Author's Note: This story is dedicated to puddleofdrool, who gave me this idea. She wanted to see: Sam and Dean being hunted in the woods , then Sam getting caught in a animal trap.Dean manages to free him and they try and find shelter .Sam is slowly bleeding to death and Dean has called Bobby but help can't get there until the morning.
I made some changes to the prompt but not too many. I hope you like it. Oh, and everlasting thanks to Sendintheclowns for a speedy and marvelous beta.
Walking through the future branches
I know not about the sharp excrescence on its plants
Not knowing about the various thorny shrubs
Makes me wonder how painful the thorny future buzz
Olufunmbi Aransiola - excerpt from "Thorn in the Future"
"Sammy, have you completely lost your mind?" Dean whispered through clenched teeth. He had to watch himself. All he wanted to do was scream bloody murder and tear his little brother's head off with frustration, but that would definitely alert the ever stealthy Sasquatch of their presence in the dense woods.
Sam just continued walking through the forest, completely unfazed by Dean's harsh tone. "No, I haven't, Dean. Pardon me for keeping my options open," he replied sarcastically.
Sam didn't see what the hell the big deal was. It wasn't like he was thinking about joining a vampire gang, or worse, becoming a priest, he was just curious as to what lay beyond the back seat of the impala.
He had already spent his first sixteen years staring at the back of Dean's head, God forbid he may want to stare at something else for the next sixteen.
Dean simply rolled his eyes as he stepped over a decaying tree trunk. "Dad's gonna slaughter you when he finds out," he muttered beneath his breath.
Who knew one simple phrase could push young Sammy over the edge?
"For what?! Looking at a couple college pamphlets?!" Sam hollered as he spun around. "It's not like I'm even applying yet!"
With a quick look, Dean ever so subtly warned Sam to shut the hell up before he completely gave away their location.
Seeing Dean's heated stare more times than he would like to admit, Sam quickly realized his mistake and shut his mouth before ashamedly looking away.
Dean whipped out his gun and slowly inspected the dense woods. He remained still for a moment or two, waiting and watching for any sudden movements.
Deciding they were in the clear, Dean turned towards his brother and whispered, "Exactly. But Dad won't see it that way and you know it."
No matter how much he hated to admit it, his brother had a point. Of course John wouldn't look at it as innocent curiosity. He would take one gander at those pamphlets and tar Sam's hide for having thoughts of going to college - effectively leaving the ever-loyal Winchester family behind.
"I just…I want to know what else is out there," Sam mumbled as he despairingly kicked a small rock with his foot.
Dean kept walking, as if he was completely unfazed by the remark. But his unseen face was set in a grim line, revealing his stun and fear.
He knew Sammy was thinking about going to college after graduating, the brochures made that clearly evident, but hearing Sam state his plans out loud was a bit more than he could handle. It was all happening so fast. It was just that morning he found the pamphlets, and if he remembered high school correctly in a couple months Sam would be eligible to apply.
He knew Sam always had his sights set on something other than hunting, Dean just never thought Sam would be able to pinpoint exactly what he wanted. The kid seemed to be trying new hobbies every week.
Evidently, Sam had a different plan in mind. A plan that involved going to college and moving thousands of miles away from his family.
Dean didn't know when his shock turned into anger, but he supposed it was somewhere between his brain and his mouth. "Look, it isn't me you have to explain yourself to. All I want is to stop a fight before it happens. So could you just not be a dumbass and hide your shit before someone finds it?"
Sam looked up at his brother behind his thick bangs. "Fine…" he whispered as he gave a final, sweeping kick to the gray stone. To be honest, Dean's compromise seemed fair enough, Sam just wished he didn't have to live in a place where he had to hide something as stupid as college brochures.
None of his friends had to keep their plans for a future hidden. Hell, their parents were even proud of them. But Sam learned long ago one didn't earn John Winchester's pride through smarts and SAT scores, they earned it through weapon knowledge and great kills.
Both lost in their thoughts, they trekked through the woods in silence. They had been out on the trail since sun up, their father going one way and them going the other. Through the overcast sky it was hard to tell how much longer until sunset, but both knew if they didn't see a sign of the Sasquatch soon they would have to start their long trek back.
Glancing at his watch, Dean let out a sigh of annoyance. "Will Big Foot just make his appearance already?" he growled with frustration.
"No word from Dad yet?" Sam softly asked, keeping his voice low.
Dean turned around and rolled his eyes at his brother's stupidity. Maybe college would help the boy get some common sense. "Obviously not. I haven't felt the phone vibrate," he paused a moment as if to think something over. "Then again, I'm not the one with the phone, am I?"
Realization dawned on Sam as he reached into his front pocket and brought out the small phone. "…there's no reception," he whispered as he moved the phone through the air, trying to pick up a signal.
Dean immediately threw up his hands in frustration. "Well, that's just great," he said, trying his hardest to keep his voice down. "For all we know Dad could have killed the thing hours ago."
Dean sharply turned around and started walking in the other direction. "C'mon let's go. It's getting dark, and I have a feeling it's gonna rain soon." The Sasquatch hunt may have been a bust, but there was no way in hell he was going to get caught in the rain.
Sensing Dean's impatience, Sam silently followed, placing his gun safely in the back of his jeans. Maybe they would have more luck the next day. Or better yet, like Dean said, their father could have killed the Sasquatch and was anxiously waiting for them at the car.
They slowly walked back in silence, Dean navigating with the compass while Sam kept an eye out for the ever-elusive Sasquatch.
Neither of them seemed to notice as the clouds slowly gathered above them, diminishing the sun's evening rays.
Neither of them seemed to notice the sudden onslaught of dusk that made it much more difficult to see.
Both of them were so caught up in their thoughts of their father, the Sasquatch, and the unknown future, that neither of them remembered that as important it was to keep a look out for the malicious monster, it was just as important to keep an eye trained to the forest floor for a malicious trap.
While many people didn't leave traps out for supernatural creatures, many people did for dangerous grizzlies that roamed through the forests of Montana. At least they did decades ago when even the cruelest of bear traps were legal.
And while both of them forgot the golden rule to always be aware of their surroundings, it took one misstep to bring them both down.
Dean wasn't sure which he heard first, the bone-wrenching crunch or Sammy's sharp cry, but both brought him out of his reverie all the same.
Dean didn't know when he reached his brother, he was pretty sure he never ran faster in his life, but Sam's scream seemed to go on forever. A scream that would alert the Sasquatch of their exact location.
Dean immediately dropped to his knees and stuffed his leather clad arm into Sam's mouth. Anything to stifle the torturous sound coming out of his brother.
Cautiously holding his brother, Dean did a quick scan to find the source of his obvious pain. His eyes immediately landed on the rusty bear trap that was cruelly clutching his brother's ankle. Son of a bitch. It looked like Sam's foot was nearly severed off.
Sam was now laying chest down on the forest floor, his left leg extended awkwardly, the bottom part of his jeans already bloody and torn.
When Sam's scream finally faded into a soft whimper, Dean removed his arm and carefully, oh so carefully, brought his brother up by his shoulders and rested him against his chest. Sam immediately crumpled in on himself, as if he was trying to make his six foot frame disappear against Dean's body.
"Oh God, Dean," Sam hissed through his teeth, obviously trying to ride through the pain.
"Deep breaths, Sammy," Dean encouraged as he rubbed soothing circles on his brother's back. "Deep breaths." He looked over the mop of hair in front of him, attempting to see the severity of the injury.
It was hard to see through Sam's blood-sodden jeans, but it was clear by the size of the sharp teeth that it had most likely hit the bone. And if that wasn't enough, the copper-brown coat of rust on the contraption definitely meant a tetanus shot would be in order.
That was if they could get to a hospital before infection and shock set in.
Aw, shit. Dean swallowed hard at the thought of undoing the trap. It was inevitable, but that didn't make the thought any more appealing. "It's okay. It doesn't look too bad. I've seen worse." All three sentences were said in the same soothing voice, and all three were boldfaced lies.
At Dean's statement, Sam slowly turned his head to get his own look at the damage. If Dean said it wasn't that bad, maybe he was just overreacting…taken aback by the suddenness of it all. He barely saw the beginning of the trap before Dean roughly turned his head back into his chest.
Sam crinkled his brow at his brother's movement. What didn't his brother want him to see? He said it wasn't that bad.
"Don't look, Sammy. It will just make it hurt worse." Dean's hand moved from rubbing circles on the boy's back, to holding his head in place.
Okay, something was definitely not right. "It's Sam," he whispered a bit shakily, the pain slowly ebbing away.
"Okay, whatever you say," Dean responded in the same soothing yet obviously distracted voice.
Now, he was scaring him. Dean never agreed with him when Sam corrected him on his name. If anything it just made Dean want to call him 'Sammy' more. "Seriously, how bad is it?" He tried to look once again, only to have Dean's grip on his head tighten.
Dean finally tore his gaze away from the trap and looked down at his brother's pleading eyes. "I told you. It's not that bad. Stop being such a pussy about it."
Liar. Sam deflated against his brother, knowing if there was something his brother wasn't telling him, it was probably for a good reason.
"C'mon, man, now's no time for a nap," Dean encouraged as he patted Sam's shoulder. "We gotta get you out of this thing." He could feel his brother flinch beneath him. My sentiments exactly, Sammy-boy.
Not waiting for a response, Dean gently placed his hands around Sam's shoulders and slowly guided him to his feet. Sam just clung on for dear life, helping when he could, his right foot searching for solid ground beneath him.
"You okay there?" Dean asked, trying to peer under the mop of hair that covered his brother's face.
Sam merely nodded, his shoulders slightly shaking with exertion. The slightest movement of the trap brought on agonizing pain. It felt like metal was grating against his ankle bone.
In retrospect, it probably felt that way because it was exactly what was happening.
Dean looked down once again at the trap. There was nothing too special about it. Besides the fact that it snapped his little brother's ankle in half.
His dad had prepared them for predicaments like this. All he had to do was put direct pressure on the two prongs exposed and the trap would snap open. It wouldn't be too hard to get Sam out of it. Well, too hard for him, at least. Sam…that's a different story.
The thing that worried him the most was the obvious aged look. It was quite possible the trap had been in the dense woods for decade untouched, living through dozens of rainstorms. With the amount of rust built up on it, it looked like it could crumple at any second.
Dean was almost scared to put any pressure on it for fear it would fall apart and Sam would be stuck in the trap with no way to get free.
"Sam, You ready?" he asked, his eyes not moving from the trap. When Sam didn't answer, he tore his gaze away from the rusty contraption and lifted his brother's head up with on hand. "…Sam?" His tone had a slight edge to it, much like his father's when he was giving them an order.
Peering up through his bangs, Sam blinked a couple times before breathing, "Okay."
Dean placed a firm hand on his brother's shoulder. "The Sasquatch is still out there. So I need you to make as little noise as possible. If you need to scream, you can do it in my shoulder," he instructed as he gestured towards his right shoulder.
Sam knew long ago he'd probably broken a bone, but Dean's voice just confirmed it. While his brother showed more compassion than his father, Dean wasn't one to coddle him. He knew it took extremes for Dean to act like he was, it was going to hurt like hell.
He took one long, deep breath, mentally preparing himself. He never saw the damage the trap caused, but he sure as hell could feel it. As far as he was concerned, the sooner he was free the better. He placed his hands at Dean's side to steady himself and closed his eyes. "Go for it."
Dean took one last look at his brother before stepping directly on the two inclined prongs. Please don't break. Please don't break.
As quickly as it snapped shut, the trap released Sam, its teeth bloody and gnarled from its prey.
Sam felt like he was going to throw up. He expected the pain to be intense but swift. He hoped, prayed, for it to be over quickly so he wouldn't have to depend on Dean to get back to their father. But there was no way he could prepare for the agony he was in right now. It felt like his whole foot was being slowly sawed off.
He crumpled against Dean, screaming into his shoulder. His hands clung onto Dean's sides for dear life. He knew if Dean moved the slightest bit he would probably topple to the forest floor.
He could hear Dean's voice, but it was muffled and distant, as if he was underwater. His brother's words didn't matter though, as long as he knew Dean was there he'd be okay.
Dean slightly grunted under Sam's weight. God, the kid grew a lot over the past year. He slightly shifted his feet and moved Sam closer to his chest. It wasn't Sam's weight that hurt the most it, it was the soft mutterings of, "Oh God, Dean…Dean," into his leather jacket.
He wasn't even sure Sam realized he was saying it. Regardless, Dean held his brother tighter and whispered back, "It's okay. The worst is over."
The moment the words exited Dean's mouth he felt the first few raindrops hit his head.
Looking up at the dark gray sky, Dean knew they had to find shelter and fast.
He glanced down at his brother, who was still trembling with pain. Softly swearing, Dean looked back up at the sky. God hates us. He really does.