A Krampus Christmas Carol
Disclaimer: Obviously, I do not own Supernatural. If I did, I would be making a hell of a lot more money and probably not spending all my time reading fanfiction.
A/N: Huge thank you going out to to FX's "The League" for introducing me to this marvelous mythical creature. I have tweaked the legend and attributes a bit to better fit the story. Popping my Teenchesters cherry with this Christmas special. Sam has just turned 16 and Dean is 19/20ish and it's me, so there will be hurt!kidnapped!Sam. This story is complete and will post in five parts (the last chapter goes up on Christmas Eve).
Beaignu is my awesome beta for this adventure! Someday my harassment will lead to her opening an FF account and publishing some of her own works… I hope.
Krampus creeps up, to give you fright.
You've been lazy, naughty, or bad,
So he'll steal you from your mommy and dad.
It was supposed to be a witch; a simple one-bullet job to stop a ritual resulting in as many as twelve missing children every year in northern Minnesota. Even Bobby had confirmed the information and drew the same conclusion: an anti-aging or immortality spell. It began at each Winter Solstice and ended Christmas Eve. Families were left devastated, searching for their missing youngsters who would never be found. The Winchesters were going to put a stop to it tonight.
Just after dusk, John and Dean had located the ramshackle hut where the witch was holed up. They burst into the only room, — the wooden planks around the door handle splintering with John's powerful kick — but rather than the sacrificial altar they were expecting, they found a roasting pot and an empty spit resting above a roaring fire pit. There were no books or trinkets, no potions or wards. John hated to be wrong, but found himself second guessing the research he'd done earlier that day. They needed to regroup, but tonight was the last night of the cycle. If they didn't solve the problem now, it would start again next year in a different town.
After a few minutes, the smell of burned flesh and decay became too overwhelming. Dean stepped back outside quickly, hoping the fresh air would alleviate the nauseous feeling in his gut. That was when he noticed the tracks. Cloven hoof prints circled the shack, matting the snow. Witches occasionally had pets or familiars, but there were no human footprints at all. John stepped out a few minutes after Dean and studied the impressions, trying to determine what creature made them. He flipped open his cell, but there was no reception to make the call for a second opinion.
After identifying some fresher looking prints leading into the forest surrounding the shack, father and son moved off in search of the threat. John didn't want to risk losing the creature and took a gamble that they would have the resources to dispatch it without returning to the car. Luckily, the nearly full moon reflected against the snow and illuminated the area through the bare tree boughs, so there was little need for flashlights. A short distance into the woods a beastly growl caused both hunters to turn quickly.
It had gotten the drop on them. The humanoid monster, even with its hunched back, towered over them; its lithe but muscular body coated in wiry and sparse black fur against even darker skin. Lengthy goat-like horns jutted out from its thick, dark mane; and its blazing orange irises were split into four even parts by x-shaped pupils.
"Is that a satyr?" Dean shouted as he jumped back and took a close-range shot at the beast with his Taurus. As the shot rang out, John stepped forward and sliced his silver hunting knife across the creature's abdomen just below the bullet's entrance wound. The marks healed instantly and the monster only made an irritated hiss in response to the injuries — both of which should have been deadly.
"Dean!" John shouted as he turned and took off running to his left. After years of hunting with his father, Dean knew instantly what the order would be and stepped right, taking off at a run in the opposite direction. It was a military tactic his father had drilled into him. Both hunters would eventually double-back to the Impala, but the erratic pattern would hopefully confuse and slow the creature until they were able to rendezvous. Dean glanced over his shoulder while retreating, just in time to see his father's shadow vanish amongst dark silhouettes of the surrounding tree trunks. He couldn't see the beast anymore, but drew focus back to his tactical maneuvers in case the creature was still in pursuit.
Now Dean crouched near the base of a thick pine and tried to stay as still as possible atop the frozen snow. His breath frosted in the crisp chill that had settled on this quiet night as his eyes searched the woods, watching for any sign of his father. The car was about twenty yards behind him, just past the thicket. Dean had already grabbed a sawed-off rifle loaded with rock-salt bullets, a bottle of holy water, and a recently sharpened machete. He wasn't sure what would work, but he was willing to try it all, especially if this thing was on his father's tail.
Several minutes passed in complete silence and Dean's concern grew with each second. John was taking much too long. He was just about to try his cell phone — hoping there would be at least one bar for signal now that they were closer to road — when he heard a crunch in the snow behind him and a hand dropped onto his shoulder. Dean turned, expecting his father because it was rare that any human or even a monster could get the drop on him like his dad.
Dean realized his mistake too late as two strong hands grasped his head, sharp claws digging into his scalp as he was forced to stare up into a pair of demonic eyes. As hard as Dean struggled, he was unable to turn away. The orange and black seemed to swirl together and Dean stilled as his mind became lost in the twisting pattern.
Time shifted drastically as Dean found himself back in their motel room, earlier today.
"Dammit, Sam. You were supposed to be home two hours ago!" John barked at his youngest son as Dean stepped into the three bedroom apartment and pushed the door shut behind him, sealing out the winter chill.
"I was doing research and…" Sam countered, but was cut-off.
"I know what you were doing. I told you to come home because I figured out what we're hunting, and you were supposed to be cleaning and packing the weapons so Dean and I could head out as soon as possible. Now your brother's home and we're not ready to go." John was really hot tempered; he tended to get that way when cases involved missing or hurt children — it hit too close to home. After having been Sam's primary parent for most of the kid's life, Dean completely understood the stress and panic at the thought of losing a child.
Sam could have kept his mouth shut and just done as he was told, but that would go against the stubborn and rebellious attitude he had developed as a teenager. "I don't think you're right about this being a witch, Dad."
"Just do what I told you, Sam. I'm making a quick supply run. Everything had better be ready to go when I get back. Dean, make sure it's done." With that statement, John brushed past his eldest son and disappeared out the door. It was a declaration that the discussion was over, but Sam just dropped his overstuffed backpack to the floor and huffed in frustration.
"Relax, Sammy. This will be over after tonight and we'll be moving on to the next job."
"It won't be done tonight if you guys fail." Sam argued. "I'm serious. This isn't a witch. I talked to some kids at the park on the way home — friends and a sibling of some of the missing children — and we don't have all the facts. He won't even listen to what I found. You're going into this blind."
"Dad knows what he's doing. He even called Bobby to be sure." Dean tried to reason with the worked-up teenager.
"What about the soot, huh? How or why would a witch leave that in the kids' homes? I also found out that the missing children weren't exactly well-behaved."
"So maybe the witch has a type, Sam; and the soot could easily have fallen or been blown out of a chimney or fireplace by a breeze."
"Even though three of the homes didn't have a chimney or fireplace? And what about the golden twigs that were found?"
"Calling card? Shit, I don't know. Why do you have to be so disobedient all the time?" Dean snapped sharply, wanting the discussion to be over. "Let's get the gear ready so Dad, and I can make it back for at least some of Christmas Eve."
Sam continued without skipping a beat. "I found another type of creature that it could be. The lore was pretty sparse, but…"
"Enough, Sam!" Dean shouted, immediately regretting his tone of voice. It was so difficult to deal with Sam when he was in the mood to challenge their dad. "Just drop it. Either help me with this or go sulk in your room."
As Dean turned to face his brother, Sam's eyes were now cast down to the ground, clearly defeated by the disappointing tone in his older brother's voice. Dean wasn't happy about how he had handled the situation; but it was Christmas Eve and he did not want to spend the entire holiday out hunting. He wanted to be home, safe with Sam and Dad, watching crappy Christmas specials and eating leftover Chinese food.
Sam didn't say another word, but swiftly cleaned a couple rifles before packing them into John's duffle bag.
By the time John returned, Sam was sitting at the kitchen table, looking out at the back lot of the property they had rented for the week. The overcast clouds had cleared, but it didn't help the light as the sun had just disappeared past the horizon. Dusk was settling fast. John quickly picked up his duffel and motioned for Dean to join him as soon as his eldest exited the bathroom.
"Sam," John said in a voice usually reserved for giving military commands. "Make sure to lock the door and check the salt-lines. After your shameful behavior today, I'm expecting an attitude adjustment by the time we return."
Dean followed after his father obediently, but glanced back at Sam just before closing the door. "Be careful, it's not a witch." Dean barely heard his brother's voice as he pulled the door closed behind him.
At this point, everything fell black for Dean and all thoughts ceased.
"Hey, son. Wake up," the voice demanded. Dean groaned, wanting to go back to sleep. "Come on, Dean. We have to go. Now." This time there was shaking and slap to his cheek. As Dean returned to consciousness, he was met by a pounding headache. He could make out the voice of his father trying to rouse him.
"Dad? Wha' happened?"
John's face relaxed into a small smile, relieved that his son was finally awake. "That thing moves real fast. Looks like it got you good. How you feelin'?"
"Like I've been roofied by the ugliest chick at the bar." Dean pulled himself up into a sitting position with John's help and felt the back of his head, trying to figure out what the stinging sensation was — his hand pulled away with blood on the fingertips and he blinked in surprise.
"You're alright. I've already checked the cuts. I'm sure they hurt like hell but they're very shallow and should heal quickly."
Dean nodded and realized they were still under the pine tree. "So what did happen? All I remember is that thing grabbing me. Then, it was like I was reliving this afternoon. You had that fight with Sam, then we packed up the gun bags before leaving. Was I dreaming?"
John tried not to let his dismay show on his face, he had also been attacked by the creature with the same scene replayed through his mind before he had awoken on the ground. Not wanting to alarm Dean, John replied, "I'm not sure. It may have telepathic powers. Let's get back to the house and see if we can figure out how to kill this thing before it disappears." And back to check on Sam, he thought as his gut started twisting — a sudden irrefutable sense of urgency tightened his nerves. He helped to hoist Dean up from the snow and the two swiftly made their way back to the Impala.
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