A huge thank you first to my fabulous beta Loracj2!
Also thank you to my reviewers Tarpelion, heather03nmg and ephiny63, thank you guys!!
The sensation and the pain were all too familiar. He pictured irony screaming into his face the moment the bullet pierced through his skin.
Great. Just fucking perfect.
The impact of the gunshot had thrown him against Sarah and saw them both stumbling towards the back wall. Fortunately, his body switched to soldier-mode like a well oiled machine. Dad would be proud. In one fluid motion he moved sideways, protectively in front of the girl, before he took a step forward and reached for the gun, yanking it out the stunned officer's hand. Just seconds later, another wave of pain washed through his system when the foot of his opponent connected with his guts, forcing him to bend over and gasp for air.
"Oh my God, Dean!"
Using the distraction caused by Sarah's outburst, Dean turned his shoulder towards the officer and leapt forward, rushing into him with full force, and effectively crashing the corpulent man's body into the door frame. Using the guy's momentarily dazed state, Dean placed his hand on the law man's forehead and knocked it hard into the wooden plate of the door.
Instantly, the officer's eyes turned heavenwards and he slid to the ground like 190 pounds of raw flesh.
Gasping for air, Dean rested his trembling body against the wall, stars and flashes dancing across his vision. Drawing in air hurt like a bitch and it felt as if tiny little needles pierced into his side every time he filled his lungs with desperately needed oxygen. Gritting his teeth, Dean pulled away from the happy, flower filled wallpaper and shot Sarah a glance through clouded eyes.
"Let's get Sam and get out of here," he rasped, making a shaky step forward.
Sarah quickly moved over to him in stunned silence, her arm shaking as she reached out and offered Dean her support. Together they stumbled to the door and out onto the patio, both expecting to meet Sam, who hopefully by now had knocked out the other cop. The couple was met by a deserted forecourt and a deafening silence.
Rapidly glancing around, Dean freed himself from Sarah's touch and moved along the wooden railing lining the patio, his breathing ragged and forced. Every gulp of air seemed to cause an explosion of pain in his lower body, and Dean noticed that he was dragging his left leg behind him. Bracing himself he pushed all pain aside and frantically searched the area for any sign of his brother. It was close to midnight, moonless and the lighting was sparse, but Dean could see well enough to realize that there was no police officer sprawled out on the dusty ground, no tall frame of a hunter crouched over an unconscious body. Absolutely no indication as to where the two men had vanished to.
Frustration finally got the better of him, and he pounded his clenched fist on the railing, the outburst resulting in a sharp pain lacing through his guts. The sudden tension caused him to bend over and gasp for air. He knew that the bullet had to come out. He attributed the fact that he was still standing, and not in shock, to the rush of adrenaline that came upon him when he didn't see Sam. Bile burned in his throat when the loneliness and panic about his brother going missing - again - sunk in. Swallowing thickly, he sagged against the wooden beam, silently considering what his next move would be. He wondered what was still possible.
You better be alright, Sammy, you better be.
Dean slowly glanced up, locking tired eyes with Sarah. His only ally left.
"You need to go to a hospital."
"Yeah. No," he sighed.
Dean wished he could just get up and walk over to her, be the hunter, the protector he was supposed to be. He wished he hadn't failed Sammy again. Everything would be alright if his brother was here with him.
"You're bleeding pretty badly, Dean."
Dean blinked slowly and realized that he had no idea what to do now. He was alone. Bobby was too far away to be here in time. The hospital was out of the question with his criminal record. Obviously, he didn't plan on spending the next few weeks on state holidays, wracking his brain to find an escape plan while he should be searching for his brother. The more he pondered his situation, the quicker he felt his head getting lighter, his mind swimming and his vision blurring. The blood thumping in his ears reminded him of the beach with Sam on a much needed break a few days ago. When he closed his eyes, he could even bring the scene to life, could feel the cool breeze on his face, the salt lingering in the air.
Dean didn't even register when his legs gave away and his body slid heavily onto the wooden floor.
Sam groaned deeply.
Whatever he had been up to the previous night, it hadn't been a good idea. Screw that, it had been a very bad idea. His head was throbbing like he had downed all the alcohol in the state of Texas all by himself. Opening his eyes proved to be difficult. Instead, he gently moved his hand to his forehead, carefully shoving his messy hair out of his face, hoping his touch would somehow bring a cure to the pulsating migraine. He winced when his fingers touched a sore spot on his skull, dried blood still clinging to the wound where the skin had been broken.
Bar fight? He didn't think so. Except maybe if Dean had….
The reminder of the gun filled his head when the memories came rushing back, and suddenly it wasn't difficult at all to force his eyes open. However, the second he did, he wished he had readied himself by shielding his eyes. The dim sunlight that oozed into the cold room increased the persistent headache to new levels. After a few seconds, he took a deep breath and his brown eyes darted around the unfamiliar room in search of his brother.
The sight of a sparse chamber greeted him. Four stone walls with a small window and a ridiculously small looking door, a stone floor, similar to one you would find in an old cellar, and a wooden ceiling. Not yet feeling ready to just jump to his feet, Sam slowly pushed himself to a sitting position, fighting vertigo while inspecting the pallet he was lying on. A dirty mattress had carelessly been thrown onto a metal bed frame, like the one he had occupied at the Detention Center in Green River County mere weeks ago. There were no sheets, and from the look of it, the mattress had never seen a cover, as there were stains splattered all over, most of them fading from red to black and unmistakably sourcing from blood.
Sighing, he rubbed his temples, hoping to bring some kind of relief to his headache. With closed eyes, he evoked the face of his brother. Picturing him lying on a neat, clean bed, Sam imagined the graze on Dean's leg to be bandaged and, of course, he was already up and flirting with the petite nurse who was standing next to his bed. Settling his mind by positive thinking and true belief that Dean was all right, Sam could concentrate on finding a way out of this hole. He got up, bent down and pushed the bed frame slowly towards the wall with the window. The ugly sound of the metal feet scraping over the bare stone floor resulted in an explosion of pain in his head, halting him in his tracks to gasp for air.
Deciding that the bed was close enough, he climbed on top and stretched his tall figure toward the small opening in the wall. It was sealed with a dusty glass panel, and he scrubbed a hole through the soot on the pane, in hope of catching a glimpse that would help him figure out where he was. There was grass right outside. Further away, he spotted some kind of altar, decorated with various black magic symbols, the most imposing one a prominently displayed Christian cross, hanging upside down above a black table of worship, with the longer part pointing towards the sky. A pentagram had been etched into the ground before the altar and right now, a white lamb was grazing in the middle of it while securely tied to a nearby pole.
Sam shuddered when the fate of the sheep dawned on him. He swallowed and slowly slid back down onto the bed.
An irritating, chattering sound pulled him out of the deep blackness he had been engulfed in and he lay still for a few moments, his mind still blurry and his body still sore. It took him quite some time to realize that the chattering came from his own teeth hammering against each other, and the shaking couldn't be blamed on an earthquake (although he wouldn't give a flying fuck if there was one, hell he'd welcome it), but on his trembling body alone. All he wanted was the terrible cold which was gripping every cell of his body and freezing out his brain to subside.
Where was Sam, anyway?
Forcing his eyes open, his gaze met the sight of an unfamiliar ceiling. Not that any ceiling he had seen over the past few years had been familiar. It was amazing as to how different the same kind of shit-hole motels they stayed at could be designed. For which Design was definitely the wrong word anyway.
Turning his head, he caught sight of a sleeping figure in a chair next to his bed, way too short and feminine to belong to his brother.
"Welcome back, Dean."
Startled, Dean ripped his head around and leaped upwards, bringing himself to a sitting position. The overwhelming pain racing through his left side had him choking and gasping for air while silver dots danced before his eyes.
"Easy, you shouldn't move just yet."
Fighting to see clearly, Dean finally locked eyes with the source of the voice, a woman in her early forties, standing at his feet with a gentle smile on her face.
Desperately trying to recall what had happened, Dean closed his eyes and tortured his brain to find out how he had ended up here.
"They got Sam."
Having learned from his previous mistake, Dean kept his body still, but his eyes wide open, fear and panic swimming in his vision when the memories of last night came flooding back.
"Who the hell are you?" he growled.
"I'm Sarah's therapist. And I know that you're worried about Sam, you damn well should be, Mania is dangerous. But right now we gotta focus on getting you back on your feet. You don't happen to have any hunter friends in the area you could call? Like Bobby? We need all the help we can get."
Cursing his weakened state, Dean felt totally out of control. Was she psychic, too?
One thing he knew for sure, he was willing to trade his entire Metallica tape collection for a gun right now.
"Your gun's in the drawer next to you and you can keep your tapes, I'm not into classic rock."
This woman was seriously giving him the creeps. Perfect, she was definitely psychic.
"Of course I'm psychic, honey. I'm a witch."
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