This is a preview/first chapter of the next story I'm working on. It will be updated a little slower than the last one because of school and such, but I'll never leave a story hanging.

My first pre-series fic. Maybe wincest too. That seems to be where this is headed. Nothing that will raise the rating though, which is only 'T' out of caution more than anything. So if you don't like wincest, it won't be too much where it will ruin the story for you I hope.

Anyway, enjoy chapter one. :)

Ch. 1

Saying John Winchester was protective of his sons would be an understatement. Sure, he wasn't the best father. Never got much practice before his wife was killed and he had to start raising his sons for the dangerous life they lived. But he was always protective. It was that protective instinct that spurred him into making Dean into the man he is today.

Dean is going to be the perfect hunter someday. From the age of four, he's been trained and molded into a killing machine. Not exactly what John wants for his son, but all he has to give in this life. Teaching him everything possible to stay alive. His hearing isn't better than any other human's, but he can listen better to the little things. Can pick a dangerous sound out from the middle of a noisy bar. The chambering of a bullet in a gun. The unsheathing of a knife. Sometimes John can swear Dean can hear bad thoughts. But he figures it's just instinct by this point.

Dean seems to have been born for this life. Ever since he's grown, filled out to what will probably be his final height of almost six foot (might get another inch or so), he's started becoming a match for John in sparring matches. He's a sharpshooter like none John even saw in the army, knows hundreds of ways to kill men and creatures alike, and seems to have the mindset to do it. He's all for killing whoever poses a threat. Especially to Sam.

Now, Sam… John knows Sam could be better than he is. Heck, the kid is still good for how young he is. He's shot up in height recently too. By the looks of it, he'll be on his way to catching up to his brother in no time. But he's still fifteen, so he's all arms and legs after losing the baby fat and is still trying to figure out to control the newly grown limbs. Besides that though, Sam doesn't try as hard. Doesn't have the bloodlust his brother does. Sure, he's killed a creature or two. Will do whatever he needs to when the time comes. But he never goes looking for it. He wants a normal life.

John knows this. But with knowing what's out there, he can't bear the thought of letting his son go out on his own. Knowing the world is full of vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, wendigos, and jinns. He does what he can to ensure that Sam understands the dangers. But the youngest Winchester never wants to listen. Doesn't want to move when they go to a different state after the latest ghost or monster. Doesn't want to practice sparring when he'd rather do homework. If it weren't for Dean, John fears that Sam wouldn't even try. But Dean motivates him. That's the last thing.

Sam and Dean as a team is starting to look like a very good thing. Dean with a mind like a war general when it comes to weapons and stats. Sam with his brilliant mind providing the stats and coming up with ideas from Dean's knowledge of weapons and creatures. When John sits back and gives them his cases to learn from and practice with, his pride grows each time. Those boys of his really complete the other when it comes to this stuff. Other days… lets just say he's glad he's not around for most of the fights that happen.

It's only been recently that he's been taking Sam on hunts. Started taking Dean when he was sixteen, but with both himself and Dean to watch out for Sam, he's started taking him on the easy hunts this year when he turned fifteen. Giving him the chance to learn the same things Dean has from Dean himself. He finds that when out on a hunt, it's Dean that does the teaching. Never leaves Sam's side. John doesn't doubt it's because of what seems to be the never ending mantra in his son's head. Protect Sammy. Protect Sammy. Protect Sammy.

Sometimes John worries about putting that weight on Dean's shoulders. Dean has pushed him away before when Sam was hurt as a child. Not letting his dad interfere when Sam had scraped his knee or a bully had gotten the better of him. Dean always took it upon himself to clean his little brother up, and sporting his own battle scars the next day if it was a human that had hurt Sam. John always wondered what happened to the boys that Dean got back at. He decides that it was probably worse than anything Dean came home with if they messed with Sammy.

John knows his sons. How Dean can be smart as a whip when he needs to be. Thoughts faster than lightning. Reflexes as fast as a cats when needed. Eyes sharp as a hawks. Sam can be impressive too when he tries. And smarter than John would believe for his age. He gets that from his mother. But together, they have the capacity to do the damage of five men. When Sam gets older, bigger, stronger, it will be more. But for now, John helps them grow. That's why he decided on taking them both on the hunt for a wendigo.

Later, he decides it wasn't one of his best ideas. He makes mistakes sometimes. This was one of them. Sam is still a little small. His growth spurt has been a decent one, showing that the rest of it will be good to him. But it isn't quite to the point that he's big enough to be as dangerous as Dean is. Even if he does know good moves. But with the growing of his limbs to the point where he's as awkward as any teenager is, it's harder to have perfect reaction time.

It's one of those moments where it doesn't really hit you, what happened, until later. It happens too quickly and too unexpectedly to really set in until it's over or you're totally screwed. They're boys being boys when it happens. Dean shoving Sam, Sam giving Dean the scowl he always returns Dean's actions with these days. They're a ways behind John. Just starting up the mountain into where he has a hunch of where the wendigo has been hiding out. Campers and even trail-walking locals have been disappearing. It wasn't hard to see the signs when they got here, bright and early after getting to town the night before.

He called over his shoulder to tell his boys to hurry up when he felt it. The ground moving under him. Just a small shift. But he didn't like it. They had ventured off the trail earlier when he had seen the signs of the most recent attack being carried off. Something the officials missed because they were looking for a bear. Or wolves. Being two legged, the wendigo's trail wasn't picked up. Only the claw marks on trees, hard to see unless you were looking for them, led the way.

Off the trail, the shift in ground is never a good sign. He calls over his shoulder. "Boys! Don't move!"

Both freeze in answer to the urgency in John's voice.

He looks around his feet, looking for what could possibly have been the reason for the shift. Nothing.

"Dad?" Dean calls from behind. "What is it?"

John looks over his shoulder again, seeing Dean with his hand protectively gripping Sam's shoulder, brows furrowed in his familiar worried face. "I'm not sure," he answers. He takes a few more steps forward, brows furrowing when nothing happens.

Before he can say anything else, Sam and Dean both take more steps forward. The ground under them suddenly shifts too, causing them to freeze right where John had earlier. Dean's hand closes on the shoulder of Sam's jacket, knuckles white. Two pairs of wide eyes lift up to lock on John, even Dean's nineteen years looking to be all of twelve at the moment.

John holds up his hands. "Don't move boys. Let me figure this out."

Dean swallows. "Yes sir." John's proud of the way there is no shake in his son's voice.

"Dad?" Sam speaks for the first time.

"Hold on, Sam," he answers. Slowly, ever so slowly, he starts to move his feet. Feels around. Tries to make sure the area he's standing in is stable. Every time the ground doesn't move, he lets out a little more of a breath. He very cautiously makes his way to where it feels unquestionably stable. Then he looks to his sons, now only ten feet away. "Alright. You're going to do this very slowly. You get me?"

They nod as one, Dean taking the initiative and pulling Sam back against his chest. Matches his feet to Sam's. "Alright, Sammy. We're going to walk together. Okay?"

Sam nods, chest heaving, but the fear is hidden from his face.

"Just let me do the moving." He nudges his left foot into Sam's, smiling as Sam gets the idea and keeps his foot touching Dean's as Dean moves them forward. "Good."

John feels pride well up as he watches the brave actions of his sons. Dean keeping his arms locked around Sam, hands fisted in his jacket in case the ground decided to swallow him up. Sam's hands gripping Dean's arms in what has to be a painful grip, but keeping his eyes on the ground as he lets Dean's feet nudge his own corresponding ones forward. Almost like a father and child at a dance. Dean's toes sneaking under the heel of Sam's foot to keep them at the same pace. Left. Right. Shuffling slowly forward.

The whole while, Dean keeps conversation. For him or Sam, John doesn't know. "What do you think it is?"

John sighs. "Not sure. No volcanoes around."

Sam snorts in amusement.

John grins. "Somehow I think we stumbled upon a weak spot in the mountain. Maybe old tunnels or even a mine. I'm not sure. We'll definitely be checking out a map of the area for those things when we get back to the hotel. The Wendigo will have to wait."

The ground suddenly sinks a little under the feet of his combined sons. All three of them freeze in fear. When nothing else happens, Dean lets out a small sigh. "Alright, Sammy. Another step." He slides his toe under Sam's heel, nudging their feet another small step.

"It's Sam," Sam grumbles.

Dean chuckles. "Whatever you say, Sammy."

Sam scowls down at their feet as they take another step.

They're only five feet away now. Soon, John will be able to grab them. He leans forward in anticipation.

The next step proves to be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back so to speak. Before any of them can do anything, the ground suddenly opens, swallowing the two young Winchesters down into the black depths that suddenly gapes open.

John cries out, taking a step and reaching out though he already knows it won't do any good. He hears Sam's cry, knowing Dean's is absent because he's most likely gritting his teeth in determination to do anything that will keep them from dying. As Sam's cry is still echoing around him, John moves forward as carefully as he can to the edge of the hole in the ground. "Boys?"

"Dad!" Dean answers.

John sighs in relief. "Status report!" he calls down, wanting to get a read on the situation.

It's silent for a second. Then, "Not good, sir," is the reply.

"Sam okay?"

"I'm good!" Sam answers. The shake in his voice isn't reassuring.


"We uh… we're kind of in a situation here."

John makes it to where he can kneel at the edge of the hole in the ground now. He looks down into the pitch black, reaching back into his bag and pulling out his flashlight when he discovers he can't see anything. He shines it down, trying to keep the beam from pointing at where he guesses his sons are in hopes to not blind them. What he sees has him gaping in shock.

What he pictured, was maybe Sam and Dean sitting on the ground of a pit. The ground maybe ten feet deep. But it's so much worse. "Hold on, Dean. You hear me?"

His oldest is hanging by his left hand from a wooden beam, Sam dangling from his other hand. Both pairs of knuckles are white, but the grimace on Sam's face says that Dean's gripping his hand a lot harder than he's gripping the wooden beam. Immediately, John worries about Dean's shoulders. Wonders how strong Dean's arms still are with the tension pulling on the sockets. There is no end to the blackness beneath them in sight.

Gritting his teeth, Dean looks up. "Do we have any rope?"

Now that would have been a good thing to have. Except none of them thought that they'd be spelunking today. "No," he sighs. He sits up, looking around. Nothing. As far as the eye can see through the trees. They're on their own. Looking down again, he sees Sam swing his second hand up to grip Dean's arm. "You okay, Sam?"

Sam looks up, eyes still wide with panic. "Yeah," he chokes out.

John shines his flashlight down. "Dean, can you see anything down there?"

Dean looks down, past his brother, into the unending black. The flashlight never touches the bottom. "It's deep," he answers. "Very, very deep. I can't see the bottom."

John curses. "Looks like we did stumble across a mine, seeing that you're holding onto a manmade wooden beam. This is most likely the air shaft since it's so deep. Hold on. I'm going to see what I can find around here." Gingerly standing, John steps back away from the hole and carefully walks away until he keeps feeling solid ground under his feet. He looks everywhere for anything that could help him reach his sons.

When he's gone, Dean looks down at Sam. "It's gonna be okay, Sam."

Sam's eyes lock with his, big and round with fear. "You can't hold us that long, Dean."

Dean raises an eyebrow. "Watch me."

Sam looks up above them. "If you had two hands, you'd be able to climb out."

Dean narrows his eyes. "Don't you even."


"Dad's going to help us. Don't you dare."

Sam's eyes water. "He's not going to find anything, Dean. We're screwed."

"Easy, Sammy. We're gonna make it out of here. You hear me? Both of us. I'm not letting you go. Alright?"

Sam nods, hair falling into his eyes. He can't believe it. They're hanging over an abyss, no way to climb out and nothing to help them and Dean still sounds like he has a plan. Typical.

Dean almost smiles at the familiar sight of Sam's hair falling into his face. "Hey, you wanna try climbing up here?"

Sam tilts his head.

"Climb up my arm. I'd rather have you up here than hanging off my hand. You may even be able to climb out."

Sam bites his lip. "You sure?"

Dean nods. "I've seen you climb. You can do it."

Slowly, ever so slowly, Sam uncurls his fingers from where they're gripping Dean's jacket. It moves up a little more, then latches on again. Then he looks up to Dean. "Don't let me fall."

Dean shakes his head. "Never."

Then Sam carefully let's go of his brother's hand, quickly swinging it up to grip his arm a second later.

Dean grunts.

Sam looks up, panicked. "What?"

Dean huffs. "Relax. My shoulder's just a little sore. Keep going." His hand grips his brother's jacket where it's in his reach in case Sam loses grip on his arm.

Sam bites his lip, right hand gripping Dean's arm tightly before he jerks himself up again, left hand reaching up to take another handful of Dean's jacket, right under his shoulder.

Dean groans, then smiles encouragingly. "Doin' good, Sammy. Keep coming." His hand reaches around until he feels his brother's belt, gripping it tightly and pulling a little. The wooden beam moans ominously under his left hand.

His brother pulling on his belt gives Sam a little more leverage to pull up even more the next time, arm swinging up to wrap around his brother's neck. He lets out a choked noise he'll never admit to, bringing his other arm around Dean's neck and burying his face into it as he feels an arm come around his waist to hold tight.

"I've gotchya, Sammy. You're alright. I'm not letting go." He keeps his fist tightly around his brother's belt. One strong thing he knows will hold in case Sam loses his grip for any reason. He's not taking any chances.

Sam nods against his neck, pulling back a second later to look up. "I don't think I'll be able to climb out."

Dean looks up too, groaning when he sees only dirt above the wooden beam. "Alright. That's okay. I still like this more than you just hanging from my hand."

Sam snorts, letting his forehead fall back into his brother's collar bone. "Me too."

Dean chuckles. He tries to feel for footholds along the wall. Hopes for a little more stability. He freezes when he feels the board under his hand move.

Sam instantly picks up on his stiffness. "Dean?"

"Don't move, Sammy."

Sam tightens his arms around his brother's neck. "What is it?"

Dean hesitates.

"Dean…" It's the shake in Sam's voice that makes him answer.

"The board is giving away."

"Oh God."

"Easy, Sam. It's alright. Dad will be back soon. He'll helps us. You'll see."

"Dean, I'm not a child," Sam murmurs. "I know we're screwed."

Dean tightens his arm around Sam's waist. "Just hold on. Okay?"

Sam nods. "Okay."

It's another minute before the board moves again, Dean watching the nails disappear into the rotting wood. "You've gotta be kidding me." Rocks and dirt fall away, disappearing into the abyss below. Then Dean hears their last-ditch-effort-salvation. Something that was missed in the chaos earlier. "Water."

Sam looks up. "I heard it too."

Dean laughs, letting his head fall forward into Sam's shoulder. "We could be okay," he huffs. "Let's just hope it's deep."

Sam hums. "Well seeing how deep this tunnel goes, it could be flooded from the recent storm. It could easily be deep enough to keep us from at least breaking anything."

Dean chuckles, tapping the side of his head to Sam's where they're both bowed forward into each other. "You're such a nerd."

Sam lifts his head, glaring as Dean looks back with a grin.


They both look up in relief. "Dad!"

John is leaning over the hole again, flashlight in hand. He blinks at the sight that greets him. Sam had actually managed to make it up into the safety of Dean's arm. "Good job boys."

Dean grins. "Sam's a spider monkey."

Sam scowls at him. "Shut up."

John shakes his head. "Alright. I couldn't find anything good around here. We're going to try using a branch. Okay?"

They nod.

He reaches behind him, lowering it. "Sam, you're going to grab hold first. "Alright? And you're going to climb up. Just like you probably did with Dean's arm."

Dean chuckles.

Sam is frowning. "But Dean…"

"Dean will follow," his dad cuts in. "Let's just get you out of there first so he can have two arms to grab this with. Okay?"

Sam looks to Dean.

Dean gives him an encouraging smile. "Go on, sport. Besides, Dad will need your help to hold onto the branch when I climb up. I'm not as light as you."

Sam still looks worried, but he looks up and waits for the branch to reach them. It barely does. It's a good thing Sam was able to climb up to where he is now. He lets go of Dean with his right hand, left still wrapped around Dean's neck. He uses it to pull himself up in a small lunge to reach the branch.

The lunge puts more stress on the wooden beam. It gives.

Dean lets out a cry, hand scrabbling for a new handhold that happens to be a new beam just under the beam that gave, stopping their fall. He lets out a sharp cry when the stop jolts his shoulder, but lets out an even more pained "No!" when he feels Sam's grip ripped from his shoulder. It's with reflexes quicker than he's ever had that he grabs Sam's wrist yet again. He lets out yet another cry when his little brother's weight yanks on his shoulder again.


Answering his father's panicked voice, Dean looks up. "We're okay! I've got him!"

No one moves for a minute. John lets his sons figure out where they stand now. Dean lets Sam calm his frantic breathing. Sam let's Dean get a better grip on his wrist. Until he realizes something.


Dean looks down, barely seeing his brother's face in the darkness.

"The branch won't reach me now."

Dean frowns. Opens his mouth to answer.

Sam interrupts him. "You could. If you had both hands."

Dean's hand grips his brother's wrist tighter. "Sam, no."

Sam sniffs, tears filling his eyes. "We won't make it out of here. At least not both of us. But you could."

"Sam, for the last time, no."

"Sam, listen to me," John says from above. "We'll figure this out. Okay?"

Sam sniffs again. "Dad. You can't reach us. Dean can't hold on forever."

"Then we're going down together," Dean growls.

"There's water at the bottom, Dean. I can let go. You can climb out. I'll sit tight until you come back with rope."

"We don't know how deep it is," Dean argues.

Sam huffs. "All the more reason for at least one of us to stay."

"No, Sam."

John is silent above. Helpless. There's nothing he can do. He feels despair creeping up.

"I'm going to let go." He lets go of the grip he has on Dean's wrist.

John's anguished 'No!' is drowned out by Dean screaming the same word. He waits, frantic for a hint of what just happened.

"Dean! Let me go!"

Dean has his hand clamped tight enough around Sam's wrist that the bones actually grind audibly together. Bruises are already starting to show up. "You listen to me Samuel," he grits out as Sam lets out a pained squeak from the grip on his wrist.

Sam looks up, eyes wide. Dean never uses his full name unless he's livid.

"The day I let you fall to God knows where without any idea what's down there without me there to protect you, is the day Dad gives up the hunt for the thing that killed mom."

Despite himself, John chuckles above.

Sam can just barely see Dean looking down at him. They lock eyes. Dean nods once before looking up. "Dad?"


Dean sighs. Then looks back down at Sam, his baby brother, hanging from his hand above his possible death. "Dad, I'm going to let go."

John closes his eyes, taking a deep breath. "Dean…"

"No." The tone is final, and John blinks as he realizes it's the only time Dean has ever told him no. "I'm not letting him go, Dad."

John knows then, that there's not talking him out of it. He nods. "Okay," he whispers. He desperately prays to anything and everything that there's a good amount of water at the bottom.

The whisper carries down to Dean. He gives Sam a shaky smile. "Ready?"

Sam nods, tears in his eyes.

Dean lets go.