Disclaimer: I still don't own Supernatural or its characters. I and am not making any money on this…I'm just having fun!

Summary: A routine hunt with a not so routine ending – hurt Dean at the mercy of little brother Sam.

The Finer Points of Hunting

Sam moved quickly through the desert area while trying to figure out how he'd managed to lose his brother. The hunt had been difficult from the start. It wasn't hard to figure out what they were dealing with, the killings on the lunar cycle followed by the missing hearts was a sure fire indication of what they were dealing with. It wasn't even the fact that this particular monster had chosen the New Mexico desert to play in. No, it had been difficult because once again Dean had chosen to take them on a regular hunt instead of looking for a way to get out of his deal.

They still had almost a full year, but Sam didn't want to spend it hunting. He needed to focus on finding a way to break the deal his brother had made for him. And yet, whenever he brought it up his big brother would just shake his head and drag him off to kill another monster of the week. It was almost like Dean didn't care that he was going to die and worse yet, he was going to go to hell.

The moon cast an eerie glow across the landscape as Sam maneuvered around another large cactus. One would think it would be hard to hide out here, but a closer inspection showed the larger cacti and many dips and grooves in the surface made for excellent hiding places. The last time he'd seen Dean; his brother was heading over a small recess in the landscape. He motioned for Sam to circle around which probably meant his brother had found something.

He'd learned to trust his brother's instincts on a hunt. It was scary sometimes how good his brother was, especially at tracking. The werewolf really didn't have a chance once Dean had his scent. Sam moved quicker, his eyes searching for some sign of his brother or the wolf. But nothing showed. He wanted to call out, but that would give away both their positions. So he continued to move quietly, his hand on the gun filled with silver bullets and his heart praying that Dean hadn't done something stupid.

A shot rang out off to his left followed by the sound of a struggle. Sam cocked his gun and moved quickly in the direction of the fight. As he topped the next rise his eyes grew large as he saw his brother wrestling with the largest werewolf he'd ever seen. As jaws snapped dangerously close to his brother's jugular, the young hunter moved in. "Hey!" Sam yelled hoping to get the wolf to turn on him.

With a mighty growl, the animal picked his brother up and tossed him. Sam heard his brother fall but couldn't take his eyes off his target. He planted his feet and calmly took aim as the beast turned. Golden eyes glared at him as the moonlight reflected off long white fangs. Anyone else would have run in terror, but not Sam. He'd been trained since a young boy to face what he feared and to kill. As the wolf charged Sam's finger gently caressed the trigger. The small recoil was followed by the scream of the wolf as it dodged at the last moment.

The bullet hit it high in the shoulder, missing the heart. Sam quickly pulled the trigger a second time but the animal was too fast. Before he could move he felt a claw rake down his gun arm and side leaving a trail of blood and pain. The young hunter fell and rolled away from the angered werewolf. Both now faced each other, trying to figure out the best way to attack, both now injured and panting in pain. Sam's gun had fallen a few feet from him and the beast knew it had the advantage as it advanced.

Without thought, Sam dove and rolled until he came up with the gun in his hand. Once again, without conscious thought he aimed and pulled the trigger. This time, the bullet found its mark as the wolf looked at him with a stunned expression before it fell on its knees. Sam watched as the light slowly faded from the animals eyes, the soft brown eyes of the infected man looked at him briefly before they closed.

Sam shook his head as he stumbled to his feet. They would have to salt and burn the remains, but first he had to find out what happened to his brother. "Dean?" Sam called softly.

"Over here!" Dean's voice sounded pissed. Sam walked quickly over to see why his brother hadn't rejoined the fight. It wasn't like Dean to stay quiet much less miss out on the fighting. Sam stopped a grin twitching over his face as he saw the reason his brother hadn't been able to jump back into the fray.

"Looks like you landed into a real sticky situation there big brother…" Sam chuckled as he moved closer to examine his brother's predicament.

"Real funny Sammy, now how about giving me a hand…" A soft groan followed the request.

Sam shook his head. Only his brother could have himself thrown into the middle of the largest cactus patch he'd ever seen. It was clear any movement on his brother's part would drive the spines in deeper. "Okay, just relax while I try to figure out a way to get to you." Sam remarked as he examined his options. His brother was about four feet into the patch of cactus which had grown so close together there was no easy access.

"I'm assuming you got fido…" Dean remarked as he waited for Sam to walk around the edges of the patch.

"He put up a bit of a fight but I got him." Sam shrugged as pain lanced up his left side. He'd kept his left arm tightly against his side to staunch the flow of blood from the claw marks.

"Yeah, well looks like he used you as a chew toy Sammy." The worry was clear in his big brother's voice.

"Well better a chew toy than a pin cushion." Sam replied with a smile. "I'm fine Dean, just clawed me a bit before I could put him down." Sam shook his head. There was a slight gap that would let him get to Dean, but it wasn't wide enough for both of them to walk out side by side unless one was carried. If Dean couldn't walk, then he'd have no option. The thought of picking Dean up wasn't pleasant considering the pain in his side, but what choice did he have.

"Okay Dean, I'm gonna have to carry…" Sam was interrupted by his brother.

"No frickin' way Dude. I can walk; just get me on my feet." Dean glared at Sam daring him to disagree.

"Dean, those cactus needles are going to be a bitch to get out—are you sure you can even walk?" Sam began to move slowly into the cactus bed, using his booted feet to gently push some of the thorny plants aside. He could feel the long needles scrape against his pant leg as he continued. While Dean's jeans probably protected him a little, it was clear a few would probably get through the fabric.

"I can walk, just get me the hell out of here before someone else comes along." Dean groused.

"Someone else? Are you expecting company Dean? Last time I looked we were alone out here with a pissed off werewolf." Sam was almost to his brother and could see the sweat and pain lines he was trying to hide. While the situation was funny, it had to hurt like a bitch. As he stood over his brother he just couldn't resist as he pulled out his phone.

"Hey Dean—say cheese!" Sam chuckled as he snapped a couple of quick pictures. Before he closed the phone he smiled as he sent a quick text message along with the photo.

"Just remember Sammy, you have to sleep some time." Dean remarked as he tried to move, a soft groan escaped his lips as he closed his eyes in pain.

Suddenly Sam felt guilty. It was obvious his brother was hurting. "Okay Dean, I'm going to try to pick you straight up—on three." Sam grasped Dean's around the wrists and prepared himself to hoist Dean up. "One—two—threeeee!" Sam pulled and almost fell as Dean staggered forward into him.

"Holy—damn Sam that hurt!" Dean said through gritted teeth as he leaned against Sam for a brief moment.

"Can you walk Dean?" The young hunter asked softly as he waited for his brother to make the decision. He saw Dean push himself up straighter before he glared up at Sam.

"Lead or get out of my way Sasquatch!" Dean replied.

Sam quickly turned and moved out of the cactus patch. He kept an eye on his brother who was definitely moving more slowly than usual. As they exited the patch, Sam moved beside his brother. "Are you hurt anywhere else Dean—I mean he didn't…"

Dean sighed. "No Sammy, he didn't bite me. He obviously preferred you as a chew toy." Sam jumped as his older brother grabbed his injured arm and pulled it closer to him. "How bad?"

Sam shrugged. "Don't even think they need stitches, nothing we can't handle back at the hotel."

"Okay, but first we have to take care of our wolf boy…" Dean said tiredly as he headed back towards the Impala. Sam followed behind, his eyes scanning his brother's back and the tiny spikes that seemed to be sticking out all over his brother. He was amazed that Dean could even move. Luckily it only took then a short time to get back to the car.

"Ah, Dean—why don't you just relax and I'll handle the salt and burn…" Sam hurried to the trunk and quickly grabbed the duffle they always kept packed out of the trunk. He slammed it shut before Dean even reached the black beauty. He waited and was shocked when his brother just nodded and opened the driver side door.

"I'll be right back!" Sam called over his shoulder as he hurried to take care of the werewolf. The sooner they got back to the hotel, the better he'd like it.

A short time later Sam returned. The smell of burning flesh filled the air as he moved to put the duffle back in the trunk. To say he was tired was an understatement. The claw marks were really starting to hurt between the sweat caused by the hot desert air and the movement that opened the wounds as he walked. He started to head for the passenger seat out of habit when it hit him that his brother wasn't sitting in the driver's seat.

Sam panicked for a moment as he looked around the desert landscape. How could he lose his brother twice in one night? "DEAN!" Sam called out into the darkness. He jumped as he heard a muffled sound from the back seat of the car. He leaned down and smirked as he saw Dean lying on the back seat, his back towards the front of the car.

"Don't say a word—just drive." Dean ground out as Sam opened the driver's side door. Deciding he'd picked on his brother enough, he simply slid in and started the car. The drive back was about an hour, but it felt more like hours as Sam listened to his brother's back seat driving.

"Jeez Sammy, have you managed to miss any potholes in the state of New Mexico!" Dean ground out as the Impala dipped slightly into a rut in the road.

"Sorry Dean, but I didn't pick the route. Next time, we'll take a hunt where the roads are paved…" Sam remarked as he reached over and turned on the radio. He was reaching to put on something he'd like when he heard another call from the back.

"No playin' any of the emo stuff you like…" Dean warned.

"What happened to driver picks the music and shotgun shuts his pie hole?" Sam replied as he grabbed one of Dean's favorite tapes to pop into the player.

"If you note, I'm not riding shot gun at the moment and I'm only letting you drive because I didn't want to puncture the leather on my seat." Dean quipped as another groan left his lips. Apparently some of the needles were still rubbing even with his big brother lying on his side. How Dean could even see what he was doing was beyond Sam.

"Because, big brother always knows Sammy…" Dean replied.

Sam shook his head and pressed down on the accelerator. The sooner they got to the hotel, the better. "You get in an accident with my car and you'll be sorry Sammy, slow it down. No one's dying here…"

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Sam had finally managed to get his big brother into the hotel room and situation on the bed. Dean sighed as he placed his head on the pillow and glanced at Sam. The young hunter was busy getting what he'd need from the first aid kit. The only problem was he wasn't sure how to get rid of all the cactus needles sticking out of his brother. The big ones he could get out with the tweezers. But there where thousands of small fine needles sticking out of his brother's clothing. He wasn't even sure if he should pull Dean's clothes off if they'd come out.

"Sam…" Dean's voice brought him back from his musings. "Bleeding wounds first—can you handle it or do you need my help?"

Truth was he'd forgotten about his own injuries as soon as it was clear that Dean needed him. He glanced down and saw that the wounds had clotted. He would need to clean them but he didn't think any of the wounds needed stitching. Besides, he really didn't like stitching himself unless there was no other choice. "M'fine Dean…"

"Ahuh…shower first Sam, then clean out the wounds and let me see. I'll be the judge of how bad it really is." Dean ordered.

"But Dean…"

"It wasn't a request Sam. I'll be fine until you get yourself cleaned up." Dean nodded towards the bathroom and gave Sam the look that said there was no way he'd let him help until he had done what his older brother wanted. Sighing Sam grabbed the first aid kit and headed into the bathroom.

Ten minutes later he emerged, wounds cleaned out and wearing his sleeping shirt and pants. As he dropped the first aid kit on the nightstand Dean just looked at him. Sam sighed again and picked up his shirt to show his brother that he'd bandaged the wounds on his side. "They weren't that deep Dean. I've had much worse."

Dean nodded as he turned and let his head fall back onto the pillow. Sam could see the strain in his brother's shoulders. It was time to get the needles out. "I'll pull out the bigger ones first Dean. Then we'll get your clothes off and see what we've got okay?"

Sam didn't wait but began to pull the largest cactus needles out with the tweezers. He could feel his brother flinch as each one was pulled from the fabric and underlying skin. "Sorry…" Sam whispered as he stopped to give Dean a break.

"Just get them out Sam…" Dean sighed as he looked over his shoulder.

"I've gotten most of the big ones out. Do you think you can stand while I pull your clothes off?" Sam asked as he replaced the tweezers in the medical kit.

"I can get undressed…" Dean stated as he pushed himself up but quickly fell back down as the remaining needles reminded him his ordeal was far from over.

"Scoot to the end of the bed Dean and I'll help you stand without rolling over." Sam simply stated as he noticed the problem. He grinned as his brother followed his suggestion, grumbling all the way about smart assed little brothers.

Once Dean was standing he reached to pull his shirt over his head and groaned. Sam batted his hands away as he reached for the shirt. "Easy there Dean, if we're careful we can get a lot of them to come out with the shirt. Dean glared as Sam tried to work the shirt over his brother's head, but no matter how he tried it pulled and caused Dean even more pain.

"Okay, new plan." Sam moved to the first aid kit and pulled out the scissors.

"Oh man, at this rate I'm gonna need a whole new wardrobe." Dean complained as Sam quickly cut the shirt. He let the front fall to the floor before he worked on pulling the shirt off Dean's back.

"Hold still, this is probably gonna hurt a little. " Sam said as he continued to pull the shirt and needles from his brother's back. He could feel the slight tremors as they ran through Dean's body. Once the shirt was gone, he stood back and noticed most of the needles had come out, but there were still some stuck in the skin on his brother's back.

"Okay, now the jeans. Can you kick off your boots Dean?" Sam asked as he started to work on cutting the jeans away. Unfortunately for Dean, the boxers had to go as well. The needles covered a good portion of his back side and upper thighs.

"We are never going to speak of this again Sammy…" Dean said as he stood and waited for Sam to finish cutting his clothes from his body. Sam stood and walked to the bathroom before he finished and came back with a towel. He handed it to Dean as he kneeled down to make the final cuts.

"I don't want to be blind for life…" Sam remarked at the raised eyebrow Dean gave him.

"Funny Sam—a regular Jerry Lewis…" Dean jerked as Sam pulled the jeans quickly from his backside. "What the hell Sam?!"

Sam shrugged. "Well slow didn't seem to work with your shirt, so I thought I'd try the band aid approach."

Dean quickly wrapped the towel around his middle and went to sit on the bed before Sam could stop him. A moment later he jumped up with a loud yelp. "I thought you got them all out Sammy!'

Sam sighed. "You didn't let me finish Dean. The big ones are gone, but there are still a lot of the fine needles stuck in your skin. Lie back down on your stomach and relax while I check the internet for a way to get the rest of them out."

The young hunter didn't wait for Dean to respond as he booted up the PC. He rubbed a tired hand over the back of his neck as he began to read. It had been a long night already and he was more than exhausted, but he couldn't rest until he finished with his big brother.

"Well, what does it say geek boy?" Dean called from his spot on the bed.

"Uhm…well there appears to be three ways to remove them." Sam paused as he looked over at his brother, a slight grin on his face.

"Okay, so what do we need?" Dean asked as he glared at Sam.

"Elmer's glue, Duct Tape and wax…" Sam replied. He wished he had a picture of his brother's face as he processed the list.

"No way!" Dean said as he started to push up from the bed. Sam moved over and placed a hand on his brother's shoulder to keep him in place.

"Stop moving around or they'll just go deeper. I think we'll try the duct tape first." Before Dean could respond Sam was out the door and grabbing the duct tape from the trunk of the Impala. He really hoped this worked because giving his brother a wax job; especially where most of the needles were was something he just didn't want to think about. As he returned to the room he found his brother leaning over the computer.

"Get back on the bed Dean and let's get this over with." Sam said tiredly as he began to unroll strips of duct tape and place them on the edge of the nightstand.

"Let's get this straight Sammy; you are not giving me a wax job—no way!" Dean glared at him as he returned to lie down on the bed.

"You'd rather I used glue?" Sam asked innocently. "…or maybe you prefer to remain a human pin cushion?"

"I'd rather this had never happened…" Dean sighed as he placed his head on his arms.

Sam spent the next hour using the duct tape to remove all the remaining cactus needles. It had taken more than one application, but once he got it down, they came out relatively easily. Unfortunately for Dean though, the tape left his skin looking red and raw.

As Sam threw the tape into the trash he looked over at his brother and grinned. "So how's the rear end Dean?"

"I said we are never going to talk about this again Sam—are we clear on that?" Dean grumbled as he rose from the bed and headed for the bathroom. "Never again Sam!"

Sam chuckled as he cleaned up the rest of the supplies and got ready for bed. As he sat on the bed his cell phone chirped letting him know there was a message for him. He looked towards the door and grinned before he read the message from Bobby.

"Got your picture and have added to my collection."

Yeah, he'd never talk about it again—but then Bobby was another story.

The End

Raven 524: Well I had started this a while back and decided it was time to finish it. This actually sort of happened to me on a trip to New Mexico—only the needles were in my hand and believe me it hurt. As to the removal techniques—well believe it or not they are also true. I used duct tape *winks* Hope you all enjoyed this silly story…