Title:Questhaven

Author:Nicole (SpuffyLvr3)

Genre:Gen; case file; angst; H/C

Characters: Sam, Dean, Bobby, Pamela

Timeline:It will go pre-series at times, but the main story takes place just days after season 3's Mystery Spot, however assume spoilers through the end of season 3.

Summary:After a hunt gone wrong, Sam isn't getting better.

Chapter 1

December 21st, 2003

He wasn't sure if he ever felt pain like this before.

If he had, he didn't recall. That thought made him laugh even though he shouldn't be laughing at all. For many reasons, not the least of which was that it hurt like hell to breathe, much less laugh. Another noteworthy reason was that his situation was not at all funny. He doesn't recall if he's ever felt pain like this before because he doesn't recall much of anything at the moment.

Sure, he remembered a lot of important stuff. His ABCs and how to count to ten (and probably further, but he wasn't ready to test that theory). He was fairly certain he could walk (if he wasn't hurting so much), and his arms could move and he wiggled his toes for good measure, so he hadn't lost his motor functions. For some reason he knew exactly how to disassemble a 9mm Beretta.

The only reason that information was so readily available was because he'd tried to figure out why he was holding a 9mm Beretta in his right hand. The sight of the gun triggered a memory of him disassembling it and cleaning it. He had no idea, however, why he was sitting on the side of the road beat all to hell, with a gun in one hand, a lighter in his pocket (though no cigarettes, and yes, he looked), and a knife strapped to his leg. He was leaning against a car on the passenger side. He didn't know the make or model, because he hadn't mustered up the strength to stand or turn his head to look, but its black exterior was getting so hot against his back in the midday sun that he was thinking of finding the strength to at least roll underneath it instead.

The only thing he was sure of was that the amount of blood he's dripping from his forehead and other various cuts across his torso could not be a good thing. His head was pounding- across his forehead, behind his eyes, at the base of his skull. He learned the hard way that shallow breaths were the way to keep from passing out. Anything too deep and pain lanced through his chest so fierce that blackness crept around the edges of his vision and the world tilted and threatened to throw him right off. But even the shallow breaths were getting too difficult to muster. Every few minutes, his body panicked about the low supply of oxygen, and his lungs screamed for him to take a deep breath. He longed to fill his lungs completely but couldn't. Not unless he wanted to pass out again- which, no. No thanks. He'd like to get the hell off this road and to a hospital.

He lolled his head to the side and looked at the gun in his hand. He'd checked the magazine about an hour ago. It had been second nature and somehow he'd just known to push the button on the left side of the gun to eject the magazine. Two rounds had been left inside with another in the chamber. He wasn't sure what that meant, but he was increasingly beginning to believe he was involved in something pretty bad. He was beat up, with a gun that had multiple rounds missing. He had a knife strapped to his right leg. He had no memory of how he had gotten into this predicament or any personal memories at all. No name, birthday, age, family, nothing.

The man turned his wrist and noted the time. It had been an hour since he woke here, bloody and confused. He was still in a lot of pain, but the increasing breathing difficulty was his main worry, followed by blood loss at a close second. His thoughts and running mental commentary may have been going a mile a minute, but his breaths were coming only in short gasps now. He hadn't heard a car or any sign of life for the full hour, so sitting around wasn't going to get him rescued.

With the decision made, he began to draw his legs under him to stand. His legs, for the most part, were undamaged, which might be his only saving grace. If he could just get himself into the car he could drive toward somewhere more populated and get some help. There were car keys in his jacket pocket, and at this point he was praying that they belonged to the car he was sitting next to. He pulled the cell phone out again. It didn't have a signal an hour ago when he found it in his pocket, and, of course, it still didn't. The only difference was that the battery had lost another bar, leaving only one left.

It was definitely time to get moving. Pain or not, he would die if he just sat there.

With his legs successfully drawn up he used the car to push and pull himself to his feet. The first waves of blinding pain almost stopped him but he pushed through somehow and leaned against the vehicle. He closed his eyes tight, warding off the nausea and dizziness, and waited for everything to stop spinning so he could make his next move. His body was screaming for more air, but he knew better than to try and take a full breath. The small, gasping inhalations were making him feel lightheaded and a little loopy now.

Step two. Get into the vehicle.

His chest and ribs protested every shuffling move he made. His arms were wrapped tight around his middle as he made his way to the back of the vehicle. He distracted himself from the pain for a moment to marvel at the beautiful classic car (Chevy Impala and gorgeous) and the distraction lasted long enough for him to make it to the trunk without passing out. The keys work on the trunk and the first glimmer of hope rose in his chest.

The trunk was empty- at least on first glance. And even though he knew time was of the essence, he felt compelled to pull up the false bottom. He blinked and wondered what he'd gotten himself into. His heart began racing, the black fog growing around his vision, and he threw the gun in with the rest of the weapons there, deciding that he couldn't wonder about the arsenal in the trunk right now. Hospital first, or none of it would matter.

He made it to the driver's side door and it unlocked and opened with a groan. He practically fell into the seat. The movement of lowering himself down was enough to send shocks through his torso and he almost lost his tenuous grip on consciousness. But then he turned the key and a sense-memory so vivid hit him (hard) and he inexplicably felt at home. Safe.

Which was so disturbing because he was nowhere near safe yet. He caught a glimpse of himself in the rearview mirror as he pulled the car onto the road. He didn't recognize the man who looked back- hazel eyes that leaned more toward green than brown, scruff on his chin and cheeks that must have been a few days old, and brown hair cut close on the sides but longer on top. The right side of his face was smeared with blood and it stood out brightly against his pale skin. Freckles were visible on the surfaces of his face that weren't covered in blood and-

He jerked the wheel back onto the road. Concentrate. Focus. His mind was wandering and his eyes had rolled back into his head more than once since he started driving. The lines of the road were blurring, then multiplying. He thought that as long as he couldn't hear the familiar thump, thump, thump of his tires straying across the street markings he'd be okay. He allowed himself a quick glance at the cell phone gripped in his hand, but there was no signal. He watched his speed as he maneuvered through the winding road. He shouldn't even be driving at all. What if he hurt someone?

Time began to drag, and then it skipped, like a scratched cd. One minute he's watching the road, and the next he was sure he lost a moment or two. His eyes must have closed… He jerked the wheel again as the car leaned too far to the right and he narrowly missed the ditch. He was struggling now for air, barely able to pull in enough to keep conscious. A violent urge to cough rose in his throat, but he knew that he couldn't. He'd pass out if he coughed, and among other things he really didn't want to crash this car.

And then a housing tract was looming in the windshield. Through his drooping eyes he could see kids on bikes not too far away, mothers with strollers and dogs on leashes. He drove a few more yards and then pulled over. Somehow he was cognizant enough to know he couldn't drive the car any further without endangering people. That second nature kicked in and he locked the car door without thought. He pocketed the keys and cell phone as he stumbled toward the first house. The cough was fighting its way up his constricted throat and he was on the well-manicured front lawn when he was no longer able to control it. He coughed violently, and he could feel the warm blood trickling out of his mouth, down his chin as pain erupted in his chest and ribcage. He was falling and he put his arms out to catch himself. The last thing he felt before darkness was the snap in his left wrist and prickly, perfect blades of green grass on his face.

End Chapter 1

Author's Note: I would love feedback. Please and thank you!