Genre/Pairing: SPN, GEN
Author's Note: This was written for spn_reversebang challenge. I had the opportunity to work with an amazing artist, yuriookino, and write something for a stunning piece of work. Please head over to the link provided and view her amazing artwork and leave her some appreciation. We didn't stay in contact a lot mostly because I was way too busy with school but I'm happy at the result of our collaboration. This is set between Season 8-10 (to be honest I don't remember when I set this fic but I known it was Season 8 and after).
Summary: Sam and Dean are trapped in a creveasse, trying to fight injuries and hypothermia to stay alive. Sam is confronted by an old enemy who begins to play tricks on Sam's mental health, while Dean fights to keep his brother alive and remain sane himself.
Tiny pinpricks dance across Dean’s skin making his muscles seize and contract painfully. He groans as his body attempts to send blood to his extremities. The process is extremely slow and painful. The pinpricks soon turn into sharp stabs to his skin making Dean’s eyes finally blink open. For a minute, the shapes that Dean sees are just blobs and they begin to spin above his head. Dean moans and sluggishly moves his limbs and brings them closer to his body.
“Fuck,” he mutters as he closes his eyes again. The spinning and the sensation of his body returning from its previous sleeping position was leaving his nauseous.
Blinking a few more times to clear his vision Dean finally begins to make out the blobs in his vision.
It’s extremely dark, that is the first thing he manages to decipher. His mind feels fragmented and disjointed. He feels as if he should remember something but it just isn’t coming to him.
The cold finally hits Dean like a ton of bricks. It seeps in through his numerous layers and sends an intense shiver through him that wracks his spine.
The effect of this is instantaneous. Dean’s short lived victory of stability crashes as his vision kaleidoscopes again. Colors, lights, and shapes wreak havoc on sight. He groans again and swallows back the excess saliva that pools in his mouth.
Dean decides that closing his eyes is the best thing for him to do at the moment. He simply lies still as shivers work their way through his frame. His body feels as if he just ran a 5k marathon. The cold was beginning to seep the last reserves of energy Dean had.
Why was it so cold? Dean felt as if he should be concerned about the answer to that. His mind was so foggy that he wasn’t thinking about anything clearly at the moment. The only thing that worked itself into his mind was how fucking cold it was and how much his head fucking hurt.
The cold was numbing most of the pain but his head still throbbed to a sick beat that was turning his stomach.
After a while of laying down Dean feels as if he could finally re-open his eyes and sit up. He wills his limbs to respond to his commands but he finds that they’re too cold to respond.
He groans again in frustration and curses. He digs his hands into the hard surface underneath him and pushes his body up to a sitting position. Adrenaline, anger, pain and confusion give him the energy and the strength to do so; however, once Dean is in a sitting position his head feels too heavy for his body.
The world around him turns making his head spin. The nausea that has been turning his stomach finally makes an appearance as it spews out of his mouth. The retching makes Dean’s head feel as if it’s going to explode. The vomit gets all over his pants and stomach as he is helpless to stop it.
Liquid begins to trickle in his eyes which Dean angrily swipes away as his body shakes due to the stress.
Blinking his eyes again Dean can clearly see the bright red that covers his gloved hands. He doesn’t have long to ponder this, however; as his vision spins out of control and he finds himself falling backward without his consent.
Blackness envelops him.
A low buzzing noise assaults Dean’s senses. He groans and does his best to ignore it but the buzzing becomes louder and louder until he is forced to open his eyes.
His eyes have become crusted over and raw. When he opens them he has to immediately close them due to how sensitive they are. The world feels hazy and Dean almost closes his eyes again thinking he has a hangover he needs to sleep off.
However, the coldness that was currently enveloping him stops him from doing so. He becomes much more alert as his heart begins to pump a little faster.
He’s disoriented and confused, which is something Dean Winchester does not like being. Scrabbling for purchase against the slippery (slippery?) surface, Dean pushes himself up into a sitting position. He’s exhausted and has to lean against the wall behind him. He takes a few moments to simply breathe and try to orientate himself.
He catalogues what he can immediately see; which is fuck all because it’s so fucking dark in the shit hole Dean has found himself in.
“Damn it,” Dean curses but it comes out more slurred then Dean would have liked.
Something is crusted all along his mouth and forehead which makes Dean’s skin feel itchy. He begins to wipe it away but it assaulted by the smell.
Dean looks down and slowly realizes that his legs are extremely cold because they’re slightly damp. He really wants to say it’s just water but unfortunately the smell and the crust around his mouth clues him into just what that ‘wetness’ is.
It almost makes Dean want to puke again but he takes a moment to swallow it back down and compose himself.
So he threw up. He’s fucking cold and sore. He’s exhausted and confused. He doesn’t know where the fuck he is or what happened.
So Dean knows absolutely nothing.
He then tries to scrub off the crusty gunk on his forehead. He ponders how he could have possibly got vomit on his forehead when he realizes what is staining his glove.
“Shit,” Dean curses as he gingerly feels around his head for the source of it. He comes into contact with a lump with a hiss.
He slowly feels around it and gauges that it’s stopped bleeding for now. He doesn’t feel any pain at the moment which surprises him given the amount of the bleeding, how sore the lump is, and the vomit covering his clothes.
He must have thrown up at some point which was pointing to a concussion. Fan-fucking-tastic.
A sense of dread begins to fills Dean. He feels as if a lead weight has settled right in his sternum. He finds it hard to breathe as the cold attacks his lungs and begins to drain him of energy again.
Dean’s fumbles for his flashlight, which he always keeps in his pocket, and struggles to grasp it. The shakiness of his limbs concerns him about possible hypothermia but Dean can’t do anything about it if he can’t visually see anything.
He drops the flashlight a few times and curses before he finally gets the damn thing on. The beam is very bright in the small place and makes Dean wince and close his eyes again. Once Dean doesn’t feel like the light is penetrating his skull he opens his eyes and visibly gasps at what he sees.
Dean’s body moves into action quickly. Adrenaline courses through his veins as he makes a quick descent to his fallen brother.
He slips a few times on the ice as he lands on his ass with a hard crack in front of Sam.
“Sam!” Dean shouts and almost shakes him roughly due to the panic coursing through him but stops.
He does his best to compose himself and remember his training but he fucking sat there with his thumbs up his ass while his brother was not even a foot away. How the fuck could he forget about Sam?
Snatches of memories begin to assault him as he remembers the hunt they were on. He and Sam were bickering about what the monster could possibly be.
That doesn’t matter however, Dean tells himself. “Sammy?” Dean says more gently and less laced with panic. Sam doesn’t respond however. Shit. This wasn’t good. Dean puts his flashlight under his chin and does his best to gently feel his way along Sam’s body. Sam was lying on his stomach and Dean didn’t want to flip in over in case of broken bones.
He feels gently along Sam’s body starting with his head down to his neck, his ribs etc. After the pat down Dean quickly self-diagnoses a gash along Sam’s forehead that was still slowly leaking blood, a dislocated collarbone, two bruised and one broken rib on the left side, and a twisted ankle.
“Fuck,” Dean curses. Sam doesn’t seem to be shivering quite as strongly as Dean is. His body appeared to be sluggish and slow to respond to the commands of his sympathetic nervous system. He wonders how he remembers that part of health before he finds himself gently turning Sam over.
Sam goes with the turn without resistance, his limbs easily flopping whichever way they chose to land. Dean winces at visibly seeing the burn mark from the ice on Sam’s cheek.
“Sammy I’m gonna move you okay? This might hurt.” Dean tells his brother to offer whatever comfort he could.
He drops his flashlight from under his chin and curses again at his inability to get his shit together.
He scoots his numb ass until he is resting against the wall and then gathers Sam up into his arms. Sam is dead weight, and with Dean’s strength leaving him again he struggles to pull his brother up onto his lap. After the feat Dean is left panting as black dots dance across his vision. He forces himself to calm down however and works on his breathing to slow his heart rate. He can’t afford to pass out again.
Once his vision clears Dean palms Sam face for any signs of life. Sam’s breath puffs out in regular intervals which calms Dean a little, however, Sam still hadn’t roused.
It worried Dean considering the gash he discovered. Sam may have a concussion as well and normally prolonged unconsciousness with a concussion never spelled anything good. However, Dean was unconscious quite a while as well and Sam could have been conscious when Dean was out. He tells himself this to make him feel better about their situation.
Dean scrambles for his flashlight again and shines it to survey their surroundings. Ice littered every inch of their ‘prison’, it sparkled in the light and told Dean about how fucking cold it must be at the moment.
His body wasn’t shivering much anymore either. Like Sam’s, it was beginning to get sluggish, he wondered how Sam had deteriorated so rapidly compared to himself. He tried to wrack his brain for an answer but any attempt just made his head hurt worse.
He remembered bits and pieces of the hunt, he remembered their arguing incessantly about what could have been causing the recent hash of deaths in the area but anything else was drawing a blank.
A vicious shiver assaulted Dean making his whole body jerk and seize. He pulled Sam closure for his own comfort and whispered softly in his ear.
“Please wake up Sam. You’re scaring me here.”
Dean swallowed down his disappointment when Sam did nothing. His emotions were going haywire and the cold was making him jumpy and lethargic at the same time. His inability to recall any details of what happened, coupled with the intense fear of their current situation was making Dean extremely exhausted.
He blinked his eyes a few times and told himself he would only rest them a minute. The comfort of Sam’s body weight in his arms lulled him back to sleep.
“Please wake up Sam. You’re scaring me here.”
“Dean?” Sam questions hearing his voice and hearing the worry in it as well. However, like the last 500 times Dean couldn’t hear Sam respond. He found Dean’s comments but comforting and frightening.
Sam spent a good majority of the time questioning his whereabouts and why he couldn’t seem to make Dean hear him. His eyes have gotten used to the pitch blackness of his surroundings however his body hasn’t gotten used to the bitter cold. When Sam first awoken he found himself jerking due to the shivering, it reminded Sam of someone having a seizure. His shivers have gotten less severe as time went on which worried Sam about possibly hypothermia.
Any attempt to call out to anyone was met with nothing.
Sam attempted to navigate his surroundings and found that the surface was smooth and no matter where he walked, or for how long, he never hit anything. The thought was beginning to scare him but he rationalized he couldn’t afford to be scared. His system was already overloaded with the intense coldness.
Sam wandered around the blackness, calling out to anyone, but yet again received no answer. Dean hasn’t spoken in quite a while which worried Sam. His brother’s voice was a constant and then it suddenly ceased. Hearing Dean’s voice was keeping Sam sane and making him remember that this dark, icy prison wasn’t his life.
Time passed slowly. Sam wasn’t sure if time was such a concept wherever he was at but to Sam it felt as if he was there forever.
He dozed in and out of fitful sleeps as the cold began to eat away at any reserve of energy he may have had. Each time he awoken he was slower to respond then the time previous. He knew that the longer he stayed where he was, the less likelihood he would make it out of this alive.
Dean still didn’t answer him back. Sam had learned that no amount of screaming and pleading was going to make Dean’s voice appear.
No matter how far he walked he never hit any end. He finally gave up on the idea and decided to stay immobile to preserve energy. He huddled up in an attempt to preserve warmth but it was futile. He was wearing only a light shirt and jeans; he had no socks and shoes. His feet hadn’t been responding to commands to move which Sam honestly thought meant he probably would lose them.
The cold was like a being in and of itself. Some big monster that was all encompassing, it slowly ate at your soul and will to live. It drained him to the point of pure exhaustion, and made him feel as if he wanted to end it all.
“Dean?” Sam called out again. He was dismayed to hear how soft his voice was. “Answer me Dean, please!” He yelled a little louder but was met with the same empty, cold response.
Sam felt himself breaking, his sanity was slowly beginning to vanish and his logical, rational side was losing poorly.
The cold was almost like an intense heat. He burned through anything that came near it or touched it.
It felt as if Sam was cracked open raw and was burning from the inside out. The thought made Sam laugh.
However, his laughter was accompanied with tears. Sam shakily brought his numb hand up to swipe them away. His hand shook in front of his face as he attempted to even see the tears himself. The laughter turned to bitter sobbing.
It was gut wrenching, every time a sob broke loose it felt like the cold was there to worm its way into his body; into his soul.
Suddenly, as if someone heard his pleas and sobs Sam felt a comforting touch upon his shoulder. The hand was warm and it was sending tendrils of pleasure into his cold, frozen body.
Sam couldn’t see who was touching him, however, his body relaxed into the touch. He felt his body beginning to droop, exhaustion beginning to take hold and relax him into a deep slumber.
Sam imagined it was Dean. He could almost hear his brother’s voice whisper to him that everything was going to be okay. Sam felt his eyes droop until he couldn’t hold them open no more.
The hand tightened against the unaware person. Pain lines began to dance across the persons face as the grip became harsh.
When the hand was a removed a deep burn encompassed the person’s shoulder from the icy cold.
The devil always ran cold.
“Come on damn it.” Dean rumbled, trying his best to get his icy fingers to cooperative and fix Sam’s phone. His was a complete loss, busted from the fall most likely, but Sam’s seemed to be alright except for a shattered screen.
Dean was able to get it going and thanked whoever was watching out for them that Sam’s phone wasn’t dead; however, getting a signal down here was a completely different story. Every time Dean attempted to dial for help the call got dropped.
After about the 200th time of trying Dean cursed and dropped the phone, watching it skid across the icy surface. He felt his eyes begin to water but quickly brushed them away and focused his efforts on Sam again.
Dean’s hands had long gone numb because he removed his gloves and put them on his brother. He couldn’t really feel much of anything with them anymore and was concerned about eventually losing them; however, that was the least of his concerns at the moment.
Sam still hasn’t roused and his breathing grew more and more sluggish as time went on. “Sammy?” Dean tried again; gently shaking his brother’s head but watched in dismay as his head simply rolled with the motion. Sam hadn’t moved for about an hour or so, not even shivering anymore.
“Come on…Sam please?” Dean pleaded but the icy wind was his only response.
For the next two hours Dean found himself drifting in and out of consciousness. Every time was the same, Dean would wake up and curse himself for even falling unconscious and then access his brother and try and wake him.
The result was always the same. Sam wouldn’t awaken and he seemed to be getting worse with each passing moment.
Sometimes Dean imagined his Dad, after a particularly bad vomiting fit from his last trip into the unconscious Dean could see his Dad clear as day appear in front of him.
Often times his Dad would tell him how he was a horrible son and brother. He got Sam into danger and that he might die because of it. Dean didn’t really think anything of it because he’s been thinking that about himself since this whole fiasco happened.
Dean wasn’t sure how much time had passed because he eventually lost count; but after a prolonged time of unconsciousness and an unsuccessful attempt to awaken his brother Dean found himself cracking.
The cold seemed worse than before. It seeped into every open crevice and assaulted his body with intense shivers; however, his shivering was sluggish and weak at best. His body was eventually fading as had Sam’s and he would be in the same boat as his brother if he didn’t figure out a way to get out of here.
His eyes were red and crusted due to the wind beating at them and he pried them open enough to notice a light shining behind him.
He sluggishly moved his head but found his body wasn’t responding to his commands anymore.
The light became brighter and brighter until Dean was forced to close his eyes.
Dean thought he must be dreaming. The voice that was calling his name definitely wasn’t Sam’s. His brother still remained limp in his arms.
“Oh Dean how could you do this?”
Dean blinked open his eyes again and focused on the sound of the voice. It was soothing and comforting, like a lullaby a child hears when they’re younger. Dean took comfort in the voice and allowed it to engulf his body.
Hands and arms seemed to appear out of the icy rock and surround his body. Dean felt himself sighing, “Mom…”
“Please Mom you have to help Sammy….it’s bad I don’t think he’ll make it.” Dean stuttered his lips long since have gone blue and frost bitten.
His Mom’s presence surrounded him but his pleas went on deaf ears.
Dean forced his body to turn in order to catch a glimpse of his silent mother. She was as beautiful as the day that she was murdered. Her long golden hair and signature nightgown reflecting off the light. However her smile was off, it was too cartoonish.
Dean had a second to furrow his brows and say her name again before he witnessed her bursting into flames for a second time.
Dean screamed, covering his brother to shield him from the intense fire.
It became light again, just like earlier and after the fire had exploded it settled into an eerie darkness. A low buzzing was assaulted his ears until his brother’s form wavered in and out of focus and he saw no more.
An annoying beeping kept ringing in his ears. Dean’s nose twitched in irritation as he tried to turn over and escape the beeping.
However, that proved to be a horrible idea. His right side of his body was alight with pain. It was so intense it made Dean clench his jaw shut and let out a groan.
Blinking open heavy eyes, Dean squinted as a bright light assaulted his sensitive eyesight. “Son of a bitch.”
“Still got that wonderful bedside manner I see.”
Dean’s eyes snapped open at the voice and he did his best to focus on the figure standing in the doorway. “Jody?”
“Mornin’ sunshine. Long time no see?”
“Wha…how?” Dean stuttered at a loss for words. He knew he was in a hospital but he couldn’t put the pieces together. Or why Jody was standing in the doorway either.
“I’ll explain the why and how but I should let you know that your brother is resting comfortably next to you. They wanted to keep him in ICU for a while but I convinced them it’d be best to put you in the same room. You’re welcome by the way.”
Dean immediately jerked at the mention of his brother. Memories of a cold, dark place assaulting his mind. “Fuck…” Dean hissed through clenched teeth.
“Hey now,” Jody rushed to his bedside and gently but firmly settled him on his back once again. She assisted him in moving his head to the side so he could see his brother was indeed resting in a bed beside him.
White gauze covered Sam’s head to where Dean couldn’t even see his mop of brown hair.
“You have to rest Dean. You’ve suffered quite a few fractured ribs on your right side. You also are just now recovering from severe hypothermia and a severe concussion. You have to give your body time to heal.”
Dean’s eyes remained transfixed on his brother and without even moving them he asked, “what about Sam?”
“Sam’s doing better than what he was. He has suffered some broken ribs on his left side, a severe concussion and hypothermia as well, a broken ankle, and fractured vertebrae. They originally thought Sam would be paralyzed from the waist down but your brother is too stubborn for that.”
Dean found his eyes watering up again at all the damage but quickly blinked them away. He moved his eyes away from his brother for the moment to focus on Jody. “How did you find us? I honestly thought we were done for.”
“Well, I couldn’t get ahold of you boys for a day in a half and I began to panic. I talked to some other hunters to try and track your movements and discovered you were on a hunt. I pulled some headway as a sheriff and convinced the town you were in to do a search and rescue mission. They found you boys about six hours later and airlifted you to the nearest hospital.”
Dean could see the pain and worry lines on the woman’s face. He didn’t want her to get tangled up in the Winchester life like so many have done before. “Jody…” Dean began but was immediately cut off.
“Don’t go ‘Jody’ me. You boys are like my family and when one of my own is in danger you best believe I will do everything in my power to help them out.”
Dean found himself swallowing a lump in his throat, suddenly speechless. It wasn’t lost on him that without Jody’s concern he and Sam wouldn’t be there. He didn’t think a simply ‘thank you’ could encompass how grateful he was for that.
He remembered before he eventually passed out again, how he was remembering his mother. One question kept nagging at him though. “How did Sam make it? He wasn’t in a good way.”
Dean watched as Jody scratched at the back of her head. Dean turned to stare at his brother’s form as Jody answered.
“Well, far as the doctors can say it’s nothing short of a miracle. The doctor said you two must have a guardian angel watching over you. Pretty ironic if you ask me.”
As Dean stared at his brother, he contemplated the meaning of the word ‘angel’ and wondered if his mother might just be that angel or something else more sinister was watching their every move.The End