Title: Burn With Me
Author: Disasteriffic Kaz
Info: The Winchesters head to Centralia, PA for a job and find unfinished business waiting for them. Post 6x16 "…And Then There Were None." Tag for "Playing With Fire" hurt/comfort!Sam/Dean
Author's Note: I've had this idea since writing "Playing With Fire" and purposefully left it up in the air so I could come back to it…it's just taken me this long. Lol At some point there will be flashbacks to that one shot but I recommend reading it in its entirety. Iz good. You like.
In the meantime…wandering first chapter anyone? :P
Beta'd by the always awesome JaniceC678 :D– Friend and Muse's co-conspirator.
**Follow me on Facebook as "Disasteriffic Kaz" for frequent fic updates or just to chat!
~Reviews are Love~
Dean leaned out around the raised hood of the Impala and watched his brother come down the steps with a backward glance at Bobby's front door. He'd heard the yell a minute ago and sighed as Sam came over to him. "He bite your head off again? I told you to let him be for a while."
Sam rolled his eyes and leaned on the side of the car. "He wasn't yelling at me, thanks. He dropped his glass and it broke and…" He waved a hand to the house. Their father-figure was not taking Rufus' loss well at all, and Sam understood completely. He'd been ridden too many times and hurt the people he loved while possessed, Bobby among them. He knew exactly what the older Hunter was feeling and also knew talking about it wasn't high on his list. Sam wasn't sure he'd ever be able to put into words what it had felt like to watch himself kill Wandell, Bobby, Cas, and so many others he couldn't even count…what it had felt like to feel his own fists beating Dean to death and not be able to stop it no matter how loud he screamed.
Sam jerked back to reality with the slap on his arm and looked over at Dean's worried face. He smiled. "Stop what? I'm fine."
"Uh huh." Dean watched him a moment longer to be sure and pushed him off the car while he dropped the hood into place. "Maybe we should get out of his hair for a bit. Find a job."
Sam smiled and shook his head. "I did. I was about to tell him when, you know, the whiskey glass personally insulted him, so I came out to tell you instead."
Dean snorted and headed for the house. "Well?"
"Creature in Centralia, Pennsylvania." Sam followed him up the steps and listened, hearing silence inside. He raised a brow and shrugged when Dean looked at him to say; he didn't know if Bobby was going to chew them out again or what. The witness accounts are…weird. Some of the victims were beaten up and almost all of them were scalded…"
"Scalded? Like 'hot water burn baby!' scalded?" Dean asked in his best Rain Man impression.
Sam chuckled and went inside ahead of him. "You're such a dork, and, yeah, that. They all claim to have been attacked by, get this, an elk."
"Homicidal elk in Pennsylvania, dude? Really?" Dean glanced in the living room and saw Bobby hunched over his desk, studiously not looking up at them, and Dean motioned up the stairs silently.
Sam nodded and went. Bobby was clearly not interested in being spoken to just then. "Should take us about a day's drive. There is one thing."
Dean gave him a glare when they reached the top of the stairs and headed for their rooms to pack. "I'm not gonna like this, am I?"
"No. Centralia's been abandoned." Sam stopped in the door to Dean's room and leaned against the door frame. "There're only ten people still living there even. Thing is, the state blocked off all the roads decades ago. You can't drive in. We have to hike and, unless we want the locals involved, find somewhere to camp as well."
Dean stared at him and threw up his arms. "Why the hell's it abandoned?"
"There's an ore rich coal seam that runs under the area for, like, seventy miles. And back in the…I think it was in the sixties, someone accidently set it on fire." Sam shrugged. "There's a perpetual fire burning under Centralia. It spews smoke, steam, and occasionally toxic gas out into the air, so we might wanna bring a gas mask just in case."
"Awesome," Dean groaned and rolled his eyes as he pulled his bag out from under his bed and started packing. "Anything else before we go start this magical damn mystery tour?"
Sam smirked and shook his head. "I'll go grab some supplies." The idea of camping always put Dean in a foul mood, though Sam was sure they could find some of the few remaining abandoned structures to use and avoid the need of a tent. He headed downstairs and slipped through the hall without disturbing Bobby to go back outside and to the storage shed.
Dean came down the stairs with two bags over his shoulder. He'd packed up his brother as well, figuring Sam was in the shed getting the gear he thought they'd need. He stopped in the door of Bobby's living room and dropped the bags. "We're heading out. Sam's found a job in Pennsylvania."
Bobby looked up from the book he wasn't reading and made himself meet Dean's eyes. He knew his boys thought he was pissed at them for something, but the truth…the truth was, he was afraid. Hell, he was terrified and having nightmares where another of those damn Khan worms got in his head and he killed one or both of them. So, Dean saying they were taking off - Bobby gave a sigh of relief and actually managed something close to a smile.
"You need me, you know, call."
Dean frowned as Bobby looked back down at the book on his desk. "Bobby, are you..."
"Don't make me throw somethin' at you, son. I'm fine." Bobby looked back up with a glare. "Will you two idjits get the hell from under foot for a day or three?"
Dean put his hands up in surrender and grabbed the bags. "Centralia, P-A. You call us if YOU need something." He went for the door with a smile for the growl Bobby gave him and escaped before something was hurled at his head.
Bobby sighed and sat back with a thump, staring up at the cracked devil's trap on the ceiling. "Rufus, you old bastard," he whispered and it was both sad and angry as he looked back down and poured himself another whiskey while the Impala's engine rumbled to life outside.
"Maybe we should have convinced him to come with us," Sam said softly and looked over to see his brother shake his head.
"He needs alone time, dude. You know that."
Sam resisted the urge to flinch and nodded. "Yeah." It didn't make it any easier leaving Bobby alone to deal with what had happened. He yawned, hearing his jaw pop, and rolled his head into the window. They'd been driving for about twelve hours at that point and still had another seven or eight to go.
Dean rolled his eyes and focused on the road. They had just crossed the border into Pennsylvania. This, he thought, was one of the most boring drives anywhere in the country, crossing the width of that particular state with nothing but trees lining the highway, and, at night, the nothing was monotonous. A few hours later, Dean groaned as his eyes drooped for the third time, and he pulled off at the first rest stop he could find. It was more of a trucker stop - a long line of big rigs parked and dark for the night with a small, enclosed pavilion off to the side where bathrooms and vending machines beckoned from behind the glass.
"We there?" Sam asked sleepily, picking his head up off the window.
Dean snorted. "Not even close. I need to take a walk or something."
Sam opened his door and climbed out, stretching his arms over his head. "I can take over. You get some sleep." He rolled his eyes when Dean just waved at him and took off into the grass with a long-legged stride, jumping up and down occasionally. "Stubborn," Sam grumbled and headed for the rest rooms.
Dean hopped a few times and stretched down to touch his toes, trying not to hear the way his back crackled and popped on the way down. He groaned in relief as the pressure in his back released and stood back up, arching backward a little to finish the job of stretching. He looked out into the trees, black beyond the lights from the rest stop, and wondered why it was that most of Pennsylvania always looked like it had something lurking in the dark.
He turned back to the parking lot, giving his baby's sleek, black lines a long look under the lights, and let his eyes travel to the little pavilion. "Shit!" Dean shouted and broke into a run as he watched his not-so-little little brother pulled bodily from his feet and into the restroom. Panic blew through him. His heart pounded and he looked around but all the rigs were still dark. There hadn't been anything to hear from inside. Dean wrenched the glass door open and ran for the bathroom. "Sam!" He yanked the door open and then stopped in surprise.
"Little help…Dean!" Sam gasped and looked down at the vampire, a short, dark-haired man whose head he had wedged in the stall door.
"Sammy, what the hell?" Dean stared at the ridiculous sight and the man struggling to free his head. "I get it if the guy wanted a little rest-stop-roundup with ya, dude but…"
Sam rolled his eyes and put his shoulder to the door to keep it closed. "Vampire, Dean?" He grunted with the effort of keeping it trapped. "Shuddup already!" Sam growled when the creature hissed and drove his knee up into the thing's stomach. "Machete, dude?"
Dean stared in surprise for a moment and then shook his head, smirking as he ran a hand through his hair. "You got this? Yeah, you got this." He chuckled as Sam gave him a dirty look and went quickly back out to the car. "Only you, Sammy," Dean said ruefully. He went to the trunk and retrieved a machete, now thankful that all the truckers around them were blissfully asleep as he jogged back inside and found Sam and the vamp where he'd left them. "He tag you?" Dean asked suddenly, noticing that Sam seemed to be favoring his left side.
"Got his fangs into my back when he grabbed me," Sam told his brother and rolled his eyes. "I think he regrets that now."
"Yeah, sounds like it." Dean snorted while the vampire snarled and shouted and waved at him. "Go on. Open the door." Sam let go of the metal door and stepped back out of range. The vampire reared up with an angry yell, mouth open wide and bared fangs coated with his little brother's blood and turned to him. "Mistake, jackass," Dean informed angrily and swung. The creature's head was swept from its shoulders, hit the wall with a little wet splat, and slid to the floor while his body toppled into the toilet. "I hate PFV."
Sam chuckled and rolled out his shoulder, trying to ease the ache in his back. "Don't think the locals would appreciate you calling their state Pennsyl-fuckin-vania."
Dean bent and wiped his machete off on the vampire's shirt and stood, giving the body a kick. "The locals can suck it. Oh, wait…"
"Dude." Sam groaned and went past him for the door. He batted his brother's hand away. "Uh uh. Wash your hands."
Dean looked down and sighed. "Try not to bleed out 'til I get back to the car?" He grinned at his brother and went to the sink, washing the spots of vampire blood from his hands carefully. He shook his head at the odds of them picking a rest stop with a damn blood-sucker in the bathroom. "Winchester luck," he groaned and tossed his damp paper towels over the severed head. "Rest in pieces, asshole." Dean said and walked out.
Sam had his jacket off and the first aid kit out in the trunk, knowing there was no way Dean would just let him walk it off without a look. He smiled and shook his head while he tried to turn and crane his neck enough to get a look. "Dammit." The bite was just far enough down his shoulder blade he couldn't see it, but he could feel the burn, and the trickles of blood running down his back made him itch.
"Lemme see the damage," Dean asked as he rounded the trunk. He winced in sympathy when Sam turned a blood-soaked back to him. "Shit, dude."
"It's not that bad." Sam bent and let Dean shove his shirts up to get a look.
There was a ragged, round circle of punctures on Sam's left shoulder blade, all bleeding sluggishly, but his brother was right. It really wasn't that bad. "Yeah, you'll live."
Sam gritted his teeth through Dean cleaning the bite with holy water and sighed with relief when he put a bandage over it. "Thanks." He pulled his shirts off over his head and grabbed a couple clean ones from his bag while Dean put the first aid kit away. "I'm driving." He said as he pulled them on and went around the left side of the car.
"What? Dude! You just got munched." Dean shook his head. "You are not drivin' my baby."
Sam chuckled and pulled open the driver's door. "It's barely a bite, and, trust me, I'm wide awake now. Gimme the keys." He raised a brow when his brother glared at him and held out his hand. "Dean. Keys."
Dean snarled, took out his keys and tossed them over. "You crash my car, I will bury your ass under Bobby's bathroom."
"Ugh. Dude, that's just wrong." Sam laughed and got behind the wheel with only a small wince of pain for his back.
Dean closed the trunk and got in the car, looking over at Sam as he fired up the engine. "I mean it, dude. Eternity under Bobby's crapper, and I ain't talkin' about the one in the house either." Dean smiled and folded his arms behind his head as he slid down in the seat to get comfortable. "The one in the shop. Your ghost can haunt the place for all eternity."
"You…you're just…I'm not listening to you anymore." Sam rolled his eyes, laughing and flicked the radio on. "Eww."
Sam pulled off the interstate a few miles west of Centralia. It was still night and he didn't want them hiking in to unfamiliar territory in the dark, especially not somewhere as potentially dangerous as that abandoned city was likely to be. He took the detour into a small town and parked at the small motel on its outskirts. "Dean." Sam reached over and gave his sleeping brother a nudge in the shoulder.
"Five more minutes," Dean muttered and rolled into the window.
Sam chuckled. "You can have the rest of the night. Come on." He climbed out while Dean woke himself up and rented them a room. Dean was up and at the trunk grabbing their bags by the time Sam came back out, the routine so familiar he could have pretty much done it in his sleep. He pointed a few doors down and went to the door, unlocking it, and flicked on the lights. It was actually one of the more uninteresting rooms they'd ever stayed in - brown walls over brown carpet and flowered bedspreads. Sam tossed the key on the table by the door and looked over the beds and stopped with a frown. There was a wide, framed picture of a decaying city. It was a photograph and the buildings were half-obscured by white smoke. It said "Centralia" in script in the bottom right corner, but some enterprising soul had used red paint to scrawl 'Welcome to hell' across it.
"That's not ominous at all," Dean said as he came in and saw what Sam was staring at.
Sam shook himself and took the bag Dean handed him, managing a smile. "From what I've read, those words are painted all over Centralia on the roads and the buildings." He sat on the end of the far bed with a happy sigh and would have gone over if not for his brother, grabbing his arm and giving him a tug.
"Shower, dude. Wash off any vampire cooties." Dean grinned and pulled Sam up, pushing him to the bathroom.
Sam shook his head and went without arguing, closed the door, and had to bite his lip to get his shirts off over his head. His shoulder had stiffened during the last several hours. "Ow," He said softly and turned on the shower. Sam reached back and had to bend awkwardly to get at the bandage Dean had put there but finally managed to peel it off and toss it aside.
Dean listened to the shower run and took out his phone, dialing Bobby and was unsurprised when he picked up on the third ring in spite of the hour. "Hey, Bobby. Listen, can you ask around and see if anyone's heard of a vampire nest in central Pennsylvania?"
"What in hell'd you boys stumble into?" Bobby asked and rolled his eyes for the inevitable Winchester luck as Dean related the bathroom encounter. "Sam's alright?"
"Got chewed on a little, but he's fine," Dean assured him. "You hear anything about a nest, let us know. We can stop on the way back and clear it out, 'cause that jackass that took a bite out of Sam was one dumb son of a bitch." He chuckled again at the image of Sam with the creature's head wedged in the bathroom stall door. "Should'a taken a picture."
"Will do, son." Bobby grabbed his address book and started flipping through it.
"Bobby, you, uh…you need anything?" Dean asked and mentally kicked himself for somehow turning into Sam when he wasn't looking, poking at people's feelings and shit.
Bobby snorted, for once not pissed off because he could hear the clear discomfort in the younger man's voice. "I'm good, Dean. Just missin' my beauty sleep, so how about you idjits try NOT to get eaten for a day or three?"
Dean laughed. "Yes, sir." He hung up and tossed his phone on the nightstand with a sigh and then grabbed the first-aid kit. He nodded when Sam emerged from the bathroom, hair dripping and wisely not wearing a shirt yet.
"Knew you'd wanna poke at me." Sam pulled a chair out from the table and sat backwards on it so he could lean on the back and dropped his head onto his folded arms. "Bobby doing alright?" He glanced up to see the look of embarrassed surprise on Dean's face and laughed. "I promise not to let Batman know that you occasionally have a feeling or two."
Dean opened his mouth, closed it, opened it again, and settled for slapping the back of his brother's head. "Shut the hell up," he growled and pressed a wad of gauze with antiseptic over the bite on Sam's back, making his brother hiss in discomfort. "I am Batman."
Lewis stumbled to his knees and muffled his cry of pain in his elbow. He staggered back to his feet and started running again. He hurt…God, everywhere, he hurt, but his legs were a misery. It was a small mercy that it was too dark yet to see how badly scalded and burned his legs were. Lewis bounced from tree to tree, hoping he was still heading for the road. He chanced a look back over his shoulder, but there was nothing to see…it wasn't there.
He'd have called for help if there were anyone to listen, but he was miles from the few remaining homes in Centralia. The air around him smelled like smoke and rotten eggs, and he coughed, trying to clear his lungs and get enough air. A rustling behind him made Lewis turn and he fell to the ground again. "Shit!" He yelled with the pain and backed across the ground on his butt. The unnatural warmth of the ground seeped up through the seat of his jeans, and he pulled himself back to his feet.
"No, no, no, no," Lewis chanted like a mantra and tried to run faster. The trees gave way at last to the cracked and buckled remains of the old highway and he sobbed with relief. "Yes!" He turned toward where he knew the block was and his car on the other side of it. Lewis ran only a few feet before the ground shook. The aged blacktop under his feet cracked and he fell from sight with a scream into a new sinkhole, while flames leaped and danced up into the night before dying away, leaving a soft glow in the bottom of the hole and blackened, scorched bones.
To Be Continued…