Yeh sorry this took so long to post-been packing for a holiday and the chapter ended up being a lot longer than I expected and I couldn't post it in 2 stages cause it didn't quite work. Hope you enjoy it!
"Hey fugly! Come get me-I taste good!" Dean shouted. The figure of the wendigo was looming over Mr Honner who snatched back his hand, cradling the injured limb in the crook of an arm.
"Dean" Sam said softly, his voice a warning.
"I know what I'm doing Sam!" Dean whispered back in agitation, "Hey fugly! Come get me-I taste good!" he repeated, throwing in a glance at Sam for good measure. His kid brother wore the scowl he reserved only for Dean.
Sam looked at his brother, lips tight as he surveyed him with worry. He was so reckless lately! Sam shivered as the memory of Dean decapitating the vampire in Red Lodge returned to him, wincing as the motion sent ripples of pain flowing through him. Sam looked down at his shoulder gauging his blood loss as sparks danced across his vision, taunting him with the knowledge that he would soon pass out if he didn't sit down. His shaking hands fumbled with the ammo for the flare gun. The wendigo shrieked.
No! I have to help Dean! finding a hidden strength Sam snapped the safety off and cocked his readied gun, walking off to the left as Dean took the right. They didn't even need to discuss the manoeuvre, they had always done it that way ever since their father had trained them. At least his training lived on after his death…
"I said come get it bitch!" Dean hollered again smiling humourlessly as the wendigo howled its challenge back. Let it come.
As he circled round the right side of the wendigo he caught sight of Mr Honner. He was bloodied and shivering. Have to get him out of here…and Sammy too…
Dean flicked his hazel eyes to the opposite side of the clearing glad to note that Sam's wavering arm had found a renewed strength as adrenaline coursed through his veins. Centring his attention back on the threat of the wendigo the elder Winchester allowed his instincts to take over. Alert eyes registered its long limb twitch and Dean anticipated its move with perfection so that just as it flew forwards he let off the flaming gas, stepping forward to meet it.
The firey gas belched out to encompass the wendigo only to be denied its prey at the last moment as the wendigo swiftly altered course.
"Dean! Behind-" Sam's loud voice sang through the dense air but Dean was already spinning on his heel letting loose more licking flames as he swung round to meet the wendigo. It hissed in rage and fear, again drawing back from the flaming gas. Dean could see the intelligence in its dark eyes, the flames reflected in that black void only adding to its menace. The lights went out as Dean cut the supply of gas, conserving the little remaining inside the canister. They needed to wrap things up.
We need to wrap things up, Sam thought as he took aim at the sinewy back of the wendigo. He released the trigger and his flare arched through the sky casting the surrounding forest in a stark gold light, deepening the shadows. Still the snow danced from overhead.
Shit! The wendigo swerved away from the offending bullet, alerted to its presence by its hiss as it soared through the sky. Sam dropped to his knees quickly, his numb fingers reloading the flare automatically as he kept his dark eyes trained on the beast. Dean let out more gas to distract the wendigo, to stall it, give him time and Sam sent him silent thanks as he lifted his arm.
"Come on Sammy" Dean muttered, willing his brother not to miss a second time. The gun went off. The wendigo swirled back towards Dean, attention drawn to him again at his whispered encouragement. Shit! His brain barely had time to register the danger as the wendigo took three lurching strides towards him, avoiding the flare with its swift movements. He stumbled and fell in his haste to retreat, landing on his back in the cold snow, narrowly avoiding an outstretched claw. Dean allowed the gas to flow again and it surged out hungrily only to falter and sputter to a dry stop.
The wendigo hissed in joy as its hunter fell to the ground, now weaponless. Sam cried out as if in supplication as his shaking hands sought to reload the flare gun one last time and an unexpected voice joined the melee of noise.
"No! You don't want him, you want me!"
Sam momentarily stopped fumbling with his gun and looked up to see Mr Honner kneeling-thankfully inside the circle of protection-his arms raised, palms out as he beseeched the wendigo. Sam's pale face took on a grim set: the creature may have once been human but any humanity in it was long gone, begging would get them nowhere. It would only buy time! He cocked his gun just as Dean rolled out from under the wendigo, a claw slash marring his handsome features, and staggered to a tree for support. His aim was true this time; the flare erupted as it cleaved a path through the darkness as if drawn to the wendigo. It let out a hiss of pain but the flare had only nicked its upper arm, wounding it. The flare kept going. The wendigo shot into the trees.
Three voices cried out in unison as the flare ricocheted and arched towards Dean. He dove aside, landing in a forward roll, as it struck the bark in a flaming explosion. Splinters of burning bark leapt from the tree, one smacking into Dean's head from behind causing him to slump face down in the snow.
Sam threw up an arm to shield himself from the debris and blinding light, Honner mirroring his pose a few yards away. Sam caught snatches of his frantic mutterings.
"Oh my god….all going to die…my fault…wants me…help!"
"We're gonna get you outta here Mr Honner" Sam called, meeting his terror filled gaze for a moment before he turned his attention back to the flaming tree and his sibling.
Honner saw the surety in Sam's honest eyes and despite how obviously injured the tall young man was, Honner believed him. He had seen him fight and he was the equal of his brother Dean. He felt himself relax slightly until a pang of pain shot through his hand.
Honner craned his neck to look for the older Winchester and winced when he saw him; he was lying surrounded by a pile of flaming splinters, his prone form already covered by a dusting of snow. His young brother was stalking towards him, his long body crouched, brown eyes large in the gloom as he took in the situation. Again Honner wondered who these young men were; they were like hunters or…
"Dean! Dean?" Sam called, his voice low yet urgent. He could feel himself flagging again. He needed Dean to wake up and help him with the wendigo. A gurgling murmur off to his left made him stop and listen. The wendigo had come back to finish them off. He turned in time to see it emerge from under the canopy of trees, growling in menace. His shrewd gaze noticed its slight limp; the way it favoured one side; the way it hardly moved its injured arm; and he allowed a wry smirk to cross his features. Now we're more even. He mentally shook his head to banish the thought-he was getting more like Dean every day!
Sam raised his flare gun and pulled the trigger. It popped but nothing happened and he realised belatedly that he had already used the last shot. He muttered an expletive that Dean would have been proud of had he been awake to hear it and glanced to him as he called his name in an attempt to rouse him. He responded with a low moan and shifted slightly, the movement releasing a small plume of smoke as a splinter snuffed out with a last bright spark.
The wendigo drew back cautiously and Sam suddenly realised that Dean was in a sort of protective circle so long as the splinters stayed alight. They were half burned down. Honner must have noticed his meaningful glance at the flames because he shouted out.
"Hurry! They're almost burned down!" his sudden outburst again drew the wendigo's attention and it hissed at him, "Honner! Kill…" He withdrew to the centre of the circle, seeking to put extra distance between him and the hideous beast.
Sam stepped over a log and into the flaming circle alongside Dean. He picked up a fiercely burning log and held it out to the side of the circle where the deterrent was least.
"Dean! Wake up! Wake up now! Dean!"
Sam's frantic voice made it's way into the warm void Dean was swimming in…it was urgent, pleading and commanding all at once and Dean responded.
"Oh thank god!" Sam breathed, the feeling of relief almost dizzying. He faltered an sank to a knee, one hand still resting on Dean's shoulder.
"'m awake, get off me" the gruff voice sounded and Sam found his hand shaken off. His vision swam and he then he was staring back at his brother's stern countenance.
"Sam are y-" he began, concern lacing his gravely tones.
"We need to hurry Dean, you've been out a while and the flare gun's empty…" Sam interrupted. Dean listened and his eyes darted round filling in the rest; they were surrounded by gently flaming debris, Honner was in his own protective circle and the wendigo was prowling hungrily round it. Honner let out a whimper that carried to him and Dean was spurred into action.
He rose suddenly and picked up a flaming log of his own, his eyes intense as he concentrated on the surroundings, his quick mind formulating a plan. He relayed the idea to Sam.
"What? Are you crazy? That could get us all killed!" Not the response I was looking for…
Sam's head spun at his vehement exclamation and he faltered, sinking back to the cold ground as he started to rise. Dean failed to notice as he was reeling off reason why his plan was sound, his gaze locked on the figure of the wendigo, keeping its position known. Sam felt himself nod, too tired and weak to listen.
"Okay, okay" came his younger brother's murmured response. Dean momentarily wondered why Sam was acquiescing so hastily-he usually put up more of a fight when he thought Dean's ideas were dangerous- and he glanced at him swiftly. He was pale and a sheen of sweat mingled with the melted snow on his face and hair. He was flagging.
"Sammy you okay?" he said, his strong steady hand balancing a listing Sam.
"We need to hurry Dean" Sam replied obstinately as he pushed to his feet.
Stubborn jackass…Dean surveyed his brother one last time before giving a terse nod. They did need to hurry, Sam's adrenaline wasn't enough to keep him going anymore and he needed to stitch that shoulder… "Yeh. You ready?" Dean flashed a smile of anticipation as Sam weakly nodded, visibly steeling himself as he then took a deep breath to regain composure. His hand shook less when he was done. Atta boy Sammy…Get the job done… Dad would be proud…
Honner had been muttering frantically the entire time, drawing the wendigo's attention from the plotting Winchesters as they made ready but as he saw their nodding agreements his strength of will gave out and he collapsed in his circle in fear. He couldn't stare at the face of the wendigo any longer! Its eyes bored into him, freezing him to the marrow, sapping him of any strength. "Hurry!" he screamed, blinded by his tears as he let shivers take him over.
The wendigo spun round suddenly aware of what was happening. "Dean" Sam warned. He sensed rather than saw his brother nod and they walked side by side towards the wendigo, flaming brands held aloft. As the wendigo drew away to stand before the cave mouth, unable to back up due to the circle of protection, the brothers shifted positions so that Dean faced it and Sam had his back to Dean's; the wendigo couldn't sneak up on them now, it would be met with fire from both sides.
Dean paced forwards slowly, Sam's presence following close, herding the wendigo. It backed up further, the cave mouth looming ever closer behind it as if ready to swallow it in hungry, gaping jaws. Dean smiled grimly. It wasn't far off…
A metallic clunk sounded and the wendigo looked down. Its clawed foot had brushed over Dean's discarded gas cylinder and its intelligent eyes widened in realisation that it had been pushed into a trap. It howled.
"Now!" Dean screamed. He lobbed his flaming torch just as Sam spun round and cast his own with his good arm. He didn't wait to see if his brother's aim was true because he knew his own was. He grabbed Sam by the waist and hauled him to the ground in a tackling motion just as the wood struck the canister and sent forth a spewing cloud of flames.
Honner found himself flung to the ground with the force of the blast and he looked up to see the wendigo erupt in flames as they spread hungrily over its hideous body, questing tendrils of smoke wafting over to caress his cheek. His blue eyes smarted and he blinked back sudden tears, straining to pierce the dense cloud hanging over the ground. He made out the dim shape of the cave entrance as the smoke began to clear, sucked into its mouth in ragged gasps and out of the haze two figures could be seen on the ground, just beginning to stir. Honner's face cracked into a joyous smile.
"Thank you!" Honner whispered. He crawled out of his circle and pushed to his knees with difficulty, his smile banished as he realised Dean was half-dragging Sam's limp form out of the smoky haze. "Oh no" he breathed as he rushed forwards.
Dean struggled with Sam's deadweight, huffing out loud breaths with each step, the cloying smoke taunting him. "Come on!" he groused. Suddenly Honner was at his side pulling Sam too. He met the older man's sad, questioning gaze sure the same sentiment was reflected in his own eyes.
"Put 'im down" he ordered as he dropped to his knees over Sam. He angrily wiped tears from his face knowing it wasn't just the smoke. He barely noticed Honner's presence as he leant over Sam's torso to check his breathing. Thank god! "Sammy? Sammy wake up! Come on man please? I'm sorry! Just wake up Sam, come on…"
Honner watched in amazement as the stern young man he had encountered became pleading and needy, his bright eyes swimming with guilt and sorrow. He somehow knew this didn't occur often, that it was only to do with his kid brother and he suddenly felt intrusive and quietly slipped away a few steps.
"Sammy, come on man! you think I can carry your heavy ass back to the car by myself?!" Dean said in a half hearted quip. Sam's brown eyes fluttered open and he had a gentle smile on his face amidst his pain as he said with genuine amusement, "You'd manage fatso, got a lotta weight to put behind it too…"
Dean let himself slide to the ground in relief, his head hanging between his legs as he sucked in grateful lungfuls of air to calm himself. He ran a hand over his mouth and met Sam's gaze, the pain in his brother's eyes enough to spur him into action again.
"Come on, get up…" he said as he grabbed Sam under the arms and hauled him to his feet, ignoring his own protesting ribs. Honner reappeared and together they walked back to the Impala, Sam supported by one of them under each long arm.
Just as Dean was about to usher Sam into the passenger seat he caught sight of the missing window. He paced a few steps forwards and leaned closer to inspect the damage before rounding on Sam, his eyebrows quirked as he raised his palms out in expectation.
"Eh-I eh…I can explain…" Sam began hastily, his eyes shinning imploringly. Dean's posture seemed to soften and he merely grunted and brushed the remaining shards from the seat and pushed Sam inside.
"Sorry man I just-"
"Sammy stop," Dean said softly, hanging his head again as he knelt in the snow, "I don't care about the Impala man, I'm just glad you're…" he cleared his throat awkwardly but was saved the trouble of finishing as Sam said, "I know man. Thanks." A small smile graced his pained countenance.
Dean looked up sharply, his face incredulous, "Why are you thanking me?! I almost got you killed!"
Sam's eyebrows pinched together, "Dean…" his voice spoke of sympathetic exasperation and he refused to let Dean interrupt as he continued loudly, "It is not your fault Dean. I would have done the same thing. You need to stop blaming yourself for this! For everything! Dad…all of it…it's not your fault man."
Dean's jaw clenched as Sam mentioned their father and he stood abruptly and made his way to the trunk to get the first aid kit, brushing past a stunned and confused Honner on the way.
"Dude, talk to me…" Dean refused to meet Sam's beseeching puppy eyes. "I can't Sammy" he whispered brokenly, "Not yet. Lets just get you cleaned up huh"
Sam was shocked to see his brother wipe his eyes. He raised his eyebrows and smirked as Dean muttered about it being the snow in his eyes. No chick flick moments right…
Honner watched in silence as the two brothers interacted with one another; Dean dressing Sam's wounds as best he could as the youngest of the duo sat back quietly, allowing the ministrations without complaint of pain even as he became more ashen. Honner shook his head and dropped his eyes as their conversation became personal again. His wandering gaze fell on the open trunk and he let out a gasp as he reflexively backed up a step. The Winchester's turned to him in unison, twin smiles of amusement painted across their weary faces.
"We're hunters" Dean said as he turned back to tending his brother. Honner felt himself nod wordlessly and Sam grinned at his expression, brown eyes sparkling with mirth. Honner relaxed. They obviously hunted things like the wendigo, he was safe with them. They had saved him. The youngest's eyes squeezed shut in pain and Honner found himself wincing sympathetically, clutching automatically at his own injured limb.
"Thank you. Both of you." he blurted, suddenly aware that he hadn't even thanked his saviours. A half hearted smile tugged at the corner of Sam's mouth and Dean nodded once and stood up, dusting snow from his knees. He made his way back to the trunk and collected a blanket that he tucked round his brother. He then turned to Honner.
"Let me check you out." Honner complied and held out his hand. He tried to mimic Sam's stoicism but found himself quite unable to deal with the pain. An asprin found its way into his hand before Dean stitched him up.
"Well we gotta get outta here-I want Sam to get some proper rest…you need a ride somewhere?" Dean asked, stuffing his cold hands into his jean pockets.
"No, my car's over there," Honner pointed behind a tree and Dean made out a shiny gleam in the growing light, "oh and here's your jacket. Thank you again, for everything. If there's anything I can do to return-"
"Mr Honner, we were just doing our job but thanks. If you ever catch wind of anything like this again you give us a call. See you 'round."
With that Dean turned and slid himself behind the wheel, his hand poised at the radio. His hazel eyes fell on Sam. He looked rough; he was shivering violently and his eyes were closed. Dean drew back his hand with a shake of his head and pealed out of the forest clearing, catching sight of Honner in his rear view mirror. The man stood staring after the Impala, waving enthusiastically. Dean allowed a slight smile to appear on his face and stuck his muscled arm out his window to return the gesture. He liked Honner. Sam shifted beside him and a soft groan escaped his lips. Dean found his eyes drawn immediately and they wandered over Sam's sleeping form; he was still pale and the wind whipped his unruly hair about his closed eyes but he was alive. His eyes turned back to the road.
They passed a sign and Dean smirked as he read it and old memories flooded back to him.
"Hey Sammy?" he said quietly. Sam unexpectedly turned his head and bleary eyes to face Dean.
"You're awake!" Dean said in surprise.
"Looks like it" Sam said with a wry smile as he closed his eyes and turned away.
"Hey Sammy?" Dean repeated again.
"Mm?" came the mumbled response.
"I hate camping."
Well that's it-thanks to everyone who has reviewed and thanks for reading it too. Let me know what you thought of it please! xx