Shadow Of My Former Self.

Summary. . . . . . . . . . .It was supposed to be a stop to recharge batteries, but when have the Winchester's ever caught a break? An overheard conversation, and a series of unusual deaths, and the boys soon find themselves straight back in the middle of a hunt.

Disclaimer. . . . . . . . . . . Not mine, just messing with Kripke's boys.

A.N. . . . . . . . . . . . Thanks to everyone who read, and to those who reviewed chapter 3, I very much appreciate it. Without further ado, here's chapter 3. Peanut x

He adjusted his weighty backpack upon his shoulders as he kicked at the small stones, broken glass and intermittent tufts of grass at the side of the road, which constituted a sidewalk in this part of town, as he walked through the steadily increasing rain, as slow as possible back home. Water cascaded from his shorn head to bounce off prominent cheekbones, and be caught in the threadbare fabric of his coat. He wanted to turn away as the large oppressive building loomed up in front of him, but he knew to do so would only cause further problems later on. As he turned into the driveway, he couldn't help the glimmer of hope that resonated throughout his body; the car was gone, that was good, maybe He would be gone too. The hope soon vanished though; he'd been fooled before by the missing car, he refused to be so again, the cost was too painful.

Walking up the porch steps, avoiding the warped ones he knew now by heart, he reached out a shaking hand and slowly turned the knob on the screen door, barely pulling it open enough to squeeze his body through, knowing that if he opened it any further the resulting whining screech would alert all near to his presence. Pushing down on the main doors handle, he quickly skirted inside, easing both doors quietly closed behind him. He didn't bother with turning on the lights to ease away some of the gloom, instead relying upon the sporadic bursts of lightening, and a knowledge of his surroundings to lead his way stealthily towards the stairs, and the moderate safety his bedroom created. He stopped briefly to pick an apple out of the fruit bowl, his stomach growling and reminding him that his last meal had been yesterday morning; a note placed beside the glass dome sending his sense of unease heightening, his Mom had taken the car, called into the hospital due to another nurse calling in sick, and wouldn't be back until late that night, which meant his "father" was here. The apple dropped back into the bowl as panic assaulted him, he needed to get to his room, he needed the security of its locks.

He tried to listen, to figure out where the attack would come from, knowing instinctively that there would be one, there was no way his "father" would miss this opportunity to inflict pain whilst his Mom was not there. He thought he heard a noise behind him and instinctively ran for the stairs, all thought of stealth now deserted, taking them two at a time, his head looking back the way he came, his heart thudding in his chest; but the noise had been nothing, and the danger was not behind. It was as he turned around that he realized his mistake. Heavy steel toed boots partially covered by worn denim were planted upon the top step, blocking his way. He tried to stop, tried to get his feet from closing the gap even further, but it was no use. Already off balance, he could do little but flail as the size twelve boot thudded into his chest and his momentum sent him crashing back down the stairs.

He landed heavily on top of his bulky backpack, the air stolen from his lungs, the edges of books digging painfully into his back. He tried to move as his "father's" chilling laughter echoed through the house, and footsteps thundered down the stairs, but it was as if he were temporarily paralyzed. He finally urged his body to move, tried desperately to remove himself from the burdensome backpack and dart back out of the front door, almost believing his luck was finally turning as his hand gripped the handle, only for his fate to be sealed as a hand viciously grabbed the neck of his hoodie. Fear and desperation made him fight, he knew it made things worse, but panic had set in and he couldn't stop his actions, pleased as he heard a grunt of pain as his foot connected with his "father's" knee; that pleasure soon dissipated though as a roar of rage rumbled from within the drunken man, and his solid fist smashed harshly into his face.

As blood poured from his nose, and his eye started to close, he knew this was it. Never before had his "father" caused a wound that was visible for all to see, preferring to batter and bruise places that could be covered with jumpers and long sleeves. The panic increased to terror. He felt weightlessness as he was picked up and thrown across the room, only coming to a halt when he smashed into his Mom's china cabinet, dropping to the floor with a cry of agony, amidst broken plates and glasses. Before he knew it, he was thrown again, the small end table and lamp stopping his fall this time, the table breaking, the lamp tumbling off but the bulb surviving, his body not as lucky as he heard then felt his arm snapping. He barely had time to breathe through the pain before he was set upon, steel toes and closed fists striking every inch of his slight frame. Darkness encroaches on the edge of his vision and he wills his body to shut down, to surrender to it; but just as he starts to go under, just as the pain starts to ease, the beatings stop.

He lays there spent, hardly daring to breathe, to move, listening to the thudding of his own heart beating in his ears; stiffening and letting out a pitiful moan, as the thudding subsides and other noises make themselves aware; a fight, fists striking against flesh, cries of pain. He tries to raise his head, but doing so requires effort, so he instead moves his eyes, trying to see what is happening, his position on the floor, and the big couch in his way, preventing him from seeing anything. Movement in his peripheral vision catches his attention, and he moves his eyes to follow it, blinking a few times to try and fix his muddled brain; that can't be right, surely that can't be right. He listens to the sound of the struggle intensifying, and knows he's not imagining it, but what he sees contradicts everything; there's only one shadow projected from the lamps undamaged bulb. He tries to think how that can be, but thinking causes his already pounding head to rage even more, and it's all he can do to keep from falling under. He panics when, as quickly as it started, the fighting stops; jumps as a hand grips his abused flesh, and he thinks for a minute his "father" has won, but the hand is soft and gentle. He tries to open eyes that had squeezed shut in fright, eventually succeeding, and he looks around for his savior, only to hear footsteps retreating, only to find he's been left alone; his "father's" body lying motionless peeking out from behind the couch, his head twisted so that it faced backwards, his sightless dead eyes seeming to stare right at him.

She wandered down the quiet hallways, periodically checking into rooms, reading stats and recording numbers. Exhaustion was evident upon his face, and clearly seen in her slow movements. She should have told them "no" when they called and asked her to work; should have told them to find someone else, that she was just too tired; but she needed the money, the double time meaning that she would have enough saved to do what she had been planning. Her thought's drifted to her son, her shining light, and the dire situation she had brought upon him. She wasn't stupid, she knew what was going on, there was just too many accidental spills and falls, too many suspicious bruises, she knew she should have just gathered him up and rushed them both straight out of there, but she was scared he would quickly find them, and dreaded to think what would happen if he did. So she had grabbed all the overtime she could, and saved, and now she had enough. Just two more hours and they would be out of there and safe, just two more hours until they could start living their lives again.

So caught up in her thoughts, she failed to see the danger creeping up behind her, only turning as footsteps echoed loudly down the hallway, and a keening wail screamed out, sounding extra loud in the otherwise quiet ward. She opened her mouth to protest the noise, but nothing came out as a chill suddenly surrounded her. Her eyes wandered to her shadow projected upon the wall, and she couldn't help but be terrified as she watched as it seemed to be engulfed by another figure. She watched in horror as its hand reached out and pushed against her shadows torso, and she felt a piercing feeling of pressure that seemed to shatter through her ribs and explode within her chest. As she fell to the floor, her body already dying, she couldn't help but think of the fate she had left her son to suffer.

A.N. . . . . . . . . . That's all for now folks! How was it? Did you enjoy? Sorry about the wait, work has been crazy and I've had little energy to write when I've been getting home. Oh, and ziggy, I'll put a Sammy shower into the next chapter for you, I promise. Will be back soon with more. Peanut x