A Mountain Odyssey

Disclaimer: Kripke and the CW own the Winchesters. I am just playing in their sandbox. I am not making a profit from this story.

Author's Note: Dean is six and Sammy has just turned two in this story.

Thanks to 1PAGAN3 for her help with a scene in this first chapter!

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John was beyond stressed. Here he was in the Appalachian Mountains, the Pocono Mountains of North Eastern Pennsylvania to be exact in the middle of nowhere with two small children to look after. He was on a hunt for a wendigo that was attacking the young couples who came to the mountainess area to take advantage of the wide range of outdoor activities that were available while on their honeymoon. Ten people had disappeared over the last three years and all clues pointed to a wendigo being in the area.

John had had to bring Sammy and Dean on the hunt with him because there was nobody available to baby sit them. Pastor Jim was on a religious sabbatical and Bobby was involved in a hunt of his own. Being new to the hunt, he just didn't trust too many people with his kids, preferring to keep them by his side. Dean had just started talking recently after months of silence and Sammy was still in diapers having just turned two.

John carried Sammy on his hip as Dean followed beside him as they hiked their way through the woods after having parked the Impala a few miles back with John carrying the necessary supplies for the hunt on his back in a huge backpack. He had a small pup tent that all three of them could sleep in as well as the weapons he would need for the hunt. He also had a pan, a coffee pot, and utensils for cooking over an open fire as well as diapers and food for Sammy. He only brought a few cans of food for him and Dean figuring that they could eat fish or whatever small game he could kill while hunting for the wendigo.

Finally arriving at a place beside a lake surrounded by a rock outcropping, John handed a sleeping Sammy over to Dean while he set up camp. At least here, they couldn't be attacked from the back or the sides since he would set up camp in amongst the rocks. Dean sat down as he held his baby brother against his chest, happy for the chance to finally sit down and relax.

John quickly set up the tent with their sleeping bags inside before he gathered some rocks and wood to build a fire with. He cleared a small area of any leaves and debris before arranging the rocks in a wide circle. He then put in the kindling that he had gathered and used his lighter to set them ablaze. Pulling out the pan and a can of beans from the backpack, he quickly opened the can and poured the beans into the pan and placed it on the open fire.

Once he had the beans heating, John pulled out a small jar of chunky chicken and mixed vegetables for Sammy to eat. John knew that Sammy was getting too old for baby food, but it would give his baby the nourishment he needed while out in the woods. He opened the jar and handed it along with a small plastic spoon over to Dean and said "Dean, I want you to feed this to Sammy while I finish preparing our meal"

Dean took the food and sat his baby brother in the crook of his leg and "flew" some of the food into his mouth while making an airplane sound. "Eat up Sammy" he said as he "flew" in another spoonful making sure not to put too much on the spoon so his baby brother wouldn't choke on the food. After Sammy had eaten half of the jar, Dean said "Dad, I think Sammy needs some juice to rinse it down with" as Sammy turned his head away from the next spoonful.

John reached into his bag and pulled out some apple juice and poured it into Sammy's sippy cup. He handed it over to Dean as he said "Make sure he doesn't try to drink it too fast."

Dean handed the sippy cup to Sammy and watched as his brother held it between his chubby little hands. He laughed as the juice dribbled out of Sammy's mouth and down his chin. "You're supposed to drink it silly, not wear it" Dean said as he used his tee shirt to wipe Sammy's chin.

Once the beans were heated enough to eat, John spooned out a plate full and then reached over and took Sammy from Dean's lap to finish feeding him so that his oldest child could eat. John spooned some food out of the jar and fed it to Sammy who promptly spit the food back out. "No Sammy!" John said with a raised voice as he wiped the mess off of his own face and Sammy's mouth and shirt.

He prepared to get another spoonful when he looked at Sammy's face to see tears glistening in his eyes. "Please don't cry baby" he said as he put the spoon back into the jar. He felt bad for raising his voice and almost making his youngest son cry.

"Dee do it" Sammy whined wanting his big brother to feed him since it was more fun.

"Dean's eating his own food Sammy" John said as he held out a spoonful of food once again which Sammy promptly refused. Big tears started rolling down Sammy's cheek as John ran his hand through his hair.

"Come on kiddo, you have to eat" John said as he was getting exasperated with his youngest child.

"It's okay dad, I got him" Dean said as he finished the last of his beans. John sighed as he handed his baby over to Dean. He didn't know how Dean could have so much patience with Sammy when he could be so stubborn sometimes.

While Dean finished feeding Sammy, John finished off the beans and walked over to the lake where he washed out the plates and the pot. He didn't want any animals wandering into camp looking for food left out in the open. He then carried some water over and put it into the small tin coffee pot and heated it up. He needed a cup of caffeine before setting up some protective sigils and a ring of salt around the camp.

After Sammy finished his food, John recapped the jar and put it into his backpack. He rinsed off the spoon and put it away with the other dishes while Dean took his baby brother inside the tent to change his diaper since he had not yet been potty trained with all the moving they had done lately. Dean was working on the training when he could making sure to take his brother with him to the bathroom to try and help the process along, but Sammy hadn't accomplished the feat yet. After changing his diaper, Dean dressed his baby brother in a warm sleeper to make sure he didn't get too cold overnight.

Dean climbed into his sleeping bag and lay Sammy right beside him, pulling him in close to his side. "Go to sleep Sammy" he said as he watched his baby brother's eyes drooping shut before nodding off himself.

By the time John had drawn some protective sigils into the rock outcropping and outlined their campsite with salt, both of the boys had faded off to sleep. John smiled as he saw the way that Dean had his arm curled protectively around Sammy who was contentedly sucking his thumb in his sleep. John bent down and kissed both of his boys on the forehead before reaching into his duffle and pulling out a flare gun.

He crawled into his own sleeping bag which he had set up near the tent wall. He put the flare gun and his rifle between his side and the tent making sure to put the safety on. He didn't want to chance either of his boys being able to reach them without him knowing. He drifted off to sleep knowing his boys were protected as well as they could be while camping in the woods.

John was pulled from his sleep in the middle of the night by the sounds of something rustling outside the tent. He grabbed his shotgun and the flare gun before quietly pulling down the zipper and exiting the tent. He scanned the surrounding area with a flashlight as he stood ready to face whatever was out there. Hearing a sound to his right, he pulled up his gun and aimed, finger tensing on the trigger. He breathed out in relief as he saw a small doe run off into the woods. He decided to recheck the salt line to make sure the doe's hooves hadn't accidentally broken it.

After making sure everything was still in place, he reentered the tent and checked on his boys once again. Finding that Sammy had a wet diaper, John gently removed Dean's arm from his brother's side before rolling Sammy over onto his back. "That's what I get for giving him apple juice just before bedtime" he thought as he reached in to his backpack to get a diaper.

Dean was pulled from his sleep as he felt Sammy being moved away from his side. He opened gritty eyes to see his father kneeling beside him and Sammy. "What's wrong dad?" he asked through a big yawn.

"Nothing's wrong sport, I'm just changing Sammy's diaper" John replied as he winked at his oldest child. "Go back to sleep, I've got this one."

John finished changing his baby boy's diaper and situated his sleeper without waking him up and then tucked him back into Dean's side and watched as his oldest immediately wrapped a protective arm around his baby brother once again. He pulled the top of the sleeping bag over both boys making sure they were warm enough before climbing back into his own sleeping bag. It didn't take him long to fall asleep once again.

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Meanwhile, deep within a cave not too far from the Winchesters were camping, a skeleton thin creature awakened from slumber. It was approximately seven and a half feet tall with long gangly arms, the ends of which held claws instead of fingers. Its' face was gruesome looking since it was missing the nose and part of it's right ear. It also had teeth that were inhumanly long and looked around with glowing eyes. The creature also looked severely emaciated with its bony ribs poking through its unsightly putrid skin

The creature had once been a proud warrior who decided to trade his soul in an attempt to gain power. It was forced from it's tribe and driven deep into the wilderness where it slowly lost it's mind and all semblance of humanity through dark magic as it slowly resorted to cannibalism in the need to feed itself.

The creature raised it's head and sniffed the air where it could sense the smell of fresh meat in the distance. It relished the thought of being able to eat soon once again as it prepared it's lair for the dinner it would soon catch. It would have to stalk it's prey and learn it's habits before attempting to move in for the kill.

TBC I know there wasn't much action this chapter, but I needed to set the scene before John faces the Wendigo. I hope you enjoyed this opening chapter.