A/N: Only gone and contracted a frigging virus. Not to mention, if it weren't for the fact my tutor is being a complete babe and letting me submit on Monday, I'd totally be missing today's deadline to apply to my chosen universities which means not getting a degree, not getting a good job, getting into debt, spiralling into financial and emotional turmoil, becoming addicted to some form of narcotics or alcohol, getting arrested, spending time in prison and finally dying alone in my prime of life on probation in a crappy bedsit surrounded by stray cats because, let's face it, I'd never be able to afford my own cats.

(Basically, I'm suffering, bored, sick and tired and SOMEONE'S gotta share my pain. Guess it's gonna be Dean then...Enjoy!)

WARNINGS: I'm ill and can't see straight. Mistakes are probably lurking. Also, I said I wasn't a zoologist last chapter (I'm still not, just FYI) and neither am I a doctor. The very basics of medical research were done, blah, blah, yadda, yadda. (Let's face it, we're all here for unrealistic levels of Dean-whump anyway, aren't we?)

SPOILERS: No real spoilers, but set in Season One before 'Home' and back when the boys were still getting coordinates from John.

DISCLAIMER: SOD OFF.


Into the Wild

CHAPTER 3

"Dean, no!" Sam screamed as the bear ripped Dean away. It tossed his older brother effortlessly and Sam heard Dean's grunt of pain as he landed brutally on his right side. The bear charged again, bringing its massive front paws up into the air as it stood on two legs before collapsing heavily and landing on Dean's chest.

Sam heard Dean cry out and watched in horror as a spray of blood spurted up and out of Dean's open mouth. He tried to pull himself down the tree trunk faster but his dislocated shoulder was swelling fast and preventing mobility. He couldn't just drop either, not from that height, or he'd risk breaking both his legs and having no way of getting Dean to safety.

Hang on, hang on, please hang on. The gun's right there. I'm coming, I'm coming...

The blood Dean hacked up seemed to drive the bear into a frenzy and he cried out again as the bear sunk its teeth into his thigh. The animal's massive head inched higher and it bit down again, teeth crunching as they met with Dean's hipbone. The older Winchester couldn't help it; he screamed then and his vision went white with agony.

Meanwhile, Sam's stomach dropped at Dean's bloodcurdling shriek of pain and he jumped from the tree, realising that there was no time to be wasted. Dean was being eaten alive and he was going to die if Sam couldn't get to that gun and finish the bear off now. His legs protested the jump and the sudden impact jarred his shoulder but thankfully his shin bones didn't snap. Picking up the rifle, Sam aimed it at the grizzly bear that was killing his brother.

"HEY!" he yelled, hatred for the animal in front of him making his tone sound violent and explosive. The bear turned at the sudden noise behind it and Sam fired, the round disappearing into the bear's skull right between its surprised eyes.

The creature fell, rolling to the floor and Sam was grateful for small mercies that its carcass didn't land on Dean. Abandoning the gun, Sam ran to his older brother's side and skidded to a halt on his knees next to him.

"Dean! Dean! Oh, God. Dean," Sam gasped as he assessed the damage. He seemed to be able to only repeat Dean's name as he quickly pulled out his cell and dialled 911. Mary Winchester must have been looking out for her sons and Sam thanked her over and over in his mind as his cell phone displayed that one precious bar that indicated a signal. The operator answered and, after a quick exchange of words, informed him that a helicopter was being dispatched to their location.

In the meanwhile though, that left Sam to try and keep his brother alive. He quickly yanked off his jacket and wrapped his unconscious sibling up, ignoring his bad shoulder as his whole world narrowed to the objective of keeping Dean alive. Dean gasped at the movement as it exacerbated his wounds and his eyes shot open, pupils blown and leaving just the tiniest sliver of green to line the iris.

"Hey, hey! You're alright, take it easy, I've got you. I've got you. I'm gonna take care of you this time, you big jerk. Nothing's gonna happen, you're gonna be fine, Dean. Just fine," Sam babbled as Dean's eyes rolled in their sockets.

"Please," he choked out, the tears that had been gathering in his eyes spilling over and running down his cheeks. "You can't leave me, man. Please. You and me, it's us against the world, right? You can't go. Please don't go."

"Sssssssaammy," Dean breathed, blood trickling from the corners of his mouth. There was nothing Sam could do for the broken ribs and likely punctured lungs but he could treat some of his other injuries.

Sam took off his belt and quickly deployed it as a makeshift tourniquet when it became apparent that Dean's femoral artery had been nicked. It was a dangerous decision and Dean could lose his leg but the alternative was having him bleed out. He splinted the broken hip with mossy branches gathered around them and pressed down through his jacket against the bleeding wound in Dean's side. He carefully pulled Dean up and cradled him against his chest, rocking them both gently.

"You're gonna be fine, I promise," Sam mumbled, pressing his cheek to Dean's damp, spiky hair and letting his tears run down his face.

"Sss-ssu-sucha g-gi-gi-girlllll," Dean hissed, his voice nothing more than a breathy whisper.

Sam sobbed out a laugh. "I know, dude, I know." He carefully wiped the blood from Dean's face and kept pressure on the wound in Dean's side.

"'S'okay, S-Saammy. D-Doessssn't hu-hurt a-anymore," the older Winchester mumbled, floating in a cool abyss.

Sam pushed down harder, feeling blood trickle between his fingers and Dean's eyes shot open and he blanched.

"Sorry, bro. I'm sorry. But you've gotta stay awake, alright? No laying down on the job. I need you as lookout. What if something out here tries to get me?" Sam tried to appeal to his older brother's protective side and he was rewarded with a limp hand, slick with blood, rising up and weakly gripping at his undershirt.

"Sam, ssssomet'ings w-wrong..." Dean's voice trailed off after a few minutes of silence.

"What, man? What is it?!" the younger Winchester demanded, feeling his heart pound faster in response to his brother's plight.

"I..." Dean gagged and Sam barely had time to react as Dean vomited scarlet blood onto the frosty grass under them.

"Easy, easy. You're okay, I've got you," the younger hunter murmured as Dean gasped out shallow breaths and tears leaked from his eyes. Distantly, Sam could hear the flickering of helicopter blades above them and ran his fingers through Dean's hair.

"You hear that, Dean? You're gonna be fine, okay? I won't let anything happen to you, alright?" Sam promised, feeling dizzy and weak with relief. The pain of his own dislocated shoulder had faded to numbness as he held up his older brother and kept pressure on Dean's wound where the bear had ripped away his flesh.

Dean just nodded feebly, his breaths coming in short, wheezy gasps. He coughed once and it was a thick, wet noise, emphasised by the fresh dribble of scarlet that slipped down his chin and trickled into his collar. As his world began fading into a mere pinprick of light and sound, he could hear a chopper swooping noisily in the air above him.

There was a rushing wind blowing all around him and it was bitterly cold. He pressed his head into Sam's chest and felt his baby brother's grip tighten. Sammy was screaming at something or someone and he felt something land next to him. Then, there were hands, stronger than Sammy's hands, lifting and tugging and pulling until he was completely flat on something hard. But the flatness made his breathing worse and it hurt, God, it hurts! Somebody help me!

The pain was blinding and he couldn't scream, couldn't breathe, couldn't move. There were straps, holding him to the flat surface he was lying on and the helicopter was still wiggling in the sky above him. The pain spiked once more and Sammy, I think I'm dying was Dean's last thought as his eyes slipped shut and then he was flying...

XXXXXX


A/N: Do I feel better? Meh, I'm still sick, but it makes me feel good knowing Dean is in pain too! I just realised they're totally in the woods...yet casually a helicopter is all 'TALL TREES, DESPITE MY LONG HELICOPTER BLADE/PROPELLER THINGS? STILL NOT A PROBLEM, GUYS!' So yeah, um, let's pretend they ARE in the woods...it's just they're in a really big clearing! Like really big...

Ad Astra.