Title: Back Roads part 1 -part 2 - part 3
Rating: R - Gen - hurt!dean - h/c
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Miles from help on a mountain road, Sam must take control of a rapidly disintegrating situation in order to save his brother's life...
He supposed he should have been more elated than he was when they finally found it. After all they had been looking for this house for almost a week.
The place made Sam think of a yellowed old photograph left at the bottom of a drawer. The windows were like some long dead face standing too still and too posed for a camera. The doorways faded with their amber flaked edges. Left at the end of a winding weed choked dirt road, it hadn't looked as if it had been lived in for as long as the ivy grew up the sides of its paint chipped lopsided porch.
But looks were usually and frequently deceiving.
The sagging crumble of the barn was exactly where the century old document they had pilfered from the town hall's ledgers said it was. More importantly, the old boarded up well beside it was just visible among the thicket of raspberry bushes that had grown tall and wild around it. The sky was red and orange with twilight, slanting shadows down sharp and black through the trees.
The crickets went silent as they got closer, Dean motioning for Sam to wait as he slipped and vanished through the only way through the foliage. They weren't here to protect or destroy a thing this time around. They were here strictly as thieves. Sam would have felt badly if he thought for an instant that whoever owned this land, this aged house, this condemned barn or this forgotten well, would even know what they had. And if they even did know about the old bronze seal bolted onto their moldy stone well, would they even know what it was?
Dean reappeared much faster than Sam expected. He held up the small mossy square of metal with a grin. It was a seal of protection. The witches that used to live in these mountains used to leave them in places where children could find harm.
Lakes. Forests. Roads. Wells.
Sam smiled back at his brother, their eyes meeting in the relief of a duration of research and tedious work coming to a final fruition. They'd put this seal where it could do some real work, under a city intersection, a hospital basement, maybe even a--
They both heard the metallic slide and click of a rifle before they even saw the one who was holding it.
Without a word, they broke into different directions. Sam ducked and ran to his left, skirting the side of the barn and hearing the gun shots thudding and splintering into the peeling painted wood behind him. Rounding the far corner, he paused long enough to listen to the old man that had spotted them from his supposedly empty house. Old but a pretty good shot.
It was a simple thing to let the elderly man hobble in his direction as he worked his way back to the front of the barn. With one final glance around for any other unexpected armed recluses, Sam slipped down through the tangle of forest that paralleled the road they had followed in. Moving as fast as he could, he soon breathlessly burst out of the woods and onto weathered cracked pavement. Seconds later, Dean also stumbled out of the bushes, a distant figure down the curve of the road and almost right beside the far off parked car.
Sam jogged towards him, his smile coming back.
Dean made a vague wave at him before swinging the car door open and getting in.
It wasn't often they were shot at and chased by some 100 year old man who probably thought they were stealing off of his berry bushes. Sam reached the car, slumping back into his seat and sharing a look with Dean. They were both sweaty, scratched up from running through the underbrush and Sam had even ripped his jeans. A gash he hadn't noticed was bleeding and soaking the denim in a long thick spot down his knee.
He had to laugh. Tip his head back and just laugh.
Sam was still laughing breathlessly when he noticed Dean had never really joined him. He let his mirth go, deep from his belly and up to the ceiling of the car. "Can you believe that!"
Dean touched his own cheek where some low strip of branch had neatly sliced a thin line right under his eye. He started to laugh a little bit in disbelief too. Sam rubbed his hands across his face and waited for the tires to roll. But the engine hadn't even been turned yet.
"Oh man, can you believe that?" Sam repeated, ready to go and find the highway.
"That guy was crazy." Sam breathed under another heave of laughter. "Like build a bunker for the zombies crazy. With provisions even."
Sam rolled his head with a smile on the back of the bench seat towards his brother. "What?"
Dean slowly pulled back his leather jacket with a trembling hand.
Sam went cold. He stared at the wide circle of crimson that shone wetly and dark through his brother's T-shirt, plastering it to his side.
"I- I think- I- "
"I- think-" He suddenly stopped and hitched a breath, his eyes squeezing shut.
With shaking hands, Sam pulled him down across the seats, resting his brother's head unsteadily in his lap as Dean started to wheeze.
"I think I- dropped the seal."
to be continued...