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21 January 2013 @ 06:30 am
While Angels Watched: Thy Will Be Done (Chapter 1)  

A frosty halo girdled the last quarter moon, strengthening its dwindling light.


A/N: Translations for nonsensical dialogue are provided at the end of each applicable chapter.

A/N: I want to thank Numpy and NongPradu for their amazing beta work.  These incredible women have extremely busy lives yet still found time to give a person they’ve never met their undivided attention, and for that I am profoundly in their debt.  My thanks also go to my good buddy Beckydaspatz who gave the tale a thorough read-thru and kindly provided me with some lovely feedback prior to posting.

While Angels Watched

Chapter One
Thy Will Be Done

**O**

A frosty halo girdled the last quarter moon, strengthening its dwindling light.  It had been waning steadily, withering to nothing night after night as the hunt for the skinwalker continued to test John’s patience—and apparently his good sense.  Dean standing next to him well after midnight on a school-night, as energetic as a colt and woofing out puffs of white steam into the frozen January air was proof enough of that.   The old hunter could hear the crunch of boot on snow as the teen champed and cantered his way to the open trunk of the Impala, could hear the quick breathy gasp of Hello there, darlin’! Come to papa! as the boy gleefully rubbed his chilly hands together in anticipation and hefted out a large crossbow, tickling the weapon with light, loving fingers.  He strapped on a quiver of silver-tipped bolts with an enthusiastic chuckle, and John had to concede that the boy looked more hedonistic, vibrant and alive than he’d ever seen him.  And truth be told, it was a beautiful sight.  But this shit wasn’t going to fly.  Not tonight.

“Dean, what the hell are you doing?” John swung around to the trunk and loomed there until Dean stopped wooing the crossbow.

“Uh…” Dean’s smoky breath hung suspended in the still air, offsetting his red nose and flushed cheeks.  The kid took a quick snuff in and quirked a brow at his father.  “I’m gearing up.  What does it look like?”  He waved the bulky crossbow a little clumsily, forcing John to reach out and steady it.

“The hell you are, boy,” John huffed.  “I said you could tag along and watch.  You’re not officially on this hunt, and you sure as hell aren’t going to be wielding that thing.”

Dean had assisted on several salt-and-burns, had even spent four days in the hospital after a hunt for a poltergeist had soured the previous summer, but John had a hard and fast rule about hunting flesh and blood: no hunting anything that could eat your heart, change you into a beast or steal your identity until Dean was at least sixteen.  If he’d told Dean once, he’d told him a hundred times.  Of course, there was one little hitch in that rule tonight, but he didn’t know that and Dean never said a word.

John pulled a silver knife from his waistband.  “Here,” he said.  “You carry this, and only for defense.”

“Dad!  C’mon, I got this.  I’ve been kicking ass with this thing in target practice for ages now.”  Dean held fast to the crossbow and shrugged off John’s attempt to pass him the knife.  “Ask Sammy.”  Dean tromped through crusty tire-tracks toward the backseat window, hollow ice shattering like glass beneath his feet.  “Tell him, Sammy.”  The younger boy inside barely noticed the exchange; his head was bent over a book, trying to read by the moonlight that Dean was now blocking.  “Dork, tell him!”  Dean tapped the glass.  Sam rolled down the window and glanced from crossbow, to Dean, to John.

“He’s good, Dad,” he confessed.  “He’s really good.”  Dean beamed his thanks to Sam and gave his father a what-did-I-tell-you? shrug.

“It’s not going to happen, Dean,” John said flatly.  “I’ve made myself perfectly clear, not until you’re sixteen.  Now take the damn knife.”

Sam huffed out a disgusted snort.  “Uh, Dad…” he began, but Dean quickly caught his brother’s eye and shook his head quietly, cutting in.

“C’mon Dad.  I’ll only use it for defense.  Someone has to watch your back.  I swear I won’t shoot.  Look, you know I won’t shoot, Dad.  I won’t have to, because you’re the shit, and you’re gonna get this thing.  Huh?  Right?”  Apparently the kid must have thought a little sucking up couldn’t hurt.  “Look, I’ll take the knife, too.”  Dean rubbed the back of his neck while John wavered slightly—a rare opportunity that Dean snatched with both hands.  “I even promise not to bolt your shriveled, old ass,” he added with a grin.

“Watch that smart mouth of yours,” John barked with no real bite. “Or I’ll smack the smart right out of it.”

Dean pshawed, swirling his finger around his face.  “And damage this piece of awesome?  I don’t think so,” he snorted.

“Yeah, your awesome girl-face,” Sam chaffed through the window.  “All the chicks who dig you are just lesbians and don’t know it yet.  They just like your girlie-face!”  Dean reached through the window trying to grab a fistful of pudge, but the boy was too fast.  Sam scooted out of reach and taunted his brother with an insane cackle.  Dean dove after him.

“Knock it off.  Goddammit, Dean—focus!” John’s voice went low—subterranean—and Dean immediately snapped to attention, all play gone, done and over.  The hardened hunter continued to regard the teen silently, sizing him up.  “Focus or I’m leaving you in the car with Sam.  This isn’t a goddamned joke.”

“I’m...I’m sorry, Sir.  I’m here.  I’m good.  I’m ready.”  He looked at his father, pleading—convincing.  “I swear to god I’m ready.”

John studied the teen for another moment before pointing his finger, giving his son an articulate jab.  “You’re in this as an observer only.  You stay back; keep your mouth shut and your eyes peeled.  Don’t even think of being a goddamned hero.  We clear?”

“We’re clear, Sir,” Dean obediently assured him.  He stood, a ramrod—crisp and stiff, waiting for his father to reclaim the crossbow.  He never did.  John handed him the silver knife and reached into the trunk, pulling out another crossbow and hefting it onto his shoulder.  He closed the trunk, tossing the keys to Sam.  “Stay warm,” he said.

John gave Dean a final once-over before barking orders.  “Move it out, Son.”  Dean’s eyes widened before he could quickly lid his surprise.  The young hunter let the crossbow rest against his shoulder and gave his father a sharp, determined nod, assuring him that he wouldn’t let him down.  John acknowledged the unspoken promise with a brief nod of his own, breaking eye contact as he strode toward the cluster of snow-dusted pines.  Dean relaxed and turned to Sammy, giving his brother a wide grin.  Sam popped his head out of the window; he looked worried.

“Got the gun?” Dean asked.  Sam exhibited it with a nod.

“Got it, Dean,” he said.

“Silver bullets?”

“Duh.”  Sam rolled his eyes.

“This is important, Doofus,” Dean lectured.

“M’not a kid,” Sam complained.

“Well, technically, you are,” Dean said.  “But you’re a wicked smart one.”  Sam brightened at the compliment but sobered immediately.

“Don’t look it in the eyes.  Remember, Dean,” Sam instructed.

“Duh.”  Dean mimicked his brother, his tone spiced with mock sarcasm.  But Sam wouldn’t be baited.  He was serious.

“Dean…be careful,” he begged.

“Don’t worry, Squirt.  Careful’s my middle name,” Dean said, pumping the crossbow up and down in his grip, curling his lip in a playful sneer.  He gave his stiff neck another squeeze, loosening it up and then tossed a finger in his brother’s direction.  “Lock the doors, Sammy.  Don’t come out until we get back.”  Sam sighed and nodded, his head morphing into the reflection of the haloed moon as the boy slowly rolled up the window.  Dean gave Sam one last enthusiastic thumbs-up, then turned and ran to catch up with his father.

**O**

The snow was so dry it squeaked beneath Dean’s boots.  The thermometer had registered a mere eighteen degrees when Dean’d last checked before leaving Provo.  Here in the foothills, it had to be at least five degrees colder.  Dean wiggled his fingers around the crossbow, trying to keep his circulation going.  He snuffed and wiped his runny nose on the sleeve of his free hand, stealthily stepping directly in his father’s boot-prints with feline grace.  The snowfall hadn’t been much, just a couple of inches, but he wanted to leave as little evidence of their passing as possible.  If the bastard came upon their trail, best for it to assume there was only one hunter out there.  They’d moved from tree cluster to tree cluster without seeing any footprint or sign of a single creature, living, dead or undead—and that alone set them on high-alert.  After hiking for at least half an hour to the south of Y Mountain, the hunters broke into a small clearing.  John signaled a halt and looked around, sniffing the air.  Dean followed suit, surreptitiously of course, since he didn’t know what he was trying to smell, but he sensed nothing beyond the trees and snow.

John studied the clearing for a few minutes, surveying the terrain and forming his strategy.  He silently signaled for Dean to head toward a bank of trees, walking him over to one and glancing up.  Dean got the point.  John offered a hand as a boost, and Dean soon found himself looking for a good spot to perch with his gear—shadow, pine needles and dark clothing making him nearly invisible.  Looking down at his dad, John’s face was stern as he signaled the rest of his orders.  Don’t move.  Keep watch.  Don’t shoot.  Stay safe.  Goddamn it, I mean it, Dean! he teen silently nodded, serious and on-task.  Dean knew when to push and when to be a good soldier.  This was no time to push.

Once settled as high as he could get safely, Dean watched John walk into the clearing, stopping in a patch of moonlight, baiting whatever he’d sensed was nearby to show itself.  The young hunter silently cocked the crossbow and draped the rope-cock over a nearby branch.  He was so focused that he barely felt the pain when he jabbed his hand into a stiff and pointed protruding twig.  He picked the wood out and gave his palm a quick lick.  It was too cold to bleed much.  Wiping his hand on his jacket, he got back to work, silently setting the bolt in the track and releasing the safety.  Rolling his shoulders and neck to release the tension that seemed to have pooled there, the boy soundlessly steadied his grip on the finger flange and waited, paradoxically both taut and loose—centered, primed.  His breath smoked white.  He was ready.  So, so ready.

Despite his awkward stance in the tree, the burn of fatigue had no time to set into Dean’s muscles before the skinwalker showed up as a dark smudge on the other side of the clearing.  It prowled through the scrub and underbrush, sucking in the moonlight, reflecting absolutely nothing back.  It was blacker than a shadow, an inky silhouette patrolling the circumference of the clearing.  The beast kept its prey under surveillance, edging still closer.  Dean could see its intended target and noted that John was well aware of it, eying the creature with deadly scrutiny, waiting until his shot was unobstructed and clean.  The teen could see the severe set of his father’s shoulders and knew the skinwalker would never get the meal it sought.  Dean drew his own crossbow close, could feel the pulse in his head so strong that it ached as it fluttered against the icy scope.  Elevated as he was, he drew an easy bead on the skinwalker.  His dad had the situation completely under control, perhaps, but Dean wasn’t going to let the thing out of his sight for a moment, not until the ugly sucker was good and dead.  The young hunter watched John poise the crossbow one final time just as an unexpected snarl from the trees changed everything.

Dean stopped breathing, and the next few seconds played out in slow motion, his brain breaking time down into fractions and frames, processing, cataloguing and filing each new bit of data as the event unfolded.  When the second, closer, skinwalker attacked from the shelter of the trees, John spun around in one fluid motion, releasing the bolt.  It hit the new target with a satisfying crack as ribs were crushed and the heart was penetrated.  The beast was thrown back by the force of it and began its death-throes, twitching and jerking as the creature transformed back to its original human form.

Dean’s trigger-finger twinged despite all orders he was given.  Those orders were now the only thing keeping him from taking his shot.  The second skinwalker had been a complete surprise.  There had been absolutely no indication in their investigation that the deaths near Provo had been the work of a tag-team.  Still, a lifetime of being relentlessly tapped and molded into the perfect soldier had its effect, and his father’s conditioning overrode his instinctual reflexes for the next few tenths of a second.  As the first skinwalker lunged, Dean watched his father toss the useless crossbow away and reach for his knife—the knife that Dean suddenly realized wasn’t going to be there.  Because John had handed it over to him.  And Dean was certain that he hadn’t taken another one—distracted, perhaps, by his fight for the crossbow or the boys’ unprofessional horseplay.  Dean didn’t consciously make the decision.  There was nothing to decide; no amount of training or inculcation would ever ultimately override Dean’s one basal instinct that trumped all else—protect.

The skinwalker toppled over with a grunt before Dean even realized he’d pulled the trigger.

**O**

Very little was said as John and Dean collected wood and duff for the fire and dragged the bodies over to the makeshift pyre in the clearing.  Once the bodies were engulfed, belching smoke and gas and filling the frigid air with a feral, fusty odor, the two hunters stood side by side tending the fire.  Dean watched the reflection of the flames licking John’s gritty face in his periphery.  He tried to work the pretzeled tension out of the back of his neck, waiting for his father to tear him a new one.  Dean’s tongue was a tacky lump of chalk in his throat.  Finally, John spoke.

“I thought I told you not to fire.”

Dean was almost relieved.  He knew this was going to be harsh and unsparing, but he also hoped it would soon be over.  “You did, Sir,” Dean said, eyes on the flames.

“I told you to observe only.”

“You did, Sir.”  Dean’s stiff neck was starting to make the base of his head throb a little.  He wished his father would just get on with it, already.  John fed a few more branches into the pyre, causing a swarm of sparks to flutter away before stepping back and resuming his debriefing.

“So, you disobeyed a direct order?”

“I did.”  Dean shifted and faltered.  “I...”  He swallowed thickly and then mastered himself.  “I assessed the situation—weighed my options and made the right decision.  I wasn’t going to let you die.”  He looked at John.  “I had your knife.  I’m sorry, Sir.”

John watched the fire.  The man was frustratingly unreadable.

“Dad, I’m sorry.  It won’t happen again,” Dean said, but John held up a halting hand.

“My not having a knife is on me,” he said, folding his arms with a quick sniff.   “Was my responsibility.”

Dean looked at his father, stunned.   “I distracted you.”

“And I’m trained to handle distractions.”  Dean didn’t know what to say to that.  His Dad was so…unpredictable.  The elder hunter studied the shock on his son’s pale face.  “You made the right call.”  John turned back to the fire again, his jaw twitching.  Dean merely stood there in stupefied silence.

Another long pause stretched itself out, filled only with the pop of wood and the sizzle of burning bodies.  “So,” John ventured again, looking sideways at his son.  “First kill, huh?”

Dean blinked out of his trance, realizing that things were going to play out a whole different way from what he’d been expecting.  “Yessir."

John nodded and blew out a lungful of steam, contemplating the pyre for a long moment.  “Lucky shot,” he conceded.  The tension between the two dissolved with Dean’s nickering snort.

“Lucky my ass, old man.”  Dean’s mouth blossomed into a pure, cocky smirk. He licked his chapped lips and smacked them together. “I’m, like…I’m like fuckin’ Batman or something."

“Oh, you’re somethin’ all right.”

“I’m the somethin’ that saved your ass,” Dean said playfully and turned to warm his hands at the fire.

John cuffed his son.  “You’ve got a filthy mouth.  You know that?"

“Yeah, I know,” Dean said.  “Raised by a Marine, dude…hello!”  John merely grunted and threw the last branch onto the pyre.  As Dean watched the skinwalkers’ bones collapse into the glowing cinders, he couldn’t help but think about what had occurred.  His first kill.  Other kids his age were worried about complete mindless shit—test scores and pom-poms, making the football team or contemplating suicide over a zit on prom night.  They had no idea—no idea at all.  Dean stood listening to the last of the body-fat hiss as it dripped into the coals, until only the flapping of dry, scorching flames remained.  He wondered what any one of his classmates would do if they’d witnessed half the things he’d seen.  He looked at his Dad and knew that the man was proud of him.   He didn’t say it; he didn’t really need to.  Dean spoke his language.  His dad said he’d made the right call.  And that right there?  That was…that was—man—that was an amazing feeling.

Dean understood there was no real cure for the cold grief of loss, but he could fully grasp now why his father did this job.  He’d made a difference tonight.  Dean had made the world just a fraction safer than it had been.  Nothing could replace his mother, but it felt damn good knowing that perhaps tonight, somewhere, some kid didn’t have to lose his mother, because Dean had killed that skinwalker.  Dean could get behind an idea like that—keeping families safe.  Hell yeah, he could definitely get behind an idea like that.

“What?” John asked, having seen the boy’s thoughts flicker and ripple across his face, brighter and louder than the firelight.

“What, what?”

“You’re standin’ there looking like you’re seeing bare tits for the first time.  What’s up?”

“Nothing,” the teen said.  “This is just…”  He looked at his dad.

“What?”

Dean gripped the back of his neck, giving it a good tug with his palm and looked at his father.  “This is just the best job ever.”

John snickered.  “Better come back down to earth, champ,” he said.  “We still have a long walk back to the Batmobile.”  Even with the roaring fire at hand, John noticed that Dean could no longer hide his shivering.  The elder hunter swept up a crossbow and handed it to Dean.  “Come on, Sammy’s probably freezing his ass off."

“Yep.”  Dean shouldered the weapon and turned to go.

“Hey,” John said, suddenly.  “What’s wrong with your neck?”  Dean turned back, confused.

“What?” Dean stopped and looked at his hand, only just now realizing he’d been rubbing his neck again, consciously acknowledging for the first time the stiffness that had been growing all day.  He shrugged.  “I dunno,” he said truthfully.  “I think I must’a slept on it wrong or something.  S’stiff.”

John watched him a moment and then shouldered his own weapon.  “Make sure you take a hot shower before you hit the sack."

They jogged back to the car, partly to get to Sam quickly and partly to keep warm.  The temperature had continued to dip, and Dean could barely feel his toes anymore.  He was relieved when the Impala came into view.

Sam looked tired and cold and utterly relieved when he spotted the duo.  Dean watched as his brother scanned them for injuries and noticed the kid’s tension drain away when he saw that both hunters were solid and whole.

“Did you get it?” Sam asked as he passed John the keys through the window.

“Don’t you mean them? And, yep…crispy critters—both of them!” Dean boasted, holding the crossbow aloft like a trophy.   Sam’s jaw hung loosely.

“Two of them?”

Dean passed the knife to John who had the trunk open.  “Two of them,” Dean confirmed.  “Dead and dead.  Got a notch to scrape into my crossbow tomorrow, dude.”

You got one?” Sam gaped.  “Holy crap, Dean!”

Dean and John stored the rest of the weapons and blustered into the front seat, cold excitement radiating off of them.

“Not too shabby for a fifteen year old,” John indulged his son.  He started the car and pulled away.

Sam rolled his eyes, disgusted.  “Uh, yeah, not so much, Dad,” he said.  Dean flicked Sam’s neck hastily. “Ow, freak!” Sam spat and kneed the back of Dean’s seat.

“Shut up, Princess.  Don’t rain on my skinwalker parade,” Dean laughed, lurching halfway into the backseat to harrow his brother some more.  Several more elbows and fists flew before John sternly demanded a ceasefire.

Dean sniggered and fed a tape into the stereo, turning up the volume.  Looking back, he watched the Impala’s taillights leak a bloody trail onto the icy road behind them.  He gave his brother one last thwap and a wicked grin before facing forward and settling.

He rolled his sore neck and shoulders against the seat.  “Just like Batman, dude,” he said with a satisfied sigh.

**O**

Despite all of the excitement, Dean was utterly drained when he finally folded himself into bed.  Even after showering, his body still tingled with cold, and his neck continued to nag him.  He massaged it against his pillow, trying to find a comfortable position.  On the other side of the room, he heard Sam rise on his elbow.

“How come you didn’t say anything, Dean?” the boy asked softly, breaking the quiet.

Dean was truly mystified for a moment.  Trying to work the tension out of his neck, he was giving more thought to that than to Sam.  “Huh?”

“Dad’s a jerk.  He didn’t even remember.  You should have said something.”

Dean flopped on his back, worked a trench into his pillow and sunk into it, letting his arms relax against his chest.

“It doesn’t matter, dude,” he sighed.

“Yes it does, Dean,” Sam argued, his voice becoming atonal with passion.

“Shhhh, keep your voice down, Mouth,” Dean scolded with a whisper.  “It’s not his fault.  He’s got a lot on his mind, Sammy.  You need to stop sweating this type of shit.  Hunting and finding the bastard that killed Mom is more important.  Just give it a rest already.”

“Dean…”

“Go to sleep Sammy.  I’m tired and I’d like to get at least a few hours before we have to get up for school.”  Dean closed his eyes, trying to tune out his brother.  Sam coughed out a huff of frustration and settled back down.  The room stilled, and Dean was lulled by the violet moonlight blanketing his bed.  Just as he was drifting off he heard his brother roll over.

“Happy Birthday, Dean,” the boy murmured over his shoulder.

“Thanks Sammy.”

“So, I guess this makes you sweet sixteen now, huh Ringwald?”  Sam smirked in the dark.

“Shut the fuck up, Sammy.”

**O**

Dean leapt from his bed well before the alarm was set to go off.  Not even two hours had passed since he’d fallen asleep, but he was suddenly fully roused and hyper-alert.  Perhaps he was still riding the adrenaline high from the hunt or maybe his short power nap truly lived up to its name.  Either way, he was ready, able and itching to move.  He was good.  Hell, he was better than good; he was fan-fucking-tastic.  He threw a pair of dirty socks at Sam, but the boy merely groaned and rolled onto his stomach.

“Up, kiddo.  Let’s go for a run!” Dean laughed.  He felt like a powder keg of energy, and he needed to release a little TNT before he blew himself up.  Jesus, he felt great.  He dropped to the floor and began doing a series of pushups, clapping between each thrust to annoy Sam as much as possible.  He really needed a good run.  Normally he dreaded it, but, not today—not after taking down his first skinwalker and certainly not while riding whatever high he was currently on.  Besides, pushups weren’t really getting the job done.  He tried switching to sit-ups, doing several sets in rapid succession before giving up.  Only running some sprints was going to burn off this much excess energy.  He hopped up, snapped on the overhead light and grabbed Sam’s foot under the covers, giving it a good tug.

“Up little man,” he said.  “Come on, we have time to train for a while before school,” he urged.

“F’off Dean.  It’s still dark,” Sam mumbled into his pillow and burrowed deeper.

“Aw, c’mon Sammy.  Don’t be a wuss.  Show me some of that Winchester spirit, now,” he said, snatching the pillow away and tossing it aside.  He held Sam down and tried to smear his sweaty armpit on the boy’s face. “Smell the flowers, dude!”

Luckily for Sam, Dean missed his mark and smeared his shoulder instead, but it had the same effect.  Sam’s faced turned rosy with rage, looking as close to popping a vein as he’d ever come in his eleven years of being on the receiving end of Dean’s bodily gifts.  “Get OFF!” he shouted, his voice thorny, his chest heaving as he tried to kick out at his brother.  Dean caught a blanketed foot in his ribs, throwing him slightly off balance before he recovered.

“Jesus Sam, you don’t need to be a little bitch about it,” Dean groused.  "See if I ever trammer man wuhh—wwwuh—wave nor over up a chain. Berry lumber bid with the jewel, be over some over my dog carrot!"  Dean gave his brother a disgusted look and turned to snatch up his clothes.

“God, Dean.  You’re such a freak!  Shhurrbur-duurbur-doo to you, too,” Sam bitched as he pushed back the covers with groggy indignation.  He swung his feet over the side of the bed and sat a moment trying to get his bearings and wipe Dean’s sweat off him, releasing a groan when he looked at the clock.  Looking up, he noticed that Dean was still bent over the bed, seemingly frozen in mid-grab for his clothes, blinking slowly.  His mouth was opening and closing soundlessly.  “Dude, that’s rank.  Take a shower,” Sam snapped as he wiped the last of the perspiration off of him with his sheet.

Dean twitched in Sam’s direction when the boy spoke, but he looked dazed.  Suddenly his face pinched with pain, and he gasped, reaching for the back of his head.  “Mmmhhhuuuunh,” he moaned, rubbing the base of his neck.

Sam bobbled as his brain rebooted after having been yanked from sleep so abruptly.  He stared at Dean another listless moment.  “We only just got to bed,” he complained.  His brother didn’t answer—hadn’t spoken since Sam had kicked him in the stomach.  “You OK, Dean?” he asked.  “I didn’t mean to kick you that hard.  I didn’t, did I?"

Dean’s lashes fluttered, and he brought his other hand up to his forehead, cradling his head.  His thumb and forefinger were repeatedly tapping together in a twitchy, fun-house version of the “OK” symbol.  He looked anything but OK.

“Dean?” Sam asked again, suddenly on his feet and moving over to his brother.

Dean slumped onto the bed.  “Ghhhuh…Forming!” he bit out.  “No yes in the socket d—duh—derla hover. Herbs! My coming isn’t amma walking isn’t and any.  Ughhhh, Sibbin. Sibbin. Mmmnnuhhh!”  His teeth started to chatter and he looked at Sam, surprised and desperate.  Sam reached out and tried to touch his brother’s head, but Dean pulled back.  “Going hurdle on the side…” he pled, shaking him off.

“I’m getting Dad.”

Sam was already calling out his father’s name shrilly before he’d even stood up.  He briefly ran from the room and returned seconds later with a very startled and discombobulated John—torn from his whiskey sleep.  Sam was giving him the run-down even as John knelt by Dean.

“He was fine, Dad,” he said as John’s eyes swept over Dean.  “He was joking around, rough-housing, and then he just…”  Sam looked at Dean as he rocked back and forth in agony.  “He just started talking weird and holding his head."

John tried to pry Dean’s hands away from his head, but the boy fought him, moaning out in misery.  The teen suddenly lurched up and wrenched his hand away from his eyes.  They stuttered and staggered around frantically, finally landing on his father.

“Rrr—Remur?” he whispered haltingly, looking confused.  John immediately peeled back Dean’s eyelids, examining the pupils.

“Sonofabitch!”  John swore, seeing that the kid’s eyes were almost fully dilated.  “Dean?  Dean, can you hear me?” Dean looked at him and swallowed once, then twice, and then a few more times before John realized he either wouldn’t or couldn’t answer.  John spun toward Sam.  “Did he hit his head?”  Sam stood there shocked, gaping.  “Sam!” John grabbed the boy’s arm and shook, getting the child to snap out of it.  “Did he hit his head?” he asked again.

“N—no Dad,” Sam assured him.  “No!  We were—he was…God, we were just messing around.  He was trying to get me out of bed, and I kicked at him.  I got him in his ribs, but I didn’t even get a good hit in, Dad.  I swear it.”  Sam looked crushed.  “I didn’t mean to hurt him.”

Dean swallowed again and reached for Sam.  “Sibbin?  Sibbin, by the reff lemon.” He tried to fist his brother’s T-shirt but missed, and his hand didn’t seem to have the strength to try to make contact again.  He moaned out again and turned his anguished eyes on his father, continuing to tap his thumb and forefinger together with each word.  “Can in do is me is cockle…c—cockle, cockle…cockle…cockle every.  Nnnnhhuhhhh!” he cried out, wincing.  His face was sweaty, and John tried to take his pulse as the boy attempted to communicate.

“Burrs Sib—Sibbin, Remur?  Remur?  In the ball…”  He clutched his head.  “In my forest on my me tool turkey.”

“Dad?” Sam asked with tears starting in his eyes.  “I swear I didn’t mean to hurt him.”

John released Dean’s wrist, coming out of his thoughts.  He looked up at Sam.   “I don’t think you did this, Sammy.”

“Was it the skinwalker?” Sam asked with wide, fearful eyes.  “Did it look him in the eye?”

John scooped Dean toward him, letting the boy’s cheek rest against his chest, rubbing his shoulders, searching and probing the back of Dean’s head for the source of his pain.  There was no lump, no goose-egg—nothing.  “No.  This has nothing to do with that; I’m certain.”

“Is he having a seizure?”  Sam put his hand on his brother’s shoulder, patting it, trying to offer what comfort he could.

“I don’t know.  Maybe.” John said, looking grim.  He looked around and pointed.  “We need to go.  Give me that blanket, there.”  Sam acted immediately.  Taking the cover, John began wrapping it around Dean as best he could.  “Sammy, go get dressed and when you’re done, go grab my clothes and shoes for me."

Once Sam was set on-task, John continued to get the blanket situated around Dean.  “I’m going to have to move you, kiddo.”  Dean cried out and struggled against his father when John tried to lay him back.

“Naahhhghhh,” he murmured.  Only half open, his eyes sluggishly wandered around the room, far less present than they had been even a moment ago.

“Stay with me, Dean,” John ordered.  “You’re all right.”  Again, John tried to get Dean’s hands away from his face briefly so that he could pass a shirt over the kid’s head, trying to give him a little dignity for the ride to the hospital.  Dean continued to fight him, forcing the hunter to restrain his son.  “Stop it, Dean,” he said sternly, holding the boy’s hands away from his head and threading them through the sleeves.  Dean gurgled out a moan, releasing his pain in gut-wrenching sobs.

“On the…On the ever to keeping…marker?  On—on the—on the—on the mini for crime bag …?” He choked on the words when John tried to move him, gulping and swallowing after each repetition before finally breaking himself out of the loop.  “Pensch by the north haven’t timing my other apple hope.  Kind be but me berry girder.”  Dean looked at his father with tearful, heartbroken eyes.

“I know it hurts.  I know you’re trying your best, bud.  We’ll fix this, OK?”  John stroked his son’s brow, trying to ground him.  “I gotcha.  I gotcha.”

“Remur cob saving factors but ready tohnoh,” Dean said with a fading voice as his eyebrows strove to give lift to his lids.  His lashes quivered and his eyes started to roll back.

“No you don’t!  Keep your eyes open, Dean,” John ordered, pressing a hand against Dean’s chest and shaking a little.  “Keep you goddamned eyes open!  Stay awake, son!”  John watched horrified as his child disobeyed his direct order for the second time that night.

Translations:

"See if I ever trammer man wuhh—wwwuh—wave nor over up a chain. Berry lumber bid with the jewel, be over some over my dog carrot!"—See if I ever try and wake you up again.  Be late for school, for all I care!

Ghhhuh…Forming!”—Ghhhuh…Fuck!

“No yes in the socket d—duh—derla hover. Herbs! My coming isn’t amma walking isn’t and any.  Ughhhh, Sibbin. Sibbin. Mmmnnuhhh!”—I don’t know.  Hurts.  My head is pounding.  Ugh, Sammy.  Sammy.  Mmmmnnuhhh!

“Going hurdle on the side…”—Don’t touch me…

“Rrr—Remur?”—Dad?

“Sibbin?  Sibbin, by the reff lemon.”—Sammy?  Sammy, it’s not your fault.

“Can in do is me is cockle…c—cockle, cockle…cockle…cockle every.  Nnnnhhuhhhh!”—My head is k—k—killing me.  Nnnnhhuhhhh!

“Burrs Sib—Sibbin, Remur?  Remur?  In the ball…”—Where’s Sammy?  Dad?  Man, my head…

“In my forest on my me tool turkey.”—My head is gonna explode.

“On the…On the ever to keeping…marker?  On—on the—on the—on the mini for crime bag …?”—Why…why are you doing this?  What did I do wrong?

“Pensch by the north haven’t timing my other apple hope.  Kind be but me berry girder.”—Please don’t hurt me anymore.  I’ll be good, I promise.

“Remur cob saving factors but ready tohnoh,”—Dad, you’re not making any sense.

 
 
 
thruterryseyesthruterryseyes on January 21st, 2013 03:10 pm (UTC)
very curious whats wrong with him. LOved the translations.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 21st, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah! It is a mystery (for the moment!). You know, I almost didn't include the translations, but then I figured people would definitely want to know what Dean was trying to say!

Thanks heaps and gobbies for the comment. :)
Jo: Young Jensenapieceofcake on January 21st, 2013 03:51 pm (UTC)
Very glad to see this today :-) Very interesting start!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 21st, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad to see YOU today! How's it goin'? :)

Yes, we'll have to see how this one unfolds. It's probably the most different thing I've written yet. Hopefully it will satisfy!

Take care!

/hugs
(no subject) - tifaching on January 21st, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sharlot1926 on January 21st, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Anniektrisha on January 21st, 2013 03:52 pm (UTC)
Great beginning. The way he Dean was talking that screams Stroke. Cannot wait to read the rest.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 21st, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's a great guess! There's definitely something wrong with that glorious noggin of his! Next chapter will be on the table on Thursday! :)

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!
Kallielkalliel on January 21st, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
A medical mystery! I have several potential diagnoses in mind; I'm curious to see how this plays out. Very interesting start! Thanks for posting~
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 21st, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
Very mysterious. It's funny, when I was researching for this fic, I noticed that those symptoms are present in several different ailments. We'll have to see which one this one is!

You're awesome for taking the time to comment.
gluisa88gluisa88 on January 21st, 2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
No! Why must you draw out the suspense?! This is killing me man!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 21st, 2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
I draw out the suspense because i am....EBIL!!!!!!!!!! /debil horns.

:)

Sorry about that! Thanks so very, very much for letting me know that I'm killing you. /dusts off hands. LOL. Seriously, thanks much for the comment. It is very much appreciated!
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sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 22nd, 2013 01:32 am (UTC)
Yippy! I'm so glad you stopped by. I adore your writing...found a few of your fics on hoodie-time and read them. Terrific, terrific, terrific! I think I left some comments.

Anyhoo...yes...VERY mysterious, huh? We'll have to see how this shakes out. :)

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xlittleangxxlittleangx on January 22nd, 2013 12:48 am (UTC)
Awesome start! I too immediately thought stroke when he started sprouted nonsense :\ Poor Dean. And poor John & Sammy not knowing what's going on or what they can do for him. Can't wait for the next installment!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 22nd, 2013 01:33 am (UTC)
Yep, yep! Next part will be out on Thursday. He is definitely suffering from aphasia...whatever the cause! We'll see soon!

Thanks so much for the comment! :)
taylorariel on January 22nd, 2013 03:15 pm (UTC)
Very Interesting. I (im)patiently await the next update!
ThankYou.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 22nd, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you liked it. Next chappie will be out on Thursday, so the wait won't be too long! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know you read and enjoyed!
ℳ.maypoles on January 23rd, 2013 05:13 am (UTC)
This is excellent on all kinds of levels!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 23rd, 2013 03:36 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I'm so glad you enjoyed! Thanks so much for your encouragement. :)
Rince1windrince1wind on January 23rd, 2013 05:47 am (UTC)
Enjoying this, but as usual, and with futility, I wish you would just post the whole thing, or at least every couple of days. I'm interested to see Deans diagnosis...
Rince1windrince1wind on January 23rd, 2013 05:48 am (UTC)
I didn't mean to sound Whitney. I enjoyed this chapter very much!
(no subject) - sharlot1926 on January 23rd, 2013 03:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rince1wind on January 23rd, 2013 03:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sharlot1926 on January 23rd, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jpgrjpgr on January 25th, 2013 06:16 pm (UTC)
Late to the party! I love the brotherly banter and teen Dean. and of course you have whimper with a twist. on to part 2
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 25th, 2013 07:31 pm (UTC)
Party's only gettin' goin'. You're fine. :) Good to see you! Glad you liked the opener. Oh yeah...it's gets twisty and turny in the chunky center...never fear! :)
werewolfsfanwerewolfsfan on March 28th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
Ah! I was figuring meningitis. I found the translations of what Dean was trying to say very touching.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on March 28th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, the symptoms were a bit ambiguous and could have easily been meningitis or encephalitis, etc. Brains are funny things.

And yeah, poor Dean was getting a bit confused there at the end. Poor kid was suffering and couldn't figure out why. /snuffle!
maguiemaguie on September 6th, 2013 06:40 am (UTC)
This was cute, Sam helping his brother to convince his father to let Dean do what he wants

Dean: "Ask Sammy" “Tell him, Sammy.” . “Dork, tell him!” Dean tapped the glass. Sam rolled down the window and glanced from crossbow, to Dean, to John.

Sam: “He’s good, Dad,” he confessed. “He’s really good.” Dean beamed his thanks to Sam and gave his father a what-did-I-tell-you? shrug.

hehe this:

John: “Watch that smart mouth of yours,” “Or I’ll smack the smart right out of it.”

Dean: “And damage this piece of awesome? I don’t think so,” he snorted.

Sam: “Yeah, your awesome girl-face,” Sam chaffed through the window. “All the chicks who dig you are just lesbians and don’t know it yet. They just like your girlie-face!”

LOL and then Jonh “Knock it off kids"

And then Dean checking if Sam is safe in the car before the hunt, and if he remembers what he should do, and then Sam doing the same for Dean <3

John: “Better come back down to earth, champ,” he said. “We still have a long walk back to the Batmobile.” hehehe

oh my what's happening to Dean, I wonder if his sixteen birthday has something to do with that!

and thank you for the translations,, I really wanted to know what Dean was saying

sharlot1926sharlot1926 on September 6th, 2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
Hah! You can thank my betas for the translations. I didn't have them originally, and they were like "What's he saying?" So I made sure no one had to guess. :)

Oh yeah, poor Dean! The whole thing is very mysterious...especially for little Sammy who is really out of his depth in this situation. Very disorienting for everyone.

Thanks so much for the comment!
dljensengirl88dljensengirl88 on October 21st, 2013 06:33 pm (UTC)
On to story #2!

Thanks for the translations. Sibbin was the only word I thought I might be able to guess, but even if you never included them, guessing wasn't that far off base.

Can't wait to find out what's wrong with him!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 21st, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
Whee! Yay! I hope you like this story. This one is probably my most widely read story. It appeals to the widest audience. Thanks so much for dropping me a line. Enjoy!

/hugs

Kat
dljensengirl88dljensengirl88 on October 21st, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC)
Only one chapter in and I'm liking it already!

It was a toss up between this and Dust Devils because I saw someone else said it was their favorite, but this won out simply because it was shorter so I can probably get through in no more than 2 nights of reading and then it's on to the next one!

I appreciate your clean, descriptive writing and not always going for the easy, cliche phrases, so kuddos to you and all who help you with that - though you are clearly a talented writer to start. Keeps from messing up the fantasy world when you don't have to stumble over constant spelling and grammar issues, and repetitive language.

Great stuff.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 21st, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you liked the chapter. Poor Dean! Heh.

Dust Devils is my own personal favorite story of mine...though it's quite long. Heh. I have these two shorter stories (WAW and Killing Me Softly) that are good for quick reads (well...quicker than a 150k word story). Bottom line is the stories aren't going anywhere, so enjoy them in any order. ;)

Happy reading!

Kat