As always, Supernatural is NOT mine. Though I do claim Dean as mine, but in a totally different way. ;-) Enjoy!
"Shitfuckdamn!" The three words came out as one as Dean trudged his way through knee-deep mud, water, and God knows what else. He held both hands out, prepared to fall flat on his face, as he had nearly done about ten times so far. It didn't help that it was dark out, the bugs seemed to want to eat away his flesh, and he wreaked of fish and mud.
"Dean? You sure this was a good idea?" Sam asked for the second time that evening.
Dean scoffed. "Who are you to complain? You only got your ankles wet there, Gigantor."
Sam brushed off the jab at his height, knowing his brother was just jealous, not to mention pissed he was stuck in the mud. "Seriously, dude. We could have been back in our motel watching Busty Asian Beauties and falling asleep to the magic fingers. But noooo. Dean thinks it'd be a better idea to go out and check on some old hermit's place."
"Those stories were creepy and you know it!"
Sam shook his head. His brother was always on the job. Sam could appreciate that, but it really sucked for him when he got dragged into it on a night that was supposed to be his night off. Yes, the town gossips did seem a little suspicious with their stories of an old man who only came into town once a month to pick up the same groceries. But people were allowed to be weird, even antisocial. What had caught Dean's attention was how suddenly people came up missing in town, and the hermit wasn't making his usual trips to town.
So now they were both miserably wet, cold, and to top things off, Sam had lost a shoe. It was turning into a bad night and he didn't see how it could get much worse.
Breathing a frustrated sigh, Dean pushed on. It figured the guy was a hermit. Why would anyone want to come out to his place when you had to go through all this? For that matter, why would you want to go out more than once a month?
Sam watched his older brother's back, or backpack rather, and tried to watch where he was going. He took a step to his right and heard a surprising snap, followed by a sharp pain in his ankle.
"Uh, Dean!" Sam tried to hold the panic out of his voice but he knew something was wrong. Terribly wrong.
Dean instantly turned around when he heard Sam's voice. He took one look at his brother, not knowing what was going on. Their eyes met for an instant before Sam was dragged beneath the water.
"SAMMY!" Dean moved toward his brother, but it was too late. Sam was being dragged away and fast. He could hear his brother's screams for a moment, then Sam was lost under the brown lake water.
"Shit! Shit! Shit!" Dean cursed, not knowing what to do. Sam was gone! He was gone. What the hell was he supposed to do now?
Dean tried to find another trap so he could follow his brother. But he felt like he was getting no where, splashing and stomping around in the swamp. He had to do something. So he followed his brother as best he could and made his way toward whatever had taken Sam. He had to get his Sam. There was no other way around it. He had to get Sammy.
"I'm coming, Sammy. Hold on."
Sam's lungs burned as he choked on gritty, muddy water. He swallowed it by the mouthful as he fought to take gulping breaths of air. His ankle hurt, throbbing with pain as he was being dragged away to somewhere he didn't know. Before he knew it, he was completely submerged in the water and he couldn't say he even had caught a full breath.
Sam was helpless to stop the dragging. His rational side told him to search for his knife and cut himself free. It was then that he realized that earlier when he'd lost his shoe, he lost his knife with it.
When he thought he would surely lose consciousness, he suddenly was back on land. Laying flat on his back, he felt ground cling to his back as mud caked his body. He flipped to his stomach as he choked out more mud than water, and what felt like (and smelled like) a fish.
Sam's brain urged him to get up, to get free. Turning back into a hunter and no longer a victim, Sam sat up. He took in the surrounding area and saw the strangest looking house that he somehow knew belonged to the strange hermit. It looked more like a hole in the ground than a house. It was only recognizable by the lights inside and what looked to be a door made out of tree bark.
Sam's attention next moved to his ankle. He could see what was a pretty basic trap locked on his leg. He wondered if it was even meant for humans as he fought to unlock his ankle from the traps death grip on him.
"Finally," Sam muttered thankfully as he he yanked the trap off his foot and threw it aside. The next sound was all too familiar as he looked up and was eye level with the barrel of a gun.
"Get up." The man had to be the hermit, but looked more like a mole man to Sam. His voice was gravelly from rarely being used. His skin was pale as snow and he looked like he hadn't shaved or showered yet this millennium.
Sam did as he was told, instinctively holding his hands out in what he meant as unthreatening. "Take it easy. I'm not going to hurt you."
"Didn't say you were. Walk ahead of me." Mole Man motioned Sam to move with his gun. Sam had no choice but to oblige.
Sam took each step very carefully, weighing his options. He could run, which would get him shot. He could spin around and try to take the gun from him. Probably get him shot too. Sam just wasn't in the mood for a bullet in his gut, so he had to wait around this time.
Mole Man marched Sam to the house. When the makeshift door was opened, Sam was surprised to see a pretty typical looking house on the inside. There was a couch, a dining table and chairs. He had a fireplace for an oven, but that was the only thing out of place. Except for the pile of human bones in the corner.
"Sit down here," Mole Man ordered as he directed Sam to a chair. Sam sat and immediately felt metal hit his wrists, cuffing him to the chair. Mole Man didn't leave any room for error, even going so far as using a metal chain to tie Sam up. There was no escaping this one, Sam realized, and prayed his brother was still out there.
"I won't keep you waiting long. I'm hungry anyway."
Sam's eyes got large as he realized the implication of his words. He wasn't just a hermit. He was a cannibal too? It was just Sam's luck.
Dean was unprepared for the sudden drop off and was surprised to find himself completely submerged in water.
"Come on! Seriously?" Dean cussed as he came up for air. He had to swim the rest of the way, pushing back fish, weeds, and random debris from the lake. He couldn't feel his private parts anymore the water was so damn cold and he wanted to bitch about it. But then he realized his brother was out there in a much worse condition than him. Dean knew it deep down. He could feel Sam was in danger. His brother had a special place in his heart, and Dean knew he had a place in his brother's. It was from there that Dean knew when something was wrong with his Sammy. He could feel it.
"I'm coming, Sammy. I'm on my way," Dean said determinedly as he dragged himself ashore. His clothes were heavy with water and mud, his legs and arms felt like jelly after the long swim. Water dripped off him and left puddles on the ground. Dean reached for the backpack behind him and thanked Sam for knowing not to skimp out on gear. The contents were amazingly dry and Dean was pleased as he felt the familiar cool of his favorite friend.
He wrapped his hand comfortably around the gun as he pulled it out of the backpack. He shouldered the bag once more and made his way on foot.
Dean cursed his footsteps as his shoes made loud squishing noises for all the water. Lucky for him though, he still had both his shoes. He made each step more careful than the next as he gingerly made his way to the lights he could see from a far off distance. It always amazed him how easy it was to see the smallest light in the darkest night. It was his guide now, as it had been so many times before.
Meanwhile, Sam was shivering from head to toe. The cold from being completely soaked was beginning to set in and he was sad to think that was the least of his problems. Mole Man was preparing boiling hot water in the fireplace and Sam didn't want to think about what it would be used for.
Mole Man barely gave him a glance, not caring he had a human being in his "pantry," ready to be eaten. He made it as if he were nothing more than an apple off a tree.
"My name is Sam. I have a brother, Dean. He's going to be really worried about me, so why don't you just let me go? I don't have to come back here ever again. I won't press charges. Nothing!" Sam tried reasoning with the man.
"Huh," was Mole Man's only response. It didn't affect the hermit/cannibal/freak-of-nature that Sam had a life outside of feeding Mole Man. It didn't matter that Sam wouldn't press charges. He also wouldn't press charges if he ate him tonight. There was really no win for Mole Man if he let Sam go. He'd still be hungry.
"Better start bleeding you. I never did acquire much taste for blood. Too coppery," Mole Man said this casually as he sliced open Sam's forearm in a swift move Sam didn't see coming.
"Damn it!" Sam shouted in reaction, biting back the pain and moaning. Who was this guy?
Sam could feel the blood dripping down his arm, pooling in hand only to run off his fingertips and drip on the floor. It was the first time he had noticed the previously crimson stained floor. Aside from the bones, it was evident that he wasn't Mole Man's first victim.
"It'll be over soon once you bleed to death. So you know."
"Go to hell!" Sam cried out as his other forearm got slashed open.
Sam's breaths were short and labored as he fought against the pain. Being cold was far from his mind as he felt himself losing blood.
"I guess I'll just eat your arms tonight. I hate to have all that blood on the floor at once."
Sam forced himself to keep drawing breath. He was not going down like this. If he just held off a little longer, he knew Dean would be on his way soon. He had to believe that. Dean was his big brother. If he was in trouble, Dean would be there to get him out of it. That was just the natural order of things. Even as they both were pushing 30, Sam knew that was the case, and would always be the case.
Minutes ticked by and every second felt like an hour to Sam. He couldn't concentrate as he felt his arms bleeding profusely, making red puddles on the dirt floor. He didn't know what he could do. Fighting seemed like a bad idea because it would just make him bleed faster, which was something he couldn't afford to do.
"You are a fighter, aren't you? Usually I'll have dinner by now. I guess it wouldn't be the worst thing if you were around for the first course."
Mole Man got up from his crouch by the fireplace and brought along his pot of boiling hot water.
"Let's see if we can't tenderize that meat," Mole Man said more to himself than Sam as he grabbed Sam's left arm. This time Sam knew he had to fight.
"No! Get your hands off me!" Sam screamed, fighting as much as his injured arm would allow. Mole Man fought to keep him still and he realized it was a losing battle. The kid was not giving up that easily. Frustrated, he tried plan B.
A scream tore out of Sam that he didn't even recognize as his. Boiling hot water seared his skin and the fight was drained out of him. He could hardly catch his breath as the pain engulfed him.
"That's better," Mole Man smiled. He picked up his pot and started for the door so he could prepare some more water before he cut the limbs off completely. As the door swung open, it was his turn to be met by the barrel of a gun, and, on top of that, his sudden end in life.
Sam jumped at the sound of the gunshot, looking just in time to see Mole Man's body hit the floor and what was left of his head to slide down the wall behind him. Dean followed closely behind, took one look at Sam, and cussed.
"Shit, Sammy," Dean muttered as he ran up to his brother, not knowing what to treat or do first.
"Get me untied. He's got the keys on him."
Dean went over to the body and snatched the keys out of Mole Man's pockets. He could hear his brother's labored breathing and he kicked the corpse for good measure.
"Hold on, Sammy. I got you. I'll have you out of here in no time."
Sam was slumping in his chair, too weak to hold himself up anymore. His blood continued to slide away from him and he couldn't figure out away to put it back in.
Dean patted the side of Sam's face. "Stay with me, Sam. Don't go falling asleep on me, got it? You can sleep later."
"Kay," Sam mumbled, really trying to focus for Dean. If Dean wanted him to do it, it must be important.
Dean make quick work of the chains that bound his brother to the wooden chair, and, he soon realized, provided Sam's only support.
"Easy, Sammy," Dean soothed as he caught his brother's limp body. Sam hissed in pain when Dean touched his burned skin, too tender to touch.
"I'm sorry," Dean quickly apologized. He took off his belt and quickly did the same with Sam's.
"What are you doing?" Sam had the decency to ask in his weakened state.
"Don't worry, I'm not trying to get in your pants. I'm trying to stop you from bleeding to death." Dean made his own type of tourniquet using their belts as he tied them around Sam's arms. Sam whimpered in pain but managed not to complain.
"Good job, Sammy," Dean praised, as he used to when he cleaned up a younger version of his brother and Sam managed not to cry when the alcohol touched the wound.
"Shut up," Sam mumbled.
"I don't think you're one to complain right now, Sam. I just saved your ass."
Sam smiled groggily. "I had it under control."
"Sure you did, Einstein. Lucky for you I thought to pack the first aid kit."
Dean reached in the backpack and found the needle and thread. He took enough care to use hand sanitizer on his hands and Sam's arms. He wiped the excess blood away so he could see the wounds better, and confirmed what he already knew. Sam needed stitches.
"All right, Sam. I'm going to let you lay down for this one, but first we gotta get you to the couch. Okay?" Dean warned as he slid back. Sam made no move to support himself after Dean's warning and he nearly fell onto the floor.
"Okay, I'll do all the work. Sure. It's not like you're 8 feet tall or anything." Dean pretended to be mad, but he knew his brother was in bad shape. Sam had lost way too much blood. He couldn't help it he had the strength of a newborn kitten.
"On three. One, two," Dean hoisted his brother up and managed to keep them both upright on the way to the couch. Sam fell to the couch with a little less grace than Dean had hoped for, but at least he was there in on piece. For now anyway.
"All right, Sam. I'm about to do something and you're going to hate me for it."
"Are you going to make me stay awake again? 'Cause I really hated that," Sam whined.
Dean smiled. "Well, yes. But something else. I need you to hold still because I need to stitch up your arm."
"Fiiine," Sam conceded, holding an arm out for Dean to take.
"Thank you for understanding." Dean took the arm gently, but firmly in his grasp. He tried to be careful of the burns that blotched Sam's skin. He quickly grabbed a threaded needle, which was customary for their first aid kit, and made his first piercing into Sam's skin.
"Deeeeean," Sam whined.
"I'm sorry, Sammy. I'll hurry."
Dean knew that wasn't true. He wasn't going to do a half-assed job on his brother's arm. This was Sam. He had to be careful.
Sam whimpered and moaned on the couch as Dean did every stitch painfully slow. Yet somehow Sam still managed to hold still. He was struggling to stay awake when Dean finished up his last stitch.
"There you go, kiddo. All stitched up."
Sam was glad, but didn't have the strength to give his brother a smile. "Can I?"
Dean smiled, knowing what his brother wanted to say. "Yeah. You can sleep now, Sammy. I'm right here. I'll make sure nothing happens."
As against his hunter's instinct as it was, Dean's big brother side knew that Sam couldn't go back out there like he was. He needed sleep, he needed warm clothes, and he needed to take it easy. He couldn't drag his brother along in the lake. His arm would surely get infected, and Dean didn't even know his way around well enough to know where they were going. He couldn't have Sam lost and bleeding out in the woods. So Dean decided they'd make camp for the night. With any luck, no one would have heard the gunshots and the Mole Man didn't have any nosy neighbors.
Dean tried to help position Sam so that the majority of his body was on the couch, not off it. Although it was impossible to fit all of his brother's long frame on the couch, Dean at least managed to get more on than there was before.
Sam slept soundly that night, his strength waned from all the pain and blood loss he'd experienced. When he woke up the next morning, his first image was of a boiling hot pot of water.
"Get that away from me!" Sam shouted, still disoriented from sleep. He fell to the floor and quickly started backing up before even sitting up.
Dean was startled into jumping and burning his hand on the pot. "Damn it," he muttered, but then saw his brother's terrified eyes locked on the pot.
"Whoa, Sammy. It's okay. It's just me. I'm not going to hurt you. It's Dean. Look at me. You're safe now, remember?" Dean came over and framed Sam's face with his hands.
Sam's eyes went from the pot to his brother and back again. "Dean?"
Dean nodded. "It's just me this time, kiddo. I promise." Dean patted Sam's leg and smiled before backing up to give Sam his space.
Sam sighed and raked a hand through his long hair. "What the hell happened last night?"
"Well, you, my friend, just about got to be Hannibal over there's next meal." Dean pointed his finger at the corpse still laying on the floor behind him.
"That really did happen, didn't it?" Sam said in shock as he looked down at his arms.
"I thought it was just a dream. I can't believe we actually met a cannibal. Dean, I swear, he didn't have anything supernatural about him. Just a freak who wanted to eat people."
"Sam, it's what's for dinner," Dean muttered, then cracked himself up.
Sam rolled his eyes. "Shut up, Dean."
"You shut up. You about ready to head out?"
"I guess. What's with the water?" Sam asked, still suspicious.
"Well, Mr. Tasty, I thought for someone who lost as much blood as you you needed some water. Seeing as we're surrounded by nothing but gross fish water, I decided I'd boil some for you so you could drink something halfway clean. It's probably the cleanest thing in this dump."
Sam nodded in agreement. "Probably."
"Let's head out. We've got a long trip ahead of us." Dean led the way outside. He waited for his brother on the shore and watched as Sam walked up and started to go in the water.
"Whoa, where you going?"
"Uh, we have to swim, don't we?" Sam asked, confused.
"I thought we'd take the boat this time." Dean smiled, pointing out the boat behind him.
"Ah, that's how Mole Man did it."
"Mole Man? Seriously?" Dean looked at his brother incredulously.
"What? What's wrong with Mole Man?"
"That's just stupid. Why not Hannibal? Or Hungry, Hungry Cannibal? Or Maneater? Ha!" Dean laughed at the last one.
Sam shook his head. "You've thought about this entirely too much."
Dean smiled. Well, what else was there to do when you were up all night keeping watch over your kid brother?
Wow. Can you believe that? ANOTHER story. Where is this coming from? LOL I hope you enjoyed. Sorry if it's too short. I'm not into the multichapters yet for Supernatural. I'm sure they'll come eventually. Thanks for reading! :-)