A/N: Hey folks!
Okay, this is my first attempt to write a Brotherhood AU story. This idea suddenly popped up inside my head on a ride home from work. And despite all my other WIP-stories I had to write it down. :)
I'm kind of nervous about this story, so feedback would be awesome! *puppy dog eyes*
A/N: For the timeline – Dean's 19 and Sam 15.
A/N: An unbelievable huge thank you to Enkidu07 for her beta'ing and thanks for pointing out some certain things (think you know what I mean ^^)! *huggles you* And also a huge thank you to Ridley for letting me play with her awesome brotherhood characters. And to JeanyAlicia for always being there for me when I need her. (you know I love ya, sweetie!)
Disclaimer: Nope, still don't own anything except my crazy fantasy. Everything belongs to Kripke, the CW and to Ridley C. James.
Have fun reading!
A Storm Is Going To Come
If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
What if, what if, if today was your last day?
If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback
"I still can't believe this…" Caleb swore softly under his breath while fighting his way through thick brushwood. His jacket was soaked to the skin by the light drizzle that had settled in half an hour ago and the temperature seemed to have dropped another few degrees.
This all was so not helping his current mood.
He didn't look back to see if Dean and Sam were still keeping track. He knew they were close by. Though, that was more or less the whole problem.
Sure he was glad about the backup and Dean with his nineteen years was already a damn good hunter but… hunting a Wendigo together with a fifteen-year-old Sam Winchester without any of the other members of the Triad knowing about it didn't feel right.
Hunting a Wendigo isn't quite a cakewalk, Caleb thought darkly and almost had to laugh. Those were exactly the same words Dean had used during their short but heated phone call yesterday.
"Come one, Damien, relax. I know you're still pissed at me but with the three of us it's going to be an easy hunt. In, killing that thing, and out in no time." Dean's tone was light and teasing but Caleb knew exactly that the older Winchester was as worried about this whole situation as he was.
"Well, your words yesterday sounded kind of different to me." Reaves shot a quick glance over his shoulder and nearly hit his head on a low hanging tree branch. "Damnit."
A grin twitched around Dean's mouth. "Yeah, well that was because of you thinking about this hunt as a one-man-gig. And that would be like a neon-sign death wish."
"Now the two of you could be in danger too." Caleb snapped. After the whole ordeal two years ago he would be happy to keep the two Winchester boys as far away as possible from a Wendigo.
And there was another thing. He couldn't quite put his finger on it but something about this whole hunt didn't feel right.
Sure he had researched it after Boone had given him the details two days ago and Sammy had researched it a second time just for good measures but still – something bothered him.
"Damien you're acting like this is our first hunt. Well, it isn't, okay! Stop acting like you're Dad." A low angry note was slowly starting to get more audible in Dean's voice.
"Maybe you should listen to the man and the orders he's giving you, Deuce. Maybe that would be safer for everyone." Caleb knew the moment the words left his mouth that this was a low blow. He didn't have to read the kid to know that this hadn't been an easy decision for him. Choosing between obeying strict orders and keeping his little brother save at a motel or risking to let him, Caleb, go out on a Wendigo hunt without any proper backup.
Caleb sighed and stopped in the middle of a small clearing. Slowly he brushed some wet strands away from his forehead. A headache started pounding behind his eyes.
"Look, Deuce, I'm sorry, okay? I just… I don't know. Something feels off about this whole gig." He met the older Winchester's eyes, the green of them, cold and distant. "Plus, if Johnny gets wind about this he will kill me. Or at least make me run manoeuvres for the next few months which would probably be even worse than being dead." The psychic tried for humour though there was truth behind his words.
Dean snorted. "Yeah, tell me about it. If dad finds out that…"
Sam who had been unusually quiet the whole time spoke up now, his voice full of anger and frustration. "Guys I can hear you, you know?" Sam threw an angry look from one man to the other. "And I know that this whole argument is about me being here. But you agreed to take me with you. And I'm so sick and tired of being left behind in some kind of crappy motel room, waiting for all of you eventually coming back. I'm not a damn kid anymore."
"Yeah, well, you're not so grown-up either, runt." Caleb tried to keep his voice light. There was no point in starting a fight here. In a way he could understand Sam. Though it didn't help him get rid of the knot inside his stomach right now. "And it's not like you gave us much choice by blackmailing…"
"I just don't get it. I mean Dad's so stubborn about me becoming a hunter but when I finally do want to be on a hunt with you it's still the wrong decision. I mean, I know Dad's only concerns are hunting that demon down that killed mom to get…"
"Okay, stop it." Dean interrupted emphatically. "Let's just focus on the damn hunt. I'm slowly but surely freezing my ass off here."
Caleb saw the hurt look in Dean's eyes. He could see Dean was trying to stave off another round of Sam blaming their father for everything bad in the world. He knew the fights between the two of them were getting worse lately.
"I couldn't agree more, Deuce." Reaves let his gaze travel over the small clearing they were currently standing on.
The grey daylight was fading into the twilight of early evening. The light drizzle had slowly morphed into a full on pour.
Reaves shuddered slightly. Hell, he just wanted to kill that thing and get them out of here in one piece. Not to mention the hot shower he would take when they were finally out of here and back at the motel.
"Did you hear that?" The youngest Winchester's words pulled him out of his musings.
"Did I hear what?" Caleb felt Dean tense beside him, hands tightening around the gun.
He strained his ears. There, now he could hear it too. The breaking of branches and rustling of bushes. It was barely audible over the patter of the rain.
Caleb's eyes scanned the clearing but couldn't find anything out of the ordinary, especially with the increasing darkness throwing shadows over the trees.
Then he felt it. His eyes widened slightly with shock.
"Move! Get away from the clearing!" Caleb ordered harshly. He pushed Dean back in the direction they had currently come from.
"Damien what?" Dean's gaze flickered back and forth between the older hunter and Sam, making sure his little brother was not in any immediate danger.
"We have to get out of here! It's not a Wendigo!" Reaves urged. Whatever was out there was dangerous and determined to kill.
Dean obeyed immediately. In a swift motion he covered Sam even more, who also had a death grip around his gun. Carefully they inched back into the safety of undergrowth.
"What…" Dean started but Caleb silenced him with a dark glare.
"Later. Go!" He positioned himself in front of the two brothers, gun aimed at the now motionless bushes. He battled to calm his racing heartbeat, tried to get another read on the thing.
Caleb never saw the arrow in time.
All of the sudden there was a breathtaking pain in his right side. His vision tunnelled for a few seconds as a wave of nausea hit him.
The shots that echoed around him were muffled and distant over the ringing in his ears.
He couldn't remember how he had ended up on his hands and knees on the damp and cold ground. Every little movement sent new searing pain through his side.
Hands were there all of the sudden, keeping him upright before he could fully face plant.
"Damien! Oh fuck, come on man, you with me?" The psychic heard Dean say over the pounding of his own heartbeat in his ears. Caleb didn't have to read the older Winchester to make out the fearful undertone in his words.
"Sammy, watch the area while I take care of the wound. Shoot at anything that moves or looks suspicious okay?" Dean met his brother's gaze for a brief moment before focusing back at the task at hand.
"Dean, we have to get out of here. Seek cover or something like that before this thing attacks us again." Sam threw a last worried glance at Caleb. The clearing was quiet again, nothing moved.
"We will get out of here. Just let me bandage this first." The older Winchester angled with one arm for the backpack while keeping Reaves upright with the other.
Caleb groaned softly. "God, I think it shot me."
"No shit, Sherlock." Dean exhaled slowly and Caleb could hear the relief in the younger man's voice. "Hold still, I have to get rid of the arrow and bandage the wound properly. It's not a through and through and with some luck there is a good chance it could have missed any organs." He tightened his grip around the arrow.
"What? You're a doctor now?" Caleb gritted his teeth as a new wave of pain washed over him. His gaze wandered from Dean to Sam who was scanning their surroundings, gun aimed and ready to shoot.
The sky had darkened even more. Maybe thirty more minutes or so and it would be completely dark.
Dean let the comment slip. "I'm counting to three then…"
"Just get it out, okay?" It felt like somebody was twisting a hot fire poker inside of him.
Without further warning Dean pulled the arrow out and pressed gauze onto the wound to staunch the bleeding as best as he could.
Reaves could barely bite back an outcry of pain. Hell, it felt like something was trying to tear him apart.
From far away he could hear Dean's muffled voice. It was hard to concentrate on it but eventually he could make out the words.
"… have to calm down. You're hyperventilating." .
Caleb blinked and fought to focus his blurry eyes on the face in front of him. For the first time he noticed that his lungs screamed for oxygen.
"That's it, Damien. Nice and slow." Dean encouraged while pressing more gauze on the wound. He threw a quick glance over his shoulder to check on Sam whose gaze ever so often went back to the two other men.
"Okay that sucks!" Caleb panted while battling to breath through the pain.
"You're telling me?" Dean finished bandaging the wound. Hopefully the pressure bandage would keep the blood loss at a minimum.
Caleb fought not to make new pain noises. Mac and John so would kill them when they found out about all this. But one problem at a time though. Right now they had to worry about making it out of here in one piece.
"We have to get out of here before it can make its next move." Caleb tried to stand up but his legs refused to hold him upright.
"Easy." Dean steadied him, a concerned look on his face.
Reaves blinked a few times in a try get rid of the feeling of lightheadedness that still clouded his mind.
"Speaking of it – what the hell is this? And what have you sensed before it attacked us?" Dean pulled the psychic's arm over his shoulder.
"Yeah, what have you felt? I saw the look on your face." Sam eyed Caleb, his face showing the same concern as Dean's just a few minutes ago.
"I… I don't know what exactly it is but… it felt human. Kind of at least."
"It what?" Dean asked as he tightened his hold around the psychic's waist a bit more as Caleb leaned a little heavier on him, his legs not ready to take the weight.
"Kind of?" Sam asked disbelieving, his gaze again wandering over the darkening clearing.
Caleb saw him stiffen for a moment as if he saw something, but then he relaxed and everything was quiet.
Reaves pressed his other hand over the wound. Every step sent new pain up and down his side.
"I can't explain it. In a way it felt human but it was…" He struggled for words. "It felt evil and dark." Caleb bit back another groan. He noticed the worried side glances the youngest Winchester threw at him every so often.
"I'm fine, runt. I had worse you know that." He tried to sound reassuring.
"You reading me?" Sam looked at him over his shoulder.
Caleb gave him a tight grin. "Just knowing you."
The last twenty-so minutes had passed uneventfully.
Darkness had settled in almost completely. All Dean could make out now were just shapes.
Caleb had grown alarmingly quiet. Dean felt him lean more and more on him, his steps had become an unsteady stumble. But it was the ragged breathing that worried him the most.
"Damien, you still in there?" The following lack of response let the knot inside his stomach twist even more.
"Still… there D-deuce." Caleb mumbled, his voice hoarse and pained.
"Keep it that way, Damien. Just a little bit longer, okay!"
Reaves nodded slightly. Dean felt his knees buckle and he tightened his grip, making the older hunter groan, but keeping him from falling to the ground.
"Dean?" The older Winchester cringed at the obvious fear and concern in his little brother's voice.
"I think we need a short break." Dean almost carried all of his friend's weight by now.
Sam slowed so that he was walking beside them. "Dean we can't stop here. It's too dangerous. I don't think whatever it is will let us go that easily and flashlights would act like a neon-sign."
"Tell me something I don't know already." Dean snapped and readjusted his hold on Caleb. He knew his friend was running on empty. But something about his condition didn't seem right.
"Maybe fifteen more minutes and we're back at the car." Dean heard veiled fear in Sam's words. "Let's just get out of here please."
Before Dean could reply anything at all Caleb's legs fully gave out under him, sending both men to the ground.
"Whoa Caleb. Sam, get the flashlight!" Dean knew the light would give away their position but screw that. It couldn't get much worse now.
Without any protests Sam fished the flashlight out of his backpack. Seconds later a bright light beam cut through the darkness.
Sam's stomach clenched painfully at the sight in front of him.
Dean had positioned himself behind Caleb, the older hunter's back resting against Dean's chest.
Reaves's face was ghostly white, his sweat soaked hair plastered to his forehead. The small slits of amber glassy and slightly unfocused.
"Shit." Sam swore softly. "How is he?" It was a stupid question and the answer more than obvious. He crouched beside Caleb, his gaze travelling down to the blood soaked bandages.
"You need an answer to that?" Dean placed a hand against Caleb's forehead.
The psychic groaned and turned away slightly.
"Little more … personal space Deuce. You're … worse than Mac."
"Hey." Sam sighed. Sounding relieved.
"Dude, next time you need a break, just say so before you getting close and personal with the ground." Dean could feel the shivers running through the other man's body. He couldn't say if it was a result of the fever or shock. Or maybe a combination of both. As carefully as he could he stripped out of his jacket and draped it around Reaves's shoulders.
Caleb shifted lightly but a sudden breathtaking wave of pain let him stop. Pain lines appeared on his face.
"Easy." Dean squeezed the other man's shoulder reassuringly.
"'s okay. Jus' need a moment to catch 'm breath." Reaves panted, his eyes clenched shut tightly.
Dean's worried gaze met Sam's above the psychic's head. A bad feeling crept up inside his gut.
With a sudden outcry Caleb doubled over. Deep pain lines appeared on the older man's face. His breathing labored and quick.
"Caleb!" Both Winchesters said in union. Sam's hands steadied Reaves, kept him from toppling over completely. The boy cringed at the heat he felt coming off of the psychic.
"Shit, Dean he's burning up."
"I know." Dean's thoughts raced. Could an infection already have set in? Somehow he doubted that. But what…?
Caleb's slight movements pulled him out of his thoughts.
"Caleb you with us?"
"God this sucks!" The older hunter groaned, his breathing still too fast and shallow. He just
wanted to sleep, escape the pain. But he couldn't. Not until he got the boys out of here.
"Caleb what is wrong with you?" Sam carefully checked the bandage. The bleeding seemed to
have slowed. Even they needed some luck.
"Dunno, runt. But somethin' feels wrong."
Dean who had watched the undergrowth around them looked back at his friend.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"I'm not entirely sure but I think there was something on the arrow." Oh Mac and Johnny would love that.
"Poison?" Sam asked shocked.
"Fuck, Caleb!" Dean cursed loudly. "You're sure?"
"Guess so. At least it would … explain the symptoms."
"Okay, listen, hang in there a little bit longer. We're almost back at the car. Then we'll call Dad and Mac. They will know what to do. It's gonna be okay."
"You know, Deuce, that … would sound a lot more reassuring without … you panicking." Caleb gave him a weak smile.
"Shut up, Damien. I'm not panicking. You're the girl that fainted." Dean shot back and squeezed the older man's arm.
"'m not faint!" The psychic protested. It seemed to be harder and harder for him to keep his eyes open.
Suddenly Sam's head shot up, a frown appeared on his brow.
"What?" Dean sounded alarmed.
"I thought I heard something." Sam's gaze moved back and forth over the thick, dark bushes. His index finger curled around the trigger, ready to shoot.
Dean's gaze scanned the area as well, the grip around his own gun tightened.
The rain had stopped and the woods were deathly quiet.
The soft breaking of branches to their left was the only indication from where the attack would come.
"Sam! Down!" Within the blink of an eye Dean had pushed Sam not too gently out of the way.
The sudden burning sting on his arm caught him by surprise. He felt the cold wetness of blood slowly seeping into the fabric of his shirt. Damn, the arrow seemed to have nicked him.
Without second thoughts Dean fired in the direction the arrow had come from - the shots loud in the cold autumn night air.
A short, shriek outcry echoed through the silence than the breaking and rustling of undergrowth as it fled deeper into the woods.
"Fuck that was close." Caleb looked up at Dean who still searched the darkness for a possible threat.
"Dean, did the arrow hurt you?" Sam moved closer to the two other men. He couldn't quite hide the slight quiver in his voice.
Dean pushed the throbbing pain back in a far corner of his mind. It had just grazed him. He would clean it later when they were back at the motel.
"No, it didn't touch me." He moved back to Caleb whose trembling arms wouldn't have held him upright much longer. "I think I winged it. That should buy us the time we need to get out of here for good." Dean helped Caleb back onto his feet, one arm again pulling over his shoulder.
"Even the crappiest motel room looks like heaven on earth compared to our current surroundings." Reaves pressed out while trying to keep up with Dean and Sam.
"I'll remind you the next time you bitch about that." Sam had pulled Caleb's other arm over his shoulder.
"Shuddup, runt." The psychic's knees buckled. He blinked tiredly. Hell, his whole body screamed for some sleep.
"Come one, Damien. No sleeping on watch. Hang on, okay. We're almost out of here." Dean coaxed. He briefly met Sam's worried gaze.
"You already said that ten minutes ago." Caleb panted, his breathing ragged and fast.
"There. I can see the car." Sam said, relief in his voice.
"This better … has to be … true." Caleb felt his last bit of strength slowly fading. Whatever that stuff was on the arrow it seemed to work fast.
"He's right." Dean said, seeing the silhouette of his car as well. The moonlight that illuminated the landscape from time to time shimmered soft on the black frame.
"God baby, it's good to see you."
"Deuce … you really … need a girlfriend." Reaves slurred. His steps became clumsier with every passing minute.
"That's what I'm telling him all the time." Sam laughed softly, grateful for the slight distraction.
"Shut up, both of you." Dean growled. He felt Caleb lean more on him. Both of them were now almost completely supporting the other hunter's weight. "Damien, stay with us. Car's right here."
"'m still here." Reaves blinked sluggishly. "Not goin' … anywhere."
Thanks for reading! And reviews feed my muse! ^^
I know my updates sometimes take ages but be assured, I will update. Don't care how long it might take. ;) (Can somebody please come up with a 36-hours-day?)
The event Caleb mentioned at the beginning of the chap is a reference to Ridley's story 'Heroes Revisited'. Hope you don't mind hon! ^^