PUFFALUMPS

AND

WEASELS

BY: Karen B.

Summary: Two shot. An injured Sam. A double dose of Bobby's painkiller and a worried/protective/sweet-hearted Dean.

Disclaimer: Kripke birthed the powerful, beautiful bull…I just like to jump on, and enjoy the eight-second ride -- every chance I get. Ouch! Dusts self off and stands.

Note: Written just 'cause I wanted a loopy, confused, hallucinating, Sam and a protective, tender, brutally handsome, Dean.

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Left foot -- shuffle.

Right foot -- stagger.

Sam stopped to gain his balance -- his direction.

North. South.

Up. Down.

Side to side.

Wax on.

Wax off.

Not even a damn landmark to clue him in.

"Dean, he called feebly.

No answer.

Not so much as a breeze.

He had to find his way out.

Taking in a small breath, Sam moved on, shivering with cold. Not understanding why he was shirtless and barefoot, only wearing blue jogging pants bottoms. Right now, he was definitely 'not' smarter than a Fifth Grader. He'd at least figured out where he was -- well sort of. He was in a dark, narrow tunnel, the air thick and foul -- hard to breathe. Had he been swallowed whole by some mythological beast -- a whale perhaps? How was he going to get out of here? Felt like he'd been searching for an exit for days, weeks -- maybe a lifetime. The passageway was long, a tight corridor going on and on. He stretched his arms out full length on either side of him, feeling along the cold as marble walls. This was no monster -- he was in a hallway. Sam was scared and alone, sometimes walking on his own two feet -- other times crawling on hands and knees

The hallway and everything around him kept changing.

Twisting.

Contorting.

Tangling, and spinning faster and faster.

Only one thing remained the same. A moving shadow -- a presence roaming the walls and following his every move. Sam's senses were a clouded jumble. Whatever was after him was creepy. Only question he had -- was the thing creepy good, or creepy bad?

The scenery flipped again, and Sam found himself lying flat on his back, floating in a licorice black canvas of nothingness, only hearing noises. A door opening and closing. Someone fumbling in a box or small drawer. The shaking rattle of jellybeans in a bottle. Scissors slicing through material. Liquid being poured, spilling to the ground… the word 'fuck,' followed by a sharp needle-like pain to his belly, burning hot like the sun.

"Gaaaa!" Sam cried out.

"Easy. Easy. I'm sorry. Son of a bitch...you can feel that?"

Sam mumbled an answer even he couldn't understand, peering out through scarcely slit eyes. A ghostly hand reached to touch him on the arm, shoulder, and comb through his hair.

Sam sucked in a breath, barely able to turn his head from side to side, desperate to escape the creepy fingers that seemed to be roaming every part of his personal space.

"Where 'm I?"

"Not so sure where you are Toto, but I'm right here with you. You're doing great." The voice sounded out of breath. "Almost done here. You coming out of it?"

"Not telling you any…" Sam swallowed, his throat feeling parched. "…Anything."

"That's my boy" The voice gave a tiered, but proud sounding laugh.

Things were changing again.

He felt sick -- and worse.

Weightless.

Floating.

Falling through stars.

Dodging shooting comets.

"Dean," Sam called out through the loneliness of space, but Dean wasn't there.

He was lost.

The temperature fluctuated like rapid-fire.

Scorching hot, then deadly cold.

His father's drill-sergeant voice kept booming inside his head -- calling out survival tactics.

Stay awake.

Rely on your instincts.

Sustain your body -- first aid, shelter, water, food. Always carry salt, holy water, matches, knife, gun -- make sure your boots fit. How disappointed would his father be with him now? He had non of the above, not even his boots. Lot of good they would do him anyway in a universe of nonexistence.

"Dad," Sam mumbled. "Dad, help me."

"Man, kiddo, we really have a problem here, "a tentative voice whispered in his ear."System's check, Sam. Dad's gone, buddy, remember?" the voice sounded sad, anxious.

Before Sam could try to remember, he was tumbling. Nothing added up as the universe's pull slammed him into rock -- lights out.

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Left foot -- shuffle.

Right foot -- stagger.

Sam tromped down a muddy road, large raindrops bombarding his back. Rotting corpses lay scattered along the side of the road, pieces of dripping flesh hanging from the branches of swaying trees. Horrified, Sam paused, looking skyward, desperate to get the image out of his head. He closed his eyes. At least the rain hitting his face was cooling his sweaty brow.

His eyes fluttered open, and a spark of bright light appeared, nearly blinding him.

"You awake?" A sad, gruesome face now hovered close to his. "Hey?" Green eyes peered at him -- questioning. "You still somewhere over the rainbow?" A hand brushed against his cheek doing no harm -- but Sam cowered anyway. "Shhh. Shhh." The sweat clinging to his brow ran down into his eyes, blurring his vision further. "Try not to pass out again, huh? I'm getting lonely here, man."

"What?" Sam stared, confused as the face above him grew, and stretched like someone was playing with a glob of Silly Putty. Sam watched in sick fascination. When the thing finally stopped morphing, Sam found himself glaring up at a half human, half weasel-like animal. Buldging eyes, pointy nose, rounded ears, extra long neck. "Stay away," Sam whimpered.

What terrible demon had come to devour him? His body quaked. heart-stopping fear racing through him. Weasel-guy gripped his hands. The touch-felt cold, wrong. In a rush of frantic moves, Sam tried to run, kicking, and thrashing.

"You need to calm down." Weasel-guy cursed and growled like a hound from hell, tightening his grip.

"No! No!: Sam slammed his eyes shut.

"You're not supposed to be getting so excited!" The voice, familiar -- yet strange.

Sam tried to open his eyes to make out better who had a hold of him, but couldn't. More words were said, but they were chaotic and murky, the voice echoing all around. He felt trapped, closed in. Sam clenched his jaw, fought hard. He only wanted to be left alone. To sleep. He knew he was losing the fight, not in control of his own body, yet fear drove him to keep fighting -- eyes blinking and fluttering.

"C'mere." Weasel-guy -- or whatever the thing was -- raised him up, scooted behind him, propped him against its chest, and wrapped strong arms around him.

"This can't be right. Wrong, all wrong." Sam bulked.

"Damn it you're strong. What have you been eating? Experimental growth hormones? Stop. Bro! Just stop it!"

Sam settled some, more out of exhaustion than anything. His scarecrow of a brain was trying to tell him something -- his heart too. Something important -- but he didn't know what. All he knew was he'd stumbled into a nightmare, and the more he fought to escape the weaker he got. Everything was one spinning gray, and mysterious cloud. The gray puff just kept pushing down on him harder and harder, until the voice faded, and the hands that held him fell away.

For a while, it was peaceful, black, and silent. But only for a while.

Left foot -- shuffle.

Right foot -- stagger.

He was back on the muddy path, the cooling rain, now thick, and warm. He looked down. His heart nearly stopped when he realized the puddles he'd been sidestepping were not full of water, but full of red -- blood red. Where the hell was he? What rodent hole had he fallen into? A strange, confusing world where the sky bled and the scenery changed like the price of gas. He concentrated on staying calm. Staying on his feet.

One slow step.

Take a breath.

Another slow step.

Take a breath.

Step.

And breathe.

Step.

And breathe.

All the while, a whisper floated on the wind, that same familiar voice Sam couldn't place. He shivered hard, crossing his arms tight around his mid-section and kept moving. Staggering along, confused, cold, somehow knowing someone was watching him -- green, steady eyes, studying his every move.

"Hunted?" The word drifted out clamped teeth.

Was he being hunted?

He heard creaking footsteps, felt something move next to him. He was on his back again. What the hell.

"You're okay," A memory brushed past his foggy brain. "Quiet, now." Warm breath gushed near his ear, almost comforting.

"Where's my brother?" Sam whispered, barely taking in any air, moving toward the feel of that something almost recognizable. "Dean?" he called uncertainly.

"Right here. It's going to be all right, do you know where you are now?" A hand rested against his cheek.

"I don't…" Sam tried to force his eyes open, but they were sticky and glued shut. "…Don't remember."

"Nothing? Come on, kid. It's been over a day and a half." The voice pressed. "You can do better than that."

"Guh." Sam cringed, clutching at his mid-section, feeling some sort of thick binding there.

Familiar hands took his, pulling them down to his sides.

"Don't touch that you'll ruin my awesome needlework."

At the cool touch, Sam's eyes unglued -- wet -- blinking -- searching.

He was sprawled across a bed, still shirtless, barefoot and still wearing the thin, blue jogging pants. Sam glanced around, slowly focusing. He was surrounded by four gray walls. They flashed continuous white -- like a strobe light. Everything in the room seemed to come alive. An air conditioning unit…table…chairs…dressers… mirror…a beer bottle…the remote control, even the Holy Bible. All equipped with arms, legs and teeth. The monster's were seemingly made out of parachute-type material and feather-light -- floating around the room like living balloons.

'Were these some new kind of supernatural beings to fight?' Sam hazily wondered. That's all he needed right now.

"Gawd," Sam moaned.

"Come on now." A hand came to his forehead. "Your skin is burning hot."

"Cold." Sam squinted, seeing something odd -- more backward than the living, floating objects. The flash of green in the bulging eyes looked sort of familiar -- but not. "Dean?" Sam questioned.

"Of course." The strange face smiled.

A hand slipped under Sam's head, lifting and a glass was pressed to his lips. "Drink this."

"No, it's not…not you," Sam cried, every muscle tight with agitation, knocking the glass away from the hand.

"Damn it, you're dehydrated." The odd face frowned -- hard. "You need to drink something."

"Nonono!" Sam lurched forward, easily stopped by a firm palm to his chest, effortlessly pushing him back down on the bed. "Pl ... please…" Sam's head tossed back and forth on the pillow, the only resistance his weakened body seemed to be able to muster. "Help." Sam scrunched his eyes closed.

"I am helping, but man, not a good sign here." The hand stayed pressed to his chest -- trembling. "If you don't start drinking soon…" A heavy sigh filled the room. "…I'm going to have to syringe something into you. Not good times, bro."

The voice sounded like Dean -- sounded sad, but certainly didn't match the weasel-like face. Sam felt an edge of regret, however, his belly throbbing, body soaked in sweat, and muscles hurting all made it hard for him to care.

He drifted for hours, days -- who knew. Only rousing a few times by something cold bathing his face, neck, and chest. Sam kept his eyes shut. Desperate to figure out what kind of weirdness was going on. Maybe he'd find the answers in the dark.

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He licked his lips, his throat badlands dry, body on fire. A loud thump startled Sam and he jerked, eyes blinking but to heavy to stay open.

"Sorry," The voice whispered. "Go back to sleep."

"Water," Sam croaked, trying to swallow past the rawness of his throat.

"Finally." A glass of water was immediately pressed to his lips. "Here. Drink slowly."

This time Sam didn't protest, making sure to keep his eyes shut. No way had he wanted to see the awful face he knew to be filling his request. As long as he kept his eyes closed he could pretend it really was Dean there with him. Sam drank a few swallows, a strange gurgle sound emitting from the back of his throat when he was done.

"Ugh," Sam groaned -- the action -- a whole body experience leaving him weak and quivering.

"Friggin' pills." Gentle hands scooped Sam up cradling him, covering him with something warm, and soothing damp hair off his forehead. "Feeling any better?"

"Worse," Sam muttered, weighty, hot and limp in the man creatures hold.

"Fantastic," the voice grumbled, obviously dissatisfied with the answer. "Sleep," he ordered.

Sam wanted to fight and run but couldn't, too weak he simply blacked out.

TBC

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