He was drowning.
Water flooding his mouth, filling his nose and burning his eyes. His screams went unheard, because there was no sound beneath the water, only the dull crashing of the waves as he thrashed.
Fighting the hands holding him under. They burned his skin, burrowed beneath muscle to his bone. Snapping, breaking, chomping.
He heard the snap. The pain came a moment later.
Frozen, his vision greyed, blurred at the edges. And then he was screaming. And the water was in his lungs. And he felt the cool slickness of something in his hand.
He had a gun?
Oh, yes, a gun. He was gonna shoot them sonsofbitches if it was the last thing he did. Pain. Blacking out wouldn't do. He had to breathe, he just had to. Just had to get to the surface and shoot. Just one more breath. Please?
Panic. But couldn't panic. Panic.
The water was cold, icy cold. Bubbles exploding around him as the very last portion of air escaped his lungs. Not good. So not good. But, Panic! Broken bone limp and good arm, fingers clutching the gun. He had to use the gun. Had to kill the bastard. Right now. Right. Now!
Shouting without sound. Should have been ridiculous, but somehow...wasn't.
A shudder. Thrashing now, stronger and able to get to the surface. The air hit him like a physical thing, water poured from his mouth and nose and still he could not breathe. Not yet.
Just one breath. Just one. Please?
But even though he was above the surface, the threat was still there. Hovering, a few water logged steps away. Sneering face alight in the glow of the moon. Full moon. Was that meant to mean something? No. No, probably not.
This was some motherfucker demon. Not a damn Werewolf! Get a grip!
The gun was heavy, but it was home. He brought it high, and then low. The shot was loud, and tossed him off his feet and back into the water. Thrashing, roaring water.
Those milliseconds, slowed to minutes, before he hit the water. He could hear things. Them. A scream. A gunshot. A shout and a cry. No one was coming to drag him out. They were busy saving their own lives.
Selfish, goddamn he had been selfish. To run after to sucker who'd gotten in a lucky punch, ribs broken, for sure. He'd run off and left Sammy, John and Bobby on their own with possibly another dozen demons. Selfish.
The water closed in on him. Pushing him down and down and down. Such a force that his ribs groaned in protest, lungs full and heart thundering. Caged.
Beneath the water, a reflection of a pastel moon and stars like specks of glitter. Pretty, well, it would have been. If he hadn't been downing.
But, Panic! He really shouldn't panic but it was too hard not to. Especially when he could feel the struggle easing out of his body and the air slipping between his lips. Dying, was he dying? It seemed logical, yet so terribly wrong, he should have been fighting. Fighting and kicking and surviving. It wasn't like him to simply give up.
Fuck giving up!
But it wasn't as simple as that, he knew, even as the darkness began to creep in around him and began to haze. Listless, body limp and lifeless. He floated there, seeing but not really seeing everything around him. An out of body experience...pfft! Yeah, right.
And he had to admit, it was kind of peaceful. In a macabre, lonely kind of way. Peaceful because there was no sound, there was no pain and there was no worry. His mind was numbed to his body, his broken arm crackled and grated, but it was in a distant kind of way, unfeeling, really. But aware.
Was he supposed to remember something? He thought he remembered that he was supposed to remember something. What a minute...was that right? Hmm, sounded right.
Where was Sammy? Wasn't he supposed to be here? And where was here?
Lost Sammy, Dad told him never to lose Sammy. He was gonna be in so much trouble when he woke up, Dad would have his guts for garters. He should find Sammy while he could, had to tell Dad he wasn't a failure. If only he could think clearly, if only he could move.
Just one. Just one more breath. Please?
No use, of course. He had shit for luck.
Drowning...no more thinking...only drowning...
A hand, a pale hand reaching through the icy waters, quickly, but not quick enough. He stared at that hand, watched it grab a hold of his shirt front, tearing fabric, and then it pulled.
Ah, but the surface was surging toward him, like a great white cloud, frothy waves hitting his numbed face. Limp, he couldn't really swim, instead he was being dragged, but rough hands that did not mean to be rough.
Was that...who was that?
He couldn't see a face, only the hand holding his shirt, collar very close to choking him. Not that it mattered, there was no air for him to choke on. He sank beneath the waves a little, and then his feet scrapped the sand below, it tugged at his boots.
No more water, now, being dragged over dryer sand and he could hear. He could hear very distantly the sounds of gunfire and a shout. Something struck his chest and he was dropped, unceremoniously, onto the sand. He saw shapes dance above, around him. The sound of a gun going off so close to him, but he didn't flinch, his body remained motionless, breathless.
Lifted again, hurried footsteps and soon it was not sand beneath him but dirt and twigs and leaves. He could hear harsh breathing, perhaps voices but they were too muffled to make out.
Was that Dad? It had to be, the callused fingers digging into his throat, probing his head. Still dragged, he stared sightlessly as the trees began to smother the sky, blocking his view. Did they know they did that? How could they? Pfft.
A car door opening, another and another. Being lifted, his head lolled to the side, eyes only slightly parted to let in the glow of the car light. Too bright! Blinding! But, unable to close his lashes, he bore it without complaint.
Couldn't complain, anyway. Not when his lips remained firmly still.
A less than gentle thump and he was lowered onto the backseat, the familiar leather pressing against his cheek, his sodden clothes and his sand heavy boots.
Shouts, hurried and panicked and then the slam of cars doors. One. Two. Three. Something pushed at his feet, again, until his knees were bent. Breathing filled the car. Three people silent as the key was turned and the car flared to life. Dirt and branches rattled the windows like seeking fingers as they sped through the trees. It was fading. Fading to black. He didn't have a name. Didn't have a meaning or a purpose. He simple was.
And then there was a hollow thump to his chest, muffled by his shirt, someone ripped it out of the way and suddenly he was bare from the waist up. Sammy kneeling over him, compressing his chest again and again and then blowing air into his mouth that made it nowhere near his waterlogged lungs.
But another series of compressions and the water began to dribble from his nose and mouth, running over the leather seats and pooling beneath him. There was a dull, yet somehow deafening, roar in his ears.
Sound and life and feeling returned in one massive explosion.
Dean stirred weakly, feeling heavy yet alive. The car was humming beneath him and he could smell the wonderful leather beneath his cheek. It was cold, so terribly, awfully cold and his body was immediately wracked with severe shudders.
A hand clamped beneath his jaw, keeping his mouth open and another hand thumped him hard on the back. His body convulsed, expelling the vile liquid in a series of pained retches and coughs and vomiting. It simultaneously burned and froze his skin. And in the end he was left icy and only partially aware.
Sammy was calling his name. Dean. Dean. Dean. Again and again and it made his head spin. Dean. Dean. Dean.
"S'mmy." He moaned, the aches and pains making themselves known.
His broken bones were grating, crackling something fierce. His muscles were so very tense, constricting movement, squeezing the life out of him. He wanted so badly to clench his teeth, but his Sam's fingers digging into his jaw, his head was immobile.
"You got him? Sam, you got him?" A shout from ahead, Dad. Voice so harsh and angry that Dean wanted to sit to attention and glare. He shifted is legs, painful, wanted to move.
"Yeah, Dad, yeah, I got him."
But Sammy was holding him down. Why was he holding him down? When he wanted to move.
He had to get up! He had to move! Dean, shouting in panic and desperation, pushed at Sam's arms, trying to move the immovable. An inch, he got an inch. He had to take it a mile.
"Keep him still, he's goin'ta hurt himself!" Bobby...Bobby was there? When the hell had Bobby gotten there? Or had he been there all along?
"I'm trying." Sam shouted back, muscles straining to keep Dean still, but Dean was stronger, he always had been.
Sam's hand pulled away from his neck and Dean sighed in relief, he lifted one heavy foot and kicked out at his brother's leg, efficiently knocking him onto the floor space between the back and from seat.
He had to get out of the car, he had to escape. Reach the air, breathe in the air. Just one breath. Just one. Please?
He was struggling to move, body so cold and stiff he could barely get his knees to push him toward the door. His fingers scrambled on the handle, pulling the lock, open! Open!
He was hanging for perhaps a millisecond. Fingers closed around the door handle and bare upper body hit full force by the cool, nice...cold. cold. Cold wind. Almost out. Almost free.
And then there were hands scraping at his back, digging into shoulders, painful, and he was being dragged back onto the wet leather seat. There was shouting and it was unbearably loud and Dean clenched his teeth and closed his eyes against the sound. The car door slammed by his head and he cried out.
"...dunno what's wrong with him!" They were shouting at each other, angry, Dean vaguely wondered whether he was supposed to be angry. But probably not. Probably they were angry at him.
Breathless, something sloshing thickly in his chest. He gagged but it wouldn't come up. Sammy's weight on his chest, pinning his arms onto the leather seat, meant he was being suffocated.
He thrashed, but weakly, now. Sam was stronger now. Always had been. Always had been...
Couldn't breathe. Oh, god, he couldn't breathe!
Sam levered himself up and off of Dean, and stared down at him. Dean was clawing at his throat. Something had crawled down his throat, was gnawing at his insides, cutting off his air. Couldn't breathe! Couldn't breathe!
"..op! Dean, stop! Breathe, just breathe!"
What the fuck? He couldn't breathe. Dumbass. No air. Drowning!
Turned onto his side, those hands on his jaw again, trapped. Holding him in place. A thump to his back. Stars dancing.
Another thump. Starbursts.
Water flooded his mouth and dripped from his nose. Again, burning. Choking. Gagging. Sobbing into the familiar leather. It hurts. It hurts so bad.
"S'mmy. Pl's, S'mmy." Dean sobbed, his chest was crinkling like paper, crushing the life from him. And Sammy, still straddling his legs, leaned in close and peered into his face.
"What's wrong, Dean? What's wrong?" Sammy asked quietly.
"Hurts." He grunted. Sammy's fingers were still digging into his throat. Below his jaw. "Hurts."
And, oh god, sonovabitch. He was gonna scream. Too close, eyes too close. Looming. Suffocating. Claustrophobia to the extreme. He was gonna scream. Gonna scream.
It hurt to scream. The sound crawling from he pit of his stomach, cutting through his lungs and then up his throat to spill past his lips. Screaming so loud he thought his head might burst. Split open from the pressure.
Hands patted over his bare chest, his neck, his face. Trying to calm, to soothe. Nothing to soothe because nothing to soothe with. Oil against a hungry flame. Defeated.
Screaming in agony. His body writhing, caught beneath his brother and the leather car seat. Hurt. Hurt bad.
"What's going on back there?" A voice muffled by the screaming, Bobby, when the hell did Bobby get there? Had he always been there?
"I...I don't know! There's something wrong with him!" Sam shouted back.
Seriously, when had Bobby gotten there? Damn!
His body convulsed, the scream choking for a moment before evening out again. It made it slightly better, the pain, to scream. Easing. Not enough. Not nearly enough.
Something was itching his skin, a dozen pricks over his body that made him want to scratch his skin off. His stomach. Scratch the fucking itch! His nails scraped at that spot on his stomach. Scratch! It was on fire, he had to get that itch out of his skin!
And then Sammy was grabbing his hands and pinning them to the seat either side of his head. Trapped! He struggled a little, and then the itching was burning and the burning was itching and he couldn't move because his body was aching and hurting. He went still.
"Bobby, what's wrong with him? I didn't think he got bit or hurt!" Desperation in Sammy's voice.
But Dean was floating. Detached. Forcing the feeling and thoughts away. He retreated from the itching, it was easier for him that way.
"Lemme take a look at him." Bobby was saying from somewhere. When...?
The car lurched to a crooked stop and Dean almost slid bonelessly from the seat. Sam's grip at his legs and on his hands were the only thing keeping him in place. He stared up at his baby bro. Pondering. Listless.
The car door opened by his head and he gasped at the sudden gust of wind that hit him. It tasted fresh and clear, but was so horribly cold that his body began shivering in a little, wonky dance.
Hands. On his face and the base of his skull. Dean coughed weakly.
Bobby's scruffy face loomed above him, and the urge to shriek and claw his way away from the sudden intrusion of his personal space was too strong. He bucked, throwing Sam once more into the floor space of between the seats. He struggled to sit up, working his way past body. Sheer dumb luck.
The moment his feet his the gravel road, Dean knew he had to run. He didn't know why, exactly, only that he did. He was so cold, limbs heavy, but he put one foot in front of the other.
Staggering. A wonky gait that pulled at his sore ribs. But he was moving, faster and faster with each step, he was moving.
Footfalls behind him.
Shouts, his name being called. Dean. Dean. Dean. He shot a look behind him. Dean. Dean. Dean! Had to run, though, no time to go back.
A gasp. His arms flailing, broken bone protesting, he thundered into the brush at the edge of the road, desperate to escape. His mind fumbled with thoughts, where was he? Sammy had been there a moment ago. And why wasn't he wearing a shirt?
These question became irrelevant, however, when those shouts and footsteps got even closer. Just behind him. Loud. Crashing. A hand snaked around his waist a breath before he was tackled to the ground. He screamed in protest, landing on his broken arm, he felt his skin break.
Screaming. Thrashing. Escape! Escape!
Hands holding him down, some gentle, some harsh. An angry voice in his ear, something broken hidden behind the anger. Something wrong and off and rotten.
"Let me go! Stop! Please, Stop!" Dean scream, begged. Wept. Sobbed. Not like him.
"Please, Dean, please stop fighting us." A little, soft please that bought Dean up short. He blinked. Face pressed to the dirt and twigs, the dirt was gritty between his gritted teeth. He could feel it scratching his throat as he breathed.
"Sammy?" He ventured, the pain turning his voice to a squeak. "Sammy?"
"Yeah, Dean, I'm here. You okay Can you hear me?" A warm hand on the side of his head, ruffling his short cropped hair. "Dean?"
It wasn't Sam holding him down. Sammy hadn't tackled him. Who...?
Unknown assailant behind him! Gun digging into his lower back and rough hands on his wrists. Broken arm, pain!
"Sammy!" He screamed. "Sammy!"
"It's okay, we're here. We're here. Tell us where it hurts."
"What...us..who's here...what's going on!" Dean asked, sounding strangled.
"Dad and Bobby."
"Da...Bobby? When the hell did Bobby get here?" That question sounded familiar, but he didn't know why...
"Dean, son, calm down. Calm down." A voice near his ear. Dad? Why was...had Dad tackled him?
"Dad? Can you...can you..." Dean whimpered as Dad shifted his grip on his broken arm. "...hurts." he finished.
Stars were flooding his eyes, so bright yet the colour of ash. He blinked, but it made no difference.
"Arm." He gritted out. And it took Dad more than a second to see what he meant. He release his grip on Deans arm and there was a gusty sigh of relief.
Everything was beginning to feel sluggish. His body was completely limp. Useless. Was this death? Death should have come sooner, when he was drowning...
To Be Continued...?
Did this make any sense at all? Any?
Just a little fun whumping Dean, wondering if I should continue or not :)
- Alerix Slynn