A/N: As the monster featured in this work is never actually in SPN, I kind of had to just make things up as I went along, so...hopefully I done good. Give it a chance, R&R appreciated.

XXX

Dean clenches and unclenches his fist. The past few weeks have been absolute Hell. Dad says it's hormones, it's puberty, it's a phase that will pass soon enough.

Dean thinks Sam is just a bitch.

When he's not complaining about the hotel, he's complaining about the weather, or the town, or what's for dinner.

Right now, Dean's not even really sure what he's complaining about, but he's sick of it.

"Sam. Shut up," Dean finally says.

Sam stops mid-sentence. His eyes narrow, he sets his jaw, and stares defiantly at Dean. "Or what?" he challenges.

"Well, since somebody nearly got me arrested for under-age drinking, drinking myself stupid at the bar down the street is pretty much out of the question, which leaves me with two options: rope or gun. Or maybe I could just down some antifreeze."

Sam rolls his eyes in that huffy, over-exaggerated teenager way. "Ha ha, Dean. You're hilarious. If you want, I'll do it for you."

Dean just shakes his head and turns the page of the newspaper he pinched from the stand at the corner. Sam had been pretty skeptical when he saw it, actually saying, "You can read?" before burying his nose in some stupid book.

Admittedly, Dean didn't tend to do a whole lot of reading. But there was a story in today's paper that had caught his eye.

A nearby ranch had lost over a hundred sheep-every one of them completely drained of blood. That combined with a young ranch-herd gone missing made Dean think something more was going on.

Reading the whole story, he's pretty sure he's right. And that he's going up against a chupacabra. He's in New Mexico, so it's the right area, and the blood sucking thing is typical of the creatures. He smiles to himself. Finally something for him to do!

He goes to his room and grabs the car keys and heads toward the door.

"Wait!" Sam calls. "Where are you going?"

"Out." Dean really doesn't feel like arguing.

"On a hunt."

Dean curses silently.

"I'm right, aren't I? Can I come with you?"

Dean turns around. "No, you can't come with me."

Sam groans. "Dean, come on! You were hunting when you were half my age! Why can't I go with you? Dad lets me go with him!"

"I'm not Dad!" Dean snaps. "You can't come with me because Dad doesn't trust me to keep you from gettin' yerself killed. Why don't you stop being such a bitch?"

"I will when you stop being such a dick," Sam retorts. "I know that's a lie. Dad trusts you to have his back, doesn't he? Just tell me the truth!"

"The truth?" Dean laughs mirthlessly. "You want the truth? Fine. Here's the truth: Dad doesn't trust you not to get yourself killed. You're a dumb half-assed kid with no instinct! The only way Dad lets you go on hunts is if both of us are there to make sure you don't screw everything up by doing something stupid that gets us all killed! That's the truth, Sammy. Happy now?" He sees the hurt look on his little brother's face and for a second he wants to apologize. Then he remembers the part where Sam called him a dick and he changes his mind, turning to go.

"Dean. Let me come. I won't let you down, I promise." Sam's voice is border-line desperate-and downright pathetic, in Dean's opinion.

"You ain't comin', Sammy. Got it? I shouldn't be gone too long. Don't wait up for me," Dean answers without turning around before leaving, slamming the door shut behind him, leaving a rather shattered looking Sam in his wake.

"Damn kid," Dean mutters as he slides into the Impala.

XXX

The drive to the ranch takes longer than expected, and Dean is grateful when he finally sees the sign for the ranch. He turns onto the gravel driveway and drives slowly down, the gravel crunching loudly. He reaches forward and turns up the music, perking up when 'Ramble On' starts playing. He sings along, loud and off-key, wondering how long the driveway is and what he's gonna tell the people there when he finally arrives.

He slows the Impala to a crawl and turns off the headlights as he nears the house. The hairs on the back of his neck are prickling, and he has the distinct feeling that something is very, very wrong. He reaches over and opens the glove compartment, pulling out his beloved ivory handled Colt (which is of course loaded with silver bullets) and a silver knife for good measure.

He closes the door of his car as softly as he can and, gun in the back of his pants and knife held out in front of him, walks quickly and quietly to the house.

From the bottom of the porch steps, he can see that the lights are on, but there's no movement, nor is there any sound coming from inside. If that's not a bad sign, Dean's not sure what is. Then he notices the door is slightly ajar.

Definitely not good.

He puts a little weight on the bottom step, letting out a silent sigh of relief when it doesn't creak. He repeats this careful procedure until he's on the porch. And then, ever so carefully, he pushes the door open.

At first, he sees nothing, but as he moves further into the house, he spies blood on the floor and follows it. He can't see into the room at the end of the hall. All he sees is a bloodied hand.

His heart is pounding in his ears and he walks slower, listening closely for any sound. When he gets to the room at the end of the hall, it's all he can do not to curse aloud.

There are three of them, a couple and a kid who can't be much older than Sam. Besides wounds that had to be from fighting, there are two puncture wounds in each of their necks. The chupacabra had beat Dean to them.

"Damn," he mutters quietly, wondering what the hell he's supposed to do now.

Suddenly, he realizes that his breath is not the only breath he hears, and he turns slowly around.

The chupacabra is big, and sort of resembles a hairless wolf, save for the large spines that protrude from its back and the bigger than normal eyes and the long, razor sharp claws. It watches Dean with blood-red eyes, baring its huge sharp teeth. Its body is tense, and it circles Dean like a tiger circles its prey, walking slowly in a wide arc, waiting to pounce.

Dean moves his knife to his left hand, eyes never leaving the beast, and reaches for his gun. His fingers brush the handle and the chupacabra lunges, raking its claws across Dean's chest.

Dean screams in pain, stumbling backward and landing on his back hard, the breath rushing from him. The knife flies from his hand and before he can retrieve it, the chupacabra is on his chest, hot breath the stench of rotten meat suffocating Dean as it snarls down at him. It bares its teeth, a string of drool dripping down onto Dean's face. It leans forward, going in for the kill, and Dean does the only thing he can think to-he throws up his arm. The chupacabra bites down, and he lets out a yell of agony as the teeth penetrate nearly to the bone.

Dean struggles to breathe under the crushing weight, struggles to see through the black spots swimming in his vision. With his right arm, he reaches toward the knife, stretching arm and hand and fingers, desperately trying to close the gap between his hand and his weapon.

The chupacabra apparently has quite a bit of canine in its ancestry, because it starts shaking Dean's arm not unlike a pit bull shakes a rabbit. Dean grits his teeth, tears slipping down his cheeks. He's so close…

There. His fingertips barely come in contact with the top of the knife handle, but it's enough for him to pull it to his hand and just as the thing gets ready to take another shot at Dean's neck, Dean drives the silver blade into its chest.

It lets out a yelp and Dean manages to push it off of him. The chupacabra lies on its side, panting and whimpering. Dean makes his way to his feet, grimacing, and pulls the knife from the creature.

"Adios, you son of a bitch," he mutters, taking the Colt from the back of his pants and putting a bullet right between its eyes.

Now that the chupacabra's been ganked, the adrenaline drains from Dean, and he nearly collapses from pain and exhaustion. The three gashes across his torso are still bleeding profusely, as is his left arm which is mangled mess.

Dean makes his way back to his car, sinking into the driver's seat where he just sits for a minute, catching his breath, before starting the car. Led Zeppelin greets him through the speakers.

As he drives back to the road, he remembers with a sinking feeling just how long it had taken him to get here-and that most of that drive was through the middle of nowhere.

"Don't worry, Sammy," he mutters. "I ain't gonna leave you." But even as he says the words, he can feel himself getting faint.

It's gonna be a long drive.

XXX

Officer James Barett rolls his eyes as the drunkard in front of him drives slowly along, weaving in and out of his lane. He's had his lights on for a while now, and the man hasn't pulled over. He turns on his siren. The car seems to pull over, and Barett breathes a sigh of relief. Except that once it's on the side of the road, it just keeps going, rolling lazily into a ditch with a crash. He curses loudly and pulls over, getting out of the squad car and walking down to the old Impala.

The car isn't in too bad of shape. In fact, other than a busted side-view mirror, it's fine.

The same can't be said for the driver.

Barett opens the car door, ignoring protocol, and lets out a low whistle.

The man is in bad shape. Hell, he's more of a boy than a man. His whole front is soaked with red, his shirt shredded. Three parallel gashes run from his left shoulder across his body to the bottom of his right rib cage. His left arm looks like a Doberman used it as a chew toy. The skin around the wound is flaming red and shiny, undoubtedly infected.

Barett grabs his radio. "This is Officer Barett requesting immediate medical assistance. Over."

He bends worriedly in front of the open door, gently tapping the kid's face. The man stirs a little. Barett taps his face again. The kid's eyes shoot open and he grabs the back of Barett's head with a bloody hand.

"Where's Sammy?" he gasps.

"Hey, kid. Look, help is on the way, okay? Until they get here, I need you to stay calm. Try to keep your heart rate down, you've already lost a lot of blood and you're losing more. Alright? So I need you to try and calm down." This isn't exactly Barett's area of expertise, but he does his best to calm the guy.

The kid pushes Barett away and falls out of the car, putting his hand on the side to help pull himself to his feet. "I need to find Sam!"

Barett grabs him by the arm and is shocked and highly concerned at the heat of the skin beneath his hands. "You have to calm down, son!" he cries, exasperated. "You're gonna kill yourself! Please, just relax, and once we get you to the hospital, I'll see what we can do about Sam, okay? You gotta work with me here."

The man shakes his head weakly. "No, no. There's no time." He crumples to the ground.

"What's your name?" Barett asks.

"Dean. M' name's Dean." Dean's breathing grows shallow, his eyes glassy. "Sam..." His eyes roll back.

"This is Officer Barett! I need someone out here now!" he shouts into his radio.

"They're on their way, Barett. Should be there soon. Hang in there."

Barett exhales slowly, keeping a close eye on Dean, trying not to dwell on the fact that the kid's lifeblood is leaking steadily onto the ground. He crosses his heart, muttering quiet prayers.

XXX

Sheriff Crane paces back and forth, waiting impatiently for Starkey to get back.

Between the blood loss and the exhaustion and the high fever that just doesn't want to break, he hasn't been able to get much from this Dean kid. He did, however, find out where his little brother was, and had sent Starkey out to pick him up. Hopefully the brother will be able shed some light on the situation.

The doctor's best guess is an animal attack, but Crane's been sheriff a long time and he's never seen an animal attack that looked like this. That's the first mystery. The second mystery is what the kid's doing with a gun and a wicked looking blade in the glove compartment of his car. Something about this whole thing feels very off to Sheriff Crane, and he's determined to get to the bottom of it.

XXX

It's been two days and Sam is worried out of his mind. Dean hasn't even so much as called, and Sam can't help but think the worst.

Then, there's a knock on the door.

"Dean?" Sam calls, jumping up and running to the door. He unlocks it and swings it open. "Dean where the hell have you-oh."

It's not Dean. It's a cop. Sam's stomach drops. "Um…can I help you, Officer?" he asks.

"My name is Officer Starkey. Are you Sam Winchester?" the police officer asks.

Sam nods slowly. "…Yeah. Is something wrong?"

"It's your brother."

Sam suddenly feels faint, and he has to grip the doorframe to keep from falling.

"You alright son?" Starkey asks, reaching out a hand.

"I'm fine. What's happened to Dean? Where is he? Is he…" He can't finish the sentence, and is ashamed to find tears in his eyes. He rubs them away.

"He's in the hospital, son. Do you have a parent or something here with you?"

"Um…no. My dad's on a business trip and Dean was looking after me until…it he gonna be okay? Can I see him?" Sam's voice is full of desperation.

"I can take you over there right now."

Sam nods and follows the officer to his car, wondering what shit Dean got himself into this time.

And if he's gonna get out of it this time.