"This is not a road Sam!"
Dean's voice conveyed his annoyance as clearly as his white knuckled grip on the steering wheel.
"Yes it is a road, Dean. It's just a country one, that's all." said Sam, doing his best to remain calm.
"It is not a friggin road, ok? I know what a road looks like and this is not it!" said Dean, wincing as a tyre hit yet another pot-hole. He turned to look at Sam, his eyes shooting daggers.
Sam ignored the glare and held the map up for Dean to see.
"It's a road, see? Right there." he said, pointing.
Dean rolled his eyes. "I swear to God Sam, you got me following a damn crease on the map." he said.
Sam huffed. "It's a road." he said stubbornly.
"Dean!" Now it was Sam's turn to sound annoyed. Sometimes talking to his brother was like trying to have a logical conversation with a 5 year old.
The Impala hit another pot-hole and Dean swore under his breath. Sam had a feeling his parentage had just been called into question.
"You are so cleaning my baby when we get back to civilisation." said Dean and Sam just rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, in a parallel universe, man." said Sam dryly.
"I oughta make you walk your ass back to the road when we're done." muttered Dean. Sam ignored the comment and went back to studying the map.
"We should come across the parking area near the caves soon." he said. Dean huffed but didn't say anything, clearly still not speaking to Sam yet.
A few moments, and several pot-holes later, they came to a slightly open area where the track came to an end.
"This is the parking area?" said Dean, his voice dripping with disbelief.
Sam sighed. "Just park the damn car, Dean!" he said exasperatedly.
With a final glare Dean swung her round and parked, turning off the engine. Getting out he looked at the car's now mud spattered sides. Sam was so cleaning her. No question about it. And waxing. And polishing.
Unaware of the plans his brother was currently making for him Sam opened the trunk, lifting up the false bottom to look at their hidden arsenal.
"So, we know there's no point taking the guns, or the knives." said Sam, glancing at Dean as he came and stood next to him.
"Yeah, that much I do remember. Lets hope it goes better than last time we came up against one of these things." said Dean dryly.
Sam looked at him, concern flashing across his face. He remembered all too well their last encounter with a Wendigo. He'd nearly lost Dean that time, it had been sheer luck that he and had been able to find Dean and the others in that cave.
Dean looked up when Sam didn't answer and when he saw the look on Sam's face he rolled his eyes.
"Don't start, Sam." he said, recognising a lecture on being careful was about to come his way.
"Don't start what? Caring about you? It's kinda late for that, Dean." said Sam and Dean nudged him with his elbow.
"Ok, enough with the sappy stuff Princess. I know what I'm doing, remember? I've been hunting long before you started and I happen to be pretty good. This is one Wendigo, Sam – it'll be a walk in the park."
Sam threw his arms up in frustration. "Great! Famous last words as always! And I seem to recall the last one we came across? Not such a walk in the park, genius." he said.
"We didn't know what we were dealing with at first there, so it took us by surprise. Plus we had civilians to take care of. This time we know it's here, we know how to kill it, and it's just us. The dynamic duo, right Sammy?"
Sam shook his head but Dean's grin was infectious and he found himself grinning back at him. The 'dynamic duo' had been a phrase coined when they were kids, during Sam's phase of being fascinated with comic book heroes. He hadn't heard it in years and wondered what had bought it to Dean's mind now. He knew better than to ask though and just enjoyed the memory for what it was.
Reaching into the trunk and grabbing rope, two flashlights and a can of kerosene Dean also grabbed one of their bags. Emptying the stuff out into the second one, he put the supplies in there and slung it over his shoulder.
"You wanna grab the matches, Sam?" he said over his shoulder and Sam picked them up, making sure the box was full and putting them safely in his inside jacket pocket. Despite Dean's reassurances he couldn't help but feel slightly uneasy still. Memories of Dean's abduction by the other Wendigo and the fear those memories generated was clear in his mind and he took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. He needed to be on top of his game, for Dean's sake as well as his own. He wouldn't let his brother down, not this time.
"Hey, Sam – you gonna stand there bonding with nature all day or are we gonna do this thing?" said Dean, who was now waiting for him.
Sam huffed and shut the trunk with a little more force than necessary, earning the obligatory glare from Dean. Sam just smiled innocently in return and Dean shook his head, locking the car and making sure everything was secure. It was unlikely any self respecting car thief would trek all the way out here, but you could never be too careful.
"Brains before beauty." he said, indicating Sam should go first.
Sam raised his eyebrow. "You do realise you didn't exactly come off well in that sentence, right?" he said as they started walking.
Dean just smirked. "Hey, I know which I'd rather have – chicks notice the face first Sammy." he said.
"Whatever." said Sam, knowing that it really wasn't worth getting into this right now. Dean had an annoying capacity for being able to argue the most inane topic for hours on end.
The entrance to the caves was fairly wide, but after a few feet it narrowed to become a long, thin tunnel. Sam switched his flashlight on and a beam of light behind him told him Dean had done the same.
"Did I mention I really hate all this 'outdoor' crap?" grumbled Dean and Sam snorted. It was true, Dean never really had been one for nature. The only time they ever seemed to venture into the woods was to hunt something nasty, so it made sense really that Dean didn't really have happy memories of any of the experiences.
As they walked further in, Sam had to stoop a little as the cave ceiling got lower. He heard a muffled chuckle behind him and would have glared at Dean if he'd had enough room to turn round.
"Guess being short does come in handy sometimes." he settled for saying, and was rewarded with a shove from behind. Sam grinned, knowing he'd hit a nerve. Dean was amusingly touchy about the difference in height between them.
After a few minutes the tunnel opened out into a wide cavern. As they shone the flashlights round the walls it became clear that there were two tunnels that lead further back.
"Great. That's just perfect." said Dean and Sam looked at him.
"I told you not to use the words 'walk in the park' didn't I?" he said dryly.
"Shut up." muttered Dean, walking over to the first tunnel and shining his flashlight down it to try and see where it lead.
Sam did the same with the second one, but both curved round as they went back and so it was impossible to see more than a few feet in front of them.
"Alright. You take the kerosene and I'll.." Whatever else Dean had been about to say was cut off by Sam.
"Oh no – no way, Dean! We are not splitting up." he said firmly.
"Come on Sam – we're gonna be down here for days if we have to check these out separately." said Dean and Sam shrugged.
"Then we'll be here days. You know what happens when we split up – it's not happening, so get over it."
Dean sighed. He could tell by Sam's tone of voice that he wasn't going to dissuade him on this. Sam may be different to him and John, but he still had that Winchester stubbornness and wasn't above using it when he thought it was necessary.
"Fine! You are such a pain in the ass." said Dean exasperatedly.
Sam just smiled. He could live with Dean being in a bad mood more than he could live with them separating.
"So – pick one then, college boy." said Dean and Sam considered both tunnels before picking the one on the left.
"This one." he said and set off down it.
Dean followed, still muttering under his breath about 'over protectiveness' and 'drama queens'.
Sam ignored the muttering, concentrating on looking where he was going. Even with the flashlight it was still hard to see anything much further than a few steps in front of them.
"How far do you think this damn thing goes?" said Dean.
Sam was about to reply when suddenly the ground literally dropped out from under him. He didn't have time to even cry out as the felt himself falling weightlessly for a few minutes before he connected with the ground again, hard.
Dean called out frantically, kneeling at the edge of the hole in the ground Sam had just disappeared into. Cursing himself for letting Sam be the one in front he stared as hard as he could into the darkness, eyes straining as he tried to see how far down it went.
"Sam!" he called again, ears straining as well as he listened out for a reply.
Suddenly he heard a rumbling sound from above. He shone the flashlight upwards in time to see several bits of dirt and rock detach itself from the roof of the tunnel.
Dean barely had time to scramble backwards before there was a virtual avalanche of dirt and rocks. Covering his head with his hands he coughed as the dust that was created by the cave-in got into his lungs. In a few minutes it was over and Dean stood up again, still coughing. Moving to where the hole had been he saw it was now covered with the rocks and dirt that had been part of the ceiling minutes earlier.
Dean scrubbed a hand over his face. Perfect. Now not only were they separated, he had no idea how to get to Sam, or if he was hurt.
He was never using the words 'walk in the park' ever, ever again.