Hey y'all :):):)

Ok, first off, I think I owe everyone a huge apology for not updating sooner! I had a full-on fight with my computer when it wouldn't access the files and unfortunately, the damn computer won... :(

But all is good - the computer is totally fine now so all I gotta do is get caught up with my fics and we're back on track! ;)

Thanks so much for your wonderful patience and I hope this chapter satisfies (I added Dean!whumpage for those who wanted it -evil grin-)

So yeah, hope y'all enjoy!!


God, it hurt! Dean grimaced, gritting his jaw tightly as he bent forwards, hand grasping at a long shard of metal embedded in the earth: a small remaining limb of his loving huntress.

Every movement seemed to tug at his wounded side, sending stabs of fiery pain through his body, making him tremble uncontrollably as his knees prepared to buckle.

"Jesus…" he hissed quietly, fingers latching tightly around the metal shard, as much for his own support as retrieving it. Forcing himself to breathe heavily through his nose, he paused, eyes screwed closed as he fought against his own body, not willing to give up yet.

Going with the pain, he pulled back, clutching at the shard of metal and feeling it give in its buried position inches into the earth. He groaned as he strained, the muscles in his neck pulsating with each movement. Come on, come on! He begged and crying out in frustration and hurt, he wrenched backwards.

The metal flew easily out of the ground, its backwards momentum causing Dean to tumble, his weakened muscles no longer capable of supporting his own weight. His knees buckled, allowing him to crash with a loud shatter against the glass covered floor.

Hissing, screwing his eyes as tightly closed as possible, he waited, trying to work through the pain. His side, damn, it hurt like hell. The wound must've been deep, deep enough to still be bleeding and sore enough to lure him close to unconsciousness.

Oh, but that wasn't all! Didn't a wise man once say that 'If we didn't have bad luck, we wouldn't have any luck at all'? How frigging true!

Dean shifted, grimacing at the flaring pains in his back from the now deeply embedded shards of glass. Fresh cuts littered the backs of his arms and legs, just adding further insult to injury.

Blinking open his weary green eyes, Dean stared at the gap between the branches of the trees, staring up at the cloud-ridden dark sky. "… If there's a God, He really hates me." And with that optimistic thought, he heaved, wincing as he rolled onto his side. Tucking his knees beneath him, he pushed himself upright onto them, near-biting through his lip at the agony it put him through.

"And the thing is," he panted heavily, sweat pooling on his creased brow, "He lets me know it too."

Tensing his strong muscles, he raised himself onto his heels, his limbs trembling with the once-so easy effort. It was near-patronizing that an athletic man, famed for hunting the supernatural, fighting with incredible skill and possessing the stealth of an assassin was reduced to a shivering wreck, barely even able to stand on his own two feet.

Finally succeeding in his tiresome attempts, Dean hunched over, trying to lessen the throbbing motion as it pulsated through his muscles. The shard of metal, only 12 inches or so in length was gripped tightly in his right hand, the sharp edges digging dangerously into his skin.

His eyes scanned the grave of his baby, searching for any form of ammunition: anything for them to defend themselves with. But so far, it was slim pickings.

"Fan-frigging-tastic," the elder Winchester grumbled moodily, stumbling forwards, his intense stare locked on the burnt ground beneath him. He couldn't make out much – even if some of the wreckage was in someway salvageable, there was no way he could do anything in his condition. Right now, he needed something whole and useful…

He paused, squinting against the Impala's remains, just managing to recognize the familiar handle of his favorite Desert Eagle. A grin wound its way onto his battered face, making him seem all but 5 again, "Aw, no way!"

Bending at the waist, placing the crippling pain to the back of his mind as a newly found sense of relief enveloped him, his free hand closed around the cool handle. The familiar feel of his weapon was as comforting as a warm blanket on a bitter winter's night. It was his true form of protection, both his and his brother's. He'd cherished it since his 18th birthday when his father had given it to him as a gift. Since then, it had always been somewhere close to him, normally within lunging distance.

Hesitantly, he withdrew, straightening once more with a grunt. He tilted the gun from side to side, studying its features while checking the barrel was still intact. Once satisfied it was still in fighting order, he nodded, tucking it away in the back of his jeans.

"Ok," he murmured softly, a gentle wheeze following each intake of breath, "So far, got a gun and a piece of metal… that's great." He ran a shaking hand through his spiky hair, knowing that if they came across anything at all supernatural, they were totally screwed.

Except maybe a vampire, he reasoned spitefully, realizing that there was nothing left to find in the blackened crater. Maybe if we ask it to stand really still we can gradually saw its frigging head off!

Growling, he wavered where he stood, the momentary lapse in his strength forcing him to sway. As he grabbed a hold of himself, he knew things were bad – hell, the most bad, bad thing they'd ever had to come across.

He didn't know what to do… If they were attacked, they could hardly defend themselves. They couldn't call for help, which usually they wouldn't admit to needing. Even the Impala couldn't save them this time, speeding them away from danger like she always used to.

"Oh baby…" Dean breathed, tearfully glancing around what remained of her body. "I'm sorry." And he was. She was the last remains of their childhood, as messed up as it had been. She was even the last connection to their late father – everything else he had owned had no sentimental value. It had all been about the hunt…

A tear crept down the tired hunter's face. The Impala had been their home. They'd spent more time in her than any other place they'd come to stay. She was their sanctuary when they needed safe-haven, their back-up when all else failed, their companion…

But she was also a huntress, and as they say, she went down swinging. "Just like a hunter should," Dean whispered solemnly, his lips quirking weakly at the corners.

"I'll miss you, baby," he sighed, turning painfully away and limping back towards his brother.

Tick…

Dean froze, an eyebrow raised as he twisted, staring back at the Impala's grave. What the hell? He narrowed his eyes, squinting past the still flickering flames that licked at what remained of her sturdy carcass. But there was something else – soaking into the ground around her, a murky puddle spreading rapidly outwards across the deadened soil.

Tick…

He watched as the substance dripped again, a light breeze whistling through the trees. Dancing with the wind, a flame listed to the side, straining outwards, scratching at the edge of the distorted liquid.

But as his eyes widened, understanding creeping into his worn-out brain, he knew it was too late…

The remaining leaked oil ignited with a blast, flames roaring outwards in a renewed attack. The explosion wasn't as large as last time, but Dean was now much closer, with no energy to run or dive away. The force hit him like a subway train, the air knocked from his lungs as he was thrown backwards.

The last thing he saw were the flames as they singed his jacket, reaching out for him angrily before he hit something hard and his head snapped backwards. Everything faded quickly and before he'd even hit the floor, he was unconscious…


As soon as Dean's light disappeared beyond his 'sight', Sam let out an involuntary shudder. Without Dean here he just felt so vulnerable: alone even…

Pressing down hard on his wound, exactly how Dean had told him too, he blinked slowly, trying to pinpoint his big brother's position somewhere amidst the swirling darkness. He listened carefully, just managing to hear the soft shuffle of footsteps, unmistakably Dean's in those huge combat boots he always seemed to wear.

Sam sighed in relief, leaning back against the tree trunk and letting his empty eyes close. What would it matter if he shut his eyes for a little while? It wasn't like he could see with them open anyway.

God, he was so damn tired… Everything seemed to be so much harder, even something once so simple as breathing now just caused his chest to hitch awkwardly, restricting oxygen. But he knew it would be alright – he had Dean with him, of course everything would be fine.

The thumping in his head drew him back from the verge of darkness, the steadily growing migraine now making itself known. He hissed, screwing his eyes closed and raising his free arm shakily to his head. He knew he was in a bad way – he could tell easily enough from his lack of coordination that allowed his hand to smack him on the forehead before resting there in comfort.

His whole body was thrumming, each heartbeat seeming to work its way through every muscle, making them twitch in annoyance. He wanted to succumb into much needed sleep, but the pain was anchoring him, keeping him there until Dean returned.

Dean, please hurry!

But Dean wasn't likely to come swooping into the rescue this time.

The booming bellow of the explosion forced Sam to yelp, both hands flying to his ears to block out the sound. It crashed through his already throbbing head, forcing nausea to clutch at him, his whole body listing to the side. It was agony and he yelled out, screwing his eyes shut, listening to the raging fire, the crashes and chaos that engulfed anything happening to be in its way.

Stop, please stop! He begged, forgetting that his blood was still flowing mercilessly to the floor. His only focus was on his head, seconds away from also exploding…

Finally the noise subsided, leaving Sam panting breathlessly on the floor, his hands falling limply from his head. The ringing through his brain persisted, not quite willing to grant him the freedom of torture that lingered just out of his yearning grasp.

No, he wasn't that fortunate…

Swallowing, his throat like coarse sandpaper, he managed to scrape out the word, "Dean."

He waited, expecting the reply of pattering footsteps, a soft gentle voice, hell, maybe even a snarky comment about his inability to last five minutes without him. But they never came, and it was in that moment, that he prayed for nothing else…

"Dean," he ground out again, a little louder, his glassy eyes searching for something he could no longer see: his missing light. "Dean!"

Sam shifted from where he'd slumped weakly onto his side, trying to find purchase with his sore, aching hands. He knew he was disobeying Dean's order to keep pressure on his wound, no matter what, but right now, he didn't care.

With a groan, he pushed himself onto his knees, already gasping with exertion. Sweat dripped from his bleeding forehead, a slight fever proceeding to slow his actions. He knew he wasn't going to make it far: blood loss and a truckload of injuries were making sure of that, but maybe, just maybe he could make it far enough.

His breath rasping in his lungs, he slowly placed one hand in front of the other, dragging his knees weakly along the undergrowth, barely wincing as the twigs and pieces of shattered glass dug into his skin.

"Dean," he called again, waiting for an answer. Please just answer me! And yet cruel taunting silence was all that replied, mocking him just that little more for being unable to watch his brother's back.

Tears fell from his blind eyes, his hands groping along the floor, his skin now flayed and bloody as he soldiered on. "I-I'm sorry, D-Dean… I'm s-so s-sorry…"

And yet, his light failed to return, not even to answer his pitiful cries that swept along the forest floor. His breath rattled in his throat, his sobs even wetter as blood trickled along his throat. His back arched as he coughed painfully, pitching forwards while he expelled the red substance from his mouth.

His lungs strained for air as he groaned, every inch of his body bruised or cut, stinging horribly. It felt like his intestines were about to fall from his body: God, he was losing too much blood.

Stretching out another ripped and bloody hand, his strength finally subsided and he collapsed forwards limply to the floor. He gasped, the searing pain from his abdomen forcing his body to jerk where he lay, glass digging itself deeper into his skin.

"De… De…" He managed once more, raising his head just an inch, his long hair falling over his glassy eyes. "H-Help… me…"

But his light, his helping hand, wasn't coming this time…

Sam choked again, resting his head back tiredly against the floor. His shirt was saturated in his blood and he knew that now, he didn't stand much of a chance. He didn't care – if Dean wasn't answering him, it meant that he was unable to for whatever reason and if Dean was truly gone then it was only right that Sam should follow: just like they promised. We go together…

Exhaling slowly, eyes fluttering softly closed, Sam felt the cold darkness of the abyss clutching at his being, but did nothing to stop it. All the pain began to recede as he gave in, his body splayed out awkwardly on the floor, the growing pool of blood around him painted like a sick portrait.

He didn't hear the words as darkness claimed him – the haunting words that held them there, refusing to relinquish its cruel grip…

"You will never leave this place… The forest has claimed you… Do not try to escape, or you will be punished… Fight and you will regret it… You will die here… The choice of how, is up to you…"

The wind whistled dutifully through the trees and unseen to its victims, a spirit watched them from afar, a cruel sneer on her pale face. The woman flicked her hair back from her cold eyes, the smell of blood and pain enticing her senses from where she lingered.

Tilting her head to the side, she considered them for a moment, their faces somewhat peaceful in unconsciousness. She licked her lips, a malicious glint in her eyes while she stared. There was so much she could do to them – would they still be so willing to fight once she was through?

Perhaps I shall find out… And with a ghostly flicker, her mean laugh echoing through the air, she blinked out of existence, leaving the brothers alone and dying on the heartless forest floor…


Sorry I needed an evil cliffie after my stress with the computer... but now that my nasty muse is up and running, it's time for a little more fun, don't you agree? -grins-

Please leave me a review and let me know if you liked it!! :) (Enough whumpage for you?)

Hugs, Ami-Rose x x x x x