A/N: This is not an SPN Christmas story per se, seeing as it's, probably, way too bleak to meet the requirements of the genre, but the temporal framework fits, at least.

After a hunt gone bad Dean gets to contemplate his Christmas wish. Set pre-series, sometime after Sam left for Stanford.

Disclaimer: None of the characters, plot-points, inherent to the show, belong to me.

No place to go*

The run-down cabin on the side track of snowed in woods was the farthest Dean could make it that night. A queasy uneasiness deep in the pit of his stomach, surging the bitter bouts of bile all the way up to his throat, the fact that he could barely feel his left arm anymore, from the shoulder down, had to blink and squint every other second to keep the road from swimming out of focus and all but collided with a stray trunk a couple of times, pretty much sealed the deal. That vengeful spirit Dad sent him out to take care of, via a clipped text message, turned out one mean angry bugger. So now Dean was certain to have sported a hell of a concussion and at least one cracked rib. Let alone his shoulder felt honest to God ripped out of its socket, before going blissfully numb, that is.

Dad had been out of touch for the whole week by then, the wrap up of a rogue shapeshifter taking longer than expected. Dean was far from thrilled at the idea of doing separate gigs, of course, but it wasn't very well his place to argue Dad's orders. That had always been Sammy's part. Until there was no more Sammy around to make a bitchy face and second-to-triple guess every single one of Dad's decisions. The thought readily fueled a new surge of pain into Dean's already scorching headache, as well as pretty much each and every other one of his aching sore bodily parts, bringing him to backtrack that particular train of ruminations and concentrate on the task at hand.

Which was to haul his battered ass out of the car and into the cabin, to forge something remotely akin to a fire and heat up some snow in a mug to clean the wounds and, if luck so had it, bandage his shoulder up as best he could before he bled to death for real. Not that he managed much beyond getting out of Impala and into the far from welcome confines of the cabin. The ragged room was spinning like a frigging merry-go-round, as he sank to the floor, plopping his head precariously against the chilly wall. He actually threw up twice on his way to the flapping door, and opted for a moment of rest first, lest he should topple over face-down over the impromptu furnace in need of being put up.

He wouldn't have admitted to having blacked out, no sir. Claimed to have drifted off for a bit, instead, when Dad shook Dean out of the frosty slumber, his features a trademark mix of frustration and underlying worry. Dean's gaze wandered off past Dad's shoulder to the source of bland cracking and snapping sounds in the opposite nook, spotting Sammy, fiddling with some brushwood to feed an already blazing fire. The room was getting warmer by the minute. Must've been the sheer hilarity of Dean's bewilderment to earn him a hefty swig from Dad's trusty flask, a pat on the good arm and an explanation. Sammy called from Stanford only to get thoroughly peeved by Dean's number being out of reach (his phone having found it's eternal respite in the attic of that haunted house, smashed to pieces by a raging specter, more like), and gathered the hubris to contact Dad, eventually. In between the two of them they scrambled for a truce and managed to deduce Dean's whereabouts. So there they were, ready to patch him up and get going in the general direction of the nearest hospital as soon as the blizzard settled down.

Sammy relocated his lanky frame closer, to plop Dean's slumped form up, so that Dad could get a better look at those glorious gashes, adorning Dean's shoulder and upper arm. The bleeding subsided, caked grime having glued Dean's shirt firmly to the skin. Dad grunted a warning, before ripping the fabric off in one swift motion. Dean's world exploded in a white-hot flash before fading into a muddled scarlet blur, as he wailed in pain.

Sure enough, that was exactly when Dean had to wake up to the frigid reality of shabby surroundings, his limbs so stiff from the cold he could hardly fathom to venture a move, the howl of snow outside and fierce drafts, whirling unrestrained through the otherwise empty chamber. And then it actually occurred to Dean to pray. Stupid as it was, really. An awkwardly croaked mouthful, for Dean didn't do praying often. More like, didn't do praying, period. Sammy would've had a field day making fun of Dean's lack of grace or civility while communicating with the upstairs office. Except Sammy wasn't there. Nobody was. Given the situation, embarrassment, probably, should've been the least of his concerns anyway. So Dean just went ahead and prayed, all pretenses dropped, for the one thing he coveted most at the moment – not to die alone on Christmas night.

*The title is courtesy of the 'Let It Snow' Christmas ditty. You sure know the one.