A/N: Thanks, nancylou. You inspired me. I dunno if that's a good thing or not…

Chapter 11 – cold comfort

All I could feel was the weight of Sam's bag on my back. The next thing I knew I was face down on the ground, in the mud. My head was stuffed up. The inside of my mouth and throat were slimy with river mud, I couldn't smell anything, and my ears were plugged up, like I had a really bad head cold or something.

My stomach grumbled, loud, long and angry. That tickle in my throat that told me that I was going to hurl. Right the hell NOW.

I raised up on my hands and knees in a pretty damn hurry. Broken bone poked out of my skin, and the rest of my body started screaming. My head jerked down, and all the river water I breathed in came out of my mouth, ears and nose. It was green, thick and dirty. My hands hooked into claws, tight and painful, and as I slipped and slid around in the mud puking my guts out I could have sworn I felt Sam's hand moving in small circles on my back, the way we used to do for each other whenever we were hurt or sick.

I don't know how long I stayed like that. Might have been only a couple of minutes. Felt like an hour. My insides finally stopped jerking and twisting and nothing else came out.

I stared at the mess I made on the ground. Didn't see any blood or vital organs, nothing I really needed. That was a good thing, right?

Okay, maybe snarking at Death like that wasn't the brightest thing I've ever done. All things considered, me and Sam got off light. We were still together. We were still here.

I didn't know how far away from Soulless and the warehouse we were. My arms and legs started shaking, and the idea of putting even more distance between us and him was a pretty damn good idea. I lifted my head, wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. I still couldn't see straight, but out of the corner of my left eye I saw moonlight overhead flashing on something metal.

The sharp tip of the machete rested against the side of my throat.


It's okay, Sammy.

(It's not-)

Dude. Chill.

I put my hand down. Really really slow. I got the message. Whoever this was could've taken my head off. They wanted me to keep my head for the time being. Probably wanted to talk. The tip dug into my skin a little, just hard enough to get and keep my attention. I was so fucking tired I swayed from side to side. Still couldn't see a damned thing, but I knew if I tried to make a serious move I'd probably lose my head.

I lifted my head. Slowly. Squinted, then blinked a couple of times.

Huh. I saw a trucker's cap, a sleeveless vest. Blue plaid shirt. Jeans. Boots.

I stared at him, and he glared right back at me. My stomach rumbled, ready for a repeat performance of the Vomit Comet. I felt so wrecked I couldn't keep my fangs in. They dropped down over my regular teeth, and I heard a sharp intake of breath.

"You idjit!"

My muscles shook so hard I nearby faceplanted back into the mud. My fangs retracted. "Bobby."

He wasn't happy to see me. Dude looked royally pissed, as a matter of fact.

"So it's true? What Campbell told me?"

I didn't answer Captain Obvious. Didn't need to. He saw. I knew he did.

"You drank human blood? You're—you're living like a…like a damn fugly?" Bobby's hand shook, and the blade skated across my skin. I was so numb and it was so sharp I couldn't feel anything. I lowered myself onto my elbows. My head suddenly weighed a ton. "You could have come to me, you idjit! I don't know how, but we could've found a way! I coulda helped you—"

Call me twisted but the pain and anger in his voice made me chuckle a little. I was a lost cause. I knew it, why the hell didn't everyone else see it?

I had this shit eating grin on my face. That only pissed Bobby off even more. "This is funny to you?"

"Yeah. It's a little funny." I won't live like the things I hunt. Yeah, I've said that more than once, and here I am livin' the vamp life.

"Why the hell didn't you kill yourself?"

Good question. I wondered what Mom and Dad would think if they saw me like this.

"Dean? Answer me, boy!"

"Can't. Not right now." I shook my head, and that was definitely the wrong thing to do. My throat hitched and tingled again as my stomach announced round two of Spew City. I gasped out "Gotta take care of Sam—" and then I leaned down and puked out the other half of the river that was still inside me.

Took a couple of minutes before I was able to lift my head again. Sam yelled inside my head (Dean, it's not him, it's not-) and right then my sense of smell came roaring back. I smelled sulfur. I looked up at Bobby, and his eyes went pitch black.

Bobby was here, all right, but he wasn't alone. And he wasn't driving his meatsuit, either.

He grinned at me, and the machete dug into me deeper, harder. My blood ran warm down the side of my neck. "Now now, boyo." His voice sounded funny, lower, with a really bad Irish accent. "Restrain yourself. You wouldn't hurt your dear old Uncle Bobby, would you?"

Something thunked into the top of my left shoulder. I looked down and at first I couldn't understand why this damn feather was sticking out of me.

Coldness spred through me, and the other penny finally dropped. I'd been hit with a trank dart filled with dead man's blood. I mentioned before that it's cold going in, right? You'd think it would be the other way around, and the vamp would be the cold blooded one, but that's not true. Don't believe the hype, boys and girls.

Someone stepped up behind me, stepped over me. They planted both knees into my back, hard. They moved pretty quick; I felt like I was swimming in molasses. I tried to move, I wanted to turn around. Couldn't.

Sam's bag was pulled over to the side and something sharp jabbed into the meat of my upper right shoulder and my lower back. More cold, more weakness, and when they yanked the needles out I didn't feel it. Everything got soft and fuzzy then, worse than he last time.

They pulled Sam's bag off my back. The strap went down my arm and looped past my hand. My fingers twitched as I tried to grab it.

Sam was gone. He was out of my reach. I couldn't let that happen. I was supposed to take care of him, I'd done that all my damn life and I wasn't about to stop now.

I bucked upwards. "…nuh…noooo-"

I nearly made it.

notBobby didn't like that. "Ya damn fool, hit him again."

Two more jabs in my back this time, and I went stone cold all the way through. I didn't black out. My arms and legs gave out and I slammed into the ground on my side a second time. It was freaky, like I was watching a movie. I couldn't move. All I could do was watch.

This dark blue late model Ford F-150 roared up. It fishtailed a little in the mud. The doors opened, and hunters, a woman and five men, got out on the run.

They had thick, heavy chains, and a straightjacket.

I've spent some time in nut houses, as a guest, a cop and a fake doctor, among other things. Remember, Chuck? Thought you would. Poetic irony is a purebred bitch.

They turned me over on my back. Gwen Campbell leaned down and checked the pulse at the side of my neck. She fingered my eyelids open wide.

I wanted to bite her. Thought about it, and that was all I could do, think about it. Her fingers felt warm against my skin.

She looked at me and grinned. "He's good. Wrap him up, boys. Let's go"

I stared up at them and I didn't see any more black eyes. They sat me up, put the straightjacket on me, strapped me in good and tight, and then they wrapped one of the chains around my chest and the other around my ankles. I heard the click of the padlocks closing.

They carried me to the truck and tossed me across the back bench. I looked over their shoulder and saw notBobby standing there with a wet duffel bag in his hand. I couldn't sense Sam. That was the worst part, and the thing is I was so out of it I didn't think about him just then. At first I thought the bag was just a bag. Dead man's blood will do that to you.

Two hunters piled in on either side of me, and away we went.

The truck turned around and headed back, and I saw the warehouse on the other side, across the river. The place was a wreck, with the back wall blown out. The truck slowed as it neared the front. We were on the opposite side, and I could see everything.

Cops at the warehouse, five cars in all, flashing bubble racks, the works. They had Soulless, and for a wild moment I got pissed. I thought, Damn, now I'm gonna have to break him out of some police station.

I was wrong.

He wasn't cuffed. They had him sitting down at first. They gave him water, then they lifted him up. He could hardly walk, so they carried him. They were gentle with him. When they loaded him into the back of the squad car, there was none of that watch your head crap, either.

All the cops had black eyes.

Samuel Campbell limped out of the warehouse. His face was red, and his eyes were swollen, like he'd been crying. He walked with a really bad limp, and I knew he had the print of my boot on his ass. Wanted to laugh, but I was so weak, I couldn't.

He turned towards us and pulled out a cell phone.

Every sound inside the truck sounded like it was coming at me through a long tunnel.

Gwen answered her phone. "We've got 'em. The vamp and the bag boy."

Grandpa nodded. "Good. Take 'em back to the compound. We'll follow you." He smiled, tight and hard. "We've got some party favors for that fanged bastard."

The pick-up started moving again. I was freezing inside, treading water in the middle of a ice covered lake in winter. I couldn't keep my head up, and what I saw out there finally dawned on me.

Campbell and his group were free.

And the demon possessed cops were in on this, what the hell this was.

The cold washed over me again, and as I faded out I thought Sonofabitch. We are sooo screwed.