Preventative Measures
Chapter Three

Author's Note: Well, here's the third part. Why not? Please do leave your reviews; good, bad or ugly!

Dean's POV. 3rd person. Rating for language – Dean has a filthy mouth.

Summary: The little demon's crying. It's fair enough. I'd be crying too if I was in his shoes. Twelve years old is a crappy age to have to die. Pre-series.


He came to fast and hard and abruptly, the world immediately snapping from a complete, quiet black to a full on Technicolor, surround sound, IMAX presentation that was just way too much for his pounding skull. Shit – couldn't there have at least been a couple layers of grey to swim through; something to prepare him for consciousness?

"Fuck." It was out of his mouth before he could think to be quiet. He saw some guy look up at him – some scrawny looking little turd; definitely not one of the trained, 'roided up automatons that had jumped them at the townhouse.

Scrawny Shit got up slowly from his chair, creeping a couple steps toward Dean, looking nervous as all hell. Dean stared him down, despite the headache.

They'd moved him.

He and Sammy had been dragged into some crappy looking house out in the boondocks. They were tied up, but still giving it their all – if they were going down, sure as fuck they were going down swinging.

Some redheaded prick had decided that his boot plus Dean's skull equalled good times. The blow had stunned him enough that they were able to haul him into the hallway without a struggle. He'd sincerely hoped he'd bled on their carpet and that the stains would never come out.

Something was going on in the front room. He could hear Sam in there – shouting, fighting, crying. Dean was beyond pissed. Managed to holler out a few threats he'd absolutely make good on before Carrot Top and some buddy of his with a buzz cut had laid into him.

What kind of pussy do you have to be to beat on someone who's tied up? Someone who can't fucking move?

At some point his head had exploded and he'd lost consciousness. They'd moved him after that. He was on a concrete floor in some room somewhere. His hands were lashed around some kind of support pillar at a really awkward angle. His shoulders already hurt like hell.

Right… 'cause the rest of him didn't.

Scrawny Shit was watching him. Dean made a point of spitting blood onto the floor.

Where the hell was Sam? What the fuck did these freaks want? What the hell were they doing? What the shit was going on? Where the fuck was Sam?

He cleared his throat, gagging a little on the taste of blood. He wasn't even going to bother trying to catalogue what was wrong with him – he'd been beaten to shit, he hurt, he was bleeding but obviously not bleeding out.

Sam was missing. His little brother could be hurt!

And he was tied to a fucking post and, really, couldn't do fucking anything! Shit! Shit! He'd fucked up so bad. Sammy!

You have to keep it together, Dean.

Scrawny Shit came a little closer and Dean hissed, "If you hurt my brother, I'll rip your heart out of your chest, you fucking little cunt."

The guy looked so startled, Dean almost wanted to laugh, almost wanted to apologize for using such coarse language. Instead he yanked the ties on his hands hard, snarling, "You'll be a dead fucking mess before you hit the floor."

"Holy shit," Scrawny Shit stumbled back a couple steps, then turned quickly for the door.

Dean let his temple rest against the concrete after the guy scrambled out of the room. Crap, his head hurt.

They were so screwed. Dean was about as useful right then as skis on a turtle. He was fucked if he couldn't get free. Sam was fucked…

Shit. Shit.

They were so screwed. He had no idea what these people wanted. He hadn't been able to stop them from taking him and Sam. All he'd managed was to leave a few shitty assed clues for their father – and, Dean had already admitted to himself that they were way too crap-tastic for John to be able to follow.

And, damn, it was cold in there. His fingers were already starting to go numb. He wished to shit he'd been wearing a jacket when they'd grabbed him – but shirtsleeves had been fine in the townhouse.

The townhouse… The place was completely destroyed. If nothing else John would see that and know something was seriously messed up.

But then what?

Damn his head hurt…

He twisted his hands vainly against the cable ties – because he had to do something. Dammit! Dammit!

Sam… Shit! What if these freaks hurt Sammy? What if they killed him? Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck!

The door clicked open and his eyes snapped up toward it. Scrawny Shit wasn't back. Some woman was standing at the threshold, and her expression was all shock and disgust.

Dean swallowed. Oh man... Maybe this was his chance. He was pretty good at winning over chicks – if he could charm this one; get her to think he wasn't dangerous or get her to pity him… or just fucking anything that would get her cut his hands free…

Fuck. Maybe he could still do something. Still help Sam.

He swallowed again, schooling his expression to look as pathetic as possible. A lost, kicked little puppy.

The woman let her breath out heavily as she came into the room. Dean made a point of flinching – of looking terrified though he was seething – when she crouched before him.

She held up her hands as if to show she wasn't a threat – wouldn't hurt him. Dean cowered a little bit, despite wanting to attack.

"Where's my brother?" He asked because there was no other possible thing for him to say. No force on hell or on earth could have had him ask anything else. "What have you done to him?"

Her expression was still pitying, but her tone was cold, "We're doing what needs to be done."

Dean closed his eyes, making himself shiver. He made a point of looking defeated, but all he could focus on was the tense of her words. 'We're doing what needs to be done.' Not: 'We did what needed to be done.' Present tense. They hadn't done whatever it was yet. Sam was still alive. Dean could still help him. Could still diffuse this incredible cluster fuck that his screw up's had allowed.

He made his voice as small as that of a timid little mouse that'd been caught in too many mousetraps. "Please don't hurt him."

"Dean."

He opened his eyes, making sure he made them as wide and as scared as he could get them to look.

"It's Dean, right?"

And he tricked his tone into matching the act his eyes were putting on, "Yeah."

"Dean, I'm an EMT – a medic. Okay? Let me look at you."

Well, fuck me and call me 'girlie.' He hadn't expected a doctor. Probably just coincidence – no way did Carrot Top and Buzz Cut call for medical aid.

"It doesn't matter," Dean shook his head tightly, kind of wishing he hadn't when his skull throbbed – but he let that pain shine through on his countenance, using it. "My brother…"

"Your brother is dangerous." And the bitch was all conviction and fucked up belief. "He's a threat. More than you can know."

Yeah. Right. Sammy's a threat. Maybe to chocolate chip cookies. "He's a kid." And Dean had to fight himself hard to keep from snapping. "He's just a little kid."

"He isn't. It isn't."

Well… what the fuck was that supposed to mean? Fucking bitch and her fucking freak friends! He was getting pissed now, couldn't help it. But his voice was still just aching when he breathed, "Please."

The woman seemed to ignore him, moving to probe at the contusions on his chest. Dean made his breath hitch, made himself jerk a little in pain. Even if he couldn't convince the bitch about Sam, he might still be able to get her to feel sorry enough for him to cut his hands free.

"Please." Dean gasped, as if breathing was getting hard. "Sammy's a kid. A child." 'Cause women love children, right? Maternal instinct? "He's only twelve years old!"

"I know."

Dean latched onto that – she almost sounded regretful. Score! One point for Winchester!

"You have a couple of cracked ribs."

Shitty. But her regret at that revelation was another point for him. "It doesn't matter." He swallowed hard, wanting her to see. "My brother…"

"You don't know what your brother is capable of."

This shit again. Dean wanted to snap that he knew his brother better than fucking anyone, but he just whispered, "He's a kid." He was going to stress that at every turn – you had to feel bad about hurting a kid, right? "He hasn't even kissed a girl yet." What else? "Hasn't drunk a beer."

She shifted, trying to ignore him. "I think you're concussed."

Beautiful. Maybe this bitch somehow really didn't give a shit about Sam, but she sure seemed pissed off that Dean had gotten beaten to hell. He could work with that. And if she thought he had a concussion…

"Please don't hurt him."

Dean wasn't concussed – he'd had a concussion before, knew what it felt like and this wasn't it. But he also knew the symptoms, knew how to play it up. Shit – he just needed his hands free!

As soon as her fingers brushed his forehead, he jerked sharply, squeezing his eyes shut and making himself look really, really sick.

"What?"

Hah! She sounded truly concerned. "Think…" he gasped. "Gonna puke."

"There's nothing for you to puke into."

And that sympathy in her voice was exactly what he's been hoping for. He just had to make the request sound innocent – like he was just a hurting kid and not a plotting hunter. "Can I sit up?"

She hesitated, thinking it through. "Breathe deep, okay? Get a handle on the nausea. You can win this."

Crap! Shitshitshit! He whimpered pitiably – a last ditch attempt to get her to stop thinking and just help him by freeing his hands.

"Eve."

And now he was screwed.

"You okay? What's taking so long?"

Dean looked up at the man that entered. The guy had longer hair – hippy hair. Dean remembered him from when they'd first been dragged in. Hippy Guy seemed to be the asshole in charge of this thing.

"Which one of your goons worked him over?"

It almost sweet the way the bitch was still trying to stand up for him. But Dean didn't give a shit anymore. With the guy there, there was no way his hands were getting cut free.

Hippy Guy shrugged. "Dose Him. We got work to do."

'Dose him'? Dean really didn't like the sound of that. He twisted his hands again, only succeeding in forcing the cable ties to slice deeper into his wrists.

"He needs help, Cal!" Let them argue. "You don't do this to a person. You don't do it to a human!"

What the fuck was wrong with these people? Sam was a person!

"His brother's a devil."

Okay… apparently these fucking freaks didn't realize Sam was a person! What kind of fucked up, screwed in the head a-hole did you have to be to get that wrong?

"Yeah? Well that's not this kid's fault! He's concussed! Cracked ribs. And he's fucking freezing. You can't leave him in here like this."

Cool. Fine. Let the bitch fight for him. If she won this, maybe he would get cut free. He'd only need a second…

"Dose him and he won't be in pain anymore."

Crap. The bitch wasn't going to win. Dean was screwed. Damn, he'd fucked this whole thing up so royally.

There were five people in the house, at least. None of them the six guys that had jumped them at the townhouse. Dean didn't know if those guys were still around… if they were… Damn. Damn! Shit!

"The drug's dangerous if he has a concussion."

Hippy Guy shrugged again. "Risk it."

The woman seemed pissed that he didn't care. "This isn't what I signed up for."

Hell, it probably wouldn't do any good, but Dean let out a soft whimper.

"Don't be so fucking naïve, Eve." The guy hissed. "The punk's playing you. Trying to get you on his side."

And Dean knew the jig was up. Totally. Completely. Irreparably.

He was fucked.

"We'll take him to a hospital when this is over, okay?" Hippy Guy placated. "Then if he's really hurt, he'll be taken care of and if he's not, at least we'll be done here."

"We should at least get him off the floor."

Yeah. Good idea!

"We'd have to untie his hands."

Dean cursed. This fucker had him figured out. Or just wasn't as stupid as he looked.

"Concussed or not, I ain't riskin' that." He sighed, "You know I'm right."

The traitorous bitch let out a resigned breath. "All right. Let's be quick though. The sooner he gets help the better."

"Sure, Eve."

Fucking shit! These mother fuckers were really going to kill his brother! "Fuck you." No more games. Dean didn't think he'd ever been quite so furious. The woman looked almost as shocked as Scrawny Shit had. Well, good. Fucking good! "If you hurt my brother, I'll rip your fucking throat out! You hear me, cocksucker?"

Oh yeah. The bitch was stunned. He'd had her convinced. It had all been for nothing, though.

"I will fucking kill every last one of you!" And it was no hollow threat of a desperate kid.

Hippy Guy raised an eyebrow, all coy and smug, "See, Eve?"

Dean wanted nothing more than to wipe that look right off the arrogant bastard's face. He thrashed against the ties, not giving a shit as to how much it hurt his ribs; how the pain nearly stole his breath. "Fuck you both!" Sam! Sammy! He had to get to his brother! "I'm going to kill every last one of you mother fuckers!"

The guy sighed, uncaring where the woman looked scared. "Will you dose him?"

"Yes. He's really going to hurt himself."

Dean did not want to be dosed. He'd be out of the game completely. Helpless and defenceless and just lying there like the useless fuck he was proving to be, while something beyond horrible happened in the next room. "I'll rip your fucking heart out!"

"Sure, kid." Hippy Guy crouched before him, smug. "Whatever."

"There won't be anywhere you can go that I won't find you! Nowhere where you can hide!" It was an absolute. "You get me?"

"I'm doing you a favour, you stupid shit!"

Yeah-fucking-right.

"Your brother is a monster!"

What the hell kind of bullshit was this? What the fuck was going on?

The bitch had a syringe ready and Dean fought with everything he had. He set his stare on the guy in charge and it was cold enough to shatter steel. And he completely fucking meant it when he hissed, "I'm gonna kill you first."

The woman crouched down beside the guy and she looked compassionate. "Can you hold his arm?"

"Don't fucking touch me!"

But it wasn't like he could move or go anywhere or get away. The guy grabbed him bruisingly, forcing him still.

Fuck! Fuck!

"Sorry, kid."

The needle pricked through his skin, whatever drug it was burning as it was pumped into him.

Oh sweet fucking hell! Sam!

"Fuck!" He thrashed. "Fuck, I'll kill you!"

He didn't want to stop struggling, but felt his legs get heavier and unresponsive. No, no, no!

No, Sammy! His little brother!

He'd promised he'd look out for him! Dammit! He would die for him!

He couldn't feel his body anymore.

He'd fucked up. Sam was going to die and it was his fault. He should have done more. Been better. Been faster. He never should have let them be taken from the townhouse!

He lost himself into a world of quiet, taunting black.

"Sammy…"

I'm sorry.


He came to gradually, swimming up through layers of grey that progressively grew lighter. Everything was a little muddled – the Technicolor enhancement blurred, the surround sound disabled.

He could smell leather. And it was so familiar it almost let him sink back down…

But he could feel the skim of tires over asphalt too. Heard the purr of an engine he knew unmistakably. Hell, he could make out the notes of one of his cassette tapes.

And the grey slipped completely into color when he felt a small hand clutching his; felt a little boy's fingers tenderly carding through his hair. He opened his eyes because Sammy's hand was in his!

"Dad. He's waking up."

Dad! He felt the car swerve hard to the right and stop. Fuck… Sammy and Dad and the Impala. And he was warm and safe and, dammit – dammit! – Sammy was right there, clutching his hand. Wasn't dead, wasn't…

Shit. His brain didn't feel like it was working quite right, but he opened his eyes and saw Sammy looking down at him. Sammy alive and breathing and smiling. And not dead because Dean'd fucked up so bad…

"Dean?"

A hand was on his face – not a child's hand. He let his eyes slide to the side and saw their father leaning awkwardly over the front seat, his calloused palm on Dean's cheek.

"Hey. You with us?"

"Dad."

John smiled. "How you feelin'?"

Feeling? He was feeling… pretty shitty. His whole body hurt… everything hurt. And his brain was… was not working right. "Bitch drugged me."

"I know." John shifted his hand, checking the youth's pulse. "I made some calls. Checked out this drug they used. You'll be fine."

"Sammy…"

"I'm right here, Dean." The boy sounded nervous and when he shifted, Dean realized his head was pillowed in the kid's lap.

Dean squeezed the hand in his. "Hurt?"

"I'm okay."

Thank shit. Shit. Shit.

"Dean." John's voice. Dad's voice. Dad, Dad, Dad. And Sammy.

"M' sorry."

"Dean."

His lashes fluttered, but Dean forced his eyes back open. "Five. At the house."

"Taken care of," John stated.

"Six… more… Took us…"

"I know." John pressed his hand to his son's shoulder. "It's okay. I know you're feelin' groggy. You can go back to sleep, okay? I got this watch."

Dean really wanted to go back to sleep. That sounded like the single best idea he'd ever heard.

"S'mmy?"

"I'm okay." He felt the grip on his hand tighten possessively. "I'm not going anywhere."

"Everything's fine now, Dean." John stated firmly. "My watch."

He wanted to say something else, but he was already slipping. Slipping, slipping... Back through those layers of grey to a peaceful black.


When he woke, there was no blast of the world suddenly too loud and too bright; nor were their murky shades of grey to struggle through. He just woke up. Like from any night's sleep.

He was lying on their shitty old sofa in the front room of the trashed townhouse. For the first time ever, the ratty couch was the most comfortable piece of furniture in the world.

There was a blanket wrapped around him and it was too warm, really… But he remembered being cold – bone deep, achingly cold and he decided he didn't really mind.

He was alone, but could hear voices from the kitchen. John and Sammy. Sammy was okay.

Dean figured he'd best go join them, say 'howdy,' figure out what the hell had happened. He moved to push himself up and gasped, dropping back and just trying not to scream.

Fuck. Shit. Fuck.

Right. He remembered now. Remembered the rest. Damn… he hurt everywhere.

"… see if sleeping beauty's coming to the ball."

He turned his head at John's voice, the man stepping into the room and his line of sight.

"Oh, hey." John smiled. "Shit. You're actually awake?"

Dean had to swallow twice before he could speak. "Just now."

"Feelin' like shit, I bet," John quipped perching on the couch beside his son.

"M'okay."

"Uh huh," John smirked. " 'Cause I know I always feel fantastic when I've been drugged, have a splitting headache and three cracked ribs."

Dean grinned. "Yeah, yeah."

"Here." Carefully, John helped ease his boy up to sit, considerately turning to the table and giving Dean a moment to gather himself. "Okay?"

"Peachy."

"Good." John handed the youth a glass and a couple pills. "These're okay to take with that shit they pumped into you. You can have something better once I'm sure it's out of your system."

"All right." Dean took the pills without argument, draining the glass greedily. "We're safe, right?"

"Yeah. Should be. For now, anyway."

Dean nodded. "Bugging out?"

"Sam's packing up the last of the essentials."

"Sam all right? Really?"

"He's shaken," John answered. "But he's not hurt."

"Thank fuck…"

"You're the one in rough shape."

Dean quirked his lips. "Two of those cocksuckers gave me a pounding after I was tied down."

"So I've heard."

He frowned. "What happened? Who were those people?"

John shook his head. "Been trying to piece it all together. What I saw, what Sam's been able to tell me. Trying to get more info from Singer."

"Bobby? What would he know about all this?"

"They had your brother in some kind of devil's trap when I got there. I'm hopin' Singer'll be able to identify it; tell me what exactly it was for."

Dean rubbed a hand down his face. "They seemed to think Sam was… evil. A demon or something."

"Seems so. Weren't plannin' an exorcism either. Didn't figure Sam was possessed."

"Fuckin' nutters. What kind of demon takes its own form?" He shook his head. "How'd you find us?"

"Followed your clues."

"You shittin' me? How? They were crap!"

John shrugged one shoulder. "Were decent enough."

"You're good."

John smirked, "Don't you forget it."

Dean returned the grin then took a long breath, glancing away. "Did you kill them?"

"No choice." John didn't sound at all regretful – just cautious in case his son didn't understand.

"The long-haired guy… You get him first?"

"What? Uh… no… Some guy with red hair and a knife."

"Huh."

"Why?"

"I made a promise. Didn't come through."

John frowned, puzzled. "Dean?"

"I promised that fucker he'd die first." Dean looked up at his father, face set in stone. "He told me he was doin' me a favour by killin' Sammy."

John snorted.

"I'd have killed them all…"

John worried his lip, "Dean…"

"I know." The youth turned away again. "We don't kill people. It's different. We aren't killers. We aren't murderers."

John waited; could tell by the way his son's shoulders tensed that he wasn't finished.

"But I would have killed them to save my little brother." Dean looked to his father, eyes sincere. "That wrong?"

John's expression was equally earnest. "I did kill them to save my sons. And I would do it again. Is that wrong?"

"No." Dean stated, sounding quite sure of the conviction. "Any man who wouldn't… isn't a father."

John smiled. "Or a big brother."

Dean looked away, his reply quiet. "Or a son."

John squeezed his boy's shoulder. "This is way easier with you than with Sam."

"Huh?"

"Nothin'," John smirked. "We good?"

"Were we not?"

John smiled. "You chill out, okay? I'm gonna help Sam with the last of the packing."

He only let John take two steps, before stopping him, "Hey, Dad?" He waited for the man to turn. "I'm sorry."

John raised a brow. "For?"

"For lettin' them get the upper hand. For letting Sam get taken and for this whole messy cluster fuck. I'm sorry, sir. I should have done something more."

"Are you fucking insane?"

"What?"

"You're fucking insane, Dean." John shook his head. "Sam told me what it took for them to grab you. How many of 'em there were. How hard you both fought. You think this was your fault? Then you're nuts."

Dean looked to the floor.

"Look, just chill out. We need to be getting out of here."

"Yes, sir."

"Sleep if you feel like it. That shit'll still be in your system. I'll wake you when we're ready."

"All right, Dad."

"Right."

"Still your watch?"

"Yeah." John nodded, words soft. "Yeah."