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Book 1 - Broken Anchor by turch

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Sarah was barely two years old when she was taken from her home.  And that wasn't a bad thing like for most people.  It was because her parents neglected her. They always told Sarah she was a mistake.  Okay so it wasn't so many words, but it pretty much felt that way.  She'd be left in her room alone for days at a time.  They would leave a bowl of dry Cheerios for each meal unless their friends were coming to visit.  

When John and Mary Winchester and their son Dean visited, Sarah was treated like the most wonderful and wanted child in the world.  She was lucky her parents were friends with them because they came often.  One day the Winchesters left Dean with Sarah's parents while they went shopping for the new baby that was coming.  Dean was very excited that he was going to be a big brother.  

The children were playing in Sarah's room when the front door slammed and suddenly people were arguing.  It was very confusing so all she could really remembered was being picked up and taken out of the house by a stranger.   Dean was left there but she was told his parents got him at the same time.  It turned out that child services had been getting various reports from family and friends alike regarding their treatment of little Sarah.

So here she was, two years old and nowhere to go. Even though her parent's families were very adamant about getting Sarah out of that home, they were either unable or not interested in taking a child her age into theirs.  That's when John and Mary stepped forward.  Even though they already had Dean, who was three, and Sam was about to be born, they took Sarah in and for that she would be forever grateful.

Of course most people know what happened to the amazing Mary Winchester six months after little Sammy was born.  Sometimes Sarah wondered how John handled it with the three of them.  She remembered staying with a friend of the family's for awhile and then John's parents took them in, but none of them could understand his obsession for wanting to go after who (or what) killed Mary.  Growing up as a hunter could have been a lot worse meaning they could have lost John too.

Luckily he was still alive and kicking.  Well, currently dealing with a hunt that he said only Dean could help him with.  It seemed like Sam and Sarah were only to deal with the research end of the hunt.  "I don't get it, it's not like we're that much younger than Dean," Sarah pouted as she plopped onto the couch.

Sam looked up from the college application he was filling out.  "I know, Sarah, but just get used to it."

"What're you doing anyway?"


"Liar," Sarah replied, jumping up and snatching the paper from the table.  "Oh my God! Sammy, you're applying to Stanford? That's awesome!"

Sam scoffed at her.  "Yeah, tell Dad that."

"Hell no, little brother," she said.  "I mean, I am proud of you for doing what you need to do, but personally I don't want to be anywhere near the two of you when World War III breaks out."

Before Sam could reply, Dean opened the door drenched and looking mighty pissed.  The pair glanced at one another but said nothing as he went straight into the bathroom without a word himself.  A few minutes later, John came in.  He never looked up or acknowledged the two in the room but they noticed him shaking.

"Um... Dad?" Sarah finally spoke up.  

Suddenly John burst into loud laughter and they heard Dean shout, "It's not that funny!"

"Whatever you say," John replied as he took a deep breath to calm himself.  "You two finish your homework?"

Sarah realized she was holding Sam's application in her hands and quickly handed it to her brother as she nodded.  "Yeah, but I was wondering if I could head out to the cafe to meet some friends."


"Come on, Dad, I'm just talking about Charlie's.  It's not even a block away."

Dean came out that moment wearing only a towel around his waist and drying his hair.  "Only if Dean goes with you."

"What?" she asked.

"What?" Dean asked.  "Dad, I..." he trailed off when John glared at him.”Yes, Sir."
Sam quickly gathered his papers and shoved them into his backpack, determined not to let his Father know about what he was doing just yet.  He watched the scene before him and sighed quietly.  Sarah wanted to be able to hang out with friends without any of them around.  He knew her favorite place to be was school because she didn't have to worry about them.
"Fine," Sarah finally said, giving in.  
After dressing, Dean followed Sarah outside.  "Hey, take it easy, Sar!" he said.  "It's not like I want to do this either, ya know!  I would be just as content to go to a bar."
"Then why don't you, Dean?" she asked angrily, turning to face him.  "Oh, right you gotta be a good little soldier and follow Daddy's orders, don't you?  You're pathetic!"
Dean paused remembering the last time he heard those words.  Shaking it off he nodded.  "You know, you're right, Sarah!  Just don't come crawling back to me the next time you need something!"
"Dean, wait!"  Sarah exclaimed, feeling like a heel for treating him the way she did.  She rubbed her temples as she watched him head to the bar.  Sighing, she went to the cafe to meet her friends.
When she arrived, however, only Mason Derringer and his friends were there.  She didn't see Molly or Suzy.  Sarah shrugged and grinned as she walked over to them.  "Mind if I join you?"
Mason eyed Sarah appreciatively.  "Not at all," he replied, moving over to make room.  
Mason had the reputation of being a ladies man but Sarah didn't mind.  It wasn't as if she was going to date the guy.  He was nice to her and easy on the eyes.  She loved the attention she was getting when it wasn't a look of concern or worry.
"So we were thinking about heading to Braxton Woods to see if those ghost stories are true, wanna come?"
Sarah bit her bottom lip.  That was the reason her family was out there and if they found she went there on her own with these idiots who think it'd be fun to find ghosts, her Father wasn't going to be too pleased.  And if something happened and he learned that Dean wasn't with her...
"I probably shouldn't.  It's getting kinda late."
Mason put an arm around her, clutching her tightly to him.  "You're coming with us if you want to or not, Sarah."
"Would you please let go of me?"
"Aw, isn't that sweet? So polite!" Mason said as his friend Dave pulled her from the booth.  It was a dumb move on their part because Sarah began swinging at him and suddenly Dave was on the floor, clutching his stomach.  
"That's enough!"  Sarah looked up to see the motel and cafe manager standing in front of her.  "Why don't you get back to your room, honey?"
Sarah nodded and with one last glare at Mason, she left the cafe.  She reached into her pocket for her cell phone and dialed Dean's number He answered on the third ring.  "You okay?" he asked and she knew that he had already forgiven her.
"I'm ready to get back.  I would think you should come with me if you don't want to get in trouble."
"Yeah.  I'll take care of my tab right now and... Sarah?"
"Let me go you asshole!" Sarah exclaimed as Mason held on to her, determined not to let her go.  "Dean!"
Mason grabbed Sarah's phone and slammed it into the ground.  "Sorry, Princess, but you're coming with me!"  That was the last thing she heard as she lost consciousness.
Dean paid his tab in record time and rushed outside.  He didn't see Sarah anywhere so he headed to the cafe to see if maybe she was there waiting for him.  He found Charlie the manager sweeping up some glass and he immediately became concerned.  

"Excuse me."
"You're Sarah's brother, right?"
"That's me.  Is she all right?"
He nodded, chuckling.  "Yeah.  She's pretty spry for a little thing.  Some boys tried to force her to go with them but she wasn't having any of it.  Laid one of them down right here."  Charlie noticed that Dean was no longer paying attention.  "Hey, everything all right?"
"I don't know.  Sarah called me to meet her and we were cut off.  Sounded like there was some kind of struggle.  I'm worried about her."

"You need me to call the police?"
Dean shook his head.  "Not yet. I should talk to my Dad first.  Um, did they talk about anything specific while they were here?"
"Just mentioned Braxton Woods," Charlie replied.  
"Thanks," Dean said, running out the door.  He stopped suddenly when he felt something crunching beneath his feet.  Kneeling on the ground, he recognized the debris to be Sarah's phone.  "Shit!"
Taking a deep breath, Dean took his own phone out and called Sam.  "This had better be good," his brother said, clearly having been asleep.
"Sarah's missing."
"What?  Dean, what the hell?  Weren't you watching her?"
"Shut up, Sammy, do you want Dad to hear?"
"Dad's not here, he decided to go back to Braxton Woods with Caleb and Micah."
"What happened?"
"Sarah and I got into a fight and I didn't go with her to the cafe."
"Dude, I know, just shut up for a second!  She called me almost a half hour later and told me she was ready but we were cut off.  I talked to Charlie and she was there with some guys from school.  They mentioned Braxton Woods."
"So get dressed because we're going out there to find Sarah before Dad does and..."
"And kicks your ass halfway across the country."
Sarah woke up with her hands tied behind her back.  She was freezing and realized that she was in the woods with no sign of Mason or his friends.  "Please God," she prayed silently, tears spilling down her cheeks.  "Please help Dean to find me before... before..."
She couldn't even bring herself to think the words.  
"So little Sarah," Mason said, kneeling in front of her.  He reached up to wipe the tears from her face.  "Don't worry this won't hurt... too much."
"Let me go you bastard!"
Mason smacked her across the face, causing Sarah to bite the inside of her mouth.  "That's enough!  I'm in charge here not you and you will do what I say," he told her, pulling a knife out to intimidate her.  "Now let's start with this shirt.  It's in the way, don't you think?"
Dean and Sam had only been searching for ten minutes when they heard their Father calling them.  “Boys, what in the hell are doing out here?” he asked.  “Where’s Sarah?”

Sam took a breath and let Dean field that question. He wondered if this would be the World War III Sarah mentioned but without him being the cause.  


Instead of answering the question, Dean asked, “Did you get rid of what’s out here?”

“Yes, now what the hell is going on?”

“Sarah’s missing.”

John stared at Dean for a good two minutes before grounding out a response.  “What did you say?”  He asked, taking a step towards Dean.  “You incompetent ass!  You were supposed to be watching her, Dean!”

“Easy, John,” Caleb said, a hand on his friend’s shoulder.  “Dean, how did you figure Sarah might be out here?”

Dean explained what happened and what Charlie said to him about the boys Sarah had met with.  Caleb and Micah shook their heads.  Teenagers were always trying to catch a glimpse of ghost and usually ended up getting killed in the process.

John, however, was so angry with Dean he wouldn’t even speak to him.  “Sammy, you go with your brother and I don’t want either of you to come back until you found her, is that understood?”

“Yes, Sir,” Sam replied, pulling Dean with him.

Dean was quiet as he lagged behind Sam.  This was his fault and he knew that if something happened to Sarah his Father would never forgive him and he would never forgive himself.

The brothers were pulled from their thoughts by a familiar scream.   “Sarah!” they exclaimed, both going in opposite directions.  

“Sarah!” Dean repeated, but the fact that he didn’t hear another scream scared the shit out of him.  


Sarah shivered behind a tree.  She had wrapped her torn shirt around her as best she could, but it was doing little to protect her from the cold.  She had been lucky enough to untie her wrists and kick Mason in the groin before he could even attempt to unzip her jeans.

Peering around the tree she saw nothing but darkness all around.  She prayed to God that John, Dean, and the others had already dealt with the spirit haunting these woods because she had enough to worry about already!

Sarah cried out when a hand clamped around her wrist and she was slammed into the tree with so much force that she felt a rib crack.   “That was a good try Princess, but not good enough,” Mason said, yanking her head back by pulling her hair.  “I’m going to make sure this hurts.”

She twisted, trying to get away from him as Mason’s lips descended on hers.  Sarah bit his tongue when it entered her mouth causing him to growl angrily and slam her head into the tree.  

Sarah dropped to the ground dazed as Mason let go of her. He bent down to pick her up when he was grabbed around the waist and dragged away.  Suddenly Mason was face to face with a very pissed off brother.

“Who the hell do you think you are?” Dean asked, face red with anger.

“I could ask the same about you!” Mason replied, his hand slowly moving to the knife hidden in its sheath behind his back.  “You’ve interrupted my little game.”
Dean glared at him.  “You fucking bastard!”

Mason grinned and soon the two were charging at one another.  Sarah regained her senses just in time to see Mason’s knife glinting in the moonlight.  
“Dean!” she cried.

Dean heard her and moved just in time to keep the knife from sinking into his chest but Mason was still able to jab it deep into his shoulder.  Sarah was about to get up and help him when Sam and John appeared and pulled the man away.
Adjusting her shirt, Sarah moved over to Dean's side.  "Dean!" she said, ignoring the scuffling and yelling around her.
Dean was barely conscious from hitting his head on a rock.  His right shoulder was killing him too, but he needed to focus because Sarah needed him.  Blinking his eyes open, he saw his sister looking at him worriedly.  She had a nasty bruise under her eye.
"Sar?  You okay?"
She nodded, tears threatening to spill over again.  "I'm all right, Dean.  I just gotta..."
Sarah was gently pulled away and found herself being held by Sam.  He must have noticed her shivering so he draped his jacket over her shoulders.  
"I'm right here, Sarah," he said, kissing the top of her head.  "You're safe now."
"What about Dean?  God, I was such an idiot!"
"How do you figure?  Sarah, that asshole attacked you!"
Sarah pulled away from Sam, eyes never leaving Dean, John and the others.  "I should have been able to fight off my attacker!"

"Yeah, Dad?"
"Get Sarah to the hospital," he said, tossing Sam Dean's keys.  "We'll be right behind you."
Sam glanced down at his brother, who was now unconscious, and then at Mason.  "What are you gonna do about him?"
"Micah will bring him home. He knows Mason's parents."
Sam nodded as he led Sarah back to the Impala.  "Hey," he said, once they were settled in the car and he began driving.  "Sarah, you're scaring me.  Say something."
"What do you want me to say?  That Mason almost raped me!  Is that what you want to hear Sammy?  That Mason almost killed Dean just because he was trying to save me?"
"Take it easy!"
Sarah looked down at her hands.  "I'm sorry," she whispered.  "I just... even fighting so much evil I've never been so scared in my life!"
"I know, Sarah," Sam replied, reaching out to take her hand and she felt a little better with the contact.  
The next morning Dean was being discharged under doctor's orders to keep his arm in a sling and not use his shoulder for a few weeks.  Sam knew that wasn't going to last very long and neither was the fact that John hadn't even stayed to learn of his older son's condition.  
Once they got to the Impala, Dean asked about Sarah and their Dad.   "Getting everything packed up.  Dad wants to leave town as soon as possible."
Dean nodded but didn't say another word as he got in the car.  He leaned his head back wincing at the pull in his shoulder.  He really should take something for the pain, but he hated the way the pills made him feel so he pretended it didn't hurt, just like he did with everything.
Sam shook his head as he pulled into the motel lot.  His Dad was already in his truck and Sarah was standing outside, arms crossed and tear tracks noticeable on her face.  Making sure Dean was asleep, Sam got out and asked, "What's wrong?"
"Dad... he uh... wants us to go with him."
Sarah shook her head.  "You don't understand, Sammy, he only wants you and me to go with him."
"What about Dean?"
Sarah looked up at John, who's head was down as he wrote in his journal.  "Dad is too pissed right now so he won't even acknowledge Dean.  I... I tried talking sense into him, but he won't listen.  He doesn't want either of us hunting with him.  At least not for awhile."
"We can't just let him go off on his own, Sarah!"
"Don't you think I know that!"
"Then what's the problem?  Upset John Winchester will disown you if you go with your brothers?"
Sarah bit her bottom lip.  "Well, I was thinking one of us could with Dean and one of us could go with Dad."
"Are you sure that's how you want to play it, Sarah?" Sam asked.  "Because right now my choice is to go with Dean."
"I think it would be better if you did, Sammy," Sarah replied, wiping her tears.
"He's gonna think you blame him for what happened and no amount of convincing by me is going to change that.  You need to go with him, Sarah!  We both do!"
"I can't," she cried and before Sam could stop her, she ran to the truck.  John looked over at her, then Sam as he shut the journal and drove away.
Dean woke up when he heard Sam swear.   He was still a bit groggy and his arm was killing him, but something told him whatever was going on wasn't a good thing.  He gingerly got out of the car and walked over to this brother.  
"Dean!"  Sam said, eyes wide.
"Dude, what is wrong?  You look like a deer caught in headlights."
Sam knew Dean hated it when he beat around the bush so he took a deep breath and said, "Sarah and Dad left already."
"What?" Dean asked, the smile wiped from his face.
"Dad was... kinda..."

"Pissed?"  Sam nodded.  "Probably at me.  Yeah, I know I fucking screwed up so I'm not really surprised there.  What about Sarah?  I guess she's blaming me too, huh?  What made you decide to stay?"
"Because I wanted to, Dean.  You need someone."
Dean turned around not wanting to show Sam how much that was true.  "And Sarah?"

"She doesn't blame you for what happened," Sam told him, but the way Dean's shoulder's were slumped, he knew his brother didn't believe him.  "Come on, Dean, lets get out of here."

The older Winchester said nothing as he got back into the Impala.  Sam shook his head knowing it was going to be a long drive.
Sarah had drifted off into a restless sleep.  Images of the attack from Mason assaulted her senses.  She finally woke up with a start when, in the dream, Mason stabbed Dean and killed him.  Sarah was breathing heavily and but she couldn't open her eyes, fearing that if she opened them the dream would come true.
"Sarah," a deep voice said, nearly causing her to jump in fright. "Sweetheart, open your eyes.  You're safe now."
"Dad?" Sarah asked, blinking her eyes open.  She noticed John had pulled to the side of the road.
"Yeah, honey."
Sarah took a deep breath and snuggled closer to John, feeling quite safe despite the anger she felt towards him with the way he treated Dean.  
"Sorry," she said.
"You don't have anything to be sorry about, Sarah," John replied.  "If Dean hadn't been..."
She pulled away from him angrily.  "Don't start on Dean!  He saved me!"  
"He should have been there!  He knows he's supposed to protect you and Sammy with his life!  He can't just go off and drink because he's pissed off at the world."
Sarah laughed sarcastically.  "Isn't that what you did when Mom died?"
"No!" she said, opening the door.  "You fucking always do that to him!  He didn't even have anything close to a normal life like Sam and I had!  You tell him he has to protect us but who protects him?"
"Where are you going?"  John demanded, ignoring everything she was saying because he didn't want to admit that it could be true.
Sarah didn't even turn around as she shouted, "I need a minute to cool off!"
John gave Sarah 20 minutes.  Not only to give her the time she needed, but for himself as well.  He thought about what she said to him and she was right about everything.  He was harder on Dean because he was the oldest.  It really shouldn't be his responsibility to watch his younger siblings, that should rest on John's shoulders because he was their father.  Mary would be so disappointed in him.

He sat down quietly next to Sarah.  John was close enough to touch her but he didn't reach out.  "I'm sorry," she said after a few minutes.  "I didn't mean to yell at you.  You've had enough to deal with yourself since mom's death.  I know it couldn't have been easy for you either."

"No, honey, it wasn't, but that didn't give me the right to force any of you into this life.  I should have left you all with my parents.  I almost did, but I couldn't stand being away from all of you for so long and I couldn't lose my connection to Mary."

Sarah nodded, laying her head on John's shoulder.  "I couldn't either, Daddy," she replied.


"Sammy?" Dean asked as the Impala door opened.  

"We're in Cincinnati," He replied.  "Remember that werewolf case?"

Dean stared at Sam as if he had three heads.  "That's the case Dad was going to deal with next.  I highly doubt he's gonna want my help."

"You're not gonna be helping anyway, Dean, you're still recuperating."

Dean sighed as he got out of the car and followed Sam to the motel room.  "You really expect me to just sit here while you guys hunt a werewolf?  You're crazy, Sammy."
"I'm crazy?  How are you gonna fire a weapon much less hold one when your dominant shoulder is out of commission?"
Dean didn't reply as he went immediately to the bathroom and shut the door. He put the lid down on the toilet and took a seat.  Sam was right, he was too much of a risk.  Besides he didn't want anything else to happen to Sarah while he was on the job.
After making a decision Dean took a breath and stepped into the main room.  Sam was already on the phone with Sarah.  "Yeah, he's fine.  Sulking as usual.  You really need to talk to him.  Right.  I'll be here.  Later."
"Sarah okay?" he asked as he sank onto the bed, surprised at the softness.  He could really get used to Cincinnati.
"She's fine.  She's gonna pick me up in an hour so we can check into how long this has been going and where the most recent sighting has been," Sam replied.  "She wants to talk to you, though."
Dean nodded, not really feeling in the mood to talk to anyone right now.  He had to think.  "Got those pills?"
"You want them now?" Sam asked, knowing very well what Dean was trying to do.  He was going to avoid Sarah completely.  "Dean..."
"Sam, give them to me, my shoulder is killing me!"
Sam inwardly winced.  Dean had to be in more pain emotionally if he was admitting to the fact that he was hurting physically.  Without saying another word, he hand his brother the pills and a glass of water.  Dean took them and settled on the bed.  Within minutes he was fast asleep.
About 45 minutes later Sam heard a knock on the door.  He smiled at Sarah, giving her a hug.  "Hey."
"Hey yourself," she replied, looking over at Dean.  "How's he doing?"
Sam sighed shaking his head.  "He wouldn't take his meds the whole drive here and the minute I mentioned you were coming he asked for them.  He's doing the avoidance thing.  Sometimes I think he thrives on it."
"It's understandable, Sammy," Sarah said.  "It's not like I reassured him that I don't blame him for what happened.  And going off with Dad like that was like slapping you both in the face.  Dad's feeling a bit ashamed too, ya know."
"Really?  Why am I surprised at that?"
"Give him a break, Sam.  He was worried sick about me and that if something did happen he knew how much it would affect Dean."
Sam glanced back at his brother.  "Well, Dad was right about that, but he needs to show his concern a better way than shutting Dean out of his life and us for that matter."
"I know and I told him as much.  I asked him what he thought Mom would say about all of this and he got this guilty look on his face," Sarah explained.  "And I understand how lonely he feels even with us."
Sam nodded thoughtfully and noticed Dean stirring.  "Maybe we should take this to the library," he said.  "Just so we can get some work done and he can keep thinking he's pretty slick."
"Heard that Sammy," Dean replied, blinking his eyes open.  His shoulder felt stiff and he was groggy beyond belief.  
Sarah went over and sat next to him, placing her hand on his arm.  "Hey big brother!  How ya feeling?"
"Awesome," he replied sarcastically.  Dean surprisingly let Sarah help him sit up.  He was quiet for a moment before asking, "What about you?"
"Dean, I'm fine!  Really!  And you need to stop blaming yourself for what happened out there!  I was stupid for putting myself in that situation in the first place."
He put a hand to his head and closed his eyes.  "Please don't shout, Sar," Dean said.
"You didn't hear a word I said, did you?" Sarah asked, standing up and looking helplessly at Sam.
"I told you."
Sarah frowned.  "We'll be back later, Dean, and I expect you to talk to me and acknowledge the fact that I don't blame you for any of this!"
Sam placed the pills and another glass of water on the nightstand as Sarah went out the door.  "You can be a fucking asshole sometimes!"
"Same to you!" Dean shouted back as Sam left.
John sat quietly in his motel room.  After Sarah left to meet up with her brothers, he had finished up a few interviews with some people at the local bar within walking distance.  Now he was waiting to hear back from her.  He also kept staring at his cell, willing Dean to call him.
He knew his older son, though.  Dean would not call him.  Not when he believed he was to blame for what happened to Sarah.  Not when John blamed him as well and practically disowned him because of it.  
"Oh hell!" John muttered as he left.  He saw the Impala sitting five spaces past his room and knocked on the door it was sitting in front of.
A few minutes later a disheveled Dean opened the door, wincing at the bright sunlight.  "Dad?  What the hell are you doing here?"
"Dean, I..."
"Come on, man!  I know I fucked up, but do you have to rub salt in the wounds?"  John took a step forward wanting to apologize but not knowing how.  "No!"
"Dean, please."
But Dean wasn't fazed by the fact that his Dad was actually pleading for him to listen.  Instead, he ignored the man, grabbed his keys and went straight for the Impala.  He needed time to think and with his family hovering around him that wasn't going to happen.
"Shit!" John exclaimed, kicking the door.  He began pacing angrily back and forth as he waited for Sam and Sarah to get back from the library.   "Great job, Winchester," he growled.  "You are really gonna win that Father of the Year award."
He looked up when he heard a truck pull into the parking lot.  John saw them exchange worried glances and that's when he realized he was still in front of Dean and Sam's room and the Impala was nowhere to be seen.  This is going to go over real well, he thought.
"Dad?" Sarah asked the moment she jumped out of the truck.  "What's going on?"
"I tried to talk to Dean," John said with a sigh.
Sam shook his head.  "I guess it didn't go the way you planned.  Sometimes I think Dean is more sensitive than me and Sarah combined!"

"Just don't let him hear you say that," Sarah said with a chuckle.


Dean got out of the Impala and looked around.  It was still daylight, but he didn't see that many cars.  Most likely no one wanted to go into the woods where people were getting torn to shreds by something.  He looked over to his right to see a couple with two small children rushing towards him. He noticed they looked panicked about something.

"Help us, please!" The man said.

"Take it easy, what's wrong?"

He took a deep breath before speaking up again.  "Our daughter.  She's missing.  We were taking a walk and when we didn't hear a sound from her, we turned to find that she wasn't behind us anymore.  Please!"

Dean glanced at his shoulder, he had already taken off the sling, and nodded.  "I'm a park ranger," he said, pulling out the badge.  "Ma'am, why don't you and your kids get in your car?"

"He's right, Molly.  I'll show him where we last saw Josie."

Molly nodded.  "Stay safe Brandon.  We love you!"

Kissing each one of them, Brandon turned to see Dean was now holding two shotguns.  "Know how to use one of these?" he asked.


"Good," Dean replied with a smirk.  "Lets go hunting."

Brandon watched Dean with curiosity.  To him, this guy did not seem like a park ranger.  He was probably the one killing everyone around here lately.  Maybe he should have had Molly call the police.  How did he just happen to be in the park almost 20 minutes after his daughter went missing and why the hell did he have two shotguns in the trunk of his car?  Do park rangers really carry that kind of fire power?

Dean could almost feel how uncomfortable Brandon was with him, but right now he had more important things to focus on.  Like where in the hell the werewolf took the girl.  Besides the fact that the family didn't even hear her scream.  Most werewolves he encountered usually just attacked you where you stood and caused massive amounts of terror.  They didn't secretly grab you from behind.

He was starting to think this wasn't a werewolf.  Maybe another Wendigo.  Damn, he really hated those things. Either way he was going to have to call for backup.  His Dad was going to be pissed, but since he already was that didn't matter.  Sam and Sarah were going to be too now, but he just didn't care.  The only person that mattered right now was little Josie.

"I'm calling for backup," he told Brandon, who nodded still feeling a bit unnerved by everything.  "Sammy.  Yeah, shut up.  Just pack everything and get to Mitchell Memorial now.  Dude, I don't know, but a little girl is missing!  I don't think it is.  Wendigo maybe.  Whatever, just get here fast!"

Dean turned to face Brandon.  "My partner's coming with two other rangers..." Dean trailed off. Brandon was gone.  He hadn't even been able to fire his weapon.  Picking it up, he looked around, seeing nothing.  

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a figure came flying at Dean.  He didn't have time to fire either weapon.  Dean felt a sharp pain in his head, then nothing.  


"This is my fault," John said as they got out of the truck.  

A woman came up to them immediately, wringing her hands nervously.  "Are you... park rangers too?" she asked.

Sam nodded.  "Yes we are, Ma'am.  Is everything all right?"

"Your friend went back in there with my husband to try and find our daughter.  They've been gone for almost an hour and I'm getting worried."

Sarah stepped closer to the woman, placing her arm around her shoulder, leading her back to her car.  "Tell me about what happened," she suggested.

"Dad, you need to focus right now.  Stop blaming yourself for this.  Dean's a big boy and he can take care of himself despite the fact that he's injured."

"You're right, Sammy.  What's done is done and we can't take it back.  We just need to find Dean and the others fast.  He told you he thought it might be a Wendigo and not a werewolf?"

He shrugged.  "That's what he said.  He wasn't too clear on why, just wanted us to get out here."

Sarah came back over.  "Molly's back in her car with the kids.  They were going for a hike and about 20 minutes into it they noticed their oldest daughter was too quiet.  When they turned around she was gone and her backpack was just lying on the ground.  They didn't hear a thing so they thought she was playing around.  When they couldn't find her, they came back here to find someone to help them.  That's when Dean arrived."

"So, definitely not a werewolf then," John said.  

"Doesn't seem that way," Sarah replied as she accepted the shotgun from Sam.  "I know Dean hates Wendigos, but that looks like what we're dealing with."


Dean woke up to see a worried face framed by brown curls.  "Are you all right?" the young girl asked.

"I feel like I was dragged across ragged rocks and thrown down a hole," Dean said, grunting as he sat up.  His shoulder was throbbing with pain and he could tell it was dislocated now.  "Shit."

The girl's eyes widened. "You said a bad word!" she whispered.

"Sorry," he said.  "You must be Josie.  I'm Dean."

She nodded.  "I'm six and I was taking a walk with my mommy, daddy, and baby brothers.  Something took me from them. My tummy hurts Mr. Dean.  I want my mommy!"

Dean put his good arm around her.  "We'll find your mommy.  Your daddy was with me trying to find you.  Did you see him down here?"

"No," Josie said, shaking her head.  "The bad thing didn't eat him, did it?"

"What bad thing?"

"I don't know what it is.  It's just really big and stinks and has long fingernails.  He's always hungry too!"

Dean slowly go to his feet and Josie helped to steady him as a wave of dizziness washed over him.  "Thanks, Josie, I'm good."  The little girl didn't seem entirely convinced, but she let go of him.  "We're gonna try to find your daddy and a way out, okay?  If something happens and the bad thing attacks me, don't wait, just run and hide, all right?  I have friends up there who are going to be looking for us."

"But I don't want it to attack you, Mr. Dean!  It can hurt you bad!"

He still had no idea what they were dealing with down there.  It seemed like it could be a Wendigo but for some reason he wasn't so certain.  "Don't worry about me, all right?  The important thing is to get you and your daddy out of here and back to your mommy and brothers."

Josie nodded and followed closely behind Dean, holding onto the back of his shirt.  They had been walking a good 15 minutes when low growl was heard from all around them.  Josie clutched tightly to his shirt.  "Mr. Dean," she whispered nervously.

Dean saw a light up ahead and could tell they were nearing one of the holes where this thing was dragging people down.  "On the count of three," he told her, we're going to make a run for that hole up there.  You can climb on my shoulders so you can get out."

"But what about you!  I can't just leave you here.  And what about my daddy!"

"Josie," Dean said, kneeling in front of her.  "Listen to me.  I will get your daddy out but it's up to you to try and find my family out there so they can help us.  You're looking for John, Sam, and Sarah.  Do you understand?"

"John, Sam, and Sarah," Josie repeated.  "I got it.  Let's hurry up there, right, Mr. Dean?"


Ignoring the continuous growls, Dean and Josie ran to the hole.  He dropped to the ground so the girl could climb onto his shoulder, wincing as she put most of her weight on the dislocated one.  Carefully he stood and she reached for the top, dragging herself out.  "Do you see a path, Josie?" he asked.

"Yeah, Mr. Dean!"

"Follow it and it should take you back to the parking lot.  You should find... ahhhh!"

"Mr. Dean!"  Josie looked down the hole to see Dean on the ground fighting off the bad thing that was clawing at his leg.  "Mr. Dean!" she cried again.

"Go, Josie!  Get help!"

Josie nodded, tears falling down her cheeks and ran as fast as her legs could carry her.  She was following the path like Dean told her but she still wasn't sure it was the right way.  Suddenly there was a dark figure looming over her.  "Don't hurt me!"

"Take it easy," the man said.  "I'm not gonna hurt you."

She looked up at the very tall man.  "Are... are you John?" she asked.

"Sam," he replied.  "You must be Josie."

"I am, but we don't have time!  Mr. Dean needs help! Please!" Josie exclaimed, pulling Sam's arm.

Sam glanced back and John and Sarah, who nodded.  "Let's go then."

"Here!" Josie said, out of breath.  "We were down there and he lifted me up."

"Can you tell us what happened, Josie?" Sarah asked, taking the young girl's hand.

Josie explained how she was pulled underground but left alone.  Almost an hour later Dean had been dragged down and thrown next to her.  "He was hurt but he said he was okay.  He said he would find my daddy too.  Then... then when I got up here, the bad thing was hurting him!"  Josie finished, launching herself into Sarah's arms and crying hysterically.

"Sarah, stay up here with Josie.  Sam and I are going down."

Knowing this was not the time to argue, Sarah nodded and picked Josie up.  She sat down and leaned against a tree.  "Josie, I have your mommy's cell phone number. Do you want to talk to her?"

"Yes, please," Josie replied, wiping her nose with the back of her hand.


"Dad, there's no sign of anyone being dragged away from here.  I don't even see any blood."

John looked up from the ground.  "There has to be, Sammy.  I refuse to..." he trailed off, moving towards the darker end of the tunnel.  Bending down, he picked up Dean's shotgun.  "Well, at least we know he was here."

Suddenly someone was screaming and rushing towards them.  "Help! Please help me!  Oh my God!"

"Whoa," Sam said.  "You're safe right now."

Taking a deep breath, the man nodded.  "S-sorry about that.  Something dragged me down here while I was looking for my daughter.  Some... thing attacked the park ranger who was helping me.  I tried to help him, but he told me where to go.  That Josie was running out to find someone to help.  I heard him screaming as I ran and then there was silence.  I don't... I think..."

"Where did the attack happen?" John asked.

The man shook his head.  "No!  There is no way in hell I'm going back there!"

"Your daughter is safe, Sir," John told him.  "In fact my son Dean, who is the park ranger who was helping you, found her.  She was brave enough to take us back here.  I think you can do the same."

He nodded slowly.  "I... I'm sorry. Yeah, I can.  My name is Brandon."

"John and this my other son, Sam."

Sam did not like what he felt and smelled when they arrived in the main cavern.  Bodies upon bodies were spread around in various forms of blood and gore.  He saw no sign of his brother, though, and that scared him.  "Where did you last see him?" he asked.
"Over there," Brandon replied, pointing shakily.  "In that corner."
John slowly made his way over trying to ignore the fact that he might be finding his son's remains in the next few seconds.  He hated the fact that the last words he exchanged with Dean were spoken in anger.  The confirmation made him sick to his stomach. Dean's green jacket was lying there soaked in blood and torn to pieces.  
"Dad?" Sam asked.
He couldn't even acknowledge his younger son.  The fact that he hadn't been able to find Dean in time to save him.  The fact that it was his damn fault his children were even in this fight!  John wanted to find this thing and kill it!  Make it suffer the way Dean had.
John felt a hand on his shoulder and jerked around.  He took a deep breath when he saw Sam there.  "Dean's..."  He couldn't even bring himself to say the word.
"No, I refuse to believe it!" Sam replied.
"Sammy," John said, grabbing his son.  "You don't need to see it.  Besides we need to get Brandon and Josie to safety. That's what Dean would have wanted."
Sam nodded mutely and shrugged from John's grasp.  Without a word, he stalked back towards the exit.  John sighed and took a deep breath.  With a pained expression on his face, followed Sam.  He could hear Brandon walking slowly behind him.  
Sarah and Josie stood up when they heard Sam's voice carrying over to them from the hole.  The two ran over and Sarah reached down to help Sam out.  Once he was standing, she noticed the look on his face and took a few steps back, shaking her head.
"No," she gasped out, tears forming in her eyes.  "He can't be!"
Josie looked back and forth between the siblings as her Dad and John noiselessly climbed out.  "Daddy!" Josie exclaimed, rushing to him.
John lifted his head and Sarah knew it was true.  She suddenly dropped to the ground sobbing. She wasn't sure how long she sat there but she felt arms lifting her to her feet.  Sarah knew it was Sam so she clutched onto him tightly and began walking on autopilot.
Sarah could vaguely hear John as he spoke with Brandon.  She couldn't believe her brother was dead.  Of course she knew in their line of work that they could die at any moment during any hunt, but Dean had gotten out of so many scrapes before that she was starting to believe he truly was invincible.
"I'm here, Sammy.  Sort of.  Just trying to wrap my brain around this.  I just can't believe it, ya know?"
Sam placed a kiss on her head.  "Neither can I."
He shivered in the cold night air, still reeling from the fact that he had been able to get away from that foul smelling creature.  It was definitely not something he had ever come across before and Dean was at a lost on how to kill it.  He heard a noise to his left and knew the thing was coming after him.  
Now it was pissed so it wasn't being careful or quiet.  Dean looked down at the machete he found in one of the caves.  There were some ornate symbols on it that he knew Sam and Sarah could figure out if he got out of there alive, unfortunately it probably would tell him how to kill these things.  
The only thing he could think of to do was chop their heads off.  It was as good an idea as any.  Dean tried to take a deep breath as the pain in his chest grew.  The ribs that had been previously cracked were now broken and he was bleeding pretty good.
Dean heard the low growl before he could even attempt to move and suddenly both creatures were trying for a piece of him. He swung as hard as he could, ignoring all the pain radiating from every part of his body and chopped off the first one's head just as the second one bit into his elbow.
"You fucking piece of shit!" Dean cried out.  His right shoulder was already out of commission a 100 times over and this damn thing had to bit his right elbow too.  With all his might (and adrenaline), Dean swung and lobbed off the head, grunting as its body landed on top of him.
He wasn't sure how long he laid there but soon he was starting to feel numb all over.  Dean used his good arm and leg to shove the creature off him and reach into his pocket for his cell phone.  Of course it was gone.  He realized it had been in his jacket and that was lying torn to shreds in the creature's cave.
Slowly Dean began to get to his feet.  By the time he did he was ready to drop back onto the ground.  He closed his eyes willing the dizziness and nausea to go away.  Once it had, Dean took a step forward in what he thought was the direction of the path.  He only hoped he didn't fall into that damn hole again.

Sam took his eyes off the road for a second to glance over at Sarah. She was staring quietly out the window, silent tears falling from her eyes.  Their Dad said they would be back in the morning to deal with whatever the hell was down there.  If Sam knew his father, John Winchester was going to have more than a whole arsenal in the cab of his truck, he would have C-4 if he can get his hands on some.
Not that he would complain.  He didn't care if he they ended up with half the county on their asses for it.  Dean's death was senseless and even though he knew his brother could have used better judgment, he understood him for wanting to help that little girl.
Josie had been so distraught when she found out Mr. Dean was gone.  She didn't seem to believe it, though, and Sam wouldn't have either if he hadn't seen what was left of Dean with his own eyes.  He pulled the Impala into the spot in front of their motel room and turned the car off with a sigh.
Sarah took a deep breath and faced Sam.  "I can't... I don't feel like Dean could be gone, ya know?" she said, voice barely above a whisper.  "I expect him to come out of that motel room and yell at you for driving his car."
"Me too, Sarah," Sam admitted, reaching over to pull her into a hug.  The siblings pulled apart when Sam's cell rang.  He saw Caleb's name on the caller ID.  "Hey.  He did?  Yeah.  We're at the hotel now.  Sure. Thanks, Caleb.  We'll see you guys then."
Sarah wiped the tears from her eyes.  "Who else is coming?" she asked as they finally got out of the car.
"Bobby and Pastor Jim.  They all want a hand in what's coming for that creature, whatever the hell it was."
Dean had made it halfway to parking lot when he had to stop for a minute.  He knew he shouldn't because if he laid down and closed his eyes he was fairly certain he wasn't going to wake up again.  Dean was leaning against a tree when he heard the familiar and comforting sound of the Impala.
Even though Dean knew help was on the way, he couldn't walk another step.  His adrenaline had waned and he needed to rest.  They would find him, he thought as he slid down the tree, eyes slipping shut.  He woke up what seemed like hours later but from the sun rising he could tell it was only 20 minutes later.
"Over here is best!" a familiar voice shouted.  
Dean was confused.  How the hell did Caleb get out there?  Coughing and wincing in pain, he used the tree for leverage as he attempted to stand.  Dean finally was after a good ten minutes of maneuvering.  Now he just had to keep himself from keeling over.  He hated feeling weak.  Even worse then feeling pain.
"Oh my God, Dean!"  Before he could even respond, Sarah had barreled straight into him.  Dean had amended his thoughts about feeling pain just then because all he felt was pain as he sagged against his sister.  
"Sar..." he gasped out as she guided him back to the ground.
Sarah winced in sympathy.  "Sorry," she replied as she checked his injuries.  Tears sprang to her eyes when she realized they had left Dean out in the cold night air all alone.  "You have a fever."
"No shit!"
"Really, you don't need to be sarcastic about it!"  
"You guys left me and you're picking on me for being sarcas--ouch!"
Sarah feigned innocence.  "Sorry," she said again as she reached into her pocket for her cell phone.  "Dad was going to blow this place to hell because he thought that thing got you.  What happened?"
"What?" Dean asked, looking up at Sarah with a glazed look in his eyes.
"You'd better not check out now, Dean Winchester!" Sarah ordered as she dialed Sam's cell.  "Stay awake!"
"Dude, don't shout in my ear.  Besides, I'm wide awake over here."
"I was talking to Dean," she explained.  
There was a brief pause before he replied, "That is not funny, Sarah."
"Give it to me," Dean said.  Sarah handed him the phone.  "Sam get your ass over here now!"
"Dean!  What the hell?"
Sarah caught the phone as Dean dropped it, losing consciousness.  "Just tell Dad to stop what he's doing for right now.  Dean's alive."
John was still shaking his head in disbelief. He should have known better than to believe Dean was dead, though.  That boy came out of more scrapes than anyone he had ever met.  He glanced over at Sarah who was praying with Pastor Jim then at Sam who was talking to Caleb and realized he almost drove his family apart after his daughter's attack, when they needed each other the most.   
He decided from that moment on he would never do anything that stupid again.  John looked up when he heard someone say his alias.  "That's me," he replied, walking over to the doctor.  "How's my son?"
"Dean's lost a lot of blood so he's going to be weak for the next few days while we replenish what he lost.  We have him on antibiotics to counter the infection that set in.  Dean also has a slight concussion, a few broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder," the doctor explained as he lead them to Dean's room.
John nodded, swallowing around the lump in his throat before he said anything.  "How long will he have to stay here?"
"A week at the most.  If his fever is gone and I'm satisfied with the way he's been healing."
"Thank you, Doctor."
He smiled.  "Of course.  Please let any of the nurses know if you need me for anything."
Once the doctor had left, the group quietly entered Dean's room.  He looked decidedly pale in that hospital bed.  Sarah was the first to go to his side, taking his hand in hers.  "Hey big brother."
"Sar?" Dean asked, blinking his eyes open.  "Hey.  You okay?"
Sarah chuckled, tears falling down her cheeks as she gave Dean a kiss.  "You are so freaking amazing!  You're the one who's lying in a hospital bed and you're asking if I'm okay?"
"She's right, son," Pastor Jim said, patting Dean's leg.  "You are quite amazing."
Caleb nodded.  "You gonna tell us what attacked you and how you escaped it?"
"Honestly I have no clue what they were," Dean replied.  "They reminded me of Wendigos but they were very selective about what they wanted to attack.  Josie... Is she all right?"
"She's fine, Dean," Sam reassured him.  "We found her Dad too."
Dean sighed in relief.  "Good.  Anyway, they tried to eat me, I found some weird looking machete thing, and I lobbed their heads off.  You didn't happen to find the machete, did you Sammy?"
"No. Sorry, I wasn't looking for a machete."
"I guess not," Dean said, suddenly feeling very tired.
John finally spoke up.  "Lets leave Dean to rest.  He has some healing to do so he can get back out there."  
"Dad?" Dean asked when John hadn't moved.
"I'm sorry, Dean.  I shouldn't have blamed you for what happened to Sarah.  It wasn't any one's fault but that kid who hurt her."
"I should have stayed with her like you told me to."
John shook his head, placing a hand on Dean's shoulder.  "Son, it's not your job to always be there for them.  I should be protecting all of you."
"It may not be my job, but I want to be there for them, Dad.  I can't lose them.  I can't lose any of you!"
"We can't lose you either, Dean," John told him.  "Remember that!"
One week later the doctors were convinced that Dean was stable enough to leave.  He sank gratefully into the passenger seat of the Impala.  "Hey, baby, they been treating you all right?"
"Get a room, Dean!"
"Shut up, Sar!  I'll have you know that my girl misses me when I'm gone."
Sarah chuckled.  "Well, you're right about that.  You should have seen Sam trying to fix her when she broke down."
Sam glared at her.  "You said you weren't going to mention that!" he exclaimed.
"Oops!" she replied sheepishly.
"Dude, you better not have ruined the engine."
"I took her to a mechanic, Dean, she's fine!"
Dean looked almost pale.  "A mechanic!  What kind of mechanic around here is really gonna know my baby?"
"That'd be Dad," Sarah answered.
"Oh... right.  So where is he?"
Sam started the car and waited for Sarah to get in before answering.  "He left with Caleb and Pastor Jim.  They're heading to a hunt in Athens.  We, however, are taking some time off."
"Dude, they could use our help up there, I'm sure."
"Maybe," Sarah replied, "but no matter what you say we're taking time off, Dean.  You're going to need to get that shooting arm up to par."
Sam nodded in agreement.  "Yeah, we don't want to get shot in the ass again."
"Hey, that was one time and I didn't shoot you in the ass, I shot myself!"
"Oh the memories," Sarah said, grinning ear to ear.  "You don't take the time off, Dean, and I'm sure the video Sam took of you hopping up and down will surface on Facebook."
Dean looked over at Sam in horror.  "You wouldn't!"

"Wouldn't I?"  
Sam and Sarah began to laugh and soon Dean was joining them.  The three drove down the road as Dean turned the radio on and the music of Kansas trailed behind them.

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