Note: Please forgive any grammar or 'tense' problems. I'm not use to writing from this kind of POV.


They had been on the road for days, not stopping for anything other than gas or food. Everyone was tense and maintained strict silence. The one time Sammy spoke up had resulted in his father snapping at him. Dean seemed worried but put on a brave face for Sam. The effort was appreciated, but the ten year old would rather have answers than comfort.

He knew they were running from something. The last hunt had taken them to the mountains of Washington. Wendigo, or so they had thought. Everything had been wrong from the start. It was a miracle John had come out alive. From Dean's hurried explanation as they dumped their things in the car, the reports had been wrong about the creature that had been killing campers at Mount Rushmore almost every night.

It had all started about two weeks ago when his Dad got a call from Pastor Jim. One of their friends, Caleb, needed help with a case he couldn't figure out. According to all the evidence it was a wendigo, but the other hunter was unable to track it down. The Winchesters had headed out the same night, having just finished up with a Poltergeist in Nevada.

Things had gone wrong from the very beginning. Just outside of town, the Impala had broken down, chugging to a halt and causing Dean to look like he was about to cry. Caleb had been forced to come pick them up while the Impala, their home, had been towed to a local mechanic. Then, upon reaching a motel, they were told that there were no vacancies in town due to a local festival. Sam had never seen his Dad so angry before.

Camping out in the mountains had been fun. At first. His Dad had lain down several strict rules for Sam, which the boy understood perfectly. But it wasn't the restrictions that had been the problem. Several strange things had taken place while they camped and investigated. Upon their arrival, all the killings suddenly ceased. It should have been a good sign, but it put Dad and Caleb on edge and both of them became obsessed with finding answers, leaving Sam and Dean alone in the camp for hours on end.

The first two days had been pleasant. They had camped near a lake, so Sam and Dean could wade, and fish for their dinner. However it hadn't taken long to realize something was deathly wrong with the picture perfect scenery. There were no insects. No animals, not even birds, and even fish were scarce. There were no other campers around, scared off by the murders. The realization terrified Sam.

The third night into the hunt, Dad and Caleb had stayed out well past night fall, giving the boys no opportunity to warn them about the lack of wildlife. They had a campfire, which they huddled around, but it did nothing to break the chill that had settled into their bones. Both of them knew there was something out there in the dark still. They suddenly understood why Dad and Caleb hadn't been set at ease by the lack of bloodshed.

It had been a moonless night, sky overcast and not allowing light from the full moon to show down on them. Sam had curled up tightly against Dean's side, despite his older brother's protests. He shivered, even now, just remembering that night. He could remember the feel of hundreds of eyes upon him from the darkness. It had been all the more terrifying with the knowledge that there were no animals around to watch them.

The deep dark outside of the ring of light cast by the flames had seemed to writhe and move with a life of its own. At the time, there had not been any illusion that it was simply a trick of the light. Dean had clutched tight to the shotgun their Dad had left them, also observing the shadows. Nothing had happened that night, beyond the creepy sense of foreboding Sam got. The two boys had nearly fallen over themselves in relief when John and Caleb stumbled into camp near midnight.

The two grizzled hunters had been deeply troubled by Sam's and Dean's observations. It seemed that nothing unusual had happened to them while they were wandering the trails looking for clues. Neither of them had noticed anything unnatural about the darkness. Despite the tiny, two-man tent they had, none of them protested the tight quarters. John had deemed that none of them were to go off alone from then on, not even to keep watch during the night. It would have been too easy for anything to pick off anyone who stood guard outside the tent.

On the fourth night, Sam and Dean were once again left alone at dusk. Once again, they huddled close next to the fire. This time Dean hadn't said anything, simply wrapped his blanket around Sam and held him close with his left arm, right cradling the shotgun. The younger Winchester knew that Dean was just as scared as he was of what was hiding beyond the light.

That night, there had been no mistaking the movement of the shadows. It was as if the darkness was alive. Sam had been scared to tears when once he had glanced up and spotted a set of blood-red eyes blinking at him over the fire. Dean hadn't seen it; what ever it was had vanished too quickly. This time, unlike that time last year, Dean had believed him. However this was considerably more sinister than sentient dust bunnies, so the eldest refused to dispute it.

After hearing their account of what happened, John and Caleb had argued. John wanted to call in someone named William Harvelle to take his sons to Pastor Jim's place while the two other hunters continued their search. Caleb had fought the decision, saying that the thing was obviously after Sam and Dean and that they needed to draw it out to kill it. They would have continued the fight well into morning had an eerie shriek not sounded from the darkness, startling them into silence.

From then on, John had refused to leave the boys alone in camp after dark. There were still no vacancies in hotels within the city limits, otherwise the boys would have been removed from camp altogether. What ever had been stalking the two Winchesters made no more appearances with the veteran hunters in camp. However, news reached them eventually that the killings had started up again.

On the eighth day someone new showed up. Sam and Dean had been left to their own devices that day, as John and Caleb investigated the latest crime scene. Nothing had ever happened in camp during the light of day before, so they had assumed it was safe. The man had appeared from nowhere. No car or other mode of transportation had been seen or heard all day.

The man had been dressed unusually. Crimson overcoat over top a black suit, with a red fedora and orange, round, sunglasses. His eyes had given Sam a fright. They were red. Blood red. He had sent the boys into high alert from his appearance alone, but had not been threatening towards them. He had walked into camp like he belonged there, and had questioned the wary couple about any unusual goings on in the area.

Sitting in the back of the Impala, even now Sam could recall the stranger's voice. It had been deep and sinuous, with a strange accent. It had stirred something within him, made him uneasy and comfortable at the same time. Something within him, something dark, had whispered from his subconscious, tempting him that the man was powerful and not human. Tempting him that he should learn from the man and become powerful in turn. His thoughts made him shiver violently, and forcefully he returned to his memory, letting the events play out before his minds eye.

The man had not stayed long. Dean had taken charge at his appearance and hedged his questions like a pro. The man had not been subtle in his questioning. They knew that he was aware of the true nature of events simply from the directness of his questions. He had asked them about the shadows, and about the inhuman scream they had heard the other night. It startled them because they had not told the man about those things, simply thought about them as the questioning conjured their memories.

The man had disappeared just as suddenly as he had turned up. Not even five minutes later their father had returned to camp, sans Caleb. Apparently they had been attacked, in broad daylight, and the other hunter was in the hospital. John told them in no uncertain terms that they were to stay put and stay out of the shadows. Upon hearing of the stranger, John had gotten a scary look on his face and changed his orders. They were to go stay with Caleb in the hospital.

On the tenth day, the hunter named William Harvelle had turned up. He, John, and Caleb had talked in quiet, urgent tones as Sam and Dean had watched on curiously. The two boys had still been terrified, but the lighting of the hospital and Caleb's continued presence eased their fear. An hour later John and William left. It was the first and last time they ever saw the new hunter.

That same night, Sam had wandered away to one of the staff lounges. The doctors and nurses were nice, letting Sam and Dean have the run of the cafeteria and private waiting rooms. It had been after midnight, and the lounge had been deserted. Or so he had assumed upon entering. He had been getting a can of soda from a vending machine when a voice had startled him.

'Why hello there, Deget mic Rege.'

Sam had been frightened at the man's sudden re-appearance. He still wore the same red coat as before, but his hat and sunglasses were missing, giving an unobstructed view of his deep black hair and red eyes. Staring deep into those sanguine eyes, Sam had felt a sense of calm roll over him. He should have been running to find Dean to protect him, but for some reason he had not thought the man meant him harm. He had answered shyly, unsure of himself under the close scrutiny.

'Hello.... Who are you?'

'You may call me Alucard, Deget mic Rege. I am afraid I can not stay for long, but I was intrigued and had to meet you.' The man- Alucard took a seat in one of the more comfortable chairs in the lounge and continued staring at Sam.

The boy fidgeted under those strange eyes and remained standing. Alucard smirked, revealing unnaturally sharp teeth. It caused a jolt of alarm to shoot up Sam's spine. He glared suspiciously at the man for a moment.

'What are you? It was you that night. You were watching us over the campfire.'

Alucard threw his head back and laughed as if Sam had told the funniest joke in the world. It set the boy on edge, and he wished he had listened to Dean when his brother told him to carry his knife with him everywhere. The man's jet black hair seemed to twist and writhe independent of his movements, and Sam had the sinking feeling that he was in deep trouble. Finally the man calmed down and grinned.

'I was there that night, yes. However I am hunting the one you saw. You could compare me to your father, I suppose.' He seemed to find the idea hilarious. 'I work for someone who has a concerted interest in eliminating supernatural threats. The one your father is hunting is one I have been tracking for many months now. It is indeed fortunate that you seem to have caught his interest, or I fear I would have lost him again. I must thank you for that, Sam.'

Sam had felt highly alarmed at the thought. Two dangerous supernatural beings taking an interest in him was not good. He had wanted to question the man further, however they had been interrupted as an orderly entered the room. Sam had only taken his eyes off the man for a second, but when he turned back Alucard was gone.

He had returned to Caleb's ward. Apparently he had looked spooked enough to where Dean immediately grabbed his arm and hauled him up to cuddle on the bed set aside for them by the nurses. It was out of character for his brother, but Sam was grateful for the contact. He never told his brother about the encounter, merely stated that he had seen the 'living shadows' again. That seemed to be enough of an explanation for Dean.

Three days later John returned. Their father had been white as a sheet and refused to comment on what happened, other than to say the hunt was complete and William was dead. Their father had collapsed in the hospital lobby before they could ask any more. He had been mauled, and shot. He told the doctors it was a cougar attack, and that he was caught in friendly fire when a man tried to help him. Caleb was released from the hospital that day and they all fled town as soon as John's wounds were patched. The two hunters split ways over the state line, and after that John pushed on as if the hounds of hell were at his heels.

Despite his Dad not saying anything about the hunt, Sam knew with certainly that Alucard had had something to do with what ever happened. Still, Sam kept quiet about his meeting with the odd hunter. The one time they had stopped over night at a motel in Oregon, just after the hunt, their Dad had horrible nightmares. He woke the brothers up multiple times throughout the night with his horrified cries and frantic mutterings. Something about monsters in red and consumed souls.

After that first stop, they pushed on, their Dad refusing to sleep. The boys grew worried about him when they realized John was taking unnecessary detours, as if attempting to evade someone, but said nothing. It was obvious that what ever had happened had traumatized him. Now Sam was just thankful that they were nearing South Dakota. He and Dean had quietly discussed the possibility of contacting Uncle Bobby if their Dad was not bound for the other hunter's house to begin with.

It was with much relief that the family pulled through the gates of the auto salvage yard. Immediately Bobby whisked John away to the kitchen with a bottle of holy water-laced whiskey and an order to the boys to stay away for a while. They listened in at the door as the two adults talked. Even with Bobby, John wouldn't say what happened, beyond asking about vampires and demons.

Come nightfall, Sam and Dean were ordered to bed despite the early hour. They were given separate rooms for once, just across the hall from each other. Sam couldn't sleep. Every time he closed his eyes he saw a pair of crimson ones staring back at him. And when he sat up in the darkness he could have sworn he saw a flash of red out the window. Quietly he crept out of his room and entered Dean's. His brother was awake as well and welcomed him with a tired grunt.

They snuggled up under the covers, Sam trembling. Now he didn't think his father's crazed flight was so crazy. But with Dean near him, he knew he would be safe from any monsters from the darkness. As he drifted off to sleep, he wondered groggily how Alucard had known his name. And why he could hear haunting laughter from outside.



Disclaimer: I do not own or claim to own any publicly recognizable characters, settings, Histories, etc., that belong to Hellsing or Supernatural. I make no money from this story.