Title: The Reader's Special: Fourth Edition
Author: Disasteriffic Kaz
Info: Set post 8x17 "Goodbye Stranger"- This is the Reader's Special where you tell me what YOU want in each chapter & I write it. Every event prompted by you after each chapter. Hurt/limp/awesome/caring!Sam/Dean
Beta'd by the Always Awesome JaniceC678 - Friend and Muse's co-conspirator
Author's note: Last chapter! :D The love you kids have for delirious Sam…ROFL Oi, the poor guy.
So since this is the last chapter, you know what that means! Reward stories time! Information will be at the end of this chapter and a list of all those who prompted the story whether your prompt made it in or not, though I did my best to get everyone at least once. Lol
Prompters represented in this chapter: Amiable Loner, Brielle-W, Colby's Girl, Holliday1081, Hunter-ofthe-lord, hyb108, Jenjoremy, judyann, Kazmie, Kelisem, Leahelisabeth, Marz, missingmikey, murphy9202, NiDubhChair, Sammynanci, SupernaturallyEgocentric
RULES are in the 1st Chapter and Remember:
This story is a marathon, not a sprint. You're helping me write it so let's not break both of Sam's legs and put Dean in a coma early on or we won't have much of a story to tell.
Dean watched him crawl back out and sighed. "Awesome. Cuddling my little brother in an igloo in the dark." He snorted and unslung his pack from his back. He pulled out a camplight and turned it on. The blue glow filled the small space. Dean pulled the salt out next and spent a few minutes pouring a careful circle inside the perimeter of the snow shelter.
"Ok. This is gonna be awkward as hell, dude." Dean rolled his eyes and pulled his brother's parka open. Dean pulled his own off and lay down next to Sam with the shotgun, tossing his coat over them like a blanket. "This wasn't so weird when you were eight." He chuckled and pulled Sam into his chest to conserve their body heat. Sam moved like a rag doll and now that they were alone and huddled together, Dean had nothing left to do but be drowned in fear for him.
"Please wake up, Sammy," Dean said softly and gave him a gentle shake. "Need you to wake up now."
Dean pulled Sam in tighter against his chest when he felt him shiver. The chill was slowly beginning to come up through the blanket from the snow beneath them. "Hey, Sammy." He tipped his brother's head away enough to see his ashen face and sighed. "You know, we got better things to do than sit here and cuddle while you take a nap." Dean snorted a soft laugh and pulled him closer again, tucking Sam's head under his chin. "You remember that hunt dad dragged us on when you were, like, twelve?" He chuckled and shook his head. "You had to go and fall in that damn river." Dean rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I know. You were savin' my ass. Still, I'm the one who had to play Cuddles-the-damn-bear with you all night 'til dad could find us to keep you warm." He closed his eyes and let the memory wash over him. It hadn't been all that different from now, other than Sam being a third as tall and Dean had easily tucked himself around the kid to stop hypothermia setting in. There'd been snow then, too, and that damn freezing river. He shivered with the memory of it and rubbed his hand up and down Sam's arm under the layer of coats. "Come on, Sammy. Time to wake up."
Dean froze and looked down. He thought he'd heard a whisper-soft moan. "Sam?" He rolled his brother's head out from under his chin again and waited. He smiled, seeing Sam's eyes begin to move under his closed lids and tapped his face lightly. "That's it, buddy. Wake up. Please wake up before I completely freak out here."
Sam groaned and followed the sound of his brother's voice calling to him. He wasn't sure exactly when he'd fallen asleep and it worried him. The last thing he remembered was reaching the geyser field with Dean and father Maniitok. "Dean?" Sam frowned at the raspy sound of his own voice. It took him a minute with Dean constantly saying something he couldn't quite register until he got his eyes open. His blurry vision slowly cleared until Sam realized he was looking up at Dean and his eyes went wide. "Are you…are we…cuddling?" Sam looked up and felt even more confused. "…in an igloo? What…"
"We are not cuddling, dork." Dean rolled his eyes, and, much as he wanted to right then, he didn't push Sam away, preferring to keep hold of him and keep him warm. "We're sharing body heat since your happy ass fell into a sinkhole. It's a well-established and totally approved survival technique!"
"Sinkhole?" Sam tried to remember and brought a hand up to his head. He felt fuzzy still and took a deep breath and started coughing.
"Easy. Take it easy," Dean said worriedly. There was a little more color in Sam's face now but not by much. "Breathed in some bad air down there before the priest got us out."
"Us? Wait." Sam did try to push himself away and get a look at Dean in the light of the lamp in sudden concern. "Are you hurt? How bad?"
"Knock it off, dammit," Dean growled and then hissed out a pained breath when Sam bumped his aching knee. "It's no big deal. Just wrenched my knee a little. I'm more worried about you. Dude, you've been out for over two hours."
"Two…holy crap." Sam sagged back into Dean's grip in surprise. "Ok, that's…I feel fine now though."
"Uh huh." Dean eased away a little but stayed close enough to keep him warm. "The number of hits to the head you've taken on this job, I think I'm gonna toss your ass in a hospital bed first thing when we get back to the mainland."
Sam squirmed, wanting to get a look at Dean's leg and make sure it was really alright and wishing he could remember the fall even a little. It always bothered him to lose time, however normal it was for being knocked unconscious. "How…What are we here?"
Dean scowled and turned his brother's face back to get a better look at him. "Sammy?" It scared hell out of him that, after waking up lucid, Sam was suddenly starting to not make sense.
Sam tried again. "Igloo. What…why are we…in an igloo? Dammit." Sam put a hand to his head again as a headache began to pound behind his eyes. "Still kinda fuzzy. Sorry."
"Father Maniitok built us an actual igloo before he went for help. Dude's like Nanook of the friggin' North or something." Dean smiled when Sam chuckled, but he kept his eyes on his brother's face. "How's your head?"
"Sore. Good. I'm ok," Sam tried to reassure him. "Just got a little confused for a minute. Lemme up."
"Nope." Dean sighed and held him down. "There's nowhere to go 'til the good father gets his priestly ass back here, so get comfy."
Sam groaned, shifted, muttered and finally collapsed in defeat. "Feel ridiculous."
Dean chuckled. "This ain't a picnic for me either. This is not how I figured on spending my night." He snorted. "Cuddling my sasquatch of a brother in a snow shelter under a volcano." Dean watched Sam's head loll back again and frowned. "Sam? C'mon. Stay awake. Sam."
"It's not much farther," Father Maniitok called over his shoulder. He looked back with a smirk to find George being helped upright by his aunt. Fay was a feisty old woman who'd brooked no argument to her coming along. They'd left the snowcat at the edge of the geyser field twenty minutes earlier, and a blizzard was now blowing its way in over the landscape to obscure everything. "Catch up!"
"We're trying!" George yelled out with a snarl and shook off his aunt's hand. "Guy's a damn slave driver. Trudging through four feet of…I'm coming!"
Fay laughed and backed away from him again. "Painkillers make you a not nice person, George, you know that?"
"You oughta know, Aunt Fay." George sighed and waved a hand at her. "I know. Sorry. Go catch him up before he comes back here and tries to carry us. I'm a drugged, grumpy bastard, but at least my ribs don't hurt."
Fay chuckled and went a few paces ahead of him. "He's coming!" She called to the father ahead of them and ducked her head against the snow. She wished they could drive the snowcat this close to the geyser fields, but the ground was too unstable. Its weight could cause another sinkhole easily. She groaned and lifted her legs higher through the drifts of snow and turned back to see how George was doing. She saw the beam from his flashlight glowing through the snow and aimed her own back. "George?" Fay stopped and turned as he came into view and her eyes widened in horror. "George! Look out!" Shadows surrounded her nephew, standing taller than him and wavering in the dark and the snow.
Father Maniitok spun with Fay's fearful cry. "Fay? George?" He ran back through the snow toward their lights and caught Fay's arm. "Fay, what's happened?" The snow suddenly stopped falling, as it often did, and the father stared with a sinking feeling in his stomach when he saw that George was gone and the boy's flashlight lay gleaming in the snow.
"The shadows took him!" Fay turned and grabbed hold of the priest's arms in a panic. "They swallowed him up and took him! Where is he? George!"
Father Maniitok took hold of her and pulled her away. "We'll find him." He didn't say that they would likely find him dead; she didn't need to be thinking that. "Come. Move, Fay. Hurry." He dragged her through the snow, hoping the shadows wouldn't come back to take them as well,0 and saw the soft, blue glow of the snow shelter he'd built in the distance before the snow began to fall once more and obscure it.
"Sam, wake up." Dean shook him and sat up, pulling Sam into his lap and pushed his hair off his brother's face. "Sam!" It scared him that he'd gone from seemingly wide awake to unconscious so quickly. Dean shook him again a little harder and slapped the side of his face. "Come on! That's it, buddy. Wake up," Dean coached when Sam's head shifted and he moaned softly. "Must be one hell of a concussion, little brother." He frowned when Sam moaned again and steadied his head. "Sammy?"
Sam woke in a fog, unsure of where he was. Pain screamed through his skull and he felt something holding tight to him while cold seemed to be eating its way up from underneath him. It terrified him on a visceral level, and he shook once, hard, with the sudden, sure knowledge that he was in the Cage…that Lucifer had devised some new torment for him. "NO!"
"Shit!" Dean held on as Sam shouted out suddenly and reared up. Panic and terror were written over his face while Sam struggled to free himself and Dean held on all the harder. "Sam! Dammit, Sammy, look at me!" Sam's eyes snapped up to his in something close to shock, and Dean grabbed hold of his jaw to keep his attention. "You seein' me?" Sam gave him a short nod and Dean loosened his grip slightly. "We're in Alaska. You hit your head, and we're in a snow shelter waiting for Father Maniitok to come back. Ringin' any bells for you yet? Sammy?"
"A…Alaska," Sam whispered. He let his eyes roll and take in the snow surrounding them, the glowing lantern, and Dean's concerned face. "I…there's a volcano."
"Yeah." Dean heaved a breath and kept hold of him.
"We're…we fell." Sam closed his eyes and forced his spinning mind to slow. "You said we fell."
"That's right. Sinkhole." Dean felt Sam's muscles begin to relax and smiled. "You took a good knock to the head and we breathed in some bad air, but we're ok. You're ok."
Sam nodded and took a few deep breaths to settle his nerves. "Right. Sorry. Sorry."
"Don't worry about it," Dean said and slumped a little in relief. He looked down and smirked, amused to find his little brother had a death grip on his arm. "How about you keep your eyes open for me now? No more falling asleep."
"Up," Sam mumbled and pulled on Dean's arm. "Lemme sit up."
"Ok. Ok. Hold your horses." Dean pulled and moved until he had Sam sitting up and leaning against his chest. "How's your head now?"
Sam dropped his head into his hand with a soft groan. "Pounding, but…I'm good I think. Better. I…" Sam stopped on a gasp with the sound of a voice screaming outside. "Dean?"
"Stay." Dean pulled away from Sam quickly, got to his feet and landed right back on his backside when his right leg refused to hold his weight. "Crap!"
"Ok, you stay," Sam pulled the coats off his legs and put them over his brother before crawling to the mouth of the igloo.
"You can't walk," Sam said calmly.
"Dammit!" Dean snarled and made a grab for Sam's leg. "No. Stay the hell in here!"
"Dean, someone's in trouble!" Sam argued and pulled his leg free. He stuck his head out the igloo's door and yelped when a bright light flashed into his eyes.
"Son of a bitch." Dean lunged forward and caught the back of Sam's parka. He used it to drag his brother back inside. "What is it? What?"
"Holy crap, it's the priest!" Dean slumped in relief and let go of his squirming brother. "Father Maniitok?"
Sam moved back as the father crawled inside. "Father. Are you alright?"
"I'm quite well, Sam, and glad to see you awake son." Father Maniitok rested a hand on the young man's shoulder. "Fay is with me." He shifted aside to make room for her and looked soberly at both men. "George was taken moments ago by the Ijiraq."
"Oh, God," Sam breathed. "Fay." He looked up and reached a hand out to her as she crawled inside the shelter. "I'm so sorry."
"He's not dead," Fay said firmly though her face was grim. "Until you show me a body, my nephew is not dead." She unslung her heavy pack and set it on the floor of the shelter.
"We need to get you up and back to town." Father Maniitok pulled the space blanket from Dean's leg to get a look at it.
"Get us up and we're goin' to that damn cave," Dean said angrily and saw an answering anger in his brother's eyes. "We're not gonna just leave George out there to die. He saved our asses."
"We owe him." Sam nodded in agreement but frowned at his brother. "How are you gonna get there on that leg?"
"I can help with that." Fay pulled open her large pack. She pulled out a thermos first and passed it to Dean. "To warm you two up. My mother's recipe." She gave them a crooked smile. "Mulled apple juice, a little cinnamon, and healthy dose of rum. Drink up."
"Dude." Dean chuckled and opened the thermos. He took a healthy swig and his eyes widened as he passed it to his brother. "Holy crap. That tastes like liquid pie!"
Sam laughed and took the thermos. "Think you're gonna have to bottle this and send him home with it."
"Now this should keep your knee stable, Dean." Fay pulled out a folded brace and several small rods. "Lay back and let me have it."
"Check him too." Dean hooked a thumb at his brother. "He was slurring and confused out of his gourd not ten minutes ago."
"I'll get to him." Fay bent to Dean's leg and started rolling the denim up to get a look at it before she did anything else.
"Do you think the boy will still be alive?" Father Maniitok asked them seriously.
Sam sighed. "I don't know. He might be. We're close to the cave now, right?" The father nodded and Sam shrugged. "It's possible they know we're coming and George is…I dunno…leverage, maybe. I think it's possible they'll keep him alive."
"For a little while anyway. Ow!" Dean jumped when Fay pressed around his knee.
"Sorry," Fay said softly and rolled the pantleg back down. "Father Maniitok was right. It's not broken or dislocated, but it's fairly badly swollen. This will help."
Dean had to work to sit still while Fay assembled the brace around his knee, Velcroing it in place, sliding the rods into the sides to keep his knee as stable as possible. It felt like it was too tight and crushing him, but he kept his mouth shut. The alternative was letting Sam go on without him after the Ijiraq and that was not an option. "Done?"
"Just about." Fay tightened the brace a little more and sat back finally. "Let the father help you walk, Dean. You want to put as little weight as possible on that knee while you can."
"Fine." Dean groaned and rolled his eyes. He pulled his parka back on and zipped it up. "Ok, Father. Get me outta here. Sam? Sit down. Shut up and let her check you out."
"I wasn't gonna argue," Sam said grumpily and didn't bother responding to the look on his big brother's face that said he didn't believe him.
"Father Maniitok says you hit your head pretty good, Sam." Fay sat in front of him and smiled as she reached up for his head. "Can you lean down for me?" She pulled him down and slid her fingers into his soft hair. Sam flinched when her fingers brushed over a new, sizeable lump. "Sorry, handsome." Fay tipped his head back up and took a penlight out of her pocket. "Ok, aim those bedroom eyes right here."
Sam chuckled. "Starting to love your bedside manner, Fay."
Fay grinned as she flashed her light in one of his eyes and then the other and managed to keep her concern from her face. "Headache?" Sam nodded. "If it gets any worse or you feel dizzy or sick to your stomach, you tell me right away. You hear me?" His pupils were even but they were more sluggish than she liked in reacting to her light. He was definitely concussed.
"I'll be fine, Fay. Thank you." Sam saw his brother vanish out of the igloo with the father and got to his knees. "We need to find George." He zipped his parka the rest of the way up and crawled outside, unsurprised when Dean's hand was there to help him to his feet.
"Which way to this cave?" Dean asked and steadied himself on Sam's shoulder for a moment while he got his balance with his braced leg. It felt unnaturally stiff in the contraption, and he knew walking in the snow was going to be a pain in the ass.
"About a quarter of a mile that way." Father Maniitok gestured and then pulled Dean's right arm over his shoulders. "Don't waste time arguing with me. I'll only win in the end."
Sam snorted a laugh and watched his brother limp away with a snarl. "I really like him." He looked up as a gust of snow blew past them and blinded him for a moment.
"Come on, Sam." Fay stood and shrugged her pack back on. She took his arm and gave him a nudge after the other men. "Don't want to get left behind, do we?"
Sam marveled at the woman as they walked. Somehow, she was managing to look outwardly calm and composed though he knew she had to be panicked over whatever was happening…or had already happened…to George. "We'll find him, Fay."
Fay nodded. "I know." She just hoped it wasn't George's body they'd be finding.
Sam raised his legs higher through yet another snow drift and watched Dean and Father Maniitok walk into the cave twenty yards ahead. "Dammit."
"Sam?" Fay caught his arm again and stopped him from listing to his left. "They're right there. It's alright." They had lagged further behind in the last ten minutes, and she knew he was worried that Dean was now out of his sight. Sam's brother had waved them off when he'd realized Sam was suffering the effects of a concussion enough to slow him down even with Dean's leg in a brace and being towed by the priest.
"I'm alright," Sam insisted, though dizziness was becoming his constant companion along with a persistent roll in his stomach that said he'd be tossing his cookies into the snow sooner rather than later. He made himself walk faster. "We need to catch up." Sam couldn't explain the feeling that was quickly overtaking him, but he felt sure that something bad was going to happen…that Dean was in danger. "We have to hurry."
"What is it, Sam?" Fay had to jog to catch him up. "Sam!"
"I don't know." Sam pushed through the swimming feeling in his head. The snow became less deep as he neared the cave mouth and he moved even faster. "Dean?" he called and heard Fay hurrying behind him. Sam staggered and slapped a hand out to the cold rock to keep from falling. He heard several cries echo out from inside the dark cavern. "Dean!"
Sam broke into a run with his flashlight leading a shaky path ahead of him through the twists and turns. He heard Fay behind calling his name to slow down, but he couldn't. He heard another shout and this time was sure that it belonged to Dean and it was full of pain. Fear for his brother drew him forward. The tunnel ahead lightened with a flickering glow that could only come from fire. Sam quickly swapped the flashlight in his right hand for the shotgun as he ran. "Dean!"
"Sam! Watch out!"
Dean's shout echoed to him, and Sam tried to skid to a stop as he turned a corner into a large cave. He wasn't quite fast enough. He felt something give under his left foot. Sam gasped and backed up a step to try and avoid whatever he'd triggered, but it was far too late. Dirt and rock flew from the ground and mouth of the tunnel around him and something metal glistened in the firelight. Sam shouted in pain as barbed wire tangled around him and pierced through his pants and parka to bite into his flesh. A lone strand caught on the shoulder of his parker, obviously meant to have wrapped around his throat and strangled him but Sam had managed to back away just enough to avoid that fate.
"Oh, my God! Sam!"
"Fay, stop!" Sam called and couldn't even look behind to see her, but he could hear her mere feet away. "Don't come any closer. There might be more."
"Sammy?" Dean saw his brother standing still and wrapped up like a macabre Christmas present with the lethal wire. He and the father had only barely missed stepping on the trap when they'd come in. He groaned and let his head thump back to the cave floor. That had been the end of their good luck. Dean's eyes had been on the glowing altar at the back of the cavern and the banked fires surrounding it, while Father Maniitok had been drawn to the other half of the cave and the floor of uneven, sunken earth. Dean had taken no more than three, unsteady steps toward the altar before the Ijiraq had swarmed into the room with a deafening screech. He and the father both had been thrown into the walls. Dean looked over to him now. Father Maniitok had yet to do more than moan softly. Dean wasn't sure he could even stand at that point with the way the impact had reverberated through his body, but he was damn well going to try.
Fay pressed herself into the wall and moved until she could see around Sam into the cave. She gasped seeing shadows standing and wavering in the air. Dean lay against the far wall and the father near him. "George?" she said softly, but saw no sign of her nephew.
"Fay…Fay stay back." Sam tried to shift in the prison of barbs and found that as long as he stayed still, he was safe from further injury, but even the slightest movement shifted the razor-sharp points of metal deeper into his skin. Any significant movement would cause them to rip into him like knives. "Dean?" He wanted to blast the Ijiraq with rock salt and get them away from his brother, but the shotgun had been torn from his hand by the wire. "Fay. The gun. Get the gun!"
Dean pushed himself up slowly and kept his eyes on his brother through the twisting shadows of the creatures. The altar was there on the other side of the cavern taunting him. If he could only reach it and destroy the thing. "Sammy, don't move!" Seeing his brother entwined in the barbed wire was another level of panic, worrying that he'd have to watch Sam get torn apart by the stuff.
Sam tried to find a way to get out of the trap, biting his lip rather than let loose the pained cries as the barbs dug into him. The Ijiraq were closing on his brother and Dean was defenseless. "No, dammit!"
"Not good," Dean muttered and pushed, trying to get to his feet as the Ijiraq drew closer. He choked on a groan of pain when his right leg refused to hold him up and he slid down against the stone wall.
"Fay, please!" Sam turned his head to find her and looked into her wide eyes.
Fay swallowed hard and went to her knees. She reached into the barbed wire, ignoring the pain when it caught her hand and pulled the shotgun out. "Will this kill them?"
Sam shook his head. "No; but it…it'll buy Dean time. Hurry!" Moving carefully, he got one hand up to his neck and started trying to unzip his parka while Fay brought the barrel of the gun up. "Just shoot!" The Ijiraq were drawing closer around his brother, and Sam jerked in fear when Dean shouted in pain. Sam saw a line of blood appear across his abdomen as his parka split in two. "No!"
Fay took aim at the shadows, closed her eyes and fired. The boom was deafening in the cave and she rocked back a step with the recoil from the weapon. "Oh, God," she gasped. She opened her eyes and stared in horror as some of the shadowy forms peeled away from the group and came for her.
"Fay, run! Go!" Sam told her desperately. "Dean?"
Father Maniitok woke with Sam's fearful shout of his brother's name. He jerked his head up from the cold earth and took a moment to absorb the nightmare taking shape around him. The elder brother was bleeding against the wall nearby while the younger was wrapped in what looked like vicious, barbed wire. And Fay…he just saw her back as she ran from an onslaught of the Ijiraq while still more of the shadow creatures were coming for Dean.
"No." Father Maniitok pulled his prayer rope from his left sleeve, unwinding it from his wrist, and held it tightly as he knelt up. He knew what he was sitting on - the graves of the murdered Russian crews from all those years ago. He began chanting in his mother's tongue, a woman of Russia who'd come to Alaska as a girl, married an Inuit, and raised a priest.
Sam threw caution aside in favor of desperation. He couldn't just stand there and watch his brother be torn to shreds. The altar was so close and he could see Dean's bag on the ground near it. They only had to burn the damn thing to stop the Ijiraq. Sam took a deep breath as the shadows lashed out at Dean again.
"Sam, don't!" Dean shouted in spite of his own pain and with fresh blood dripping down his face. He could only watch in horrified awe as his little brother tore himself loose from the barbed wire with a yell of pain that sounded more like a battle cry. Dean's stomach clenched with the sprays of blood that hit the ground. Then his vision was obscured as the Ijiraq closed him in. He felt fresh pain on his leg, felt the brace sliced messily from around his knee and then he heard Father Maniitok's voice rise. Dean forced his eyes open and stared in surprise. A wall of spirits stood between them and the Ijiraq. Ghost after ghost of the murdered Russian sailors flickered in a line in front of Dean and the father, preventing the Ijiraq from coming any closer.
"Dean." Father Maniitok crawled quickly to the stricken man.
"You do this?" Dean asked breathlessly and the father nodded.
"The Ijiraq were only ever supposed to protect the burial, keep their graves from being disturbed. But what they've been doing…" Father Maniitok shook his head. "None of this was ever supposed to happen. My vows prevent me from fighting, but that doesn't mean I can't call on those who can fight." He smiled sadly at the ghosts as they refused to be moved in the face of the shadow creatures frustrated howling. "They will not let the Ijiraq reach us."
"What about Sam?" Dean asked softly, afraid to raise his voice and alert the shadows to what was happening behind them. He could just make out his brother through the ghosts and the Ijiraq, as Sam crawled across the cave floor, and that sight scared Dean more than anything else wondering just how badly his little brother had hurt himself to escape the barbed wire.
Sam crawled and tried to keep silent as he moved, but it wasn't easy. The barbs from the wire had torn furrows down his body, and he knew he was leaving a trail of blood over the dirt floor of the cave. He swallowed and pushed the pain back as he reached Dean's bag. He could deal with that later. If he didn't get this done, they would all die screaming in far worse agony. Sam fumbled the zipper open and shoved his hand inside, looking for the lighter fluid.
"No. No, no." Dean grabbed Father Maniitok's arm and shook him. "They're on to him. Sammy!" The Ijiraq moved away from the ghosts as one and drifted over the cavern floor toward his brother. "Come on, you bastards!" Dean grabbed a rock from the floor and threw it at them. It passed harmlessly through the shadow creatures and did nothing to gain their attention. He looked frantically around and pointed. "My shotgun! It's over there! Get it and unload a round into those things!"
Father Maniitok shook his head and kept hold of Dean as the man tried to rise with little success. "I can't, Dean. I'm sorry."
"What?" Dean jerked in his grip and glared at him. "Those things are about to kill my brother and you aren't gonna do anything?" He surged upward and collapsed into the priest as his head swam. He'd lost far too much blood apparently. "Then…then get the damn gun and I'll shoot it! Do something! Sam!"
Sam rolled back from Dean's bag when he felt something tear in a hot line of pain up his arm. "Shit!" He had the lighter fluid in his hand, but the Ijiraq were nearly surrounding him. Sam fell to his back and jerked his head to the cavern entrance when he heard a ridiculous sort of war cry.
"What the hell?" Dean stared in equal surprise as a bloodied but very much alive George appeared. George hollered, brandishing Sam's shotgun and charged into the cave straight at the Ijiraq as he fired.
Sam shook off his paralysis and made sure George's distraction didn't go to waste. He rolled away from the Ijiraq and staggered to his feet and to the altar. Sam popped open the lighter fluid and squirted it heavily over the altar. It was old, covered in a layer of thick dust that almost completely obscured the Inuit markings carved into the wood, and Sam knew somehow that the fires burning in the little bowls at either end had been burning for hundreds of years through the same magic that bound the creatures. He didn't bother trying to find his lighter. Sam just aimed the stream from the lighter fluid at one of the fires and flames burst up and across the altar to swallow it in a conflagration.
The Ijiraq screamed again as one, filling the cave with sound and momentarily deafening everyone inside. Then, with a flash of bright light, they were gone and only the humans and the ghosts remained.
"Holy…crap," Dean gasped.
The line of ghosts turned to look down at Father Maniitok. They bowed solemnly to him and then flickered out of sight. "Pass in peace," the father whispered.
George lowered the shotgun and stared around as he caught his breath. "I'm alive?" He grinned and looked down at himself. "Holy shit! I'm still alive!"
"George!" Dean yelled and pushed himself up higher on the wall. "What the hell were you thinking?"
"Well." George grinned and started laughing as he came to kneel in front of Dean. He shrugged. "Crazy works."
Dean started to laugh with the reminder of his own words but it cut off when he saw his brother drop to his knees behind George. "Sammy? Get…dammit, get me up!" He shook off Father Maniitok's hands, still angry with the man, and let George pull him up instead. "How'd you not die?"
George grimaced. "They took a few swipes at me, and then I think they must have heard you guys or something because they lost interest and I, uh…I took off. Aunt Fay found me outside. Aunt Fay? Crap, you're heavy."
"Sorry." Dean tried to keep his good leg under him and hobbled across the cavern to his brother. "Sammy?"
Sam nodded and looked up as his brother sat down next to him with George's help. "Hey."
"Lookin' a little rough there, buddy," Dean said with a smile he didn't feel as he took in the innumerable bleeding rents in his brother's clothes. The barbed wire had done a hell of a job on him. Dean shuddered as the sight of his brother thrashing to get free to help him despite the cost to himself replayed in his mind.
"Not…not looking so good…yourself." Sam shamelessly slumped into Dean's side and closed his eyes. "We done now?"
"Yeah, Sammy. We're done." Dean draped an arm over his shoulders with a grimace for all the blood he could feel under his hand.
"Good Lord," Fay said softly as she came back into the cave and got a look at the two Winchesters huddled together on the ground. "Is it…are they gone?"
"Yeah, it should be safe now." Dean shrugged tiredly. "Could use your skills over here, Fay."
"You got him out of the barbed wire?" Fay's instincts kicked in when she saw all the blood on Sam and she crossed the cave fearlessly to kneel beside them.
"He ripped himself out of it," Dean said and there was pride in his voice as he looked down at Sam's dark head. "That was pretty damn Rambo, dude."
Sam gave a weak chuckle and didn't move. "Savin' your ass."
Dean looked up darkly when Father Maniitok knelt on his other side. "What?"
"Dean." Father Maniitok shook his head slowly and looked sternly at the young man. "I'm a man of God and I've taken vows. Those vows mean something to me. They aren't just things to be tossed aside when they become…inconvenient. I know you think I failed you somehow, but I believe God tests us."
"You got no idea, Father," Dean said darkly.
"Dean," Sam said softly and bumped his brother's knee with his hand. "Don't." He didn't know what had happened to make Dean so angry with the priest, but he didn't see any reason for his brother to rain their disillusionment with all things Heavenly down on the priest.
"Fine." Dean sighed and looked away from the father. "How is he, Fay?"
"He's a human pincushion," Fay said easily and smiled at Dean. "He'll be fine once we get you both back home and warm where I can take care of you properly." She looked over at the priest's sad face. "Father, could you help George find something to build a travois from?"
"Yeah, Sam ain't walkin' all the way back to the snowcat." Dean snorted a laugh down at his brother.
"The travois' for you, Dean," Fay informed him cheerfully. "There's no way YOU'LL be walking all the way back to the snowcat on that leg without a brace."
"What? Uh uh. No way!" Dean argued and glared down at his brother when he heard Sam laugh. "Shuddup."
"Don't argue with me." Fay reached out and tugged the remains of Dean's shirts up. She whistled through her teeth at the sight of the open gash along his stomach. "At least it's fairly shallow. Lay down and let me bandage that to stop the bleeding." She gave his shoulder a push while Father Maniitok and George moved away. "If you argue, Sam's going to argue, and then where will we be?"
"That's low, Fay." Dean groaned and leaned back as far as he was willing, resting on his elbows and chuckled when Sam stayed right where he was against him. "Sammy?"
"Passed out, I think. He'll be fine." Fay reassured him and pulled her first aid kit over. "Now sit quietly while I fix those awesome abs of yours."
"Aunt Fay! COME on!" George threw his arms up in the air in disgust and headed for the tunnel. "Let's go, Father, before she says something you have to, like, go to confession for or something."
Sam looked over at his brother and snorted a soft laugh. "Stop squirming."
"You can be quiet," Dean said unhappily and tried to shift his leg into a comfortable position, but there wasn't one. Fay had stopped just short of putting him in a cast once they'd finally gotten back to the house two days ago. The brace she had wrapped around his leg from ankle to thigh was just as restrictive and irritating.
"Big baby." Sam smiled and settled back into the couch. He was a patchwork of bandages and stitches and more than happy to not move off Fay's couch for a week, no matter how much he wanted to be off the island, and he knew Dean was chafing at the bit for that as well.
"We need to get the hell back to the mainland," Dean said, as if reading Sam's thoughts and scrubbed a hand through his hair. "I don't even know if my baby's in one piece."
"She is," Sam told him and looked over with a smile. "I had George call Fred and he called the port. The waves from the earthquake never made it there. The Impala's safe."
Dean smiled and felt some of the tension in his shoulders ease. "How long's she gonna make us wait to get out of here?"
"Until the both of you can walk three steps without falling over or needing help," Fay said cheerily and walked into the living room with a tray loaded with food. "Days at least, I should think." She set the tray down on the table with a laugh for the groans both men gave her and whipped the towel off. "I think I can make it bearable."
"Oh, baby." Dean leaned forward in the chair and grinned at the apple pie sitting between two of the biggest sandwiches he'd ever seen.
"Need to get your strength back, the pair of you." Fay handed one sandwich to Sam and shook a finger. "Don't give me any guff about not being hungry. Eat."
Sam rolled his eyes and took the plate. "Yes, ma'am." Fay was as unrelenting as his brother when it came to making him eat.
Fay pulled the little stool over and sat on it, sparing a glance for George when he came into the room and leaned on the door. "Boys." She looked at the Winchesters and smiled sheepishly. "Honestly, you could probably both leave right now, make the mainland by tomorrow."
Dean looked in surprise, trading a similar glance with Sam. "Ok, then why are we still here?"
George chuckled. "Cause Aunt Fay's a sentimental pain in the…"
"George, don't make me hurt you!" Fay cut him off and then she laughed. "He's not wrong, though. It's…tomorrow's Christmas." She nodded when they both seemed surprised. "I kind of figured you hadn't realized. We owe you. Hell, the whole damn island owes you, so…"
"What she's saying is stick around for dinner tomorrow." George smiled at them and shrugged. "Aunt Fay makes a mean pineapple ham." He chuckled. "Not to mention all the pie."
"Pie?" Dean said and smiled.
"She pretty much feeds the whole town." George said with a laugh.
"Fay, thank you," Sam said and smiled with gratitude. He'd completely forgotten what day it was. Christmas wasn't something they'd really had a reason to celebrate in…well…too damn long. "What do you say, Dean?"
Dean saw the happy look in Sam's eyes and sighed. There was no way he could refuse the kid something like this, especially knowing that they still had Trials ahead of them. "I think you're gonna be rolling my ass onto the boat in a couple days. I never walk away from pie." They ate companionably, whiling away the evening and demolishing the apple pie Fay had brought until finally it was just him and Sam in the living room again with the fire flickering, sending out warmth and giving him enough light to see that Sam was somewhere close to falling asleep. Dean looked down at his watch and smiled.
"Merry Christmas, Sammy," he said softly and smiled.
"M'chris'mas, Dean," Sam said sleepily as his eyes closed and he drifted away peacefully, smiling softly when he felt Dean's hand land heavily on his shoulder and stay there.
Author's Note: DON'T GO ANYWHERE! :D If you prompted this story, you'll find your name in the list below. As a thank you to all of you who did such an amazing job keeping me on my toes, I offer the only gift I can give. A One Shot Story of your choosing.
Either comment this chapter or Private Message with: Which season you would like it set in and what you would like the story to be about either in general or in detail. Anything your little supernatural hearts desire. :D No Wincest or slash. Gen prompts only please.
Again, if your name is on the list, you've earned a special One Shot written just for you to your specifications. Review or PM what you want and I'll write it. Thank you all again! Don't worry, we'll play this game again. :D
Hacked It Out and Fell
K Hanna Korossy