Title: Headstrong

Rating: K+, mainly for Dean's potty mouth and the presence of blood.

Summary: Wee!Chester, AU. Dean is 14, Sam is 10. When John is late back from a hunt, it's down to Dean to hold the fort. But what happens when he realises his kindly neighbour is in serious trouble? He has to help, doesn't he?

Author's Notes: Hi! This is my first attempt at a Wee!Chester fic, so I'm a little nervous about posting. I've been writing it for the last few days and I'm pleased to say it's almost complete. I'll be posting regularly, in the form of several short chapters so you won't have to wait long in between postings. Reviews are, as always, welcomed.

Headstrong

Chapter One

The rickety old house was deathly silent, which in itself made the hairs at the back of Dean's neck stand on end. If there was one thing he could be certain of about his kindly neighbour, it was that she was a fizzing ball of teenage energy trapped in a much older person's body - she couldn't stay silent anymore than Sammy could stop reading his geeky books or he could stay out of trouble for more than a day, and that was why he liked her. She hummed as she worked, stomped as she walked, Hell, she even snored as she slept - they would often hear her late at night through her open bedroom window as he and Sammy helped dad clean his weapons when he returned from a hunt. Something here clearly wasn't right...

A small voice at the back of his head warned him that he should go back home and wait for dad. He was due back any minute, it insisted, and he was supposed to be watching over Sammy. If dad found out that he'd left his ten year old brother alone in the house he wouldn't be able to sit down for a whole week, the ass-whooping he'd get, but that pesky voice sounded so much like his annoying little brother having one of his spoilt-brat hissy fits that Dean just snorted and continued with his search. He needed to find Mrs. K, even if just to reassure himself that she was okay.

The house was dark, the only visible light coming in through the kitchen window via the street light from out the front. As tempting as it was to reach for the light switch to illuminate his path, Dean decided against it - he didn't want to startle Mrs. K if she simply happened to be fast asleep in her living room, (not that he expected things to be that simple), or at worse, startle her would-be attacker. No, his dad had trained him to move around in the dark. He just needed a few more seconds for his eyes to adjust.

There, that was better. Creeping forwards slowly, placing one foot carefully in front of the other so as not to make a noise, the fourteen year old scanned the hallway ahead of him, taking in the familiar sight of his neighbour's shoes, her coat and that God-awful flowery hat hanging limply on the rack. Mrs. K went everywhere with that fugly thing, he remembered with a grin, but it quickly disappeared at the realisation that if the hat was still here, then his neighbour should be, too. That wasn't good.

He pressed forward with his search, the fear for his friend's health clawing uncomfortably at his insides, but the kitchen was empty, the same way the bathroom was empty, just as the living room and back room were void of any inhabitants. Brow furrowed with worry, Dean headed for the stairs to check out the other floor. His foot had barely touched the first step when he heard a noise behind him. Fighting the instinct to freeze, Dean loosened his grip on the handrail and spun in the direction of the sound, arms raised in a defensive position.

Nothing.

Taking a deep breath to calm his racing heart, the young hunter let his eyes roam the darkness, watching for any sign of movement close by.

Still nothing.

Putting the sound down to his imagination, Dean turned back to the stairs and once again made to climb them. This time it was the eerie presence of something standing behind him that stopped his progress, the feel of someone's soft breath at the back of his neck.

Holding his own breath in anticipation, reassuring himself that yeah, something was definitely behind him, he reacted on instinct, an instinct his daddy had drilled into him from day one: incapacitate first, ask questions later. His bony elbow connected with something solid, a surprised 'oof' breaking the silence as he followed through with a sharp kick to the unknown person's knee. Dean wasn't worried it was his elderly neighbour that he was hurting - he'd recognise the woman's flowery perfume anywhere, she wore it almost as much as that damned hat, and the sickly aroma wafting in from his would-be attacker now they were close to him left a bitter taste at the back of his throat: decomp! Whatever was in the house with him had been dead for some time...

Ghoul, vampire, zombie? In a split second the possibilities swarmed through his head like a plague of locusts, followed swiftly by pain as his assailant fought back, knocking him headfirst into the handrail with a loud crack. Dazed and cursing loudly, Dean stumbled backwards and lost his footing on the step behind him, tumbling gracelessly to the floor with a solid thump.

In the few seconds it took him to recover, check he wasn't bleeding and clamber back to his feet, Dean heard a stifled scream from his neighbour's cellar followed by the ominous creak of a closing door. Without thinking, he darted for the door and threw it open, taking in the pained mewling sounds echoing up through the darkness as the desperate need to find his neighbour overwhelmed him. He didn't have time to ease his way carefully down the steep, concrete stairs as a swift jolt at the middle of his back stole the decision from him. The damn ghoul/zombie/vampire had played him, he realised with a groan as he toppled down the unforgiving steps, hitting the wooden floor beneath in a tangled sprawl. It was his last conscious thought before true darkness claimed him.

A/N: Dun dun dun! Poor Dean... So, yeah, you guessed it. This is going to be a Dean!Whump fic, with a little H/C thrown in for good measure. Just the way I like it! Let me know what you think, next chapter coming shortly!