I haven't written a Supernatural fic yet, but I literally have been addicted since Christmas and I think now's the time.

Contains major Sam whumpage and plenty of protective Dean so you can get your rocks off.

Charlie is almost- almost- at a loss for words when her phone begins to vibrate and growl like a souped-up pimp-mobile. The LCD screen flashes thrice, three bright "DEAN WINCHESTER"s singeing her eyes. The previous night's convention had gotten a little wild, and she was back in her hotel suite sleeping it off.

Or at least she was.

Now she is picking up the phone.

"Hello?" Her perky tone depicts a Charlie that is definitely not currently accurate.

"Uh, Charlie? It's Dean."

"Yeah, I know," she says, then, realizing she needs to stay consistent with the happy, fully-awake Charlie she's portraying, adds, "caller ID and all. What's going on?"

"You don't happen to be busy, do you?"

That was a tricky question. While she did have another day left of the convention, she had planned to sleep through it (the rare D&D Ravenloft book she had been on the hunt for was nowhere to be found). So was she busy technically? No. But did she want to obligate herself to other things? Definitely not.

But it is Dean.

"No, not at all. Why?"

"I was uh, wondering if you could come on over and hang out with us? We're at the Men of Letters still, and, uh, jonesin' for some company."

Okay. Suspicious. Dean may have his fair share of feely-feel moments, but he was almost never the one to elicit them (that would be Sam). So Dean asking for company? Weird. Definitely weird.

"Are you okay? You sound off."

There was a long pause. "Um, it's Sam." His voice breaks, goes up at the end like he's asking a question. Charlie's stomach drops. "We finished the trials, and... he's just not doing so well. And things are looking a little gloomy. And I need someone here, I guess. I mean, I need you."

Charlie sits up in bed and curls in on herself, pressing her forehead to her knees. "Okay, yeah. I'm in Dallas right now, but I'll be there real soon okay? Give me a day, tops. And I'm bringing my arsenal. From what I've seen, you and Sam need your geek-speak updated."

Dean chuckles. "Hey! I'd like to think we can keep the quips coming."

"You're three centuries behind! These days, it's all about Dr Who. Game of Thrones. The Hunger Games. And Supernatural too, but hey, you-"

"Charlie..." Dean's voice was on-edge.

"Okay! Okay. We'll stick to the non-cult classics."

"Those all sound like cult classics."

"Yeah, well, we're in different cults."

There's an abbreviated laugh. "So we'll see you tomorrow?"

"Yes. Definitely. And I demand a full report on the trials, because- well, actually, can you just tell me what happened now? And why you didn't call me sooner?"

"Look, it's a really long story, and it's a fairly recent development. I would have called you sooner but it's been a little... hectic. Anyway, you be careful on your way here alright?"

"Of course. Don't go anywhere till I get there."

"Alright. Oh, and Charlie?"



The I-35 corridor is one of the scariest highways Charlie has ever driven, but it takes her straight up to Wichita in only about six hours and from there it's easy going. The Men of Letters bunker is just as inconspicuously conspicuous as it was before, and she feels her car sort of matches the theme- obvious if it weren't for all the yellow fallen leaves surrounding it.

She knocks intricately on the door, even though they had never established a secret knock. She figures Dean will get it.

Sure enough, he's the one to pry the steel door open, clad in his typical attire and house shoes. He looks almost relieved as he draws her into a hug as warm as the sun, and she relishes every second of it. How many times has she met Dean, over all? Three? Surely she shouldn't love him this much.

As he pulls away, he quirks that dorky, lopsided grin. "Hey."

She smiles admonishingly back. "Hey. Are you going to invite me in?"

He shrugs happily and pulls the door farther open. "I wasn't planning on it, but if you insist."

She enters the common area and situates her night bag and other various totes on a table. Dean swaggers up next to her, sweeping a pile of candy wrappers off the table and onto a dirty plate, then heading towards the kitchen. "So what do you have in mind? Sam's asleep but-"

"No I'm not."

Leaning heavily against one of the corridor walls, a sallow looking man stands. Charlie is stunned for a minute. Yeah, it's Sam, but he is thinner and shakier and paler. His eyes seem darker, receded back into his skull. He has on a hoodie and flannel pants that seemed to drape off of him like a wire mannequin. And despite all of the darkness- all of the illness, Sam cracks a grin at Charlie and she can't help but beam back.

For a flash of a second, she can see the charismatic and dangerous Sam she first met forever ago, when she was stealing files from big-mouths and receiving encouragement via Bluetooth headset in the form of Harry Potter references. And for a flash of a second, she thinks that maybe Dean had been a little over dramatic- maybe this isn't that bad.

She rushes at him and hugs him (which is hard, seeing as how he's enormous) and he sways a little in her grasp but she easily steadies him, then walks with him back to the tables and sits opposite. Dean senses the mood and takes a seat at the head chair.

"Alright, spill. Before we do anything I want full details on what I missed."

Dean and Sam exchange looks before Dean begins to speak. "Crowley captured Kevin and managed to get a hold of the angel tablet while we had our backs turned. Sam and I hunted down Metatron, who helped us get Kevin back, and while Kevin had been with Crowley, he deciphered the final trial. We had to cure a demon."

"Cure a demon? How is that even possible?"

Dean shoots Charlie a light glare, and she receeds meekly.

"Human blood," Sam says, clearing his throat. "Demon blood ingested by humans can prove to change them, so if demons ingested human blood..." he shrugged sheepishly.

"Wait, this demon drank your blood?" Charlie looks pointedly at Sam, who lowers his head and raises his arm, tugging the sleeve down to reveal a hearty bandage.

Dean looks somewhat proud and somewhat disgruntled. "The problem is, the Gates of Hell could still be wide open, for all we know. There wasn't any grand finale. We haven't seen Cas at all since he ditched us with the demon and ran off to heaven, and even if Crowley doesn't have it, the angel tablet is still out there. As much as I hate it, we've been sitting here with our thumbs up our asses for the past week trying to contact someone who can let us know the job is done."

"Cas left?"

"Yeah," they say in unison.

"Said he had something to take care of up in the cloud kingdom," finishes Dean.

"And the final trial was completed, but Sam, you're not..."

"Improving?" he provides dryly. "No."

"Well that doesn't make any sense."

"No," Dean replies. "No it doesn't."

Sam pales a little, raises a hand to his head, pinches the bridge of his nose. "Uh, what did I hear about a movie night?"

Charlie relaxes a little. The mystery of the trials and Cas she can't solve, but the introduction of epic sagas was just her category.

Dean has outfitted one of the spare rooms with a couch and coffee table, along with and awesome 86-inch TV. Charlie claims the center cushion with her snuggie and lays out her emergency DVD volumes on the coffee table. Sam and Dean come in, both holding popcorn and candy. Dean's even got a drink holder with two beers and a bottle of water in it. Sam lowers himself gracelessly into the right side of the couch, making it about one fourth of the way before plopping down. Dean sits to Charlie's left, rubbing his hands together enthusiastically.

"So what have we got?"

"Well. We have Doctor Who, but only series six- not a good introductory series. Also the Avengers, which is great but long, then there's Game of Thrones but I'm not in the mood to get into that right now. I have the Hobbit, Deathly Hallows Part I & II, the Amazing Spider-Man-"

Sam laughs, a sort of baffled chuff. "You carry all of these with you on a regular basis?"

"Only to conventions that I know will be a bore. And you're just lucky I happened to be at one of them. Anyway, Spider-Man, Sherlock, season two of Merlin, the Hunger Games, Breaking Bad-"

"Okay back up," says Dean.

"Breaking Bad?"

"No, the other one. The- the- the Hunger Maims."

"The Hunger Games."

"Yeah, that sounds interesting."

Charlie looks back and forth between the two boys, and she's not quite sure if this will be appropriate or not. A movie about a girl forced to play a role in an overall evil scheme just didn't seem to play well in her head.

But Sam raises his eyebrows and a little wave forms over his right eye and okay fine.

She slides the disk into the player.

Dean is tense with the forest scenes. Sam flinches at the fire. By the time the nightshade has come out, Sam has drifted off and Dean has excused himself to the bathroom.

Charlie feels as though it was a terrible idea to let them pick the movie.

After the movie Dean shows Charlie where she'll be sleeping and points out that she ought to be careful with the bed frame because "that is ma-hog-a-ny" and she feels a little better about the movie now that someone has joked about it. She's crossing the hallway into the bathroom when Dean comes out of the little movie theatre, his brother leaning against him and shivering fiercely. Their facing the opposite direction, so she just kind of stands there and watches them. Dean pulls Sam's arm over his own shoulder to help support him, and Sam's knees all but give out as they begin moving towards their quarters. She can hardly hear it, but Dean is mumbling about distances and how they had made it farther than this with a lot less and she feels a little like puking because they really had, and still this illness was so debilitating.

And she also feels sick because at one point that night she had thought that maybe Dean had been exaggerating over the phone but now she can see that he was not.

And now she can see that he wasn't exaggerating; rather, he was trivializing it.

Because in the middle of the hallway, held up only by his brother, Sam starts vomiting blood on the brown-stained concrete floors.

So hopefully that wasn't too torturously bad or whatever. I'm new to writing the characters, but I had fun. I'll probably follow this up later (it's finals week and I am procrastinating). Anyway, ignore any inconsistencies or plot holes or what have you. I am a lamo and I did not do my research. I also disclaim all knowledge of the shows Breaking Bad, Dr Who, Game of Thrones, and Merlin. I did not pursue those further for a reason.

Anywho, please leave feedback as to whether I did well or not. And also, if you see any tense inconsistencies, please let me know. I wrote this late at night and I'm pretty sure I got them all but present tense is a bitch and I am not attentive to detail.

Val bene,