Author's Note: Thanks so much to aweena, mic(the mom), snseriesfan, agent iz hyper, Shorty22133, KnightJellyofCamelot, O'erTheHillsandFarAway, DimensionJumper, Heartless BytchhakaHelenBach1 for their awesome reviews. And thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout this story.
Chapter Thirteen: One Hell of a Campfire Story
Dean stared at Candy, wishing that she wasn't using a young girl as a shield. The hunter wanted nothing more than to shoot the crap out of the demon chick and just go on his way. But he couldn't risk Dana's life.
"Let the girl go." Sam demanded.
Right, like that was going to work.
"Why, so you can shoot me full of iron and rock salt? I don't think so."
"Dude, we are gonna kill your ass anyway, so could you please just give your skanky self up?" Dean wanted to keep her talking long enough for himself or Sam to come up with some brilliant plan.
"I forgot just how charming you could be." Candy gave him a parody of a sweet smile.
"Oh, I'm just getting started, honey."
"Dana, are you okay?" Sam asked.
The girl shook her head and sniffled as tears streamed down her face.
"I haven't harmed her." Candy informed them. "As a matter of fact, I saved her life. She would've been puppy chow just like her two buddies if I hadn't shown up. I figured she would make the perfect hostage. And I guess I was right since you boys don't seem willing to shoot through her."
"You let Chris and that other guy die." Dana sobbed out. "You just stood there as they… oh god." She dissolved into tears.
"The hellhounds got into camp?" Dean asked, picturing what the monsters could've done to the little kids.
"No." Sam answered. "Chris got Tony and Dana to leave the camp with him. They thought they would make it out of the woods on their own."
"Freakin' dumbass! I knew he'd cause trouble, that loud mouthed bastard." Dean was frustrated at the whole situation. None of those people were the least bit prepared for any of this and since Dean was the experienced one, he felt like he should've seen this coming. Realistically he knew there was nothing he could have done to prevent them from acting out of fear and ignorance, but part of him always blamed himself when civilians got killed on a hunt.
"Hello, demon standing right here." Candy sounded annoyed. Good.
"Hello," Dean mocked her. "We don't care."
"Well, you should start caring. Because if you don't drop your weapons right now, I'm going to snap the little bitch's neck."
"The only bitch I see here is you." Dean shot back. But still, he dropped his gun to the ground as Sam did the same. They weren't about to press their luck. Besides, while salt would hurt the demon, it wouldn't kill her.
"Very good. Now step apart."
"I can't let go of him." Sam pointed out. "I'm the only thing supporting him. He can't stand on his own."
"Oh well." Candy shrugged with an evil grin plastered on her face.
Sam carefully lowered Dean to a sitting position before stepping to the right. Candy motioned for the younger Winchester to move further away. After a moment's hesitation, he did. The demon walked towards Dean, keeping Dana held tightly against her. When she stood behind the injured hunter, Candy pushed the younger girl away and pulled Dean to his feet. She held him up with an arm around his throat and pulled out a knife with her other hand. Dean tried to get his feet under himself to take the weight off of his neck and allow himself to breathe correctly, but the height difference and his injury wouldn't allow it. Out of the corned of his eye he saw Dana crawling away into the bushes. If Candy's arm wasn't cutting off part of his air supply, Dean would've breathed out a sigh of relief. The girl was out of danger.
"Now I think it's time for Dean Winchester to say goodbye. Any last words?"
"Yeah, I have a whole final moments speech written out, filled with heartfelt goodbyes and other clichés, but I left the paper back in the Impala. Any chance I can go get it?" Dean managed to gasp out.
"Sorry, but that pathetic attempt at humor will have to be you're final words."
Dean felt the blade press against his throat, right above where her arm held him in place.
"Wait!" Sam cried out. "You don't have to kill him. This whole thing is over. You can just go and that will be that."
"And why would I do that?"
"Because if you harm him at all, I will end you."
Candy laughed. "And just how are you going to do that? You have no weapons and I have all the advantage. I bet you wish you two had never left that little demon-proof sanctuary, huh?"
Dean's eyes widened at her words. He smiled over at Sam and subtly gestured with his head at the area they'd walked out of moments ago. When Dean saw the recognition on his brother's face he knew they'd win this thing. At that moment, the injured hunter stopped his struggles against the demon and dropped all of his weight against her arm. She stumbled forward and released him. Dean fell to the ground and rolled into her, causing her to further lose her balance. And that's when Sam rushed her. From his vantage point on the forest floor, Dean saw his brother grab the demon and pull her away from where he lay. Then Sam punched her twice in the face (which probably wasn't necessary for their plan to work, but it made Dean smile anyway) and then push her towards the demon free zone. One hard kick to the chest sent her falling back and disappearing from sight. And then the screaming began. The brothers could not see what was happening to her since everything in the safe area was hidden from sight to those outside of it, but from the earsplitting shrieks coming from the demon, Dean guessed that whatever was happening wasn't pleasant.
Just then the screams stopped. The older Winchester watched as his brother walked forward and disappeared from view. Dean wanted to join him, but there was no way in hell that he'd be able to stand and the idea of dragging himself over there was just damned unappealing. So the hunter rolled onto his back and tried to get as comfortable as possible while he waited. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Dana step out from behind some bushes and approach him.
"What… what was she?"
"Is she gone? I mean, for good."
"Yes." Sam answered as he came back into view.
"And Candy?" Dean asked.
Sam shook his head sadly. "She didn't make it. It looks like whatever magic was put into place in that spot burned the demon right out of her, but it was too much for her body. Her eyes were cooked right in their sockets and there was smoke coming from her mouth. Not a pretty sight."
Dean felt a moment of sadness for the woman. He knew they had to stop the demons but he always felt bad for the possessed people who died in the battles. Sometimes his job just sucked.
After an awkward moment, Sam spoke again. "So I guess we're tied one for one on this hunt."
"No way, dude. Mine was worth more points than yours."
"How do you figure that? You just took out a guy that sold his soul. I'm the one that defeated the demon."
"Yeah, but you totally copied me. I pushed the guy out of the circle and you pushed the chick in. No originality at all."
"But I did it all without getting hurt." Sam pointed out.
"Yeah, well I ganked the guy behind it all while I was already injured. Besides, I killed way more hellhounds than you."
Sam sighed dramatically. "Fine. I'll give you this one, but only out of pity for your condition."
Dean grinned. "Yeah, you just know that I'm right."
"Uh, guys?" Dana interrupted. "Can we get out of here?"
"Sounds like a plan." Dean agreed.
Sam helped him to his feet and once again put his arm around Dean's waist. Dean leaned heavily on the taller man as they made their way back to camp. It seemed to be a much longer hike than when he'd ventured out there, and it wasn't just because they had to take the long way around the steep embankment that he'd fallen down. With the agonizingly slow pace his injuries were creating, it took them the rest of the day to make it back.
As soon as they came into view of the campers, three peopled came running towards them. Kathy and Josh hugged their sister while Ryan wrapped himself around Dean's legs. Dean swallowed back the pain and patted the child on the head.
"Oh my god, what happened?" Nicki asked, taking in Dean's appearance.
"It's over." He replied as Sam helped him to sit down. With nothing in the immediate area to lean against, his younger brother settled down behind him. For once, Dean swallowed his pride and rested against the other man. Of course, if Sam ever mentioned this again, he'd be a dead man. "The hellhounds are gone and they won't be back."
"Are you sure?" Josh asked.
"Yeah," Sam replied. "We're sure."
"Then I guess we owe you a rather big 'thank you'." Paul informed them, looking over at his three kids.
Dean shrugged. "Hey, it's what we do."
"Yeah, Dad." Ryan added as he curled up in the hunter's lap. "Dean's a superhero. He saves people all the time."
"Yes he does." Sam concurred.
It was much too late by that point for them to be able to hike out of the woods, so it was decided that they would need to spend one more night before they could all get the hell out of there. They ate some sandwiches and discussed what they'd tell the authorities when they emerged from the woods the next day.
"Tell 'em that the superheroes killed the bad hell dogs." Ryan suggested.
"Nah, we can't do that." Dean responded. "The cops might discover my secret identity if we tell them the truth."
"Oh, no! I don't want that."
"Why don't we just tell them that we were attacked by wolves and you guys fought them off?" Paul proposed.
"We'd rather not be mentioned at all." Sam informed him.
Nicki smiled at them. "You boys have run into trouble with the police before, huh?"
"Let's just say that hunting evil sometimes puts us at odds with local law." Dean commented.
"Well, we'll figure something out." Josh assured them as he began to clean up their dinner plates.
"Something that doesn't sound like a scary campfire story." Kathy put in.
"Dude, our whole life is like one hell of a campfire story." Dean muttered.
As it got dark a campfire was started and everyone gathered around it. Marshmallows were roasted, songs were sung, and stories were told. Dean relaxed against his brother as he shoved a warm, gooey, and only slightly burned treat into his mouth. He'd survived facing down his biggest fear. His wounds would heal and the scars would fade in time. All in all, it wasn't the worst camping trip he'd ever had.
Author's Note Part Two: And that's the end! See at least I don't end stories with cliffhangers. Please, please, please, please leave a review to let me know you thought. Thanks. Oh, and my next story is all planned out and will probably be started next week. A disciption will be on my profile page if you are interested.