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Avalanche by Coldfury

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Harvey Garrett settled into his worn leather chair, pushed back the seat, and flipped through several weather reports in preparation for the controlled avalanche planned for the following day. With a scrub of a hand across his stubbled jaw, he studied the map of the Mountain's hot zones as he liked to refer to them as, and frowned. He'd been concerned about the east peak of Bear Mountain for sometime. He'd been out to the ridge the day before, and noticed cracks in the cornice, but strong winds and snow had deterred the setting of explosives for a controlled slide.


As he poured over the maps and other reports, he shook his head in aggravation. It's gotta come down tomorrow. “Hank,” he called out to his longtime friend and co-worker, “what are the chances that we can get a copter up there tomorrow morning?”


Hank brushed a hand through his thick, dark hair as he glanced out the window panes. He turned to look at Harvey, the concern in his deep blue eyes evident, and gave a curt shake of his head. “Unless the winds die down a bit, Chief, I'm thinkin' slim to none.”


“That's what I was afraid of.” Harvey heaved a weary sigh, throwing the reports on his desk. “She's gonna come down soon, an' I'd much rather it be because of us than some unsuspecting skiers.”


“So you're suggesting we foot it up to the crest, an' set it off ourselves?” A glint of eagerness and determination lit across the younger man's face, and Harvey had to smile despite of the direness of the situation. Hank had been with the Colorado Search and Rescue team for well over seven years, and still loved the rush of heart pumping adrenaline the job offered.


“I think it's our only – ” Harvey's words abruptly died away as the ranger's station door whipped open, and smacked hard against the wall.


“M-my brother,” the unexpected intruder gasped, struggling to draw in a breath. Blood seeped from a deep gash on his forehead, dripping from his drenched, shaggy bangs, to snake a trail down his face. Another cut slashed across his cheekbone, and from what Harvey could tell, the taller man more than likely had sustained several other injuries as well. He held his right arm protectively to his chest as he drew in another shaky breath. “Y-you – you have to help him.”


“Son, calm down and tell me what happened,” Harvey said, standing and stepping around his desk, he motioned for the frightened man to take a seat. “Hank, blankets,” he ordered, never taking his sights of the injured man, and Hank quickly set to doing as he was told.


“C-can't sit. M-my brother – D-Dean . . . .” his voice died away as he looked fearfully toward the door. Teeth chattering loudly, he trembled as he refocused his attention on Harvey. His drenched clothing clung to his muscular frame, brown coat blood stained torn to shreds, but he didn't even seem to notice, or if he did, he didn't care. He gripped hold of Harvey's flannel shirt, forcefully yanked him forward so they standing toe to toe, and looked him square in the eyes. “You have to help me find him.”


“I will, but you have to tell me what happened first.”


“Dunno wh-what happened.” Tears filled the younger man's hazel eyes, and he hastily brushed them aside. Drawing in another staggered breath, his hold on Harvey's shirt tightened. “There was this strange rumbling sound, an' the ground started trembling. He – he pushed me out of the way – an' then everything went white.”


“Sonuva – ” Gut clenching, Harvey peered out the window toward the mountain. “Hank!” he hollered, and within a moment the younger rescuer appeared from the back room with several blankets in hand. “Get yer gear together, she collapsed, an' she brought someone down with her.”


“Shit. How long ago?” Hank glanced at his wristwatch, and immediately began gathering their rescue packs.


Harvey turned questioning eyes to the young man, careful not to show concern over the time frame they were working against to save his brother. “About how long ago, son?”


“It was about a half an hour ago.”


Harvey and Hank exchanged knowing glances, but neither spoke a word of their fears. If the younger man's brother had been buried alive by the snow, his chances of survival at this point were extremely slim, and were fading to non-existent as the moments cruelly ticked by. “What's your name?” he asked, placing a hand on the man's shoulder in a comforting manner.


“It's Sam – Sam Winchester.”


“Alright, Sam, I'm gonna need the location of where you last saw your brother.” Harvey broke free of Sam's hold on him, and strode to the coat rack. “Hank, get the dogs ready,” he ordered, although he knew it wasn't necessary as the younger man was already heading toward the door with gear in hand. “I need that information, Sam,” he snapped, when the frightened man failed to respond to his question.


“We were on the east side of the mountain, about three-quarters of the way up it,” Sam supplied, following Harvey as he strode to the door. “Lost sight of him halfway down, near an outcropping of pine trees.”


With one hand on the doorknob, Harvey held up the other hand to stop Sam from following. “I'm gonna radio for an ambulance to take you to County General.”


“No, I'm going with you,” Sam uttered with a determined set of his jaw, and a firm shake of his head. “My brother's out there somewhere, an' he's fighting to stay alive for me. An' I'll be damned if the first person he sees when he's found is a stranger who doesn't know the first thing about him.”


Harvey's stomach tightened into knots, vast experience reminding him that this was more than likely going to turn into a body recovery and not a rescue. Ninety to a hundred and thirty minutes was the very narrow doorway of time in which they had to find and extract Sam's brother, and at least a half hour of that was already gone. I don't have time to argue with him over this. But, if I were him I'd feel the same way. “Alright,” he motioned to the closet off to the right, “get some dry clothes on an' meet us outside in three minutes or we're leavin' without ya. Understand?”


“I'll be there,” Sam said determinedly, shrugging out of his soaked clothing.




Dean eyes flitted open as an icy breeze blew across his head. He struggled to draw in a shaky breath, but found it virtually impossible to fill his lungs with air, and in a moment of delirium he wondered if an elephant had somehow landed on him, and was crushing his lower extremities. His hands were cupped around his mouth and nose, elbows bent and pressed firmly against his chest.


His left leg was bent at an awkward angle, pinned beneath the right one along with whatever weight was piled on top of him. Odd tingling sensations, spiraled from the toes on his right leg all the way up to his thigh, but his left leg felt strangely numb and detached.


Droplets of chilled water dripped from overhead onto his forehead, trailed down his cheeks and slipped beneath the collar of his leather jacket. Inky blackness met his gaze as he tilted his head back and rolled his eyes to look behind him. More cold air blasted through a narrow opening, and he breathed in as deeply as he possibly could manage. His nostrils and lungs burned and stung with the effort, but at least he knew he was alive, and as long as he could breathe, there was a chance Sam would find him.


Oh, God – Sonuva – Shit. Shit. Shit. Panic took a firm hold on Dean, and he writhed and squirmed against the tight confines. Clumps of snow dislodged from overheard, splattering down on his face and neck. He froze; fear now giving way to pure survival instinct. Sam' s out there somewhere, and he's looking for me – Sammy .


The last time Dean had seen his little brother, he had pushed Sam out of the way just before an ocean of snow collided into him, sending him crashing down the mountainside. For as weird as it sounded, he remembered trying to swim with the current of icy snow, and for a while had managed to keep his head above the torrent. He grimaced, recalling how the bone in his leg snapped grotesquely when it struck into some immovable force, and he was dragged under and carried the rest of the way down the slope.


Running his tongue along his cracked lips, he swallowed down the familiar metallic taste of blood. But whether the taste was coming from his lips, bloody nose, the gash seeping from below his right eye, or some injury he would rather not think about at the moment, he couldn't be certain. I'm so screwed.


A chilled breeze blasted through the opening, carrying fat, icy flakes into the frozen meat locker that served as his tomb. His shallow breaths left him in white billowy plumes, escaping through the narrow shaft above his head. More snow drifted through the gap, and slowly began to fill in Dean's only lifeline.


Sammy's coming for me – He's gonna get me out of this, I've just gotta wait this out. That thought managed to calm Dean's growing anxiety for a mere two blissful seconds. Like hell I'm waiting, I gotta get outta here – now!


“Sammy!” he hollered over and over again, squirming against the packed snow. Clumps of snow broke loose from the ceiling and dropped down on his face, filling his mouth and nose, momentarily making it impossible to breathe. Coughing hard, he shook his head from side to side, clearing away the icy moisture from his face. Okay, so definitely not a good idea to move. But what if Sam can't find me?


“Not gonna even go there – he's gonna find me.” But what if he's trapped beneath the snow, too? What if he's . . . . “No, Sammy's okay – he's looking for me, an' I jus' gotta wait.”

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