this hunt.
"I'm fine Dean," Sam whispered in reply.
"Dad's heading around back and we're searching the house. Are you ready?"
"Okay, well remember we only have one shot with these things," Dean told him quietly, gesturing to the tazors that both he and Sam were holding, "So make it count."
Their current hunt involved a Rawhead and their father had taught them that the best way to take one down was electricity. They needed to fry the bastard, making the tazors electrical current the perfect weapon.
Dean took one more glance at his little brother. The kid was still only thirteen and this was one of the first hunts where Sam had purposely been involved in the kill of a supernatural creature. Sure he had accompanied them on a simple haunting and had occasionally ended up in the middle of a job, but John had never actually sent the youngest Winchester out to actually kill something.
It had been just over six months since they'd had the encounter with the ghosts during their summer camp. Dean could still remember the experience like it was yesterday. The whole camp had been a disaster right from the beginning and ended up with Dean getting possessed by the ghost of a psycho kid, their friend Caleb had been beaten and his knee had been dislocated and last but not least every single non-possessed student had nearly been burnt alive inside the camp building. The youngest Winchester had managed to exorcise the mass of spirits and alert his father and brother that the students were trapped in the burning building. All of this had apparently impressed their father and after they had left Pastor Jim's, John had involved Sam even more in their next hunt. Dean ever the protective brother wasn't so sure he was happy with the current arrangement. In his opinion Sam was still a bit young but despite either of his son's protests here he was in an abandoned house hunting a Rawhead with his thirteen year old brother.
Making sure that Sam was still close by him Dean moved through the debilitated lounge room, the moon helping to light their way. With Sam's research they had concluded that the most likely place for the Rawhead to be would be in this old abandoned house. John had heard on his police scanner that another child had gone missing, causing their hunt to become all that more urgent. Dean kept his tazor and flashlight aimed in front of him as he made his way through the doorway into what looked like a kitchen, although it was hard to tell in the bad lighting. He could feel Sam just behind him to the right and was at least comforted that the kid was sticking close to him.
"Sammy," Dean whispered.
"I see them," Sam answered quietly, referring to the stairs across the room that could only lead to the second floor.
Sam watched his brother move towards the stairs and followed close behind, armed with his own tazor and flashlight. Dean stepped up onto the first step and froze when his weight caused the boards to creak. After a few seconds he continued up, hoping that the crumbling stairway wouldn't give way under their combined weight. Halfway up Dean stopped again and cocked his head to the side as if listening for something.
Sam leaned in closer to Dean, "What is it?"
"I think I can hear something."
Sam concentrated on listening and realized that he could hear something. It sounded like a child whimpering.
"Probably," Dean nodded.
"At least he is still alive."
"Yeah well let's make sure he stays that way huh," Dean whispered and began his trek upstairs once again.
When he reached the top of the stairs the child's whimpering could be heard more clearly. Dean turned to his left and shone his flashlight down the hall in the direction that the sound was coming from.
"It's okay Jamie!" Sam called out, his first instinct to calm the kid down.
"Sam!" Dean hissed. "Quiet!"
"Sorry," Sam replied sheepishly.
Dean did a quick scan of the rest of the empty hallway before glancing at Sam and then heading in Jamie's direction. Seconds later they were standing in front of a room with no door. This room seemed darker than the rest of the house and Dean realized that the windows had been boarded up. He shone his light into the far corner and caught a glimpse of something scurrying back. There was no doubt that it had been the little six-year old so Dean made his way into the room slowly, not wanting to scare the kid more than he already was. Once he was close enough Dean knelt down in front of the boy, confident that his brother had his back.
"Are you Jamie?" He asked softly.
Jamie continued to cry and Dean shone his light on the boy to see if he was injured. There was a little bit of blood on his t-shirt that had obviously come from a blood nose and his clothes looked slightly tattered but aside from that Dean couldn't see any obvious injuries.
"Jamie, my name is Dean and this is my brother Sammy. It's okay we're here to take you home." Dean soothed.
Jamie looked up at Dean with scared, tear filled eyes, "Where's the bad man?" he asked in a tiny voice.
"I dunno Buddy but we're not gonna let him hurt you okay." Dean put his tazor under his arm and reached his hand out for Jamie to grab it.
The kid sniffed and looked at Dean for a moment, "I wanna go home," he cried.
"Well then let's get you home." Dean watched patiently as Jamie obviously decided that the brothers looked a lot less scary than the monster that had kidnapped him and scooted out from the corner and moved towards him.
Dean spun around and saw what had caused his brother to call him in alarm. The Rawhead, having seemingly come out of nowhere, was stalking towards them. He could see that Sam's eyes were wide, not unlike Jamie's who had suddenly latched himself to Dean's side, burying his head in Dean's jacket.
Sam fired the tazor and was horrified to see that he had missed. Dean and his father were always telling him that moving targets were different to the targets his father put up during weapons practice. He felt himself being pushed aside and a small body was shoved into his arms.
"Get him out of here Sammy!" Dean ordered, sounding a lot like John Winchester himself.
Sam hesitated a moment, not wanting to leave his brother alone with the monster, "Now Sam!" Sam picked the six year old up and bolted for the hallway at his brother's second command, wondering where the hell his father had gotten to.
John Winchester snuck around to the back of the rundown building. He had researched the house and scouted it out the day before when Sam had told them that was where he thought the Rawhead would most possibly be, so he knew that there was an entrance at the back of the house. Jamie Sheppard's disappearance had forced them into action a little sooner than he was planning.
He had to admit that he was a little anxious sending the boys into the house alone. Not because he didn't trust them. No. He was very confident in Dean's hunting abilities and they often separated when on a hunt but this was the first time he had willingly put his youngest son into the thick of things. Usually the only thing he let the boy physically help with was the occasional haunting or poltergeist. Rawhead's went specifically after children and although John forgot sometimes, but Sam was still a child. Despite feeling anxious John was also calmed in the knowledge that Sam was with his older brother and nothing got near Sam as long as Dean had a say in the matter. He was exactly the way John had trained him to be and took his job of protecting Sam very seriously.
John looked around the surrounding area. The house was situated just on the outskirts of the small town of Devil's Lake in North Dakota. The house had obviously been abandoned years ago and was falling apart. It sat in a yard next to a nearby creek with tall overgrown grass all around it. There was quite a bit of rubbish around and John realized that people must have been using the property as a dumping ground. There was even a broken down car that had been there for years if the grass growing through the hood and windows was anything to go by.
Looking ahead John saw the door at the top of the back steps and quickly walked over to it. Now that he was closer he could see there were two padlocks locking the door closed. John reached into his brown jacket and retrieved his lock pick and lent forward to unlock the doors while holding his small torch with his teeth.
Blocking out the sound of the wind John could just hear hushed talking in the house and thought that it sounded like it was coming from the second floor but he couldn't be certain. He could just make out Dean's voice and John hoped that meant that they had found the boy alive.
John jumped when he heard Sam called out his brother's name followed by Dean ordering Sam to get out of there, "Now Sam!" The first padlock clicked open as he heard his oldest order. Sam had obviously hesitated when Dean had ordered him out. /I'm going to have to get him to work on that/ John thought as he began working on the other padlock. John could hear running footsteps and a thud come from upstairs and cursed when he thought that Dean was actually battling the thing. The questioned was why hadn't the boys fired at it. As soon as the second padlock unlocked John shoved the lock pick back into his pocket and brought his own tazor out. As soon as John had the door open he ran through it and found the stairs leading to the second floor easily. Once he made it up the stairs it wasn't hard to determine where the action was taking place.
Dean felt his flashlight and tazor get knocked from his hands moments before he was hit hard by the Rawhead's powerful arm sending pain spiking through his skull, the impact causing him to crash into the wooden wall on the other side of the room. For a moment Dean actually saw stars when his head was hit for the second time in a matter of seconds, only this time it was the wall that made contact with his head.
He felt stupid. He couldn't believe he had been caught out by the Rawhead. They weren't the most agile creatures he had come across and he knew that with his training he should never have been caught out. He had been worried about Sam and Jamie getting out and ended up being blind sighted by the massive child predator.
The teen slid down the wall and landed with a thump and shakily brought his hand up to the back of his head and felt the already forming lump but he didn't have time to dwell on it as he could hear the Rawhead rushing towards him. The damn thing was mad at his small captive getting free and was obviously taking that out on the person that had helped in the escape. It was dark but Dean could see his flashlight still shining not far from him and he hoped that his tazor in the same area.
On the other side of the room he heard what sounded like a footsteps. The Rawhead must have heard it too because it stopped it's pursuit of Dean and turned to face the opposite direction. Dean smiled. He was glad for the distraction and lunged to his right and grasped the flashlight. He made quick work of finding his tazor and then spun around and aimed it at the massive creature to find that the noise hadn't roused as much of a distraction as he hoped because he found himself standing directly in front of the Rawhead.
Dean didn't hesitate in firing. The electricity discharged from his weapon and hit the Rawhead directly in the chest. Because of the close proximity some of the electricity bounced back and surged through Dean, sending him flying backwards into the wall once again. Just like before Dean slid down the wall and landed in a heap only this time he didn't get up.
John heard the discharge of electricity and then the sound of sizzling flesh. He smiled as he realized that Dean had taken care of the problem. He ran down the hall to the room at the end, stepping through the door and he wasn't surprised when he looked to his right and saw the Rawhead's body jerking with electricity, slowly turning into a bubbling mess.
Bounding footsteps could be heard from the hallway and seconds later Sam appeared at the door sounding breathless.
"Dad," Sam greeted and then looked over to the bubbling puddle of flesh, hair and clothing, the only remains of the Rawhead. Sam scrunched up his nose, "That's disgusting."
John looked at the puddle. He couldn't disagree and was going to comment when he realized something was missing. Dean. Looking past the remains he saw his eldest son slumped against the wall unmoving. Sam followed his fathers gaze and noticed his unconscious brother. The young teen snapped out of his shock before his father, worry for Dean overriding everything else. He sprinted across the room with his John close behind.
Sam and John both knelt down in front of the seventeen year old. Dean looked as if he had stuck his finger in an electrical socket and Sam would have thought it were funny had Dean been awake. John reached out and placed his fingers against his son's neck and relaxed when he felt Dean's strong pulse. He could see that Dean was breathing but when he took his hand away he noticed blood on his fingers. Taking a closer look at Dean he saw that he had blood on the back of his collar and neck. John carefully grabbed Dean by the shoulders and leaned the boy towards him, Sam watching on with wide eyes. Dean's head fell against John's shoulder and the bloody wound on the back of the teens head was seen straight away. John brought his hand up to the wound and felt the lump that was already formed there. John knew that Dean had had worse but John would feel much better once he saw Dean open his eyes. As he leaned his son back against the wall the young hunter groaned and squeezed his eyes shut tighter.
"Dad is he okay?" Sam finally asked.
John glanced at Sam, "Yeah Sammy. By the looked of it he got a bit of a shock and a hit to the head. He's definitely had worse."
"Dad?" Dean asked as consciousness came back to him and he could hear his father and brother discussing his health.
"Hey Ace, are you with us?" John asked bringing his attention back to Dean.
The teen squinted up at his father, trying to remember what he had done this time to land him on his ass. The things he knew for sure were that his back was sore; he had a killer headache and felt like he had fried his nerve endings.
Dean grunted as he tried to lift himself into a more upright position. John wrapped his hand around Dean's arm to help his still obviously groggy son.
"What happened?" Dean asked once his head was a little clearer.
"You killed the Rawhead." Sam explained.
"Then why do I feel like I'm the one that I got fried?"
"Well I think you might have got a bit too close. Keep your distance next time Dude," John told him seriously. Now that he his son was alright, it was time to get serious.
"You don't have to tell me twice," Dean muttered.
"Dean, are you okay?"
"Where's Jamie?" Dean asked ignoring his brother's question about his own health.
"He's in the Impala."
Dean nodded in response to his brother's answer and began trying to lift himself up. Sam was there immediately to assist but Dean shrugged him off. "Dude, I'm fine, get off me."
"Fine," Sam threw his hands in the air in frustration.
"Good." Dean stubbornly made it to his feet by himself but leaned against the wall and shut his eyes against the dizziness.
John watched the scene play out. His boys were always the same. "Okay boys lets get out of here, get the kid home and then I think we need to have a talk about how things went down tonight," John told them and then turned around and headed for the stairs, "Help your brother to the car."
Sam and Dean looked at each other with identical grimaces on their faces. They knew that their father wasn't exactly thrilled with the way they had handled things. "Yes Sir." Sam answered even though they could already hear John's footsteps as he went down the stairs.
Sam grabbed a hold of Dean's arm only for the older boy to shrug it off again, "I'm fine Sammy."
Dean pulled away from Sam and the wall and took a step forward only to have to stop when a wave of dizziness hit him, "Whoa."
"Just a little dizzy, I'm fine." Dean proved his point by walking the rest of the way to the stairs. Sam rolled his eyes at his stubborn brother but hurried to catch up and follow closely behind. Dean might argue that he was fine and in all likelihood knowing Dean he probably was but he didn't want to take the chance that the older boy might have another dizzy spell. The last thing they needed was for Dean to fall down the stairs and break his neck.
John pulled the Impala up outside their room. He had decided to drive his son's car back to the Motel. Dean seemed okay but John didn't want to take the chance that he might still have some lingering effects while driving. John was glad to be sitting behind the wheel of the old car again anyway. The black Chevy held a lot of memories and generally just felt great to drive.
The three Winchesters had dropped Jamie off at his home, giving the kid a bogus story about who they were and how they had found him. That was their first family rule. They did what they did and they shut up about it, if they could anyway. Much to Dean's dismay the six year old had latched onto him as soon as they got back to the car and chatted about Dean's heroics the whole way back to his house. He left the Winchesters vowing to let his parents know how amazing they were, especially Dean.
John looked into the rear vision mirror and saw that Dean was almost asleep. But then he guessed getting electrocuted and thrown into a wall would make someone tired. Pulling the keys out of the ignition, John threw them to Sam who was sitting next to him in the passenger seat.
"Get the weapons bag and bring it inside," John ordered before opening his door and getting out.
Dean having finally realized that they had stopped opened the back door and got out slowly. Once he was out of the car he closed the door and leant against it rubbing the back of his neck with his right hand.
"Don't forget the first aid kit Sammy." Dean heard John say from where he was standing next to the back door. /God I must look as bad as I feel/ Dean thought as he pushed himself away from the car and walked slowly to their room.
"How're you feeling Dean?" John asked as he opened the motel room door and walked inside.
Dean followed him in, flipping the switch by the door as he went, filling the room with light, "Nothing some aspirin and some sleep won't cure."
"Why don't you let us be the judge of that?" Sam asked upon entering the room, slamming the door closed with his foot.
Dean rolled his eyes and sat down on his father's bed that was situated against the back wall, in the middle of the main room. He felt the back of his head gingerly and found the bump that was residing there. John walked over to his son and moved his hand away and groped the area himself causing Dean to hiss.
"It's not that bad Dean," John said in exasperation.
Dean shrugged away from his fathers grasp and looked up at him, "I'll remember that next time you get thrown into a wall."
John raised his eyebrows but otherwise ignored his son and pulled Dean's head forward again to look at the wound. Sam walked up to his father's bed and wordlessly handed him the first aid kit, "Is he okay?"
"Yeah, a couple of stitches should do it."
"He was electrocuted too remember."
"He is right here ya know and it was only a small shock," Dean interrupted with an annoyed look on his face.
John ignored Dean and turned to his youngest, "Sammy clean the weapons while I take care of your brother."
"Dad I have …"
"Sammy, don't argue with me!"
Sam stood still for a moment glaring at his father. His attention went to Dean when he heard his brother sigh tiredly and he took in how tired the older boy looked. Acknowledging that, Sam decided to give in this time, "Yes Sir."
Dean's body sagged in relief when the possible argument was avoided. He silently thanked Sam for letting it go and thought that maybe he could help the kid out with his math's assignment later since he was always pretty good at that subject.
Dean was brought back to his current predicament when his father started the process of cleaning and stitching up the wound on the back of his head. Dean wasn't all that phased. This wasn't the first time that he had been stitched up by his father after a hunt.
"What happened tonight Dean?" John asked quietly as he worked on his sons head.
"We got the kid out, killed the Rawhead and I got acquainted with the wall," Dean sprouted off.
John shook his head, "You know what I mean Dude."
Dean sighed and explained what he remembered. John finished fixing up Dean's head and walked around so that he was standing in front of the younger hunter.
"Dean you're much better than that."
"It won't happen again."
"See that it doesn't Dean … you should have been able to take that Rawhead out in your sleep."
"Dad it wasn't Dean's fault." Sam stood up ready to defend his brother.
John turned around at hearing Sam's voice and looked sternly at him, "As for you Sammy, you shouldn't have missed that Rawhead. We can't afford mistakes boys and you know that. I need to know that you can look after yourselves on a hunt."
"I didn't wanna go on the stupid hunt in the first place," Sam muttered as he sat back down to continue cleaning the weapons he had laid out on the table in the small kitchenette.
Dean rolled his eyes at hearing Sam's words, "What was that Sam?" John asked, his patience starting to run thin.
"I said I didn't want to go on this hunt anyway."
"Well its important Sam and you don't get to choose. I am in charge here Samuel. Do you understand me?" John's voice rose with each word, making Dean's headache pound more fiercely in his head.
Sam felt like arguing back but knew that his father was probably the most stubborn man on the planet and would make sure that he got the last word.
"It won't happen again Sir." Sam looked his brother in surprise when he heard him speak for him.
"See that it doesn't Dean, I can't afford for you to slip up like tonight. Your brother's life could depend on it." John was not above using Dean's feelings of guilt against him if it meant that the boy would try harder to make sure that Sam was safe. He knew that he really didn't have to remind Dean how important Sam's safety was but it couldn't hurt to reinforce it every once and a while. "Yes Sir." was Dean's expected answer.
Sam fought the urge to tell his father that Dean had been the one that had given him and Jamie the chance to get to safety and killed the Rawhead by himself. He didn't think it would do much good in the mood John seemed to be in.
John turned back to a scowling Sam, "Also Sammy, I heard you hesitate tonight when Dean ordered you out. You can't afford to do that. When an order is given Sammy you obey it or you could get yourself or somebody else killed. I don't want to have to stress this anymore. Do you understand?"
Sam looked at his brother and saw the pleading look on his face and faulted a little, "Yes Sir." Sam answered through clenched teeth. He couldn't understand why their father was the way he was sometimes.
John calmed down a bit. He always managed to get angry when people he cared about got hurt. It was out of fear for the people he cared about more than anything else and he felt it was necessary sometimes to drill home just how important being prepared was. His boy's weren't the only people to be lectured on the subject. Caleb in his younger years had his fair share of it too. In fact Caleb still copped a lecture now and then. He sometimes felt a little bad for his harshness but he also knew that sometimes you had to be cruel to be kind.
"Good. Now finish with the weapons and Dean you get some rest."
"Yes Sir." Both Dean and Sam answered at the same time.
John walked over to the motel door and opened it, "I'll be back later."
"Where are you going?" Sam asked, looking up when he heard the door open.
"I'm going out. We need some money. Lock up properly, oh and Sammy keep an eye on your brother, head injuries are nothing to mess around with." with that said John walked out, closing the door behind him.
Sam got up and walked over to the window, pulling the curtain aside and watched his father climb into his black truck and pull out of the car park. The youngest Winchester turned around to face his brother. Dean stood up and walked over to the small fridge.
"Do you know where he is going?" Sam asked from his stance at the window.
"He said we needed money." Dean reached into the fridge and took out a bottle of water.
"So he's gone to a bar." Sam stated.
"I suppose so Sammy. Look, get those weapons finished and then I'll help you with your assignment if you want." Dean popped a couple of aspirin in his mouth and then took a swig out of the water bottle. He walked over to his father's bed and flopped down on his stomach.
Sam raised his eyebrow, "What makes you think I need your help Mr. I don't even do my own homework?"
Dean glanced at Sam before turning to look at the motels small TV and turning it on, "For one I get by fine without obsessing over homework, two, I know it's a math assignment which is probably the only school subject I am better at than you … well … besides sport," Dean told him, flipping through the limited channels that the Motel offered, "So by all means Sammy, complete it by yourself. You know where I am if you need my invaluable help."
"Oh give me a break," Sam laughed, rolling his eyes.
"Gladly," Dean smirked, "Oh and Sammy …"
"Sam." Sam corrected.
"Whatever … just remember to salt the doors and windows."
"Why should I have to do it?" Sam whined.
"Because I'm older, I'm in charge when Dad's not here and I'm injured,"
"What happened to being fine?"
"Dad said to rest," Dean responded innocently.
"But also amazing," Dean winked.
Sam picked up the canister of salt from the kitchenette bench, "You keep telling yourself that Jerk."
"Girls tell me that all the time bitch."
"Whatever." Sam shook his head.
Sam walked over to the window ledge and began to line it with salt as he heard his brother flipping through the TV channels in the background.
Well there it is folks :-) i hope you liked it and want more :-) let me know what you thought :-)