Sam had been losing the fight against dozing off since his brother had lost consciousness, and decided to draw his attention to the odd look of the Airstream's interior. It looked like one of the hallways in Bobby's house for a reason Sam couldn't quite pinpoint.
"Well, if we're at Bobby's, why don't we go to a nice cozy room with a warm bed" he mumbled to himself. Then he realized how ridiculous it sounded and cocked his head at his own statement.
"Definitely need to get some sleep… but I can't just leave you unwatched" he sighed, looking over at Dean, who seemed to be sleeping peacefully.
"Now, why is this place an old hallway? Who would decorate a camper-"
Suddenly, there was a noise outside of the airstream that caused Sam to jump a bit. Up to that point the only sound that could be heard was the faint pattering of rain on the metal walls and the soft flow of water from the shallow stream they were sitting in.
What had caught Sam's attention was the eerie movement that could be heard outside in the darkness. A distant chuckle blended in with the rest of the natural sounds in the darkness. It didn't sound human, like a guttural hiss, but it was a laugh that sent chills down his spine. He couldn't even come up with any other scenario to calm himself down or to give himself some sense of false security; it could only have been the snake he had killed earlier that day.
But how? he thought as his heart began to race, I cut off its head.
He glanced around frantically for a scythe but to his horror, he couldn't remember where he had placed the weapons.
"They have to be around here somewhere" he reassured himself as he searched frantically around the broken cabinets, then he dove his hands into the dark mud they had been sinking into.
"Looking for something?"
Sam could have sworn he felt his heart stop at the sound of the voice above him. It was the same as the laugh, not human and gurgling, but a clear sign of intelligent thought. The moonlight that had been shining in was now blocked off by a black shape in the broken window and Sam looked up in horror to see the head of the giant snake peering down with those chilling milky-blue eyes. It was still severed, the rest of its body missing, but it was clearly far from dead.
"How…? I- This can't be happening…"
The mouth of the creature had blood flowing out of it with each of its heaving breaths which, as its dying wheezes puffed out, resembling those of a gasping fish; however, the sound of the gurgling air reflected that of a predator anticipating feasting on its prey rather than weakness.
"You're a thief Sam."
His eyes widened with shock as the monsters voice echoed into the small confinement, his panic and confusion heightening to a new level. The irony of the creature speaking so soon after he had talked to Dean about monologuing caused a laugh to build up in him that made him wonder if he had lost his mind.
"This can't be real" he spoke to the head, feeling that responding to it confirmed his insanity "you can't speak… and even if you could, how do you speak English?"
"Because you do" it responded, wiggling into the small opening.
He wouldn't have thought the huge head could fit into the broken window, but before he could think of how to prevent it from getting in, the creature had dropped down into the murky sediment they were wallowing in. It was only two or three feet from Dean which was the first thing that crossed Sam's mind when it fell in.
"Dean! Dean wake up man!"
Sam wanted to charge over to get between his brother and the giant snake head but it felt like some unseen force was holding him fast where he was.
Dean didn't stir.
He was getting desperate as the monster wiggled through the mud, closing the gap between the injured hunter and itself. Sam shouted as he fought against what was holding him back, but it showed to be futile.
"Wait! Stop!" he tried to think up some way to distract the creature from Dean but his mind was drawing a blank.
The severed head was now at the side of the mattress and easily it tipped the bed enough for his injured brother to roll toward its mouth.
"No no no! Stop!"
It was too late. As soon as Dean slid into the snake's snout, it opened its jaws and let his limp body roll in. The creature didn't close its mouth however, but sat there, almost tauntingly staring at Sam with its murky eyes.
"You can understand me" Sam said desperately "so you have some kind of conscience. Please, please don't do this! I'll do anything!"
"You killed me" was its response, which sounded more deep and guttural than before. Blood continued to flow out of its mouth, covering Dean's body that lay limply inside.
"You're not dead though" he said, more so to his own shock than in defense of his actions.
"Because you're insane Sam" it said back. "I can't talk, and I am dead; you've just lost it. And look, I've made you're brother crazy to."
The monster jolted Dean hard enough to wake him from his sleep, causing the wounded hunter to breathe in a painful gasp and open his eyes.
His brother was lying at an awkward angle, his torso being supported by the snake's powerful jaws, but the rest of him was left hanging limp, including his head that he could not support so it also was left tilted back.
"Dean, I can't move! You have to get out of there!"
Sam saw the older hunter turn his head to look at him, and what he saw caused his heart to race with panic and horror.
Dean's eyes were milky blue, with no pupils, just like the snake's. They peered, unseeing, straight at him, but his brother's eyebrows were still creased in pain which indicated that he was still conscious.
"You see Sam, I've made him insane; and if you could see yourself, you would know you also have gone insane."
Sam was shaking with the terror of realization. Without even looking he knew that his eyes had also been turned to the milky-blue color.
"Don't worry though" the creature spoke again "your brother won't be insane long."
Before Sam could speak the snake slowly closed its jaws down on Dean who, upon feeling the returned pressure of the many fangs that lines the monster's mouth, began to pant and wheeze in pain.
"No! Stop!" Sam screamed, but the snake continued to close its mouth down on his now writhing brother.
Dean began to yell once the monster's teeth broke skin and seeped down into his strained muscles and Sam looked on in horror as the blood that had been steadily flowing from the snake's mouth was accompanied by a new flow of crimson that could only belong to his brother.
"Sam!" Dean gasped weakly as he struggled, his head arching back further with the unbearable pain. Then he called his brother's name again, this time as a scream.
"DEAN! NO!" Sam was crying as he tried to fight to move, but he remained where he was.
Blood coughed out of his brother's mouth as the snake completely closed it's jaws and Sam screamed in despair as Dean's breaths became more agonizingly labored, then they silenced. Dean's pain-stricken features went lax and his eyes were left gazing, unseeing at the ceiling.
"He won't be crazy long" Sam heard the creature say, almost soothingly.
Then he felt himself sinking deeper into the mud and he tried to fight against it only to find himself still immobile.
"No. NO! DEAN!" He screamed- and then everything was dark.
Everything was dark, but Sam could still hear the labored breathing of his brother and the flow of water outside.
Finding that he could move again, he scrambled up to get to his brother who, once his vision adjusted to the darkness, he found was much closer than he thought. There was no snake to be found, but Sam realized that he was panting and his heart rate was alarmingly high.
"A-a dream?" he gasped out in relief, lowering his head to Dean's mattress and allowing himself to relax.
The panic kept hold of him despite this realization, and though they were clearly alone, Sam couldn't help but think about the irrational fear of the creature being alive outside of the trailer. Despite calming his breathing down, Sam's heart continued to race as he considered checking outside.
Then, as if he was dragged to another center of focus, he heard Dean's continuous gasps and noted him writhing beside him.
"Crap, sorry man" he said, redirecting his attention to his suffering brother. He then realized that what he had heard in his dream might have actually been Dean.
He was heartbroken when Dean didn't consciously acknowledge him being nearby, but continued to breathe heavily, his eyebrows creased in pain.
Sam grabbed one of the cleaner rags and poured some water from a Deer Park bottle into it, wiping his brother's forehead. He smiled slightly when Dean's expression softened with the cool touch and continued the soothing process until the blond seemed to fall back into a restful sleep.
Being left with nothing to busy himself with, Sam found himself growing sleepy again. The thought of falling back into that hellish sleep scared him so he got to his feet and decided to face his fears and take a look outside.
Quiet, so not to disturb his brother, he climbed up the side of the built-in bunk beds and brought his hands up to grab a hold of the windowsill. Pulling himself up with his strong forearms, he lifted himself up and out of the trailer.
The rain had died down to only a few drops of water and the small creek could not be seen below due to the darkness that had fallen over the forest. It was colder than inside due to the wind that swept over his back, causing his long hair to whip across his face.
The blackness before him caused his fear from earlier to resurface. The smell of decay was faint due to the breeze, but it still was enough to make him uncomfortable as he tried to see into the muddy creek. The moonlight was faint but still managed to reflect off of the water and the shine of the metallic trailer.
Squinting, he scooted himself the rest of the way out of the trailer. He didn't like being alone when faced with the unknown. In this case, it wasn't so much of not knowing what he was up against, but the heightened fears his dream had awoken in his imagination that he was struggling with.
Taking a deep breath, he scooted across the wet metal and got as close as he could to the edge without slipping over. He was relieved to see the moonlight rays glistening off of what was left of the monster's body that remained trapped beneath the camper's weight.
Sighing, he let his head drop forward with either embarrassment for his paranoia or relief that his logic had won out. But that wasn't enough, he wanted to see the head. It must have fallen under the shadow of the trailer, for he couldn't see if from where he was sitting.
For a moment he considered crawling back inside as to save himself the humiliation of getting worked up like a child afraid of the monster in the closet. Of course… considering he knew that a monster being in the closet was completely liable concept, he couldn't think of himself as being too paranoid.
Making up his mind, he figured it never hurt to be safe and he wanted his mind to be distracted a bit longer before he risked falling back to sleep.
With a deep breath he allowed himself to slide down the rounded frame into the blackness. Careful of his injured ankle, he dropped down and was surprised at how deep the water actually was and created a decently sized splash as he landed. Struggling back to his feet he worked to keep his balance as the water of the creek rushed into his legs.
It was too dark to see anything, so he closed his eyes and tried to remember where the snake head had fallen. Sloshing to where he remembered he felt his way forward, his fear edging its way back into the forefront of his mind. Suddenly he wished he had brought a scythe, but he figured his pride had kept him from grabbing one; he was only checking after all.
Finally his hands touched something cold and slimy, causing him to jump a bit; but the substance didn't move under his hand and he let out a sigh. He knew it was the head, and the thought of touching it freaked him out.
Satisfied that the monster was still dead, he felt a bit silly standing in the mud and quickly made his way back to the camper.
Getting back up to the window was considerably harder in the dark but with a few attempts he managed to make his way back down into the airstream and return to his brother's side. He didn't mind trailing mud in due to the fact that the camper had sunk a few inches into the stream and the entire floor was filled with sediment.
Sighing, Sam scooted onto the mattress; not wanting to crowd Dean, but wanting to be close none the less.
"Sm'?" he heard Dean mumble incoherently, "wh-where'd you go?"
Sam was surprised that his brother had even noticed his absence, and even more surprised that he was conscious enough to question him about it. It made him happy that his brother seemed to be with him other than in body.
"I got spooked about the snake if you can believe that" he said "and decided to go make sure it was dead."
Dean's breathing was uneven and weak and Sam figured he was struggling to focus, but he responded anyway.
"Did it have somthn' to do with that nightmare you had?"
Sam blinked in surprise, "how did you?"
"You kept shouting for me, and here I was trying to sleep."
"But you- but you weren't conscious when I woke up."
"Seems I managed to sleep despite your ruckus somehow."
"You mean you passed out."
"You said it, not me."
The two sat in silence for a while; Dean's wheezes of pain mixing in with the sound of water hitting the metallic roof of their lodging.
Sam considered fighting to stay awake but soon found himself dozing again, slipping into a more peaceful sleep.
"Aren't you two just adorable."
It was Bobby's voice, followed by the flash of a camera.
Sam blinked his eyes open and realized that a warm light was baking his chilled skin and he assumed that morning had finally come. The whole night he had been miserable with cold, but being closer to his brother had kept his fears at bay, which reminded him of when they were little. Suddenly he felt very childish for his actions the night before and decided not to speak of it to anyone.
"You guys set yourself up for some serious blackmail" Bobby continued, interrupting Sam's train of thought.
Letting his vision refocus, he realized that he had snuggled in next to Dean at some point during the night, for reasons he assured himself had nothing to do with fear and everything to do with body heat. Looking up, he saw that Bobby had a camera in his hand and realized what the man had meant when he said "blackmail." Quickly he rolled away from his brother and scrambled to get to his feet.
"Bobby, you delete that right now."
"Delete? Did you think I could own a digital camera? Sorry Sam, but I don't do the computer thing, this is an oldschool click and twist Kodak."
Sam couldn't think of a good response to what the mechanic had said, so he sighed and turned to wake Dean up. Besides, he couldn't really think of many people that Bobby could show the picture to that would really cause them much trouble.
"You guys gonna sleep all day or are we gonna get this thing out of here?"
"Hey, give him a break" Sam said defensively "he's seriously injured in case you didn't notice."
"Well, in case YOU didn't notice, we aren't quite inconspicuous out here. It's a miracle no one's seen the mess you've made yet and I don't want to push our luck.
Sam pouted at him but turned and put a hand on his brother's shoulder, shaking it gently.
Dean grunted and struggled to get his eyes open.
"Sorry Dean, but Bobby's here and we've got to get going."
Nothing could have made Sam happier than the yawn that came out of his brother's mouth when he finally came to. It made him feel like Dean was simply waking from a deep sleep rather than a night of suffering. The wince and moan of pain reminded him that the injury his brother had was still serious.
"I would ask for five more minutes, but to be honest I'm sick of this bed" Dean mumbled as he cocked his head toward the two standing men. His flushed face was looking much healthier but he looked like the night had taken a lot out of him and he was clearly much weaker than he had been the last time Sam had seen him.
"I hate to say it, but you look terrible Dean" Bobby said, a hint of a joke in his voice, but also a coating of genuine sympathy.
"Was not!" Sam responded defensively, but inside he had already been blaming himself.
"Don't worry Dean, I'm sure Sam shoved you into the creature's mouth."
The humor made Sam smile, as if accusation of attempted murder made Dean's injury almost superfluous.
Hating to cause his brother discomfort, but knowing that time was running out for them to not be spotted by some random tourists, he hobbled over to grab the sheets (which were now completely brown with mud) and began to tie them into a makeshift hammock.
"And what the heck are you intending to do with that?" Dean demanded.
"Well I don't think you'll be climbing out of here yourself."
"Well I don't think I want to be hauled up like a horse caught in the mud."
"You have a better idea?"
"… I stay in here until we can roll this thing over and leave out the door."
"I said better idea."
"Saaaaam" Dean whined.
"You're getting in this thing and there isn't really much you can do about it."
"What about my pride?"
"What about it? You said that you would be a good patient, and from what I can see, you still are unless you have some miraculous healing spurt before we get you in this thing."
Dean opened his mouth to respond, but seemed to be at a loss for words so he shut it quickly.
Bringing the sheets over to his brother's side, Sam laid them out so he could easily lift him onto the muddy cloth. Bobby moved over to help him do the lifting and Dean let out a sigh of acceptance.
It worried Sam when his brother remained lax in their arms, head lolling with the movement of his body and moans seeping out from his mouth. As gentle as they were, he still was left with a cold sweat on his body and his eyes closed wearily.
"Having second thoughts about climbing out of here?" Sam said jokingly but with a soft tone.
Dean moaned then cracked a moist eye open to look at his younger brother.
"Well now that I'm snuggled in."
Sam smiled softly at him then looked to Bobby who motioned to the window skylight as if you say "you first."
"I'll help from down here but I trust in your ability to haul this guy out of here over mine so go ahead and scurry up there so we can get your brother out of here."
Sam nodded and made his way out of the window, swinging his legs around so that he was on his knees, he reached down for the other end of the sheets. Bobby apologized as he pulled Dean up into a sitting position which earned him a muffled yell of pain as the bite-wounds on the young hunter's stomach scrunched together. They were all grateful for Sam's unnaturally long arms as he grabbed a hold of the sheets with his strong hands and pulled up his precious cargo.
By the time Dean was up to the window Sam felt like his back was going to give out on him, but he managed to get his arms under his brother's armpits and heave backward, using his own weight as leverage. The two of them collapsed in a heap, Sam reaching a hand out to grab the slick metal to keep them from sliding off.
For a moment they just sat there catching their breath, the cool fall breeze hitting their backs as Sam brought his arms forward into a hug as Dean rode through the pain of his wounds being shifted. Gasping, he managed to chuckle, opening his eyes and staring up at the now clear sky.
"I think that went pretty well" he panted with a touch of humor in his voice.
"You're doing great Dean" Sam said, ignoring his brother's sarcasm "now we just have to get you to the car."
"You gonna use a crane?"
"You're lucky I didn't bring one." Bobby said as he crawled out of the broken window.
The mechanic scowled at them when they both snickered as he struggled to pull himself through the opening.
"Looks like I'm not the only one needing a crane" Dean smirked as Bobby finally rolled onto the side of the Airstream.
Getting Dean down from the camper proved to be much easier than pulling him out of it and soon the three of them were standing in knee-deep mud, Sam holding Dean up knowing that he wouldn't want to be left wallowing in the small creek.
"Alright, Sam and I will take you to the car before we get to hauling this mess away" Bobby said, looking up at the dreadful slope they would have to climb.
"It's not gonna be fun but-"
"Hold up Bobby" Dean interrupted "there's something we have to do before we go anywhere."
"And what is that?"
"We gotta take a picture with our world-record catch" he replied grinning.
"What? Are you serious?"
"Oh come on! We're hunters, and don't usually hunters get something back from their hunting? It seems like everything we kill always ends up burning up or disappearing once we're done with it. For once we actually get to enjoy the spoils."
"You want to mount the head?"
"Dean!" Sam interrupted "that is the last thing I want to see on anyone's wall." He thought back to his dream the night before and shuttered.
Dean pouted at him but seemed to accept his brother's objection to the idea.
"Alright alright, so just the picture. Well lets hurry up and take it before the day comes to an end." Bobby was growing impatient so they quickly took the photo and got back to work.
Getting Dean up to the car proved to be terribly difficult with him being unable to carry his own weight. Bobby couldn't carry him by himself, and while Sam insisted on helping, the height difference and his injured leg made the trip excruciatingly awkward and slow. By the time they reached the top of the slope they were all exhausted and covered in mud, falling into a heap in front of Bobby's tow truck and the Impala.
About two-thirds of the way up Dean had lost consciousness and the other two had practically dragged him the rest of the way. Sam gently placed him in the front seat and went to assist Bobby in getting ready to head out.
It turned out that Bobby had already hooked a long cable to the damaged airstream, which Sam could only imagine must have been exhausting, not counting the fact that he had been up driving all night.
Sam helped as best he could to dig the trailer out of the deep mud while Bobby took care of the snake's remains. By the time they had dragged themselves back up the hill and towed the mess up Sam was near the point of collapse and his ankle was screaming for attention. Bobby helped him to the Impala and let him rest while he finished towing the rest of the wreckage up and prepared the load for the ride back. Four cars passed from the time he started, but despite the mess they had made, no-one seemed to feel that they were important enough to put their day-plans on hold.
Finishing up by covering everything with a large tarp, Bobby made his way back to the brothers who were still unconscious to the living world. Sighing as he looked down at the closest people he ever came to calling sons, he smiled. They looked downright exhausted, but also, there was a sense of peace as they slept in that old car that he hadn't seen in a long time.
Hating to do it, he placed a hand on Sam's shoulder and shook him awake.
"Sorry Sam, but we've got to get a move on."
- three days later in a random neighborhood-
David Michaels had returned brokenhearted with his family after their camper had been stolen and had made it home after some friendly fellow-campers had lent them a ride. His two kids had stopped crying a few hours after they'd returned from the picnic and had all but gotten over their loss by the time they had gotten to their own beds.
Still, he couldn't believe what had happened. Couldn't figure out who would go through all the trouble of going to the mountains to steal a trailer.
Grabbing a cup of coffee in one hand and the trash in the other, he walked out to his porch and yawned. It was too early in the morning for the kids to be up and his wife was inside fixing breakfast so he dumped the garbage into the can by the rode and reached down to get the newspaper.
Returning to his full height, he finally looked out at the street only to have his vision blocked by a massive tarp with a note stuck to it. Blinking in surprise, he took the note and opened it up, reading the words scribbled inside.
"Dear Mr. Michaels
We found a phone in your trailer and after a few calls we got your address. I believe this Airstream belongs to you. We needed to borrow it for a few days and are sorry that we didn't ask permission. The situation was dire and time was of the essence so we couldn't wait for you return. It's a little worse for wear so we added a little gift to reconcile our debt. This should break a world record or something.
Your friendly neighborhood huntsmen"
Cocking his head in confusion David let his eyes turn up from the card toward the tarp once again. He called for his wife to come out as he reached his hands up and began to remove the plastic covering the huge object underneath.
By the time Mrs. Michaels stepped out of the door, he had already slid the tarp off of the lost Airstream that was now hardly recognizable with the numerous dents, scratches and mud splotches. However, what caught their attention was the huge snake body wrapped around the base of the camper. He stumbled back and his wife gasped in shock at the spectacle on their driveway.
"I-is that real?" she muttered with her hand to her mouth.
"I think so" he replied, hardly believing his own words, "can you even imagine how much this thing is worth?"
It was by far the oddest thing he had ever seen or heard of, but he was darn well happy with how things had turned out.
- Epilogue -
Sam and Dean sat on Bobby's porch after eating a surprisingly delicious supper, apparently fixed by a neighbor who had formerly had a crush on him, but now was just trying to get a grasp on the concept of him being a hunter. Fortunately for them, she still brought him an occasional dish to enjoy.
The sight before them was not a glorious one, with rows of old rusty cars piled on top of one another as their front yard, but the sky had turned to nice color of yellow and orange that reflected off of what metal still had shine to it.
They sat side-by-side on the steps drinking coke from worn-out glass bottles, neither speaking. Dean was still very weak and beneath his t-shirt and jacket where a freshly wrapped batch of bandages but he played tough enough to make things feel almost back to normal.
Sighing, he leaned back and smiled. "Ya know Sammy, a few months ago I would never have thought we could ever do this again."
Sam turned, giving his brother his full attention. He hoped to hide how happy he was that Dean was actually talking about his feelings without fighting tooth and nail to keep from letting them out so he kept silent, his brows furrowed with attentive focus.
"I thought, well, with the apocalypse and you cannon-balling into the pit, then coming back soulless… I thought that I would always have the weight of the world on my shoulders… I just can't believe that after all we've been through that I'd find myself back here after a successful hunt, sitting on Bobby's porch with my little brother."
Sam looked back out at the sunset, thinking about what Dean had said. Neither of them had seen a light at the end of the tunnel over the last few years, but then, out of the blue, here it was. The world wasn't as fragile as they had presumed it to be and the unstoppable foes that had assailed them in the past weren't quite as unstoppable as they had appeared in the beginning. He figured he had believed in hope during those dark times, otherwise he would have quit, but he couldn't remember any time that he had truly thought that things would be alright; that things would ever go back to the way they were.
"There isn't anybody in this world who could relate more man. I don't know how it happened, but I'm glad that in the end we still managed to have each-other's back."
Dean took another swallow of his coke, the sunlight reflecting off the glass bottle and hitting his face. For another few seconds neither of them spoke until he broke the silence again.
"Well Sam, I don't know what we're going to be facing in the future, and maybe this time it will be more than we can handle… but there's not much I can do about it other than keeping to what I know is good and fighting what is evil until it kills me."
Nodding, Sam turned back to his brother, looking him in the eye.
"Well whatever you decide to take on, remember that I'll be there for you when you do… and darn it, if you get hurt again you tell me."
Dean chuckled and finished his drink, turning is eyes away from his younger sibling.
It was quiet again and in the distance a dog barked. Sam had hoped that his brother would talk some more, but as the evening broke into twilight he gave in to defeat. Standing to his feet and stretching, he turned and headed back inside.
He paused at the sound of his brother's voice.
"You too Dean."
Woohoo! I've finished it! Hope you all enjoyed my little fic ^_^ I have another SPN one in mind but it will probably be a while before I start it (if I'm even able to do so).
Thank you soooooo much for all of the encouragement through these chapters!
Wunjo- dawww ^_^ thank you. I hope season 7 is loaded with brotherly love. Until then… fanfiction!
Aislynnrose2010- I'm glad you've heard of the monster ^_^ I saw the different descriptions of it and decided on this one for the story. Thanks
gett- thank you ^_^ I had a wonderful trip! And I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter
Lykaia- awww thanks! I hope this last chapter didn't take too long -_-'
Smalld1171- :D thank you so much for your support! And I love your fics so much! Keep writing and I'll keep reading ^_^ my trips went incredibly well! I had a fantastic time. Sorry I made you wait so long for the last chapter.
Katie1227- I hope you managed to stick around for the last chapter your review was so encouraging and I totally agree, I love me some hurtDean XD I have another one in mind (a bit more hurtDean than this one *I'm awful I know*) but we'll see if I can find the time to get it started. Thank you so much! Hope you enjoyed the last chapter