Family is Where the Heart is

Chapter Five

Dean picked up lunch for him and his daughter, and took it back to the motel room. The two of them sat at the small table in front of the window by the door, eating. Dean looked through reports of other murders from the last few years like Jacob Miller trying to figure out how to find where Yeller had taken the Miller kid.

Dean tossed the one he had been looking over, onto the table and rubbed his face in his hand. "There absolutely nothing we can go on that might help us find the damn thing."

"Maybe we can put up signs to find him," Sarah suggested. "When Mom and I lost our cat, Zeppelin that's how we were able to find him."

He lowered his hand and finished eating his French fries. "It's not that easy, Sarah. This isn't your normal house pet like I said before, you can't just put up signs and expect to find it like that. Skinwalkers can be anyone and if they feel they need to they can change into a human anytime."

Sarah looked down at what was left of her cheeseburger.

"Good suggestion, though, I like that you're trying." Dean felt badly for shooting her suggestion down but they had to be reasonable and putting up "lost dog" signs wasn't going to help them in the least on this hunt.

When both of them finished eating, Sarah offered to take their trash out to the dumper. She ran over and threw the full paper bag into the large, metal dumper like she was in a basketball game and had ten seconds to score or her team would lose. When Sarah turned around, she saw the Miller's dog standing there, staring at her. Her eyes opened wider and yelled for Dean. "Dad, I found…"

A tall man with black, short hair came up and grabbed Sarah, gripping her around the middle. His left hand was over her mouth, trying to stifle her yells. Sarah tried to break free from the man's grip as a light blue van pulled up. Her heart was beating fast as Sarah felt the most she ever been scared as she continued to break the guy's grip.

Finally as the man handed Sarah off to another inside the van, she managed to scream, "Dad!" at the top of her lungs.

Dean's head shot up, towards the window just in time to see the man and Yeller jump into the back of the van. He sprang to his feet, pulling his gun out from behind him and sprinted outside. He tried to shoot at the men but missed when they shut the doors and drove off. Dean jumped into the Impala and quickly sped after the van. The whole time he was driving, Dean kept beating himself up about how he let this happen. Why did he let Sarah go outside by herself? The trash was perfectly fine just sitting on the table. After he gets his daughter back, Dean told himself that Sarah would never leave his sight again. Unless he was with her, Sarah had to stay in the motel room.

Sarah was awakened by barks and growls and a painful feeling in her arms and legs. She also couldn't move them, either since they were tied up. She looked around at several different kinds of dogs, not even paying attention to her. Sarah noticed a puppy next to Yeller that looked just like him. She prayed, hoping that puppy wasn't the Millers' kid.

Even though Sarah heard barks and growls from the dogs, they were actually communicating with each other. "I don't understand! Why hasn't the kid been affected by our bites?" a German Shepard snarled.

"It's like she's immune or something," a large poodle said.

Meanwhile, Sarah tried to sit up which wasn't easy considering she had no use of her hands. After struggling for a good ten minutes as the dogs continued to bark and growl over her, Sarah managed. One of the dogs noticed and informed the rest of the pack she was awake.

The German Shepard stepped towards the little girl and shifted into a tall, dark blond-haired man in a collared shirt and black slacks. He walked around her, watching Sarah's every move as she watched him, too. "What are you? Why can't we convert you?" he finally demanded.

Sarah shrugged, terrified out of her mind. She shook from head to foot, trying to ignore the pain coming from her body. "I want my dad," she managed to respond.

The man stopped and fully faced her, slowly sliding his hands into his pockets. "We normally have to kill parents who get in our way but you were just out in the open. Possibly one of our cleanest kidnappings ever."

"What are you going to do to me?" she asked, nervously.

The poodle had transformed into a human next. It was a woman this time, with long brown hair. She wore a black skirt with a matching blouse, including heels. "Usually we recruit adults into our pack but now we have decided to focus on little pups. So, when our friend, Austin here," she nodded over at Yeller, "informed us a hunter and his kid was in town, we just had to get our paws on a mini hunter-in-training." The woman smiled an eerie smile that made Sarah uncomfortable.

"I will never join you!" Sarah tried to be brave.

"Don't worry, if you don't change soon you won't have to," the man told her.

She looked back at him. "You'll let me go?"

He shook his head. "No, we will make you the main course for dinner." The man motioned for two Rottweilers who stepped towards her, growling at Sarah as they bared their sharp teeth. Right as one of the dogs were about to lunge for her, Dean came bursting through the door, holding his gun.

"Get away from her, you mangy mutts!" he exclaimed, holding the gun with both hands.

Sarah was excited to see her father had finally found her. "Dad!"

The man ordered the Rottweilers to attack Dean instead, who turned around. Dean shot at both dogs, quickly. They dropped dead onto the cold, hard ground. One by one, he shot the rest as Dean fought for his and his daughter's lives until it was down to him, and both the poodle and German Shepard. "Let the kid go," he ordered them.

The man shook his head. "You want her than you have to go through us," he told him.

Dean raised his gun at him in both hands, "That can defiantly be arranged, you son of a bitch."

The man grabbed Sarah up and used her as a shield. "Watch where you're pointing that thing, you don't want to shoot her," he sneered.

Dean stared at him. He saw how terrified his daughter looked and the tears in her eyes, that it actually broke his heart. "I swear, if you don't let her go I will rip you to shreds."

The woman stepped towards him, folding her arms, lightly as she grinned. She changed back into the poodle and pawed at the ground as she bared her teeth.

"Yeah, that's threatening," Dean said, sarcastically, who expected a more vicious kind of dog.

"Don't underestimate my darling, Kendra. Her bite is much worse than her bark," the man told him.

The poodle than lunged for Dean, knocking him onto his back as his gun was flung out of his hand and away from his reach.

"Daddy!" Sarah cried out in fear.

The poodle tried to rip into him but Dean held the dog back by her throat. As Sarah watched her father fight with it, her anxiety rose. Tears poured from her eyes like a waterfall. Suddenly, something happened and the poodle was shot back against the far wall. It then slid down and collapsed on the ground.

Dean was at a loss for words. He had no clue what just happened. Dean looked around the room but no one else was there with the four of them. Getting his focus back, he quickly grabbed his gun and shot the poodle before turning back to the man. "It's just you and me, pal," he told him.

Scared out of his mind from the sudden attack of his fellow Skinwalker, the man dropped Sarah and tried to make a run for it. Dean had other plans though and shot him in the back. The man dropped dead, landing on his face.

Dean took a deep breath, thankful it was over since that was his last silver bullet he had on him at the moment. When Sarah scrambled to her feet, she ran over to her father and hugged him around the legs. Dean pulled her arms away long enough to kneel down and set his gun down on the ground before he pulled her into a hug, himself. It wasn't long before he realized Sarah was covered in blood. He shoved her back and looked his daughter in the face, "Did they bite you?"

Sarah shrugged, terrified of her father's sudden raised voice. "I don't know, I think so. It hurts all over, Dad."

Dean looked away. This could not be happening. Dean did not want to have to kill his own flesh and blood, especially someone so young. He shot to his feet and grabbed his gun before hurrying Sarah outside to where the Impala was parked. Dean then opened the trunk and raised the door to the hidden compartment where he kept all the weapons, and began looking for something. After a few minutes, he pulled out a long, silver knife and then kneeled to Sarah's level again. Removing her sweatshirt for her, Dean tossed it into the trunk. "Show me your arm, Sarah."

"Why?" she asked, nervously. Sarah had been eyeing the knife since her father pulled it out. She then realized that the knife was silver and remembered that you must use some kind of silver to kill a Skinwalker. Sarah backed away. "No, please, Dad. I promise I won't hurt or kill anyone."

"I'm just checking to make sure first," he assured her.

"But if I was bit…"

"Sarah, please just humor me," Dean told her. "Don't make this harder than it already is."

Sarah hesitated before she stepped forward again and held her left arm out to her father, looking away. Dean took ahold of her wrist with his own left hand and moved the knife towards the middle of her arm. He wasn't sure why he was checking though when they both knew Sarah had been bitten and would surely change. However, once the blade went into her skin, all that happened was Sarah crying out from the pain. It surprised Dean that nothing did happen.

"How is that possible?"

"No more, Daddy," she continued to cry, softly, still looking away with her eyes shut tight.

Dean dropped the knife and pulled his daughter back into his arms. He was not sure how Sarah could be immune to a Skinwalker's bite but he was thankful she was.

Back at the motel room, Dean cleaned off the blood and bandaged Sarah up. Since the first-aid kit didn't come with rubbing alcohol, he had to make do with a bottle of beer. Once that was all settled, Sarah changed into her pajamas in the bathroom.

Dean sat on his bed, trying to reach his own father. Each time, it went to voicemail. Finally, he just left a message. "Dad, It's me again. Where are you? This isn't like you not to call." When he closed his phone, Sarah was climbing onto the bed and crawled over to him, dressed in striped pajama pants and an old, blue faded Pikachu T-shirt and barefoot.

She sat next to her father and snuggled against him. "Did I fail my first hunt, Dad?"

"No, it's not your fault for getting kidnapped. They're all dead, it's over now." Little did they know that the pup had snuck out from the Skinwalkers' hideout and somehow managed to find its way to the Millers' ranch. "From now on, though, I don't want you ever leaving the motel room unless I'm with you. Understand?"

Sarah nodded up at him. "Yes, Dad."

"I really hate to admit this, but seeing you get kidnapped scared me to death. It felt like I was going to lose you, kiddo," he continued.

"Really?"

Dean nodded at her. "I don't ever want you out of my sight again."

"I don't get it though, why haven't I turned into a dog yet?" she asked.

"I honestly have no idea and glad I don't have to kill ya. I don't think I could ever hurt someone I love, like that." Dean had his arm around his daughter as they talked, holding her close. Soon, he switched on the TV and watched Looney Toons until they fell asleep. Dean slept with his arm wrapped protectively around her the whole night.

Dean checked his phone as the two of them packed up to leave. His inbox was empty with no message of any kind. "Something's wrong," he finally announced.

Sarah looked up from her duffel bag, "What?" she asked.

"Your grandfather has been on the same hunt for a while," he explained to his daughter. "He's usually back by now."

"Do you think something happened to him, Dad?"

Dean zipped his duffel bag closed and flung it over his shoulder. "Come on, we have to stop by California and pick up your uncle."

Sarah finished packing and quickly followed her father out to the Impala where they placed their bags in the trunk before getting in, themselves. Dean dropped off the room key and took off for California.