In cold I pray for warmth

Summary: A hunt in a snow-filled forest, they separate to try gaining some advantage and Dean steps down on thin ice. Literally. Set in season one.

Pairing/s: None.

Warnings: None.

Disclaimers: I don't own Supernatural.

-o-

"Did I mention how much I hate the cold?" Dean asked.

"No, not in the last minute, Dean," Sam replied irritably. "Listen, just shut up for a while. The more you complain the longer it'll take."

"It'll take longer because I can't feel my fingers, Samantha."

"That's why I told you to wear gloves! God, Dean, what are you, an idiot?"

Dean shut his mouth hearing that and continued to walk, unwilling to start a full-out fight in the middle of a forest with snow up to their ankles. But yeah, the comment stung a bit, coming from Sam. Anyone else he could handle that kind of shit, it was a whole another matter when it came from his kid brother.

Plus he did not want to shift the shaky ground he had managed to create between them after four years apart. They had only been together for little more than a month, and Dean did not want to screw things up, did not want Sam to run away from him. He had been able to handle it one time, but he was rather sure he would break if it happened again.

"Dean…" Sam walked quicker, caught up with him, laid his hand on the man's arm, stopping him. "Listen Dean, I'm sorry I snapped at you. It's just that… it's fucking freezing."

Dean turned and grinned a bit at him, and Sam rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, I'm cold too," he continued. "You said you didn't feel your fingers?"

"Don't worry, they're still functioning."

"You can wear my gloves for a bit."

"No, it's okay," Dean said and turned back. "Cold fingers just motivate me to hurry up and finish the job."

"Good point." They continued to walk.

They were on their way to an abandoned cabin that used to belong to a man named Andrew Innman who had died in a snowstorm hundred years ago. Apparently feeling that was unfair, Andrew had begun to trap people in snowstorms, letting them freeze to death just like he had done. As the Winchester brothers did not really agree with him, he was going away for good.

Which had led them to walk through the forest, when it was getting darker, it was cold, Dean just knew he had snow in his shoes and all he wanted was to get out and have a hot shower back at the motel.

Looking over at Sam, he knew his baby brother was feeling just as miserable as him. So they trudged on, pace as fast as they could with just minimal sight (really, they should buy bigger flashlights rather than stumble around in the dark like idiots) and Dean kept the shotgun ready, Sam carrying the bag with the salt and lighter fluid along with a shovel in his hand. They were lucky the man was buried shallow, and Dean hoped no animal had tried to dig him up. Then they would have a bit of a problem.

"This sucks," Dean said as they walked on.

"Tell me about it," Sam muttered. "Oh crap, is it starting to snow?"

Dean looked up, felt the snowflakes on his face and groaned. That was all the answer the younger one needed, and then he said:

"Why are we even out so late?"

"Cuz there is a trail nearby, and people walk here around the day and that means there are guards," Dean said. "We and guards, not a good combo."

"Still," Sam whined.

"Come on, let's just hurry up." And no, Dean was not going to admit he was shaking slightly. Nope, not a chance. But he should have taken a better jacket. Didn't say it out loud though.

Within minutes the light snowfall had grown to a heavy on, and with it came the wind. They held up their arms to protect against the cold, and sometimes had to scream to make themselves heard.

"The cabin should be just ahead!" Sam shouted.

"Great!" Dean would have said more had not a wind knocked him off his feet and sent him to the ground. He landed with a groan and then Sam came to him, falling to his knees.

"You okay?" Sam said.

"Yeah, help me up."

The now snowstorm had a better plan though and soon they were standing, however, they could not see very well.

"Sam! Go ahead to the cabin, maybe he'll be more interested in me!"

"What?! No! I'm not letting you wander off on your own!"

"Once the spirit's gone, so should the storm too! Just go, I'll be fine!"

With that Dean started head the direction where they had come from, or so he hoped. It was damn impossible to see anything with this much snow, his jeans were soaked up to his mid-calves and every exposed part of his skin was freezing.

Ten minutes later and he fell against a tree, moving his jacket up so it was almost covering his face, giving him some relief from the constant onslaught of snow and wind.

He let himself stand there for a few minutes, let the storm rage around him before starting to walk again. He had no idea what way he was walking; he could very well be heading towards the cabin again. He knew better than to start screaming though; he was not opening his mouth while it was this freezing outside.

Something cracked underneath him and Dean stopped. More cracking, he could not see a goddamn thing and before he knew it he plummeted into icy cold water.

-o-

Sam actually warmed his hands against the fire that was now destroying Andrew's bones and was happy to notice the storm was stopping. Soon only a faint wind remained and light snow fell to the ground.

It was almost completely dark when he had filled the grave again so he packed the things and headed off to find his brother. Their trail had all but disappeared but Sam had been smart enough to tie pieces of cloth on trees to help him orientate himself. The cloth was bright red so it was not so hard to spot when he shone the flashlight over them.

"Dean!" he called out when there had been no sign of his brother for a few minutes.

He received no answer.

-o-

He was fucking dying. There was no other explanation. He was just dying.

Of course, that was only the first two seconds.

Then Dean kicked with his legs and came back over the surface with his head again. Coughing he grabbed onto the nearest edge of the ice, kicking more frantically to get up out of the fucking freezing bitch-water.

The world above water when you were soaked to the bone was not much warmer, and snow on top of that was just wonderful. Despite that Dean kept on crawling through the snow, on his stomach while hoping the ice would not break again. Only when he looked up and saw trees did he slow down, if only to try get up on his knees.

It proved harder than he thought. His joints felt deep-frozen and he could not feel his own body very well. Falling a second time Dean just lay in the snow. He did not have the strength to rise up a third time, and he was feeling very tired and he would get up in just a minute to find Sammy…

The world had almost completely zoned out on him when Dean heard his brother's frantic cry. Weird; it sounded a lot like Sam was screaming his name. A repeat of Dean.

Dean.

Dean!

Dean!!

"Dean! Wake up!"

Dean's eyes opened. First it was all dark, but then he realized it was just night and then bright light in his eyes, making him groan.

"I'm sorry," Sam chanted. "Come on, you gotta rise up, Dean, you gotta get up."

"S'm…?"

"You gotta get up now," the younger man demanded, lifting him up from behind, hands under Dean's armpits. "Up we go."

Dean had no feeling whatsoever and slumped down against Sam, eyes slipping closer again. He was beyond freezing now, everything was just getting lost on him and the last thing he heard was Sam screaming his name again.

-o-

Waking up was nice. He was warm all over, tucked in a soft bed and there was a hand moving through his short hair.

Dean knew this was ultimate chick-flick moment. Probably Sam's hand carding through his hair, having tucked him in, now patiently waiting for him to wake up. So chick-flick… and Dean did not even mind that.

Opening his eyes half-way Dean yawned a bit and moved underneath the sheets. Sam smiled at him, letting the hand rest on the back of his big brother's neck, a solid and warm grip.

"Hey," he said softly.

"Hey," Dean murmured, his voice a little rough. He moved his head up a bit and had a look around. His hair stuck out in all kind of positions and Sam smiled a bit at that. "We good?"

"Yeah, we're good."

"Got to the body?"

"Yeah, I got to the body. Think your trick worked. The storm wasn't so bad."

"I couldn't see shit," Dean mumbled and let his head drop down again. "Cold and miserable… wet too. Fell through fucking ice, man."

"I know. I had to carry your heavy ass out." Sam tried to make it sound light but was not very good at that.

Dean looked at his kid brother and worked his hand out beneath the blankets. He beckoned Sam closer, who had sat back in his chair a bit. Now he moved closer, and Dean grabbed his wrist. Before Sam could do anything he was yanked down on top of Dean, and the man moved until they both were under the sheets.

"Dean? What are you doing?"

He was wrong before. What he was doing now was the real ultimate chick-flick. Dean flipped the finger to that thought and moved closer, saying:

"You're a fucking furnace, Sam, so do me a favour and warm me up. Freaking ghosts and snowstorms… stupid lake…"

His muttering died out as his back was pressed against Sam's front. Sam could barely move and his eyes were wide.

"You're… Dean, you're cuddling me."

"Shut up."

Sam peered over at the man. "Are you blushing?"

"What part of 'Shut up' don't you get?"

The younger man chuckled a bit before moving one arm over Dean's waist. The body was warm, unlike hours ago when it had been stiff and freezing cold. He squeezed his eyes shut in remembrance, as he put Dean into a bath with warm water, trying to get the warmth back into his brother. Laying him down in bed, and trying to make him heat up there.

Dean may take this the wrong way, but Sam could not help it. He pushed up the T-shirt and felt Dean's skin against his arm, relaxing almost immediately.

The older man closed his eyes, moving so his hand took Sam's, squeezing it and then he said:

"I'm fine, dude. Don't worry."

"You were so cold, Dean. You didn't even open your eyes for me."

"I know. But now I'm fine. You can see that. You can feel it. I'm perfectly fine."

They lay in silence for a while after that. Sam thought it should feel weird, because they had not shared a bed in many years, and back then it had been Dean holding Sam, not the other way around. But for some reason, it did not really freak him out. It was the quickest way to know if his brother was fine.

Dean was feeling sleepy again and his eyes soon closed, breathe deepening and his hand released Sam's.

"Dean?"

"Mhm?"

"You falling asleep?" Sam asked. It began to feel too hot underneath all the blankets. Maybe he should remove some.

"Uh-hu…"

"Alright. What do you want for dinner?"

"Almost dinner?" Dean asked.

"Yep. Slept away most of the day, bro. So, anything special for dinner?"

"Pizza," Dean said and burrowed down. It was comfortably warm and he had no wish to leave it anytime soon.

Sam slowly extracted himself, moved so he was lying on top of the sheets before settling down again. Dean turned to him and tried to pry his eyes open.

"No, don't," Sam whispered. "You go to sleep, Dean. Just rest."

He watched Dean loose fight over sleep and once assured the man was not waking up, put a hand on Dean's neck, subtly checking the pulse. Steady. His skin warm, his eyes closed in sleep, not in unconsciousness.

Outside it was cold.

But inside with them, it was warm.

End


Just something I managed to come up with.

Until another time,

Ja,

Tiro