Summary: Victim of a prank, Dean gets lost in the woods in some podunk town. Unfortunately, he isn't alone.
A/N: I actually wanted the first part to be longer but adding anything would've just been filler and pointless to the plot. Also, ill-timed. First attempt at a multiple part fic. Also, it's the summer before Dean starts high school so he's 14 and Sam is 10.
The sun rested atop the low mountains that sat in the horizon, slowly withdrawing from the sky. Night was approaching and with it, a frightening uncertainty. He knew what vile things crept through the night and the last thing he wanted to do was let himself be vulnerable. He needed shelter. He needed a weapon. But, most importantly, he needed to be found. It was just a matter of who found him first. He didn't know what was out there. Didn't know what he was dealing with. That was what was most dangerous. Alone and in the dark in more ways than one, he wasn't ashamed to admit he was scared, if only to himself. Only ever to himself.
Of all the ways Dean pictured himself dying, alone was not one of them.
6 HOURS EARLIER
Dean twitched in his seat on the couch. Countless magazines lay forgotten in front of him, no longer able to hold his attention. He glanced, dejectedly, at the small fan oscolating in the corner, it's meager output not doing much to cool him down. He was bored. It was supposed to summer vacation and he should be rejoicing the fact that he doesn't have to go to some crappy school with even crappier classes, but so far the summer had started rather uneventfully. Sort of. He smirked at the memory of Teresa something or other's lips on his the day before. Hadn't ended pretty but that didn't mean it wasn't good. But that was then and now was death by boredom. He had nothing really to do.
Dean turned his head to his brother, Sam, and rolled his eyes. Kid had his head buried in some book that Sam claimed was on his summer reading list. Didn't he teach his little brother anything? Summer reading lists were for tools. If you absolutely just felt you must read them, for God's sake, wait until the last minute like a normal kid. Sam was definitely out for any entertainment value at the moment.
He stared, forlornly, at his dad at the kitchen table. John was doing research on his latest hunt and was in his own world at this point. Dean had offered to help several times, but John had turned him away. It wasn't that he couldn't guess why, but it still sucked. Dean had peeked at some of the research and reports John had acquired earlier and couldn't help but shudder. He supposed he should thank his dad for wanting to protect him from the images he saw but it was kind of moot at this point. It wasn't like Dean was innocent. He'd seen a hell of a lot of things he probably shouldn't have. Part of Dean couldn't wait until his dad trusted him enough to really go on hunts with him. He'd been training a lot lately and felt he was ready for, at the very least, small time stuff like more salt and burns. But John had been going after some big fish lately so that meant Dean was on the sidelines. If he would just get the opportunity to prove himself, then he would be helping his dad instead of wanting to chew his own arm off from soul destroying boredom. Okay, so that was exaggerating just a little.
He started bouncing his knee, looking from place to place before settling on the front door. He could go outside, but do what once he got there? His stomach answered his question with a low rumble. Sure, they had plenty of food at the place but this gave him an excuse to get out and do something. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He thumbed the outline of the condom he hoped he'd actually be able to use at some point before counting his bills. He had plenty of cash to load of up on sugar and soda and if he was quick, he could snag a skin mag without anyone seeing. Though, after the last fiasco, he knew he had to do a better job of hiding it once he got back. It wasn't his fault Sammy had found it. The kid had to see his first pair of tits at some point. Dad didn't quite see it that way and Dean got grounded from the tv for a week. And then he'd gotten lectured for stealing something so unnecessary in the first place. Says him. Dean thought it was as necessary as friggin' air.
"Hey, dad? Since Sam's reading and you're researching and won't let me help, I was wondering if I could take a run down to that market in town? You know, burn off some energy." John didn't seem to be listening and Dean bit his lip. "Dad?"
John put the paper he was reading down for a second and ran a hand over his face. "What, Dean? I'm a little busy right now and for the last time, you can't help" Dean frowned. Like he didn't know that after he'd been told several times already. Besides, didn't he just say that?
"That's not what I was asking. I just wanted to know if it was all right if I went down to the market in town."
John sighed, casting a brief glance at Sam and noticing why Dean was so bored. "You got money?"
John seemed to think it over for a moment before answering. "I want you back before it's dark, you hear me?"
"I mean it, Dean. I still don't know what's out there and I don't want you running around, chasing girls." He gave Dean a pointed stare.
"You act like that's all I do." John glared. "I mean, yes, sir." Dean smiled, cheekily. He turned around and headed for the door. "A guy can't have any fun around here."
"Dean!" But the door was already clicking shut.
Dean took great pride in only a handful of things. The top of his list was his near perfect aim. He says near perfect because he still wasn't as good as his dad. In his book, no one was as good as his dad, but was getting pretty damn good. Next was his awesome ability to successfully bullshit just about anyone. Teachers were the easiest. It was simple to talk your way in or out of things when you don't give them time to catch on. Moving frequently did have its advantages. But the thing he took most pride in was his gut. It'd taken him a while to get rid of the training wheels, that nasty bitch shtriga giving him the boost he needed, but he'd finally felt confident enough in himself to know when something was wrong. And something sure as hell was.
As previously mentioned, summer vacation started just two days ago when they arrived in this podunk town, but Dean had already managed to get on the bad side of some older boys. He'd made the mistake of kissing one of their younger sisters and they clearly overreacted. Maybe. Okay, he felt her boob so probably not. Honestly, they were only like two years older than him. They had to understand. Right? At this rate, he was never going to get laid.
His ability to bullshit obviously doesn't work on overprotective older brothers, however, and he barely made it out of there unscathed. But back to the problem at hand. He was being followed. Not hard to notice a car driving 15 under the limit, trailing a kid on the sidewalk, in broad daylight. Amateurs. Honestly, was everyone in this town an idiot? He reckoned those guys were still after his hide but if he got into a fight now, dad would have his ass on a platter. He needed to focus on the hunt and Dean didn't want to be responsible for screwing that up.
He took a sidelong glance at the pick-up truck and then around him. He knew running was the sissy way out but sometimes you had to pick your battles, and this battle was a lose/lose situation. There was no one else around, which was just Dean's luck. Not that it was going to do him any good. What was he supposed to do? Tell them he was being followed by a bunch of dickheads with their jockstraps in a twist? This was the kind of town that believed "boys will be boys" was some kind of natural law. Small towns weren't exactly the best place to lay low in, not when everyone and their mother knew when a stranger passed through. It was hard to not to get noticed. Dad seemed to have mastered the art of invisibility but Dean sure as hell sucked at it. One thing was for sure, he was gonna practice it from here on out.
The pick-up pulled up to the curb behind him and three of the guys hopped out.
"Great." Dean mumbled under his breath. They say hindsight was 20/20 and if you asked Dean tomorrow if he would've handled the situation the same, his answer would've been a big fat hell no. But Dean wasn't thinking about tomorrow. Instead of running, Dean did the stupidest thing he'd done all week; he turned around and faced them. Screw running. Dad didn't raise you a coward, Dean thought.
"Guys! Hey, how's it going?" Dean gave them the biggest smile he could manage, all teeth and none of the sincerity. He got a sneer in return.
"You got a sister, Winchester?" Dean quirked an eyebrow at him. He thought about telling them about his little brother being pretty damn close but he didn't think they'd appretiate him joking right now so instead he just shook his head.
"Yeah, didn't think so. So you probably don't know what they're like when they're upset. They're a real fucking headache, first of all. Always whining and crying over shit. And my sister? She's been crying about your stupid ass all day."
Jesus, he didn't really think he traumatized the girl. It wasn't like she pulled his hand away or smacked him or anything. He was pretty sure she even giggled. Then he remembered something a lightbulb went off in his head. She was supposed to be a good girl. Couldn't have big brother thinking his little sister was easy. Great, so instead, he gets his ass kicked. That's just perfect.
"Well, what can you do? Women, you know?" Dean huffed out a laugh, knowing he was a goner. Should've run. Should've friggin' run.
Big idiot brother took a step forward and Dean hastened to turn around, ready to take off. Unfortunately, one of big idiot brother's bitches had managed to get behind him and grabbed his shoulders. So, Dean did the only thing he could and kneed the guy in the junk as hard as possible.
"You little son of a bitch, you're dead!" Big idiot brother and his other bitches started after him and Dean was positive he would've gotten away if crippled junk hadn't snagged his ankle. Really, Dean thought as he went down, this is embarrassing. So much for his training.
Dean was sure he got in a few good punches before it was lights out. He didn't know who threw the punch but one second he was there, the next there was nothing but darkness.
The first sensation that came back to him was the feeling that the whole world was spinning around him and that was before he even opened his eyes. The next was his body bouncing against hard metal and suddenly sound came back to him and it took all his reserve not to outright panic. It was obvious he was in the back of those assholes' truck, but judging by the rough ride, they weren't in town anymore. No two ways around it, he was in trouble. He wasn't sure what worried him more; what they planned on doing with him or what his dad planned on doing with him once he got back. Quite frankly, the latter wasn't the more appealing thought.
Dean continued to fake it, figuring he could catch them by surprise once they stopped. It was as much a shot in the dark as them apologizing and letting this one go but he had to try. Dean Winchester refused to go down without a fight, win or lose.
He fought hard against himself to keep his body relaxed when the truck stopped and they pulled him out. He fought even harder when they tossed him down a small hill, landing him in a puddle. He figured then was a good time to "rouse", especially when he heard them laughing. His mind didn't connect the fact that the laughter was getting farther away until he looked up and they weren't in his visual. That's when he panicked. He knew where he was and they were leaving him there. Shit, they were leaving him there!
Dean scrambled up the hill on all fours, making it to the top just as the truck took off. He took off after it, but they were already too far ahead.
"Stop! You can't leave me here! You don't know what's out here! Stop!" They didn't stop and Dean stumbled to the ground on his knees, breath coming in gasps.
"Don't leave me here!"