A/N: Written for bhoney who bought me at a Support Stacie auction many moons ago. I heartily apologize for the long, long delay. Writer's block totally sucks. I hope you enjoy the read.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Kripke & Co. own all. Just having a little fun.
By: Vanessa Sgroi
Sam Winchester cursed and peered out the front windshield of the Impala. The world beyond was a curtain of glittery white, snow falling fast and hard. His fingers tightened on the wheel, and he muttered another curse; this one directed at the trio of Cailleacha—winter hags—who were responsible for this current storm.
The hags had been their latest hunt and the brothers had found them fairly quickly and set out to take them down just after dusk. However, the Cailleacha hadn't taken kindly to intervention into their plans and had not gone down without a mighty fight. Most of their fury had been directed at his brother, Dean, who had been tossed around like he weighed no more than a ping pong ball. They'd finally manage to gank the trio of winter hags as well as the oracle they used to bring about meteorological chaos, but not before they'd managed to set off this last blizzard.
A soft groan from the passenger seat garnered his attention. He tore his gaze away from the road for a second, glancing at Dean who was slumped—pale and wan—against the door. "How you doing, bro?"
Dean bit his lip, knuckles whitening as he gripped the edges of the leather seat as lightning bolt of pain streaked across his thigh where a errant tree branch had gouged a deep, ragged furrow. The hasty bandage they'd wrapped around it was crusted with blood. "'M okay," he mumbled. Releasing the seat, Dean rubbed a palm across his damp forehead, attempting to ease the throb behind his eyes.
A wind gust shook the car and Sam turned his attention back to the road. "We should be back to the motel soon," he promised. The Impala moved forward a few more feet before another unnatural gust of wind rocked it back and forth. Sam grimaced and straightened the Impala. As much as he loved the classic car, it drove like a boat at the best of times. Challenged by a supernaturally-conjured storm was pushing it to its limits.
Another tense minute passed and then the tires met a patch of black ice just as another blast of wind shook the car. Sam yelped when the car fishtailed then spun despite his grip on the steering wheel. He fought to correct the Impala's course but the effort proved to be futile. After several more gut-churning spins, the big black vehicle left the road, violently crunched through snow and tangled scrub, and sank backend first into a shallow ditch.
As the car shuddered to a jarring halt, Sam opened his eyes, released his white-knuckled hold on the steering wheel finger by finger before rubbing at the side of his head where it had banged against the window. "Dean, you okay? Turning to look at his brother, Sam found him splayed across the seat, white-faced, one hand fisted on the seat, the other gripping his torn thigh. His eyes were scrunched closed. "Dean?"
The older Winchester lurched upright and fought desperately to open the heavy passenger-side door a few inches. Icy snow swirled and bathed his face as he threw up. He'd barely finished when Mother Nature and gravity slammed the door shut again. Dean shakily wiped the moisture from his face and ran a hand across his mouth, squinting over at Sam. "Worst carnival ride ever…"
Sam allowed a small chuckle. "Yeah, tell me about it." He took hold of the steering wheel again. "Now let's see if I can get us out of here." By alternating between Drive and Reverse and pressing the accelerator, Sam attempted to rock the Impala out of her predicament. Unfortunately, it was all to no avail. After several attempts, Sam sighed in defeat and cast a worried look at Dean, who had remained silent during the whole process. That alone was cause for concern. "Dean?"
"I know. We're not getting out of here tonight."
"'s okay. We can just stay here 'til morning. Start the car off and on for heat."
Sam turned the key, cutting the engine. "Uhhh, I don't think so, Dean. I smell exhaust. I think the pipe might be blocked by snow. And if we just sit here and it keeps snowing like this, we might never get out of the car come morning."
"So whattaya wanna do?" mumbled the older hunter.
Sam was quiet for a few minutes while he considered their options. Finally, he spoke, "Remember that old hunting cabin we saw just before we found the Cailleacha?"
"Uh, yeah, I guess…"
"I think we should be able to make it back there."
"Hike back there in this?" Dean made a vague gesture with his hand.
"It should only be about a mile. And I really don't see any other option, do you?"
Dean grimaced as a spasm of pain tore down his leg. He shivered and his head swam. Pushing it all away, he grunted, "I guess that's a plan then. Let's go." Before his fingers found the door handle, Sam stopped him.
"Hold on. Lemme see if I can get some stuff from the trunk first." The younger Winchester extracted the keys, pulled up his hood, and exited the car, slipped and slid through about five inches of accumulated snow to the back of the vehicle. Avoiding the standing water in the bottom of the ditch, Sam was grateful for his long reach as he was able to unlock the trunk despite the awkward angle. Pocketing the keys, he grabbed an old backpack that was within his reach, quickly stuffed in their small first aid kit, an old blanket, a couple of ratty towels, a flashlight, and their last two bottles of water. Returning to the driver's side door, he dived inside the car. "You about ready?"
"As I'll ever be."
Sam eyed his brother, ensuring he had coat zipped and gloves on. "Here," he shoved an old gray knit watch cap at Dean, "Put this on."
Dean grumbled but put on the hat without argument.
Sam again exited the car, shoved his arms through the straps of the backpack, securing it. He tightened the strings on his hoodie and slipped on his own gloves. "Come out this way; it should be easier."
The older hunter slid across the bench seat and out of the car, pushing himself slowly upright. Sam's hand steadied him while he found his balance.
"You're leg okay?"
It wasn't. His thigh was on fire. In fact, his whole body hurt like mad from head to toe. Dean shrugged. "I'll live."
"I guess we should get going then."
Dean lurched forward, nearly losing his precarious footing in the slippery snow. He recovered and limped forward, his brother gripping his upper arm in guidance and support.
Thick streamers of snow continued to dance and writhe to and fro on conflicting currents of air, sweeping away their footprints as the Winchesters started their journey. And somewhere the trio of Cailleacha giggled in delight.