MOON SHADOWS

AND

DRAGON'S BLOOD

By: Karen B.

Summary: Sam and Dean hunt a Wendigo. I know…monkey see … monkey do. Aren't we cute in clothes? Just written for the 'hunt' of it.

Hurt / comfort, Sam. Protective / handsome, Dean.

I don't own anything but my dreams. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy...Sunshine always, Karen B.

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It had gotten dark faster than he'd expected. The fog and frosty chill filled the woods and lingered in the air. It was no ordinary chill. The kind of cold one would only need to pull up the collar of a jacket and zip it closed. It was a chill that slithered into your bones like a sneering, scaly creature. The kind of chill that made ordinary people hide and tremble under their bed covers. Dean was not 'ordinary people.' He was a hunter, and hunter's hunted things -- without fear. Demonic things that chuckled and mocked them in the night.

Dean was rarely scared. But there was something in the evening air. Something fearful in the way the sun had dipped quickly, replaced by the moon. Something in the way the silvery shadows seemed to follow him through the towering pines, reinforcing the volts of electricity flowing through him and causing the tips of his toes to curl.

He wasn't a psychic freak like his brother, Sam, but something was wrong. Call it a hunch. Call it a premonition. Call it Haley Joel meets a glitch in the Matrix. Call it what you wanted. Dean always recognized the uneasy feeling. From the time he carried his baby brother out of a burning house he had learned, never to ignore the wormy sensation deep in his gut of guts.

Dean fumbled in his jacket pockets for his cell. He smiled, recalling a time when Sam wouldn't kill so much as a mosquito, let alone a supernatural being of great cunning and strength. A monster that just happen to eat human flesh. Sometimes…most times, Dean wished his baby brother could be that geek boy sitting at his laptop on a Friday night, drinking soda -- tucked safe inside the shoebox he called a college dorm. What if their lives could just be one long, creepy story they once heard their Summer Camp Counselor tell around the campfire?

"Yeah, right," Dean mumbled to himself.

And rivers flowed backward, the sun set in the morning, rose at night, and a man could make his way through this hard as bedrock life without one bloody scratch or a single emotional scar.

Finally finding his phone, he pressed one on speed dial.

"Hey." Sam picked up on the first ring.

"Dude, where are you?"

"Dude," Sam parroted. "I'm on the South end of the lake. You have extra sensory perception.

"Sam," Dean moaned. "Why can't you abbreviate like everyone else?"

"E.S.P. Okay, Dean?" Sam complied with a groan. "I was just about to call you, found a trail. Where are you?"

"Your backyard," Dean broadcast loudly. "Probably ten or fifteen minutes from you. What kind of trail?"

"Oh, the usual," Sam said dryly. "Scattered appendages, buzzing flies, day old rotting flesh." Sam swallowed audibly.

"You gonna upchuck?" Dean slapped at a mosquito sucking blood from his neck.

"Saving that occasion for the beer we're going to drink when this hunt is over," Sam replied sarcastically.

"Well…" Dean peered at his palm. "It's over for tonight," he said, wiping the little vampire's guts on the thigh of his jeans.

"Dean, what are you talking about, man. We're closing in."

"Sam…" Dean paused to look skyward. All good hunters knew the perils of hunting a Wendigo at night. The man-like creature was tall, with a lipless, eternally open mouth full of shark-like teeth, and forever starving. The Wendigo would eat anything that dared to venture into its territory -- preferring human flesh above all else. Being eaten alive on the spot made you a lucky son of a bitch. Better that then being take-out. Hanging around in the Wendigo's fridge, strung up by your wrists. Waiting. Waiting. And waiting some more to be slit open and devoured like sushi.

"Dean, you copy that? We're close."

The crackle of Sam's voice interrupted Dean's thoughts.

"It's dark, it's late, it's a bust." Dean shook the horrid thought of raw sushi from his head. He'd rather eat elevator carpet. "Sam, we can pick up the trail in the morning. We head back to the motel," Dean said, no nonsense in his tone.

"What, you got a curfew or something? "Sam huffed. "Dean, we can get this thing, tonight! Before it makes mincemeat pie out of someone else."

"Ewww!" Dean grimaced feeling a hard lump stick in his throat. He loved mincemeat pie, but the image of a bloody thumb poking through the flaky crust was enough to make him want to go vegan. He shook his head. His brother knew better than to try and hunt at night. "Sam," he snapped. " Prime objective?"

There was a short pause.

"Tall, handsome and good-looking…" Sam heaved a heavy sigh. "Can't kill the beast if they fall into enemy hands," he mumbled.

"We bounce," Dean ordered. "Now."

"Fine. Whatever you say, Mother Superior," Sam said reluctantly. "Just don't bounce too hard you might hurt yourself."

"Funny, Sasquatch," Dean drawled out. "Sam?"

"Yeah."

"You just don't forget…"

"What?"

"You're tall. I'm good-looking and handsome."

"Dean, you are such a j …"

"Jerk," Dean finished. "Can't you come up with a better word for me, Webster?" Dean slapped at another buzzing vampire. "Bro, this place is an all-night blood bank."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm a human sacrifice for the entire mosquito population of Minnesota. Sam, hurry up and meet me at the car." Dean smacked at another yet vampire. "Sam, you copy?" Sam didn't answer. "I know you're there, bitch. I can hear you breathing." No answer. Dean fought the slow rise of panic that started to squeeze his belly. "Sam, this isn't funny and you're not ten-years-old. Friggin' answer me."

"Dean." Sam's voice was barely a whisper.

"Sammy?" Vampire's forgotten, Dean anxiously gripped his cell pressing the phone harder to his ear.

"Wendigo," Sam spoke softly.

"Damn it, Sam," Dean cursed, a sick feeling coming over him. "Where?"

"Close." Sam breathed into the phone.

Dean's feet were moving before his heart could take another beat.

"How close?" He sidestepped a large rock.

"I can smell its breath."

"Sam, lay low. I'm coming."

Dean heard a ruckus of scuffling, the screech of an ugly beast, and the hiss of a flare being released.

"Son of a bitch!." The distraction slowing his pace, Dean flipped the cell shut. "Sam, hold on." He shoved the phone into his pocket, focusing entirely on the task of running.

Dean's Army-green duffle thumped roughly against his side, his flashlight's beam waving wildly around as he ran at top speed. Panic crushed his chest, common sense telling him to keep calm. His breathing was rapid, maneuvering around trees and shadows alike and swearing they were jumping out in front of him purposely slowing his pace. Sam was a hunter, a damn good hunter, but the thought didn't help to ease Dean's fear. Going up against a Wendigo. In the dark. Alone. The kid was in real trouble.

He could see the lake now, through a clearing of trees. Dean reached behind him, drawing his flare gun that was tucked in the back of his Jean's waistband under his jacket.

He wanted to call out to Sam. Let him know he was almost there, but didn't have enough spit in his mouth. Dean gripped the gun tight, he'd have one straight shot -- no way he could risk missing.

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Dean barreled out of the forest, and skidded to a halt. Eyes raised on high alert. Everything appeared calm and quiet. The light of the moon flashed like ten karate diamonds off the lake water. The only sound, that of cricket's chirping and the slow slosh of waves lapping against the grassy bank.

Sweat prickled and dripped down the nape of Dean's neck as he glanced around.

"No!" He cried out, raw emotion rushing through him when his gaze came to a crumpled form lying on the grassy ground. "Sam!" Dean rushed forward, only slightly relieved to see Sam struggling up onto an elbow. "Sammy!" Dean plunged to his knees next to his brother laying his flare gun unceremoniously next to him in the wet grass.

Sam was holding his left side. Dean aimed the flashlight's beam, cringing when he saw the amount of blood staining Sam's flannel.

"That things insides are so nougat," Dean growled.

"That's disturbing, Dean. I'm okay."

"You call this okay?" Dean's shaky fingers fumbled with the buttons of Sam's shirt. "If this is okay -- what about the other guy?"

"W-what about him?" Sam flinched.

"He worse off then you?" Dean kept his voice from shaking.

"What the hell do you think?" Sam grimaced.

"Can you hold this?" Dean handed Sam the flashlight not waiting for a response. "Where'd it go?"

"Where'd what go?" Sam blinked in confusion.

"Jose Cuervo, Saaaaaam. Who do you think?" Dean raised his eyes, gaze frantically roving the area. "The Wendigo. You sure you're o…"

"Took off." Sam scrubbed at his eyes. "I think I wounded it."

"Nature of the beast..." Dean looked into Sam's hazel eyes with pride. Kid always could hold his own, even when his marbles were scattered under the bed. "Cannibal boy, must have gone off to lick his wounds," Dean mumbled, going back to timidly examining Sam's side.

"He'll be back to finish the job," Sam offered in a slur of words.

"Finger lickin' good," Dean said distractedly. "What's more disturbing is after Wendigo eats you -- it craps you out."

"Gross, Dean." Sam shuddered.

"Sorry," Dean patted Sam's chest. "We gotta move fast."

They both knew, once a Wendigo got a taste of your blood type…the man-eater would never stop, not until you were corn beef hash swirling in its stomach.

"How--how bad is it?" Sam's voice trembled as he hitched himself up higher on his elbow. "Gaaaaa," he groaned.

"Don't move." Dean peeled the soiled shirt away from the wound. The trickle of blood that flowed over the dirt reminded Dean of the tiny lava rivers of a Diorama he once made in elementary school. Only Sam's blood was the real deal, not made out of tape and red construction paper. "It's…just. It's not that bad," Dean said, feeling no conviction in his words. Frustrated with the stubborn buttons, Dean pulled Sam's shirt in opposite directions popping fastens and ripping the material wide open.

"Uhhhhhhh." Sam shied away.

"Easy." Dean winced. Damn Wendigo had taken a nice hunk of flesh out of his brother's side. "Just hold …easy." Dean gazed up into Sam's scrunched face. His skin was pale and sweat rolled down the sides of his cheeks. "Try to hold still."

Opening his duffle, Dean pulled out a wad of dressing and applied steady pressure to Sam's wound. The material soaked the blood up quickly. Dean tossed the useless cloth to the ground, nabbing more from his pack. Desperately concentrating on stopping the blood flowing from his brother's side, and consciously shelving the fact the creature was in its natural habitat, probably nearby stalking them right at this very moment. Done dressing Sam's wound, Dean scanned the surrounding area, straining to see through the darkness. The car was a good two miles away. Although satisfied his brother's wound was not life threatening, they'd have to hike out of the woods fast. Dean was very aware, Sam was in no shape to do anything fast.

"Sam." Dean bowed his head to look into his brother's eyes, "We gotta get back to the car..." Dean waved a hand over his shoulder. "Before Jeffery Domer gets a hankering for…well for another hunk of you." Dean scowled, focusing on the drops of sweat that stood out on his brother's forehead. "Sam, you've got that spaced out, queasy look in your eye. Are you going to be…"

"I'm fine." As if on cue, Sam leaned sideways. "Oh, God," he gagged, neck straining.

"Sam!" Dean grabbed hold of Sam's shoulder holding him up. "Hey. C'mon, man. No time for that," he said giving Sam a little shake. "You can talk to God on the big white porcelain phone later," Dean snorted. "Gotta get out of here now," he said, with a flicker of impatience. "I need that beer. Don't you?"

"Yeah." Sam swallowed repeatedly. "Beer," he mumbled, breathing hard.

"Up and Adam then." Dean started to bring Sam to his feet.

"No!" Sam pulled back, every muscle in his body shaking. "It'll be back for me. I'm too slow, never make it to the car. Dean, you have to go. Leave me here."

"Not an option, Sam." Dean ran a hand over his face, knowing Sam was right." Where's your torch?"

"Huh?"

"Dude, little plastic gun that shoots flares?" Dean impatiently leaned in close to further examine Sam. "You…"

"I'm cool, Dean," Sam cut in. "Wendigo knocked it out of my hand. Think it went in the lake."

"Delightful," Dean grumbled, spying the blood soaked gauze on the ground next to his flare gun gave him an idea. "Here." He scooped the items up, pressing the gun into Sam's hand. "Can you handle this?"

"Dean? What--what are you doing?"

"Chum." Dean waggled the blood soaked gauze in front of Sam.

"Dean! That's a suicide run."

"Shut up and let me handle this, Sam." Dean started to stand. "Trust me."

Using his uninjured hand, Sam snatched a fist full of Dean's jacket. "You can't. You're crazy."

"Nutty… maybe. Crazy… never. What I tell you about trying to steal my thunder?" Dean gave a weak smile. "Just make sure you got the right target in your sight before you try to shoot anything. You got me? Don't get all trigger happy." Dean stood. "Oh, and Sam," he said as an after thought. "No more jonesing for those blueberry pancakes you ate this morning. Not until I get you back to the motel, and stitch up that gash," Dean said. With one last nervous glance at the blood bleeding through the bandage on his brother's side, Dean ran off into the shadows.

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There wasn't much in the way of sound. Only the crackle of leaves beneath his hunter's boots. Dean's thoughts were with Sam as he tracked the Wendigo through the woods. Maybe he should'nt have left him wounded and alone back at the lake. He let the pounding sound of his own heart drown out his fear for Sam. This was the only way. The Wendigo was fast and nearly invisible during daylight, and forget seeing one jumping out at you in the dead of night. With Sam's injury they'd never make it to the safety of the Impala fast enough. Baiting the creature was their best bet. He trusted Sam. The kid would hit his mark as long as Dean could beat feet fast enough back to the lake. Get the creature into position.

Dean stopped cold and did not breathe. Silvery moon shadows filtered down through the treetops. He closed his fingers tighter around the bloody cloth. Years of hunting and training had sharpened his senses. He listened to the rhythm of the woods. Something was moving through the trees behind him. Prowling. Fumbling through the brush

'Mess with my brother, you mess with me. Come on, you ugly mother.' Dean silently enticed the creature he knew to be stalking him.

The moon slipped behind a cloud, chasing the silvery shadows away. Dean still didn't breathe, nor did he blink. The blackness of the night was like a fortress encircling him. Stupid. In his haste, he'd forgotten his flashlight. His body was a tense ball of energy. Waiting for the right moment to bolt back toward Sam. He could feel the savage creature nearby. Smell its breath. Sense its cunning.

Dean waited. Waited for the sound that would tell him the time was right. He had to be fast. The Wendigo was wounded and would be merciless if it got hold of him. He tucked the bloody cloth into his jacket pocket. The Wendigo was moving, circling around him. Dean sucked in a breathe, nostrils flaring, lower lip quivering with anticipation.

'Wait. Wait.'

"Now!" Dean yelled turning and running full out back toward Sam.

Dodging and weaving around shadows that he could only assume were trees, all thought forgotten except the task at hand.

Run.

Run fast.

Run hard.

Don't trip.

Don't stop.

Just don't.

The Wendigo was close. Exploding through the brush in an excited, wild tangent to finish the kill. Sucking up ground faster than Dean could breathe. Friggin' thing was hungry for man burger.

Dean's lungs burned, and a horrible aching stitch in his side threatened to drive him hard to the ground. He stumbled drawing himself up and continued to run on blind instinct.

'Be ready. Sammy. Be ready.'

The moon was back, its dancing shadows silvery upon the path -- guiding him. Out of the corner of his eye, Dean could see the Wendigo's black silhouette towering over him just as he broke the forest. Sam was still a few hundred yards to the left near the lake, and he tried to make his legs work faster. The path was rough, and his legs were loosing strength. Only inches behind him, Dean was aware of the exhale of hot breath, and the horrid odor of dead animal trapped inside a crawl space. Wendigo's had the worst case of B.O. ever. He wasn't going to make it. Pieces of flesh were going to fly. His.

'Keep going.'

'Don't stop.'

'Can't stop.'

He lost his footing.

"Shit!" A chill went through Dean's spine, this was going to be horrible.

Out of gas, Dean fell, sprawling to his back on the ground. The Wendigo came into the light of the moon. Every bit of eight foot, wild armed, noisy, hungry, hungry hippo heading his way. Dean drug himself backward, boots kicking the ground, frantic to get to his feet.

"Dean! Stay down!"

Dean looked to his left, just in time to see a black as raven outline step out of the night. Seemingly made of moon shadows itself. The form wavered once, trying to stand up straight. Dean's gaze darted between the shadow and the Wendigo. For a moment neither moved, like some old time Western -- a showdown at high noon.

The Wendigo drew first. Dean's heart skipped several beats, watching the screeching beast charging like a silver bullet shot out of a Colt heading straight for the cowboy's heroic heart. The moon shadow didn't flinch. A spark glistened, just before an orange fireball pierced the air striking the Wendigo in the chest; its death scream echoing through the night.

"Jumangi!" Dean yelled his excitement as the Wendigo evaporated into a cloud of thick smoke and flame. "Way to go, Wyatt Eurp!" Dean stood shakily dusting off his butt.

"Dean." Sam took a struggling step. "Are you oooo…" His voice faded and he swayed unsteadily as if someone had stolen the ground from under him.

"Sammy!" Dean darted forward, catching Sam by the arms and lowering him softly to the ground. "Heyheyhey!"

"It's okay. I'm okay," Sam shuddered.

"And I'm the Pillsbury Dough Boy." Dean reached for Sam's side, and grimaced. Blood still flowed freely from the wound, and Sam's shirt was damp with sticky wetness. "Damn it, this is still bleeding good." The body beneath Dean's hand trembled involuntarily from shock and weakness. "Think you can make it back to the car? Or maybe I should carry you like a girl?" Dean suggested, giving Sam a weak grin.

"Blow it out your ear, Dean."

Dean smiled. "Ready?" he gave a small nod. "On three, Sam." He wrapped a secure arm around his brother's back. "One…" he struggled to stand, feeing every muscle in Sam's body fight for control.

"You never did learn how to count in…" Sam didn't finish his sentence, his heavy body plopping them both back down. "Grrrrrrr!" An involuntary cry left Sam's lips. "De'n," his speech slurred in obvious pain. "I'll do the counting." Sam took in a breath regaining composure. "On two," he instructed. "One…" Sam pulled away from Dean's hold, struggling to his feet. "I can walk on my own," he said, hand firmly planted on his bandaged side.

"Don't be such a bitch." Dean could tell Sam was drawing on his every reserve just to stay standing. "Let me help you, Samantha." Dean reached outward.

"Can't you think of a better name for me, thesaurus." Sam took a few floundering steps away, eyes scrunched tight as he swayed. "I can walk."

"How's that go again, Sam?" Dean reached out and grabbed hold of Sam before he could face plant. "Come here!" Dean snapped angrily, keeping his facial features neutral and a steady arm around Sam's waist.

"Maybe I should just sit here a while." Sam gave in, sagging downward.

"Bro." Dean stepped in closer, swiftly pivoting Sam's lax body close to his. "Not a good idea. I need to get that wound stitched."

Sam nodded, signaling without words his defeat.

They trudged along in muted silence, breathing in and breathing out in unison. The light of the moon stained everything silvery blue, and with each step Sam leaned his body more and more toward Dean.

A cool breeze swept over them and Dean shuddered. He and his brother were always stuck between life and death. Between the natural world and the unnatural. He remembered a dream he had when he was no more than five years old. A dream of knights and dragons.

A dream where the fate of the world lay in the hands of a hero -- not in the hands of scum of the earth, monsters and demons. A dream where a knight's blood could outflank dragon's blood every time.

That was a dream of an imaginative, hopeful five-year-old. Dean feared their encounters in the real world would never end 'happily ever after' like his childhood dream. Sooner or later, he'd lose everyone. Everything. Sooner or later, the dragon would slay the knight. Life would end bloody on some lonely battlefield. Yellow-eyed demons, zombies, and..and..and..all the other flesh-eating evil monsters would walk the earth -- own every square inch.

He sighed, trying to control the fearful chatter of his teeth. For now -- this night -- they'd gotten lucky. They'd won this battle. Thanks to Sam.

"Dean, hey, you're shaking." Sam half dragged his left foot.

"It's cold." Dean belied, forgetting the dream and concentrating on taking one-step at a time. "Keep walking, Sammy."

The ground underfoot was rocky and slow going. Dean could tell the effort was draining the last of Sam's energy.

"How you holding on?" Dean asked as they neared the car.

"You're the one doing all the holding on, Dean," Sam grumbled. "Don't worry." Sam's left foot dragged the ground again. "Not ready for the grave yet," he softened.

"Good." Dean clenched his hands into Sam's shirt holding tighter. "'Cause I'm too worn-out to salt and burn you." The laughter on his lips didn't match the feeling in Dean's belly.

"Whatever." Sam rolled his eyes, the action sending him off balance.

"Come on, Sam. Almost there. Beer's waiting for us back at the motel."

"Rain check. Alcohol will put my stomach in rehab for a week." Sam tensed and gritted his teeth.

"Yeah." Dean met Sam's eyes. "Well, I need a beer." Dean leaned Sam against the Impala, still fighting not to shiver. "Don't expect me to go out of my way to get you one of those Crap-puccions you like so much."

"Funny, Dean." Sam pinned him with the look of a hawk eyeing the last rabbit on earth.

"What?" Dean frowned feeling as though Sam had entered his soul.

"We're going to win this war, Dean. I promise."

Dean's eyes watered. His brother still held tight to the childhood fantasy of heroic knights -- where the good guys always won. Nodding mutely, Dean opened the passenger door, gently sliding Sam inside. The kid had done real good tonight. His brother was a true hunter -- a solider.

"Yes we are," Dean whispered, around the tightness in his throat and shut the door.

Maybe, just maybe moon shadows could best dragon's blood.

The end.