Cold and Empty

Summary: Dean is attacked by an ice demon. Hurt!Dean. Pre-series, Sam's at Stanford. One-shot.

Author's Note: This was already posted once before under Megan Casady (I've changed my penname), but I deleted it (sorry!). I felt bad about taking the story down, so I'm just reposting. You may have already read this.

Disclaimer: "Supernatural" belongs to Eric Kripke and the CW, obviously. I'm broke anyway, so suing me would do no good.

It still had him, was still grabbing and grasping at him, trying to pull him back under to the depths of the frigid lake that he'd finally managed to escape. His limbs felt heavy and numb but he managed to strike out at the demon in his panic. He could feel the dull shocks reverberating along his freezing arms as he connected with the solid form.


He struck out again, but this time hands caught his and held them.

"Dean! It's me, kiddo. It's Dad."

Dad's voice. It's mimicking Dad's voice.

He tried to yank free, but his sluggish body wouldn't listen to his command and the only thing he accomplished was a weak jerk.

"Dean, calm down, buddy." Dad's calm voice. "We gotta get you outta here, but I can't do that if you keep fighting me."

Dean knew he really didn't have a choice at this point since he couldn't exactly coordinate his limbs.

Moments later, he felt himself being drug out of the water, his chest and stomach scraping along the sharp edge of the ice. He had hoped it would be more comfortable out of the water than in it, but he was wrong. He was still fucking freezing, but this time hands were pulling at him anxiously, tapping his face, bothering him, when all he wanted was to just fucking go to sleep and wake up warm.

"Dean? You with me, kiddo?" Dad. He had to make sure it was really him. He was about to freak out when he couldn't open his eyes, fearing they had frozen shut, when they miraculously slipped open and he saw his Dad's blurry face right over his.

"D-ddd-aa-ddd." Dean's teeth were chattering so hard he thought his jaw might break or, at the very least, his teeth might shatter.

"Hey, Dean." And then he moved out of Dean's line of sight and he could vaguely feel Dad removing his boots from his numb feet. There was a sharp pain in his left leg that hinted at a worse pain when his dad moved his leg, but his body was too cold to care at the moment.

Dean felt his muscles seize as a particularly savage shiver slithered up his body and he clenched his jaw tight. He was pretty sure he let out a moan/whimper/grunt and fuck if that wasn't embarrassing.

"You're okay, Dean. We'll get you warmed up. Just hang in there."

Dean wanted to ask what had happened, but when he tried, the only sound that came out was an unintelligible mush of words…maybe only one word.

"Open your eyes, Dean. You gotta stay with me, okay?" Dad slapped his cheek lightly and Dean wondered when he'd closed them. He hoped his dad would just give up and let him sleep for awhile, but as usual, his luck wasn't running in his favor and the slapping became harder.

Dean wanted to tell him to piss off and leave him alone, but instead he pried his eyelids open and stared at the sky through unfocused eyes.

"That's it, Dean. Keep 'em open for me, okay?"

Dad pulled him up to a sitting position and slid behind him, leaning Dean back against his chest. Dean heard a zipper and then his arm was being worked out of his coat sleeve. And it pissed him off because holy FUCK, it's goddamn COLD.

"nnnnnnhhhhh," Dean slurred. His fucking tongue wasn't working now either. But apparently Dad knew what he meant because he was speaking in Dean's ear.

"I know you're cold, kiddo, but your wet clothes have to come off. You know the deal with hypothermia." Yeah, so? What did that have to do with him?

His coat was off, and Dad was making quick work of slicing his several shirts off, followed by his jeans and finally, his boxers, but Dean barely noticed.

Dad was talking again – something about not shivering and stay awake – and rubbing him down with his flannel overshirt to dry Dean off. When he finished, he shrugged off his coat and wrapped it around Dean, who panicked slightly when an emergency blanket completed his swaddling and he realized he was trapped. At least, he thought he panicked, but Dad didn't seem to react so maybe it didn't actually happen like he wanted it to.

Time stuttered somewhere because suddenly he was moving, his head tucked up to his dad's chest and shoulder, and he wasn't sure how it had happened. Dad was talking but the words were just out of Dean's reach. The rumble and vibration of his voice where his chest met Dean's ear was soothing, like a makeshift lullaby and Dean was drifting away…

Or not.

Knuckles rubbed his sternum and it hurt. Dean was so fucking tired and he just wanted to sleep, but he focused all his energy on opening his eyes so he could tell the asshole to knock it the hell off or else he was gonna lose some fucking fingers

"Dean, you with me, son?" Oh, it was Dad. He could keep his fingers, but Dean was going back to sleep.

"Hey," his dad said sharply, strong fingers gripping his jaw.

"What?!" Dean snapped in annoyance, only it came out a weak sounding "waaaaa" instead. He blinked owlishly up at Dad, whose face was swimming in and out of focus. He had a huge head, Dean decided, and his face was way too close to his own. He could practically count the gray hairs in Dad's beard. He'd do it later. When he wasn't so tired.

Dad was drowning him in blankets, piling layer after layer on top of him and tucking them in tightly around his body. Dean turned his head and after staring blankly at the dials on the radio for a long time, he finally realized he was in the Impala.

Dad slid into the driver's seat and Dean felt him lift his head and rest it on his thigh. His arm rested on Dean's chest, curled around so that he was cupping the left side of Dean's neck.

Dad was warm. His palm on Dean's neck was warm and he could feel the warmth of Dad's thigh on the back of his head. Rolling his head to the right, he nestled into Dad's side, seeking out more heat. He really didn't care how much of a girl it made him seem like because it was warm.

He didn't even realize his eyes had closed, but Dad hand on his neck was shaking him awake and he was telling Dean for the millionth time not to sleep. Dean just moaned and worked his face farther into his dad's side, willing him to just leave him alone.

But Dad shook him harder and talked louder.

"Leeeemmmeeelone," Dean slurred tiredly.

Dad answered, but his words were running together now and Dean couldn't bring himself to concentrate on them. It took too much fucking energy and he was worn out. He felt himself sinking farther down and Dad's voice was getting farther away by the second. Dean felt a little bad for ignoring him, but he'd get over it.

It was the beeping that woke Dean up.

Fucking alarm clock, Dean thought irritably, rolling his head away from the sound. He frowned when it continued unabated.

"Sammy," he rasped, his voice thick with sleep. "Alarm clock."

"Dean?" But that wasn't Sam's voice; it was Dad's. And he sounded worried, which worried Dean.

He forced his heavy eyelids open and Dad slowly came into view.

"Hey, kiddo," he said, a relieved grin spreading across his face. Dean felt a squeeze on his forearm and looked down; Dad was gripping his arm.

"Dad?" he asked in confusion, pulling at the oxygen mask on his face. "Where's Sam? Is he okay?"

"Yeah, Dean, he's fine," Dad answered, his brow creasing a little in worry as he took Dean's hand in attempt to stop him from removing the mask that was giving his son much-needed warmed oxygen. "He's at Stanford, remember?"

Oh, yeah.

Dean looked around the small hospital room, finally realizing that the beeping was a heart monitor – a heart monitor that was hooked up to his chest. Great. I'm in a fucking hospital.

He looked back at Dad, his eyes passing briefly over his legs before he did a double take. His right leg was in traction. Dean's mood plummeted at the sight; that meant this was more than an in-and-out trip. That sucked balls.

"What happened?" he asked. He vaguely remembered the lake and getting pulled through the ice by the ice demon, but after that it was bits and fragments, snapshots of fighting for his life and then of being bone-chillingly cold. That thought made him conscious of the fact that he was still cold and shivering.

"The demon pulled you into the water before I could finish the incantation. I don't know how you did it, but you got back up to the surface and broke through the ice," Dad told him and Dean noticed his grip on his arm tightened again. "I got you outta the water but you were already working your way into stage 3 hypothermia." Dad paused. "You scared me, kiddo."

Dean didn't know what to say to that, so he changed the subject to more safe territory.

"When can I get outta here?" he asked impatiently and Dad chuckled at that. Dean didn't get was so funny about that question.

"Not for awhile. You're still hypothermic and you've got a nasty break in your leg," Dad informed him, a grin on his face as Dean's eyes closed and then jerked open again as he tried to stay awake. He knew his exhausted son had no clue that he'd been doing it since he woke up.

"I'm fine, Dad," Dean insisted. His hand drifted back up to the oxygen mask and again he found his hand grasped and brought back down to his side.

"Sure you are, Dean," Dad said lightly as he hooked a foot around the chair he'd been sitting in, pulled it closer to the bed, and sat down.

Dean let his eyes fall shut. "I am."

He felt Dad's hand on his head and opened his eyes again to look at him.

"Go to sleep, Dean. We're not going anywhere for awhile, so you might as well get some rest." Dad was rubbing his head slowly and the hypnotizing rhythm was quickly lulling him back to sleep. "Go to sleep."

And Dean figured that since Dad had given him permission, it was okay to go back to sleep. Just for awhile.

~The End~