Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, or any recognisable characters.
Thank you all so much for each and every wonderfully kind review! Final chapter at long last.
Dean returns several hours later, and collapses into bed. It isn't until the next morning that Sam can tell him the results of his research. "So it definitely is a wendigo. There've been ten disappearances already this year, and it's perfect hunting grounds for it."
Dean is only just out of bed, and pops a couple of Tylenol to combat his hangover before he responds. "Okay. You okay to head out this morning?"
"Yeah, I'll be fine." Sam says with more confidence than he feels.
At this moment, Crystal comes back from getting breakfast, and without showing the fear she feels, she asks them. "So what is it we're doing? When are we going to look for John?"
Dean quickly replies. "We're not doing anything, me and Sam will head out this morning, any luck we'll be back before dark." Seeing her incredulous expression, Dean adds. "You've got no training, this isn't a nature hike, you could get hurt."
"Then train me." Crystal says defiantly.
Sam and Dean exchange a glance, and then Dean tells her. "Fine, but you have to do exactly what we say."
"Fine." Crystal agrees quickly.
Reluctantly, Dean goes on to explain the basics of hunting to her.
They set out within the hour, and as they begin the hike, Dean can't help but worry about Sam, is he ready for this, will he be alright? Dean of course tries one last time to talk Sam out of coming, with no success.
When they finally finish the hike, and they round the corner to bring John's campsite into full view, Crystal gasps in horror, and even Sam and Dean fight to maintain some semblance of composure.
The tent is ripped to shreds, not even that. There isn't a single thing that is untouched.
"That thing did all this?" Crystal whispers, still clearly shocked.
Before Dean can answer, he sees a sight that will haunt him for the rest of his life. "Oh god."
Just outside the clearing, there is a small cave, and in an almost taunting position, John's motionless body is strung up from the ceiling.
Sam comes over to see what could have elicited such a response from his brother. He too is shocked by the sight, and it isn't until Crystal runs past them, towards John that they are brought out of their stupor, and follow her.
"He's still alive." Crystal calls out frantically as the boys reach her side, she turns to face them as she says. "Help me get him down."
Sam and Dean rush forward, and Sam quickly severs the ropes, while Dean and Crystal hold onto John.
As soon as John is free, Dean addresses Crystal. "Can you get him out of here? Just back to the campsite."
Crystal nods, and replies. "Okay. What're you going to do?"
Dean pulls out a flare gun he's carrying, and Sam follows suit as Dean answers. "Wait for it, and kill it." He pauses, and then tells Crystal. "When you get back to the campsite, I need you to put down a ring of salt, and whatever happens, whatever you hear, stay inside it."
Again Crystal nods, she then positions John's still unconscious body so that she can carry him to safety.
Almost as soon as Sam and Dean have somewhat relaxed, they are attacked from behind by the wendigo. Sam manages to get clear before it can attack him, but Dean is not so lucky, and the wendigo violently swipes at him with it's razor sharp claws.
Seeing his brother getting hurt, Sam grabs his flare gun, dropped in his haste to escape, and with careful precision to avoid hitting Dean, he fires a flare through the creature's heart.
The wendigo falls to the ground, dead, but Sam's victory is short lived, when he turns around and sees Dean lying motionless on the dirt, bleeding profusely from a number of slash wounds across his chest.
Sam forces himself to stay calm, and with adrenaline fuelled ability, he goes to Dean's side, and heaves him over his shoulder, so that in a feat that even he can't believe, Sam carries his brother back to the campsite, and lays him gently down on a damaged sleeping bag.
Sam looks over at Crystal, she is busily tending to John's multiple wounds. He is going to have to take care of his brother by himself.
When Dean regains consciousness several hours later, still layed out on the sleeping bag, covered by another one, he gingerly sits up, all too aware of a number of fresh sutures in his chest, and looks around the campsite; Sam is lying at his side, sound asleep, and Crystal is over beside John, watching over him closely.
"Cryss?" Dean calls out weakly, but it still is enough to bring her running to his side. He could get used to this.
As she kneels down beside him, Crystal enquires. "How're you doing, Dean?"
Dean shrugs as he responds. "Fine. Thanks for patching me up."
Crystal looks at him, slightly surprised as she goes on to explain. "I've been looking after your dad since we found him, I never even got a chance to check you over, Sam took care of you."
"Sam? How? I mean, this hands- There's no way…" Dean stumbles over his words, overcome.
"He did." Crystal tells him quickly, even though she can barely believe it herself.
It wouldn't have been easy for him, but he took care of me; he managed to do freakin sutures, perfectly neat, well placed sutures.
Despite all his injuries, despite the burns, he saved my life.
Six months later, Dean and Sam are back on the road, hunting; they tried being 'normal' for a while, but the hunt just kept finding them. They assume that John is hunting too, but they haven't seen him since he was sufficiently recovered from his run in with the wendigo. And with Sam and Dean's help Crystal has started a new life, with a new identity in California; she wanted to stay with the boys, but they wouldn't let her get into the life that they've been forced into.
Thanks for reading! Please review just one last time!
I don't really have any more SN fics in progress write now, but if you've gotten any ideas, I'd love to hear them.