HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Disclaimer: They're not much, nothing changed over night and I still don't get paid to do this.
Dedicated: To SammyGirl1963! This is the WeeChester fic you wanted, I hope you like it! Way to challenge a girl when she's never written a WeeChester fic before, I hope I'm up to it! LoL Well, lets see what happens, huh? Consider this New Years pressie :)
A/N – Yes, this is the first WeeChester I've ever written. I've written flashbacks, and my last story had Little Sammy in it, but this is gonna be a little different for me just the same. I hope you like it! I guess this is a time for firsts, I only just posted my first one-shot yesterday, so lets see if I can manage it again, shall we?
Nine year old Dean Winchester and his little brother, five year old Sammy, were sitting in the back seat of the Impala with blankets wrapped around them. Their father, John, had left them at least an hour ago Dean figured… but since he was only nine, he wasn't entirely sure how much time had passed. All he knew was that he was tired, cold, hungry, and really sick of reading Little Red Riding Hood to Sammy.
Sammy had started reading it to himself a short time ago. Now, though, he had started reading it out loud to Dean, putting on voices for all the different characters to entertain them both. But Dean didn't want to be entertained by the Big Bad Wolf, he was almost ten! He was getting too old for this stuff, after all. Besides, John was out there hunting a real creature that was deadly and a damned good hunter itself, so Dean was busy looking out the window to try and catch a glimpse of his father in case he needed him.
John had left Dean armed with a shotgun and a flare gun. Dean wasn't too sure what the flare gun was for, but John had told him to aim for a body shot and he'd be okay. Dean glanced at the flare gun, preferring to hold he shotty since it was more familiar and he wasn't sure about what a flare gun was for. He had seen flares in the movies and always thought they looked kind of like fireworks, so he wondered why his father would tell him to use it if this creature came after him and Sammy. Scary guns hurt evil creatures, not pretty lights.
Dean huffed and shrank lower in his seat as Sammy finished the book, flipped back to the beginning and started all over again. He had a head ache and his eyes were hurting him too. They were here because Dean was sick and the motel room got freezing cold, so John didn't want to leave them alone. That and something about security. He had stood at the front door yelling at the door handle for ten minutes as he fiddled with something there and muttered under his breath.
Dean didn't care, he just wished his cold would get better. Then maybe his dad would realise that, since he was almost ten already, he was old enough to help him hunt too! He didn't have to sit in a locked car with his little brother reading the same stupid story over and over again.
Normally Dean didn't mind watching out for his brother. It was a big responsibility and Dean was the only one who really knew how, but right now Dean felt like complaining about everything. His whole body hurt, his head ached, his nose dripped and he was fairly certain he had a fever. This was no place to be when a little boy was sick, Dean moped to himself.
Sammy tossed the book aside and inched his way across the seat until he was snuggled into Dean's shoulder. Dean sighed and shifted the blanket so that Sammy could get more comfortable, and once he was settled again, he tucked the blanket around the smaller boy and put his arm around him to keep him warm.
"When's Dad coming back?" Sammy asked, sounding small.
"I don't know," Dean admitted, sniffing. "I shouldn't be too much longer."
Sammy yawned and closed his eyes. Dean was relieved when he heard Sammy's breathing even out and he knew he was finally asleep. That was something at least – no more Little Red Riding Hood, and Sammy wouldn't be too cranky in the morning. It wasn't much, but Dean would take whatever he could get right now. He turned to look out the window again, wishing he could go to sleep like his brother, but he knew he couldn't. His dad might need him, and that meant staying on high alert.
Besides, if this creature was as clever as Dad said, Dean thought. I'd better stay awake just in case!
Still, a short time later, Dean's eyes were drooping shut and the fevered boy couldn't stop his head from falling forward and resting atop his little brother's as darkness over came his vision and sleep took hold of him.
John Winchester made his way through the dark woods, wishing he could just find the damned Wendigo so he could kill it and get back to his boys. He hated having to bring them with him on this hunt, even if they were locked in the car, but he couldn't do anything else. They were too far from Pastor Jim's for him to drop them off, and he didn't like the idea of leaving a sick Dean in charge in a motel room that wouldn't lock.
Stopping dead in his tracks when he heard a twig snap, John whirled around with his flare gun and looked through the woods behind him. He was certain the sound had come from behind him, but there was nothing there. Just more darkness. Not one for giving into nerves, John couldn't shake the eerie feeling that there was something wrong… something bad was coming his way, and he worried that it somehow involved his boys.
He knew he wasn't the worlds greatest father, but everything John did was for his boys. Even this obsession he had carried around with him ever since Mary died, the vengence he clung to so ferociously he held onto because of the boys. He wanted to avenge Mary's death for Mary, for himself, but mostly for the boys. They deserved to know that the thing that killed their mother was gone from the world and that it would never harm their family again… especially little Sammy. John always grew angry when he remembered that Sammy didn't know his mother, had never had a chance to know her because this… thing… had killed her and destroyed their happy family. They had a big beautiful home, a roast dinner on Sundays, and had even been talking about getting a golden retriever for Dean's next birthday until Mary had died and suddenly everything they had and everything they were supposed to have had been ripped out of their hands and lost forever.
Now they didn't even have a home.
Somehow Mary managed to invade his thoughts on every hunt, and John always found himself running purely on anger and revenge until the night was over and the creature was dead – and then he usually went home exhausted and collapsed in his chair where Dean would sit on the edge of the chair, stroke his face and tell him everything would be okay.
It had been a long time since Dean had done that, though, and it wasn't a habit that Sammy had picked up on, so instead John would go home, the boys would be asleep and John would just collapse in his chair feeling an overwhelming sadness that usually resulted in tears streaming down his face until he fell asleep in that very spot.
Every evil creature he killed started out to be the very embodiment of the thing that had killed Mary and for a minute or two he would feel great satisfaction at a job well done. Soon, however, it dawned on him that it wasn't the creature that had taken his wife and their dreams for their children away, and he would feel empty and alone all over again.
And there was no choice but to pick up and keep going because back in that car, hopefully asleep by now, were two little boys that had no one left in the world but their father to rely on. Falling apart wasn't an option for John Winchester…
…but some days he wasn't sure how he had ever managed to keep it together except the thought that Mary would have wanted him to be strong and protect those boys.
Think of Sammy, that tiny baby he had grabbed from his crib moments before it had burst into flames, always made John sad and he wondered if he or Dean would ever get a normal life.
That's what John had always wanted for them, and that was the one thing he could never give them…
Another twig snapped, on the other side of John this time and he whirled around, flare gun aimed and ready. Still, there was nothing to be seen and he was growing frustrated. He'd never known a Wendigo to play with its food so much before, normally when someone was alone it would just strike and kill… or drag them away to it's lair to feed on later. This was not normal Wendigo behaviour.
The creature would instil terror into it's victims, but they weren't known for they're subtlety. Was it possible that this wasn't a Wendigo? Could all the research be wrong? He didn't think that was possible, he had never walked into a hunt so certain of what he was hunting before. And yet there was something wrong with this picture, something he just couldn't put his finger on…
He saw a flash of something through the trees, running in the opposite direction as if it were afraid of him. John followed at a rapid pace, knowing that if it reached it's lair he might not be able to track it unless it wanted him too – which was a very, very bad idea.
When the ground gave out beneath him, however, the Wendigo was the furthest thing from John's mind as he fell. Thoughts of his boys flashed through his mind and fear at the thought that, this time, Daddy might not make it home…
Dean shifted in his seat, his head foggy from sleep and his eyes still too heavy to open. He kept them shut and listened carefully for a moment, but he heard nothing. He snuggled further down under the blankets, pulling Sammy closer to him to make sure he was warm and safe, and tried to tune out the rest of the world.
The voice was louder this time, closer, and Dean immediately recognised it. He sat up, shifting Sammy to the other side of the seat so he wouldn't wake him, and turned to look out the window. His father was out there somewhere, and he sounded worried, but Dean couldn't see him anywhere.
Maybe he was further into the woods where I can't see him, Dean thought, straining his eyes to see. It had started to snow, and Dean remembered his father saying something about why he had to hunt this thing tonight before it habitats again.
Habitats? Dean scrunched up his face, his fever confusing him. He knew that wasn't the right word, but he couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be. Deciding it wasn't important right now, Dean turned his attention back to the woods.
His father had told him to stay in the car, not to leave under any circumstances… but if he was hurt, Dean wanted to help him.
Okay, there was something desperate about his father's voice that time, and it had Dean's heart racing. He couldn't stop himself, he immediately grabbed the shotgun, tucked the flare gun into the waistband of his pants the way he had also seen John do it, and unlocked the door. He glanced behind him, wondering what he should do with Sammy. Should he leave him here? Lock him in the car to keep him safe? That didn't seem like a good idea if there was a hungry creature out there, Sammy might look like a midnight snack. It was cold and windy and snowy outside, and it didn't seem like a great idea to drag a five year old through that either, but at least they'd be together.
John had always told them to stay together, so Dean reached over and shook his brother awake as gently as he could so he didn't scare him.
"Sammy?" Dean called softly. Sammy's eyes opened slowly. The poor kid looked so tired that it broke Dean's heart to have to wake him up, but he knew he couldn't just leave. If Sammy woke up to find he was completely alone, he would panic and probably leave the car on his own… that would be really bad. "Sammy, come on, wake up."
Sammy sat up and stretched his arms over his head tiredly.
"Is Dad back?" Sammy asked, blinking wide eyes and glancing around the room.
Dean shook his head.
"No," he answered. "But I can hear him calling so he's okay. But he needs our help… can you come with me?"
Sammy pressed his lips together and nodded bravely, scrambling out of the car behind Dean quickly, grabbing his book on the way out. Dean sighed and closed the car door, leaving it unlocked in case they needed to get inside quickly. Somehow it just seemed like the right thing to do, he decided, not bothering to think about it for another second. He couldn't waste all his time questioning everything he was doing when his father was out there waiting for him.
"Which way?" Sammy asked, clutching his book tightly to his chest. He had already started shivering, and Dean wished he had grabbed the blankets but until he was sure his father was hurt he wasn't going to waste time wrestling with them in this wind. Every second counted in a hunt, he knew that because his father was always saying it.
'Dean, always remember… every second counts in a hunt, you can't waste time second-guessing yourself at every turn or someone might get killed…' John's voice echoed in Dean's head. If he hadn't known better he would have sworn John was standing right in front of him. 'And always remember, you're number one job is to look after Sammy…'
Dean gulped, wondering if what he was doing would count as breaking the rules, but he dismissed the thought because he was obeying his father's orders right now. John had called out to him for help, and Dean was helping but he couldn't leave Sammy on his own, so it stood to reason that Sammy had to come too. Besides, he may only be five, but he might still be able to help. Dean remembered being a big help to his Dad at Sammy's age!
"This way," Dean pointed, taking Sammy's hand in his and holding the shotgun in his other. It was a little too heavy for him to shoot it with one hand yet, but he could carry it with one hand for a little while, and he needed to make sure Sammy didn't fall in the snow. Walking through the cold was bad enough, but if he were to fall and get then things could be a lot worse. "Dad's voice was coming from in there."
Sammy's lips were still pressed together, and Dean wondered if he was trying to be brave or if he was trying to stop his teeth from chattering. Either way, Sammy wasn't complaining and John hadn't sounded far away so it shouldn't be long before they're all safely in the car and on their way back to the motel.
Dean didn't know how wrong he could be, but it wasn't long before he figured it out…
John pried his eyes open and tried to move, but something was stopping him. Pain in his head, neck and shoulders screamed at him to sit still and he felt obligated to follow their orders. He lay still for a while longer before trying to get up again, but the pain slowed him down considerably and it took his a minute or two to get to his feet properly.
"Damn," John muttered, almost dropping to his knees again as the trees around him began to sway in front of him. The ground almost fell out from under him again, and although John could swear it was moving too, he knew logically it was more likely that he had hit his head and was already beginning to see signs of a concussion.
Swallowing hard to make sure he kept down what little dinner he had eaten earlier, John glanced around him slowly, trying to figure out where he was. He had to figure out a way back to the car, and unfortunately call this hunt an utter failure because he had no way of knowing how long he had been unconscious for and he had to get back to his boys. Sometimes there really were more important things than the hunt, and right now it was Dean asleep and sick in the car with the responsibility of watching Sammy too.
"Besides," John muttered to himself, trying to keep hold of his senses enough to start walking. "It's not like people come out here anyway, and the stupid things going to hibernate soon… it'll be there in twenty years, the boys are waiting for me now."
John turned around, inspecting the woods behind him, trying to figure out where he had come from. There was a steep incline, nothing he couldn't manage but he was certain he had fallen down it in the dark and now he was going to have to find his way back up there with a concussion! Taking a deep breath – and immediately wishing he hadn't when his stomach began churning and his head started swimming – he took a careful step up the incline, trying to pick out the safest path he could.
He knew, looking at the rocks around him, that he could have suffered injuries much worse than a concussion. That alone was making the trip harder, and his neck and shoulders were aching and stiff, so he wondered what damage he was going to have to contend with there, too. As far as he could tell, he had jarred them, which meant they would loosen up on their own, but then again he might have to think about seeing a doctor about it instead of gritting his teeth and convincing the boys he would be fine when he wasn't sure he, himself, was convinced.
Some injuries you just can't mess with.
John grabbed the trunk of a nearby tree about a quarter of the way up the hill and rested a moment, gasping for breath. He felt old and unfit, briefly wondering how wrong he had been about his capabilities. Maybe he was just getting too old for the hunt, he thought. Shaking his head to push the thought aside as he hated to consider the possibility of not hunting again. The very thought of letting the thing that killed Mary and ruined their lives get away with it made him feel physically ill, and there was no way he could deal with that. The minute he shook his head, however, a wave of nausea overcame him and he fell to his knees, heaving what little food was in his stomach behind a bush.
Stomach muscles contracted painfully and he would have sworn his head was going to explode from the pain and the force or it, but he managed to keep everything attached to his shoulders…
…until the darkness overcame his vision once again and he toppled the rest of the way to the ground and lay panting, fighting the losing battle to maintain consciousness.
Sammy plodded along beside his big brother, trying to pretend he wasn't feel the cold and that he wasn't scared. Dean didn't seem to be scared, he never seemed to be scared, and Sammy wanted to be just like Dean. He wanted to grow up to be big and brave like his brother and his father, and one day he wanted to be able to show them he could be a grown up too. He had often wondered what he'd be when he grew up, but he had no answers. It made him sad that he didn't know, because Dean knew. Dean had always wanted to be a hunter like his dad, but Sammy just didn't know what he wanted to do. There were hundreds of options, right? Sammy decided he didn't have to know right now, he had at least four years before he was a big boy like Dean, and then maybe he would be able to figure it out.
Dean stumbled in the snow that was quickly covering the ground, becoming a thick blanket that was cold beneath their sneakered feet. Sammy wished he had a pair of those big boots he saw his Dad wearing all the time, figuring that would at least be warmer even though they didn't look as comfortable as sneakers. He felt his feet getting wet and knew his Dad wouldn't approve.
Sammy really hoped that John would be proud of them for hurrying to help him and not mad at them for leaving the car when they weren't wearing a really big pair of boots. But Dean said he had called them for help, so they had to go! The one thing Sammy always remember John telling them was that they had to follow his orders. Sometimes Sammy didn't like it because he wanted to be with his Dad and he was always being told to stay behind, but John had carefully explained that he gave those orders to keep he and Dean safe and they couldn't disobey or they might get hurt.
Sammy had puzzled over that for a long time, and at first he had accepted what his father was saying but now he was just confused. They had been allowed to come on this hunt, after all. Why were they allowed to sit in the car this time, and not any other time?
"Dean," Sammy panted, white puffs of steam rushing out of his mouth as he trudged along on his little legs after his big brother. "How far away is Dad?"
"I don't know, Sammy," Dean told him. "He didn't sound far, but he might need help getting back to the car."
"How are we gonna do that?" Sammy asked. His eyes grew wide and his tone betrayed how worried he was about finding their dad. "What if he can't walk."
"Then we make sure he's warm and we call for help."
"Who do we call?"
"But he's ages away!"
Dean sighed but didn't slow his pace…
Dean held his hand to Sammy's chest gently, stopping him in his tracks. He heard the distinct sound of a twig snap behind them, and he whirled around, keeping Sammy behind him and the shotgun trained ahead. He saw nothing threatening around them expect the typical darkness of the trees, but he knew there had been a dangerous creature in these wood because John wouldn't be hunting through the woods otherwise. And it had to be bad because he wouldn't have left his boys locked and armed in the car, he would have taken them to Pastor Jim's.
Right about now, Dean was starting to wish that had been an option after all, but he knew that the hunt was on a time schedule for some reason and John hadn't had time to take them to the safety of the Pastor's house.
Then a scary thought occurred to him… what if the creature had gotten away from John and he was hurt? What if they weren't just helping him get back to the car, what if it was a rescue mission?
Dean suddenly felt like he should have a lot more than a shotgun in his hands, and someone older than five to back him up. He'd been wanting to go on a hunt with his father for a long time, and now he was he realised his father had been right when he'd said he wasn't ready. Dean had never felt anything like the fear that was pounding in his chest before, and he hated that he had brought Sammy with him.
Maybe he should have left him in the car?
"Sammy, stay where you are," Dean muttered to his brother when he felt him shifting behind him. The last thing he needed was a missing Sammy when there was some weird creature stalking them – if that was what was going on. But why would Dad risk calling us out here if that creature wasn't dead, Dean wondered. He knew the answer, and it chilled him to the bone…
Dad wouldn't have called if the creature had been dead… and Dean wasn't sure anymore that he would have called even if the creature was dead and buried and covered over with ten tonnes of cement! Dean mentally kicked himself for being so naive and rushing out of the car to go after his father when he should have known that he would never put his boys in that danger.
Dean could still his John's voice in his head the night before…
"I know you want to help, Dean, but you're just too young to hunt yet…"
"But, Dad, I can shoot! You know I can shoot!"
"I know you can, but being able to shoot tin cans is a bit different to being able to shoot a living, breathing creature when you're cold and scared… trust me, you'll get to hunt soon enough, but in the meantime you're doing a great job taking care of Sammy and that's what I really need you to do right now!"
"But Sammy can go to Pastor Jims!"
"No, he can't, I told you I don't have time to take him there before this thing goes underground again… I need my number one soldier to take care of Sammy until it's safe."
Dean had pouted, but he had finally accepted his father's wishes and agreed to stay and watch Sammy until John had returned from the hunt… that had changed when John had announced they were going to have to wait in the car, and now Dean understood why John had told him he shouldn't be in a hurry to join the hunt…
…and he never would be again.
Dean heard something rushing toward them through the woods and he immediately backed up, trying to keep himself between Sammy and whatever it was that was coming after them.
"Sammy," he began, trying to keep the fear out of his voice. "RUN!"
John pried his eyes open again and groaned as pain throbbed behind his eyes. The concussion was worse than he thought, he realised, but he knew it wasn't bad enough to be effecting his memory as thoughts of his young boys flooded his mind instantly. He pulled himself to his feet in spite of the world that was tipping around him, and dragged himself the rest of the way up the hill by grabbing onto trees and bushes…
…he couldn't trust his legs to get them there on their own, and he didn't have time to waste waiting for them to catch up with the ground that kept shifting under them.
At the top of the hill, John could see the path ahead clearly and was relieved to see that he wasn't far from where he had left the Impala. Whatever he had been chasing had led him closer to the clearing where his boys waited for him than he had realised…
He trotted… well, he stumbled… across the ground, falling every few steps as he rushed to get to his boys. He realised he didn't have his weapons anymore, and briefly wondered where they were – but he decided very quickly that it didn't matter, as long as he could get to Sammy and Dean and get them the hell away from these woods.
He should have brough back up on this hunt, he thought, as he reached the clearing. He stumbled toward the Impala as it sat quietly waiting for him, but when he reached it the bottom fell out of his stomach once again as he realised it was completely empty.
"Dean?" he called, pulling open the unlocked back door. "What the…?"
John knew two things for certain. One, he had locked this door and there was no way it had been unlocked by anyone other than Dean… and two, there was no way Dean would have disobeyed his direct orders and left the car.
Especially not with his little brother in tow.
"DEAN!" John called, hearing his voice echoing through the woods around him. "Shit…"
Dean was pushing Sammy further ahead down the track, trying to find somewhere safe for them to hide. He didn't know enough about this hunt or the creature to know where they would be safe, but he knew they wouldn't be able to outrun it for long and if Dad was hurt then they had to get to him too. He would know what to do, and then they could go home and John could ground them for a month and that way they'd be completely safe.
There was another problem Dean was fast growing aware of. The snow was falling faster and faster, and that meant they could be in for a storm… how was he going to get to their father, protect them all from the creature, AND get them out of the storm all by himself?
The question got a lot more complicated when Dean heard a loud crack and saw the ground give way under Sammy.
Sammy cried out in surprise as he fell, and Dean barely managed to stop himself from tumbling after him. He dropped to his knees beside the hole as he looked down into nothing but darkness…
…and heard the echo of a disturbing thud that was followed by nothing but silence.
A/N - Reviews welcome :)