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And the Ground Shook (10/22) - My Little Corner of the World
And the Ground Shook (10/22)
Disclaimer: I don't own them, they own me.
Rating: Gen, with very mild language.
Category: Gen.
Pairings: None.
Characters: Hurt!Dean, John, Sam.
Summery: Sam shoved his books back in his schoolbag, walking back to Dean's bed and squeezing back under the covers with his older brother. His brow furrowed as he noticed the symbol on Dean's chest. "Wasn’t that thing red before?" Sam asked. John looked up from his journal for a second. "Mmm hmm." He said, and kept sketching. "But it's black now." Sam noted. John looked up at him again and Sam shrugged.
Comments: Are loved and coveted.
Notes: Pre-series, AU. Not a deathfic. Lots of Dean-whumping, though. Will be updated regularly.

And the Ground Shook

Chapter Ten – Unearthing the Truth (Part One)

John returned about an hour later, carrying a bag of takeout. He put it on the kitchen table and went over to the boys' room. It looked like both boys were asleep, but as John stepped closer, Sam stirred, opening his eyes.

"Hey buddy. I got us some food, if you're hungry." John said. Sam blinked a couple of times, pushing himself up against the headboard as his stomach growled. John took a seat by the bed, touching his hand to his older son's brow to check for fever, and then brushed his fingers through his son's blonde hair, thumbing his brow gently.

"Dad, what the hell's going on?" Sam demanded in a hushed voice. John spared him a look.

"That’s what I'm trying to find out." He said. "Go on, go eat. I'll stay with him." Sam's stomach growled again.

"You won't hurt him, right?" he asked. John glared at him. He couldn’t believe Sam would actually ask him that. Sam hesitated a moment longer before untangling his long limbs from his brother and the sheets. He worked the kinks out of his neck and shoulders as he headed for the kitchen. John sat there for another moment, just looking at his oldest. He couldn’t remember the last time he'd just looked at his sons while they slept.

Dean's tanned complexion was pale now, dark circles reforming around his eyes. His hair didn’t look as blonde when it was cut this short. Dean didn’t use to cut it this short, he only started doing so after he graduated from high school. He used to like wearing it longer. Shorter hair made him look older, John thought, still stroking Dean's brow gently.

Dean's brow creased, his eyes fluttering, and John withdrew his hand. He didn’t want Dean to wake up just yet. He hoped he could do this without waking his son.

Glimpsing back to make sure Sam was still in the kitchen, John lowered Dean's covers, unbuttoning his button-up shirt to reveal the fresh bandage. John glanced at Dean, and then pulled the comforter back up while going to the bathroom to retrieve the first aid kit. Once he did, he prodded at the bandage again, and then slowly removed it.

He nodded to himself, satisfied that there was nearly no blood on it. John hesitated for a second, thinking whether or not to put some more antiseptic cream on the symbol, but decided against it. He'll do that later, after Dean had had time to gather his strength. For now, he had something else to do. Leaning back in his seat, John took out his journal, opening it on the first empty page.

He covered Dean up to his chest, noticing Dean was shivering again, and left only the symbol on his chest visible. Taking out a pen, John started drawing the symbol as accurately as he could in his journal.

Sam came back not long after that. He seemed less than pleased, but seeing as his father didn’t seem to be causing Dean any more discomfort, he shrugged and sat down on his bed, trying to finish his homework. It seemed so pointless now, so wrong, but his brother was asleep, and there was nothing else Sam could do for him. He couldn’t concentrate though, his mind kept wandering back to his brother, and Sam shoved his books back in his schoolbag, walking back to Dean's bed and squeezing back under the covers with his older brother. His brow furrowed as he noticed the symbol on Dean's chest.

"Wasn’t that thing red before?" Sam asked. John looked up from his journal for a second.

"Mmm hmm." He said, and kept sketching.

"But it's black now." Sam noted. John looked up at him again and Sam shrugged. "What do you think it means?"

"Don’t know," John admitted. "But I'm hoping Bobby will. He said this looks familiar, he wanted a more accurate picture." John said, finishing his sketch. He redressed the wound quickly, noting that the long gashes left as the thing moved already closed and seemed to have healed. It seemed strange. He made a mental note to add that to his notes before he sent Bobby the papers again. "You staying here with him?" John asked his youngest. Sam nodded. "Call me if there's any change." John ordered and Sam nodded again.

John brought Sam's pillow and blanket from his own bed to Dean's, covering both his sons up, tucking them in, making them more comfortable.



"Do I still have to go to school tomorrow?" Sam asked in a small voice. John sighed, crouching near his youngest.

"Yes, you do, Sammy." he said.

"I don’t want to." Sam protested.

"I know," John stroked his younger boy's head, "but I need your help on this one, kiddo. I can't do it all on my own." He said seriously, "I need you to keep people away, to make them think everything's normal, so that they'd leave us alone and don’t start snooping around. Can you do that, Sammy?" John asked quietly.

"Yes, sir." John smiled at his youngest, and then got up and went out to fax Bobby the papers again.

John cursed as the boiling water from the coffee pot spilled on his hand. Shaking his hand to try to cool it off, he made his way to the ringing phone. Sam was at school, and the last he checked, Dean was still asleep. It was a good thing that the kid was resting, but he hadn’t eaten the day before, and John figured if Dean didn’t wake up soon, he'd wake him up to eat something.

Picking up the phone, John walked over to the boys' room to take another look at his eldest. "Winchester." He said in a hushed voice, making sure Dean was still sleeping and glancing at the clock on the wall. He'll give Dean another half hour and then wake him up.

"John, it's me."

"Hey Bobby. Got news for me?" John asked.

"Matter of fact, I do. I knew I recognized it. Still took me half the night to find the right book. It's pretty dark stuff, Johnny, powerful." Bobby said.

"That much I already figured out. What is it?" John asked impatiently, walking back to the kitchen to get his coffee.

"It's a Leech." Bobby said, and then added; "It's some sort of ancient rune. Really ancient. It drains the life and energy of its victim. From what I've read it's pretty damn painful, too." Bobby finished and John swallowed hard, rubbing his brow. He took a deep breath.

"How would someone get…" he started, not sure how to continue.

"The life sucked out of him?" Bobby asked.

"And why?" John finished.

"Well, says here, it's pretty dark stuff. Demonic dark. It's used by lower level demons." Bobby said. John leaned against the wall, sipping his coffee.

"So I'm dealing with a demon?" he asked, cursing inwardly, and started pacing.

"Or a really strong, pissed off witch." Bobby read from his book. "As for why," he exhaled loudly, "Insurance." He said. John frowned.


"Says here, the demon, or witch or whatever, they give the victim a job to do, a task. Usually something pretty nasty, something they'll never do. Something no one in their right mind would do. The Leech is the insurance policy; they do what they were told, or they die." John blanched.

"How do you get rid of it?" he asked through gritted teeth, leaning against the living-room wall for support, the hand holding his coffee cup shaking slightly.

"Well, you don’t. You can't get rid of it. You either complete the task or die." Bobby said. John nodded slightly, closing his eyes, feeling his stomach tightening.

"And if you get the job done, it goes away?" he asked. There was a slight pause as Bobby read through his book before he answered.

"Yep. Looks like." John walked over as far as the cord allowed, peering over to look at his sleeping son again.

"What if the victim wasn’t given a task?" John asked, "What if they don’t remember?" Bobby considered it for a moment.

"Well, I wouldn’t know why someone would bother doing it without a task in mind. Then again, demons don’t really need a reason to torture someone. But if the victim say they don’t remember… Well, chances are they're lying to ya. Want you to find another way out of whatever crap they got themselves into." Bobby said, "I tell you one thing, Winchester; if I were you, I'd make sure they understood they're going to die a very painful death if they don’t kick-start their brain and remember quickly." Bobby added. There was a long pause before Bobby went on. "There's... something else." He said hesitantly. "This thing, it's time sensitive, John." John hit the back of his head against the wall in frustration, putting his drink away.

"What does that mean?" he asked, doing his best to control his voice as he paced the living room.

"Means there's a time stamp." Bobby said, "Victim's given a time frame. After that… well, offer expires. And the victim along with it." John took a deep breath, exhaling slowly.

"Thanks, Bobby." He said, and hung up the phone.

John took a deep breath, and then another. He tried to wrap his mind around what Bobby had told him. He tried to think about it calmly and rationally. "Sonofabitch!" well, I said tried

A demon or a witch. Dean said there were men there, men he thought were possessed, possibly by demons. And there was this woman he kept talking about, a woman he was afraid of. Could be a witch. "Damn it!"

This thing, this Leech, it had a deadline, and it must be getting close. That must have been the reason the symbol moved, changed. To remind them that time was running out. Whatever that task may be, Dean had to complete it or die. "Damnit, damnit!" but Dean didn’t say anything about a freaking task. He didn’t say anything about a timeframe. He just said he didn’t remember anything.

And that the woman was going to go after Sammy once he…

"sonofafreakinbitch!" and then John punched the wall so hard it made the clock fall down with a loud bang and break.

Dean woke up with a start to the sound of his father yelling and something breaking. Instinct took over. He never stopped to think of his own injuries as he flung his legs off the bed and got up. He fought a sudden vertigo, swaying on his feet.

"Dad?" his heart pounded in his chest. Something was wrong. His father was yelling and then something smashed. Dean had to help him. He shook his head, trying to clear his mind, and then rushed towards the door, towards his father.

"Dad?" John heard his son's small, uncertain voice. He glared in the direction of the boys' room, anger building inside him, gathering force like an avalanche. He clenched his jaw, narrowing his eyes.

Dean lied to him. It was the only logical conclusion.

Dean. Lied.

And it made John's blood boil. How could he possibly be expected to help his son if he didn’t know all the facts?

He had asked Dean, time and time again, what had happened. Dean kept saying he didn’t remember. He kept 'remembering' little things, little details. But a task assigned to him by a demon witch? That part he chose to leave out? Unacceptable.

John clenched and unclenched his fists, anger turning into seethe. He needed a word with his son.

Dean's gut-wrenching scream and the thud that followed it made John freeze, made his eyes widen, his heart quicken its beat and his knees buckle.

"Dean," John rushed to his sons' room, mouth dry, expecting… Not quite that. Or maybe exactly that.

Dean was on his knees by the ring of salt, doubled over until his head practically touched the floor. He was whimpering, face twisted in pain. He was gasping, eyes shut tight, teeth gritted in a feeble attempt to muffle his cries of pain. He curled in on himself, pulling his knees up to his chest, rocking back and forth.

"Dean?" John fell to his knees by his firstborn's side. Dean wasn’t breathing. He was holding his breath. It must be bad, John knew, the pain had to be beyond intolerable to get this response out of Dean. John reached for Dean, lifting his head to make Dean look at him. "Dean, breathe. You have to keep breathing." John instructed. Tears escaped the sides of Dean's tightly closed eyes. He tried to listen, tried to draw a quick breath. It came out as a whimper. John gave him a quick once-over. No blood.

"Dean, what is it? What's wrong?" John asked, but Dean shook his head, trying to curl into a ball again. John's eyes darted around the room, searching for a hidden threat he might have missed. He pulled his son up on his knees again, making sure Dean was breathing. John was a little taken aback, not sure what was causing this, or how to make it stop, how to help his boy.

"Come on, let's get you to bed, then I'll get you something for the…" John started as he began to rise to his feet, pulling his oldest up with him.

"NO!" Dean cried and John stopped short. Dean's eyes were open now, wide open in terror. "No, wait, wait, wait!" he said quickly, sounding terrified. John frowned.


"I can't…" Dean gasped, tears escaping his eyes, "I can't… breathe… don’t…" he shook his head, curling up again, his head in John's lap this time, his hands fisting his father's shirt. For a second, the sight was just too overwhelming for John. He wrapped his arms around his shaking boy, frown deepening, fear and worry taking hold.

"Dad, I can't…" Dean cried – literally cried. "It's gonna kill me, Dad, please…" Dean gasped, his skin so pale it could give milk a run for its money.

"Dean, look at me," John said, trying to keep his voice steady as he lifted Dean's face to look in his son's eyes. "You have to breathe. Take deep breaths, son. Just keep breathing, alright?" Dean shook his head, dropping it again.

"Can't," Dean panted, "God, I can't… breathe…" he burrowed deeper into John's lap, into his arms. A little boy searching for his father's comfort and protection. A little boy looking for his father to make it alright. John felt so scared and helpless he wished something would just burst in the room so he could shoot it. "Dad, please, just make it stop!" Dean cried, begged. His body was covered in sweat and he was shaking.

Not knowing what else to do, John pulled his son closer. If nothing else, he could at least offer some solace, at least try to make sure Dean was breathing. He rested his chin on top of his son's head, heart racing, eyes darting around looking for something, anything he could do to ease his child's suffering.

And then his eyes fell on the ring of salt.

Bobby's words resonated in his mind. A demon or a witch. An ancient rune leaching energy and life force… The way Dean reacted to the Holy water last nightNow it made sense. The Holy water, the salt – they were hurting the Leech, weakening it, and in turn, it leached Dean's strength, his energy, his life force – to recover, to regain its own strength. The Holy water, the salt; they were killing his son!

John's eyes widened as the understanding struck him. He sucked in his breath, his heart racing. Without wasting another second, John reached out and broke the circle of salt around Dean's bed.

Dean let out another cry, a whimper, and then slumped down. For a few moments he just curled there on the floor; gasping, crying, completely exhausted. John knew he was doing better when Dean started cursing breathlessly. He reached out tentatively and touched his son.

"Dean?" Dean lifted his head just slightly, still looking like hell warmed over.

"I can't take it anymore, Dad. I can't…" he shook his head, "It's too much… Make it stop, please…" Dean breathed, as John pulled him into his arms again.

"It didn’t stop?" John asked worriedly, "It's still that bad?" Dean just rested his head against his father's chest, too exhausted to answer.

His chest hurt; the same type of pressure, only a thousand times heavier. But it didn’t end there. It spread; like tiny needles and liquid fire spread all throughout his body. There was a pressure in his head, too. It felt like someone was crushing his head from both sides, so hard it was amazing his eyes didn’t pop out of their sockets. But none of it came close to the pressure in his heart – a vice really – so strong Dean felt like his heart was about to burst inside his chest.

The pressure eased once his father broke the protection circle, but it only elicited another kind of pain, one Dean couldn’t even name. He fisted his hands in his father's shirt, whimpering.

"Dad, just make it stop, please…" he breathed. God, why couldn’t he just pass out already? Just pass out and not feel this pain…

"I'm trying to, son." John whispered into his hair, "I'm trying." He held Dean gently in his arms, like he was afraid Dean was going to break if he held onto him too tightly. It tore his heart to shreds seeing such raw pain in Dean's face, to see his strong, proud son reduced to tears and gasps and begging.

"Come on," John murmured, getting to his feet and pulling Dean up with him. Dean was clinging to him, shaking so hard he was practically dead weight. John helped him the few feet over to the bed, lowering him down gently.

Dean didn’t protest. He allowed his father to tuck him in, to thumb the tears away from his cheeks. He didn’t have the energy to do anything on his own – even breathing was something he had to concentrate on.

Reluctantly, John left Dean's side, going over to the bathroom to crush some more painkillers and mix them in a glass of water. Dean's eyes widened in horror as John brought the water back. He started shaking his head, trying to push himself up, to push himself away from the offending glass; small, heartbreaking whimpers escaping his lips.

"It’s okay, Dean. It's just water, I promise." John said, sitting on the bed next to Dean. "I crushed you some pills. Drink up, it'll help." John added, bringing the glass to Dean's lips. Dean shook his head, eyes wide with fear. "It's just tap water, Dean. Drink it." John ordered. "It's not Holy water, I promise." He sighed a moment later, when Dean still didn’t seem convinced. "Come on, you haven’t had anything to drink in a long time, you need this." John said, bringing the glass closer to Dean's lips, trying to coax him to drink. Dean hesitated, looking from his father to the offending glass and back, and finally gave a slight nod. John brought the glass closer, helping Dean to a little sip, but Dean choked on the water, spitting them out, coughing. John quickly patted his back, sitting him up higher. Dean was panting, he couldn’t keep himself up without help anymore.

"Dad, please…" Dean panted, "I can't… take it anymore," he wheezed, "I'm so tired, Dad, I just want to sleep. Please, Dad, make it stop. Just let me sleep…" Dean begged.

John laid him back down, unable to look at the raw fear and pain in his son's face. Dean was beyond exhausted, his energy was tapped out. He lay there, eyes closed, tears still falling, face contorted in pain. John couldn’t stand it anymore. He put the glass aside and quickly walked over to his room to get the emergency kit. He pulled out a syringe and quickly made it back to his son's side.

"It's okay, Dean." he murmured as he raised Dean's sleeve, "I'm going to make it okay, I promise." He whispered, blinking the tears away as he injected his son with morphine. "Try to sleep, kiddo. I'm right here." He promised, putting the empty syringe away. The past twenty four hours had been hell for Dean. Worse than that. The Leech attacked him twice, draining him completely. This was dangerous, John knew. Dean really couldn’t take any more of it, his body won't survive it again. He hadn’t eaten the day before, had barely drank anything. He needed food and water to get his strength back.

John lay on Dean's bed, resting against the headboard and pulling his firstborn to him, waiting for the morphine to take affect, for Dean to fall asleep. Dean needed the rest. He needed food. He needed to get his energy back. John promised himself that if Dean didn’t get better soon, very soon, he wasn’t going to wait. He'll bring his son back to the hospital.


Where it all started >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> 5 >> 6 >> 7 >> 8 >> 9 

Happy Easter!

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12 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: April 8th, 2007 11:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Poor Dean indeed ;) But don't worry, he'll survive. Um... yeah. And just so you know, yes, I am evil ;)
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: April 8th, 2007 11:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Lol. I'll do my best. Er, worst... *scratches head* I'll just shup up and go write now, ok?
arianstarr From: arianstarr Date: April 8th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! I was hoping you would update before I had to go away. :)

Poor Dean - this is slaying me!
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: April 8th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
*points at icon*
Yeah, that will save some time. I'm totally gonna torture him in this fic. But I hug him and coddle him and give him peanute M&Ms, too ;)
arianstarr From: arianstarr Date: April 8th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well... as long as you're giving him the *peanut* M&M's :P
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: April 8th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
And no, Bobby has no idea he's talking about John's son, just that it's a job. We'll be seeing more of him, though.
As far as theories, I'm kinda interested to know what you though. And I usually try to think what could happen, and then go the other way ;) I'm evil that way ;)
idiot4dean From: idiot4dean Date: April 8th, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dean seems to have had enough of the pain. Now John knows what it is but what is the task and how can they get round it? I hope it doesn't involve Sam!!!

Looking forward to how you save Dean.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: April 8th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
*evil grin*
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: April 9th, 2007 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, um... It won't be easy ;)
Glad you're enjoying this!
kamikaze_redux From: kamikaze_redux Date: April 9th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! So damn good. The pace is amazing. You leave me sitting on the edge of my seat every single time.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: April 9th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
I'm hoping to keep you on the edge of your seat the eatire story, so get comfortable ;)
12 comments or Leave a comment