A/N: This was written in honor of the lovely Mokibobolink. Happy Birthday, hun! Hope you have a great one ;)
Summary: Sam and Dean investigate mysterious deaths in a small town in California, when they meet up with someone they never thought they'd see again...
Rated:T for violence and language... just to be safe, I suppose.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. But I do love to play with them...
11 00 11 00 11
"Dude, walking home from a bar, drunk, down a dark alley?" Sam criticized as he spoke into his phone to Dean. "That's stupid, even for you."
They had split up, earlier; Sam taking the Impala to Cloverdale to use their library, as this little town they were hunting in, Mendocino, California, literally had nothing. They were trying to find some lore for a recent rash of murders that had taken place in a mysterious way; victims found with their throats slit. But the part that had sparked the Winchesters' interest, was the fact that the blood that otherwise should've been pooled under the victims' bodies, was missing.
Before parting ways, Sam and Dean had traveled to Fort Bragg to question some family members of the victims. Sam had grown impatient. Dean insisted he could handle the interviews himself.
Unfortunately, Dean had finished a lot sooner than either of them had anticipated, which caused him to become bored, rather quickly. Which, in turn, ended up leading him to the local pub.
Now it was close to midnight, and he was walking back to Mendocino. "I'm not in any alley, Sammy," he retorted. "In fact, I'm enjoying the evening breeze as I walk along the beach."
Sam could hear the grin through the phone, but it only seemed to aggravate him further.
"'Sides, I'm like halfway there," Dean continued. "I haven't seen so much as a car in over half an hour. So unless it's the trout jumpin' outta the ocean and slicin' these people's throats and drinkin' their blood, I think I'll be fine."
After a small amount of contemplation, Sam replied, "Actually, I'd have to place my bet more on barracuda."
"Seriously, Sam?" Dean's voice carried an incredulous tone.
"Look; I've got your position on the GPS. Could ya just stay put until I get there? I'm like five minutes out..."
"You're tracking me? What the hell?"
"I needed to know where to pick you up," he defended. "I turned it on before I even left Fort Braggs."
"So...so what now, Sam? What am I supposed to do while I'm waiting? Go for a swim? 'Cause I'm kinda worryin' a bit about barracuda now..."
Sam couldn't help but grin, "Just...just sit down in the sand and wait." He couldn't help but to add, "And watch out for crabs."
"Little sand crabs, Dean. They won't hurt you."
"Jerk," he laughed. Suddenly, he heard a grunt, like Dean had fallen over. "Uh, Dean? Dean, are you okay, man?"
It was then that he heard a sound that caused his heart to race and his chest to burn with anxiety; Dean's pained scream.
"Dean!" he yelled. "Dean, I'm coming for you!" even though it was most likely that he couldn't hear him now. But he heard his older brother call out for him...
11 00 11 00 11
"Sam!" Dean shouted as he was roughly pressed down into the sand. He hadn't even seen his attacker yet. He'd been taken completely off-guard with a blow to the head that had him seeing stars, at first. That's when he'd dropped his phone.
Now, it was if he was somehow being held by an invisible force, to the ground. Wait...
"Who are you?" he spat.
He felt a knee dig into his back as his attacker crouched over him, bending down so their head was close to his ear, "Guess I can see why you wouldn't recognize me, Dean. This meat suit isn't nearly as pretty as I was, before I was dragged to Hell." It was a woman's voice. That's all he could gather.
"Hell, huh?" he'd had laughed if he could breathe better at the moment. "Sorry, but you'll have to refresh my memory. We send a lot of assholes there."
"Oh, you didn't send me there," she replied. "But you let me go. You did nothing to help me, even when I begged you. You still let those hounds take me."
It took him just a few moments to catch on. "Bela?"
"Very good," she praised.
"You know there was nothin' we could've done," he retorted. "There wasn't time."
"But you knew what I was trying to protect myself from. You knew, and you did nothing to stop it." She was off of him in a heart beat, and flipped him over onto his back. Before Dean could even respond, her fist was pounding into the side of his face. "Do you have any idea what I went through?" she asked as she stood, being sure to use her demonic power to keep him pinned. "Being torn apart by those hideous beasts, then dragged into Hell...tortured for centuries?"
Dean thought for a moment. 'Centuries?'
"Imagine my surprise when I realized only three years had passed up here... But you know all about that, don't you, Dean? The time differences... The torture... The hounds... Well, let me just remind you," her hand swung down and landed, palm open, on his chest. Instantly, Dean felt the burning heat through the layers of his shirt, pressing into his flesh, tearing open his skin.
He shouted, painfully, against it, wishing he could squirm from her demonic grasp. "S-stop! B-bela, stop!" he pleaded.
She pulled her hand away, "What's the matter, Dean? Got something to say?"
He nodded as he tried to catch his breath, "Yeah... You were right."
"What do you mean?"
"You're no where near as hot as you were before you went to Hell."
The anger in Bela's face became clearly evident as she growled and stood. With a wave of her hand, Dean was up off the ground and roughly shoved up against a utility pole. He grunted at the painful crunch that sounded when his back met the wood.
"You think you're so much better than me, don't you?" she sneered as she threw her fist into his stomach. "Got your own pretty-boy angel to drag you outta Hell," she hit him again. "While I had to fight and crawl my way out, myself!"
"Is that...what this is...about?" he rasped and coughed. "You're pissed that...I got out sooner?"
"This part, yes. But I have a job, here. You don't think I gave up my trade, now do you? It's really like riding a bike."
"Yes, Dean. A job."
"What? Now you're in the murdering business?"
"The job is worth five million," she told him. "The item is your head. I can do whatever I want with you before I remove it. But...I think I'm through. I've taken out my frustrations. So let's get to business, shall we?"
She waved her hand again, throwing him toward the shoreline where the waves were steadily crashing now. And suddenly he was face-down again; salty sea-water crashing into his face...
11 00 11 00 11
Sam came to a screeching halt where the Impala met a barrier before the sand. He'd been following the GPS tracker, and it led him here.
After the barrier, it was a steep shot down, so he'd have to go on foot. He was prepared for the fight. He'd heard the conversation between Bela and Dean from the forgotten fallen phone. What he wasn't prepared for, was his motionless brother, lying face-down in the wet sand; Bela stooping down with a knife in her hand.
It looked like she was readying to decapitate him.
Sam quickly and quietly approached, and before she could get the knife to Dean's throat, he plunged Ruby's knife into her back. "Pleasure doing business with you, Bela," he told her as she turned, wide-eyed with surprise, to face him, and her body flashed. She collapsed to the ground and everything went still.
Sam's attention was redrawn to his brother. "Dean!" he scrambled to his side, turning the older hunter onto his back. Dean's eyes were half-mast; fixed on nothing. It made Sam think back to the night he'd been killed by the hounds...
He checked with his cheek over Dean's mouth, and found no sign of breath. "Nonono..." he whimpered as he checked for a pulse... "Oh god, Dean..." he quickly stood and dragged him away from the rising tide, toward the most level part of the ground. "Please don't do this to me..." he dropped to his knees beside his older brother and began chest compressions.
Within moments, Dean was coughing up the offensive sea water, rolling onto his side and groaning against the pain that was coursing through his chest and gut. "Dean, thank God!" he moved to help him sit up, at which Dean protested with a heated groan.
"Yeah, it's me. I've got you."
"I know. I'm gonna get you some help, okay? I'm gonna help you to the car."
"N-no, Sam...c-can't-" he gagged and Sam cringed as blood poured from Dean's mouth.
"Oh my god, Dea- What'd she do to you?" he wasted no more time. Sam scooped Dean up off the ground, unconcerned with any argument the older Winchester might end up giving about it. He was almost afraid, when no protest came...
Once Sam reached the car, he carefully crouched down to set Dean on the ground so that he could open the door. He was confused, for a moment, when he couldn't pull away. But he realized that Dean was clutching to him. Sam pulled away enough to look at his brother's face.
"G-guess...y'were r-right, S'my," Dean said with as much a smile as he could conjure; blood staining his teeth and chin. Sam tilted his head, narrowing his eyes in question. "Sh-sh-shou'nt've...been w-walk'n...'lone..." he coughed, wetly; more blood dripping from the already crimson mouth. Sam held onto him, unsure what else to do. And when the coughing stopped, it was replaced with quick, hyperventilating breaths.
"Dean...Dean, I've gotta get you to the hospital- you need to let me go so I can open the door!"
"N- not...g'n make 't, S'my..."
"No...No, you're gonna be fine," Sam's face crunched up as he fought tears.
Sam shook his head; his eyes darting all around as he tried to process what to do. There was only one thing, really.
He looked up at the dark sky and yelled, "Castiel!" And just as quickly, looked back down at his brother, who sounded as if he were choking. "No...no, Dean," he pulled him into his lap and leaned back against the car. "Not gonna let you..." the tears fell down his cheeks, then. "Cas!" he screamed out again, into the darkness. Hopelessness started settling into his heart.
"Sam?" the deep voice of the angel sounded beside them, and Sam's head whipped around to see him. "What's happened?"
"It's Dean...Dean needs help!" Sam begged.
"Who did this to him?" he asked as he approached, looking as worried as possible, for the angel.
With a confused glance, Castiel laid his hands on Dean, and within moments, the older hunter was gasping in the much needed air.
"I thought Bela was dead?" the angel questioned.
"She was," Dean sat up, gathering his bearings. "She is," he corrected himself. "Bitch crawled outta Hell and started takin' on new clients. One of them wanted my head."
Cas thought for a moment, "Did she say who?"
"Well, I didn't exactly think to ask, Cas, since I was busy getting my ass killed," Dean retorted, gruffly.
"Why were you here, in this place?" the angel continued his questioning.
"We were hunting, Cas. That's kinda what we do..." When Dean saw Castiel's head tilt to the side, and his eyes squint a bit, he knew he needed to elaborate. With a sigh, he continued, "Throats were being slit; blood missing; yada yada yada..."
Cas looked away for a moment. "Bela must've taken on a client of demonic origin," he told him after a moment. "I'll look into it. In the meantime, I believe the two of you should leave here."
Before Dean could reply, the angel was gone. He couldn't figure out why it surprised him pretty much every single time, but it did. He sighed, "Yeah, thanks, Cas. Nice to see you, too... Guess we should get outta here, then, huh, Sam?" he turned to look at his younger brother. "Sam?"
Sam was still seated with his back against the car, staring at his bloody hands. His face was still wet from crying. Dean had to swallow down a lump in his throat at the sight. "Sammy, you okay?"
"I didn't know what to do," he said, without looking up at him.
"What if he hadn't come, Dean?" he met his eyes then. "What if Cas hadn't come when I called? I could've lost you..."
"C'mon, Sam. He did come..."
"That's not the point!" Sam pushed up off the ground and began shakily pacing. "There's no reason to keep us around anymore, Dean! No one's gonna drag either one of us back here if one of us dies again... Lucifer is back in the cage; Micheal's there with him. They don't need us anymore! And Cas is so busy most of the time, I'm not sure he'll always answer when we need him like this!"
"Sam, would ya just stop!" he forced his pacing to cease, by grabbing hold of his shoulders. "Just stop it, Sam... Cas did come, okay? I'm sorry I walked alone in the dark. You were right. I was wrong and I about got myself killed. So I'm sorry. It won't happen again. Everything's gonna be okay. I promise, Sammy... Okay?"
Sam considered him for a moment, his eyes never leaving his brother's. Then he nodded, and Dean suddenly found himself with Sam's arms wrapped around his shoulders in a tight embrace. He returned the hug, awkwardly.
"Okay, dude," Dean sighed. "I think you might be in some kinda shock. It's time to get outta here, like Cas said. We'll drive a couple hours and get us into a halfway decent crap-hole of a hotel room, okay?"
Sam pulled away with a nod, then headed to the passenger door. Satisfied, Dean gave a curt nod to no one in particular, then headed to the driver seat...
A few minutes down the road, Dean broke the silence that seemed thick in the car. "I need to thank you, Sam," he said. "You saved my ass back there."
"You've saved mine more times than I can count," Sam shot back.
"Yeah, and you thanked me every time," he replied. "So I'm thanking you. Got a problem with that?"
"If you ever do something so stupid like that again, don't expect me to come get you out of it," Sam claimed, halfheartedly.
"Well I don't intend to do so, but yeah you will... bitch," he smirked.
"Jerk," Sam tried, very hard, not to smile. But in the end, he couldn't help it.
The truth of the matter was, no matter how much either of them screwed up, they'd always have each others backs. They'd always find each other; never stop trying to save the other. They were in it together, until the end...and probably then some...
A/N: Coincidentally, this is my first purely Supernatural fanfic... I hope you enjoyed it! :)