When you’re the only one that knows your’re right, how do you prove it?
James Dracon & Blair Maverick
"Castiel... I need you..."
Almost instantaneously, the trench coat clad angel appeared by her side.
"Claire? Lay still, this will only take a moment." Castiel passed his hand over the knife wounds and with a soft glow, they disappeared. "Can you stand?"
"Yeah..." Claire said with a groan as she came back to her feet.
"What happened here?" Castiel questioned, "It looks... messy..."
"Cas, you're an angel. Tell me you're not getting squeamish about a bunch of dead bodies..." Claire teased.
"Am I not allowed to be concerned about my vessel's daughter?" Castiel replied, completely missing the point. Claire sighed as she smiled.
"It's nothing. I had a slight disagreement with some of the locals about a wendigo in the area. They attacked me, I swear." Castiel just stared at her for a moment.
"Claire, you need to get out of here. If Sam and Dean have taught me anything, law enforcement tends to follow dead bodies."
"I'm leaving, Monica. I've got a wendigo to track down anyway." She turned to walk away, but looked back.
"Cas... thanks." Castiel just watched her walk into the night, leaving him alone with the fresh corpses.
"SAMMY!!!!" Dean Winchester watched from the floor as his younger brother suffered the same fate, getting himself thrown against a wall.
"You stay away... from my brother..." Sam said as he rose shakily and fired his gun. The round appeared only to irritate the demon instead of actually harming it. Dean, a renewed fury blazing behind his green eyes, stood up and faced the demon. Clutching his side, he growled the beginnings of an incantation, letting the rage in his voice increase its volume. As he neared the end of it, the demon charged him, intent on the kill.
"...Ut Ecclesiam... tuam secura... tibi facias LIBERTATE SERVIRE... TE ROGAMUS, AUDI NOS... BITCH!!!" As the black smoke poured from the vessel's mouth, banishing the demon back to Hell, Dean fell back to his knees.
"No one... fucks with Sammy..." and with the immediate threat vanquished, he blacked out.
"Where did you get incendiary rounds for a handgun?"
"...Better if you don't know. I had to do some... nasty things..." Castiel nodded, even though he'd drawn a much different conclusion than the one that Claire hinted at.
"Where are you headed next?"
"You sure ask a lot of questions for an angel..."
"I was just trying to make conversation... I believe it's generally referred to as 'small talk.'"
"Cas," she said, clapping him on the shoulder, "You're a special kind of naive, aren't you?" Claire smiled as she headed down the alleyway toward her car.
"I don't see what that has to do with where you're going..."
"I'm going to Kansas," she called over her shoulder. "Dropping in on some friends."
"Sam, go get me a beer."
"Did I stutter? I saved your ass... again... go get me a beer."
"If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have even known she was possessed, Dean."
"And if it wasn't for me, you'd be dead... again... and, let's also not forget that I killed Hitler... beer me." Sam just shook his head and walked toward the kitchen. He was almost there when a foreign sound caught his attention. In instant alert mode, Sam edged toward the kitchen, gun drawn. Peering around the edge of the doorway, he saw a familiar blonde girl in ripped up blue jeans rifling through the cupboards.
"Sam must do the shopping around here... how does Dean get anything to eat..." Sam sighed as he uncocked his gun.
"Dean eats out a lot," he said as he walked in.
"Sam!!" She said, jumping. She ran across the room and crushed his ribs with a hug.
"What are you doing here, Claire?" Sam asked when he could breathe again.
"What? I can't visit my friends?"
"N-No, you can, I'm just not sure what brought you here..."
"Eh, I got bored," Claire shrugged. Then her eyes lit up as she smacked him in the arm, "Hey, I killed a wendigo the other day!"
"You killed a-- where?!"
"Colorado. Some tiny place called Silverton."
Sam just looked at her for a moment.
"...How did you get in here, Claire?" At this, the young woman just rolled her eyes.
"Really, Sam?" She said, as she started to walk past him. She smiled slightly as she patted his cheek. "This place isn't as secure as you'd like to think it is."
"Where are you going?!"
"To see my favorite brother." Sam just scowled as he followed after her.
"Dean!" She called as Sam walked into the room behind her. The older brother looked up from his research, startled by the female voice.
"Claire?! What are you doing here?!"
"Just visiting, relax, grandpa. Whatcha looking at?"
"Uh... possible case, Sammy and I are actually gonna be leaving soon."
"Read me in, I'll tag along."
"Dean, I'm not a child anymore. I'm as much a hunter as you are."
"Maybe we should consider it, Dean... she could be helpful for this..."
"...I don't like this. If something happens to you, Jody will salt and burn us alive."
"Leave Jody to me. It'll be fine. Let's go, you can catch me up on the way.” Reluctantly, Dean stood up and followed her to the staircase.
"I got a bad feeling about this,” he grumbled. As he reached the top of the staircase, he hollered, “Sammy, grab my beer on the way out!" The younger brother issued a weary sigh and did as he was told.
“You’re getting careless. You know what we’re gonna get if those flannel clad vagina magnets find us.”
“I’m sorry... I’ll cover my tracks better next time.”
“There may not be a next time! These two are legendary. One screw up is all it takes. Fortunately for you, we have the idiots that live in this town snowed. We may still be safe.”
“I hope so... I don’t like the thought of purgatory... it sounds nasty...”
“Shut up. Just clean this mess and get back in the house. There should be no appearance that anything is wrong.” The older man walked out of the barn and back into the small house, leaving the nervous young man to take care of his mistake.
“Really, Dean? Halestorm?”
“Don’t judge me, Sam. I dig Lzzy’s voice. Kinda reminds me of Joan Jett.”
“Whatever, dude. I just didn’t think you’d listen to ‘Break In’ with other people in the car...”
“Yeah, well, maybe you should leave the thinking to me.” This drew a snort of derision from the backseat.
“Or you could let the one person with a brain in the car do the thinking...”
“You’re lucky I even let you come along,” Dean said. “I could just as easily have called Jody and sent you home.”
“As if you could’ve stopped me,” Claire scoffed.
“Don’t make me turn around, we’re not that far from South Dakota.”
“Whatever...” Claire stared out the window at the passing streetlights of some city or another. They’d been driving for hours and all these small towns looked alike to her. Boredom overtook her and she put her headphones in, drowning out the monotony with some Sleeping With Sirens songs. Finally, the welcome sign for Eureka, Montana appeared. Claire took her headphones out to an argument in the front seat.
“No, Dean! Pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza, and since when do you eat fruit anyway?!”
“Since I’ve been to hell and spent forty years torturing people and being tortured. That kind of thing tends to change a man, Sammy!”
“I’ve been to hell too, Dean, but pineapple?! How does being tortured lead to a sudden need for pineapple on pizza?!”
“You don’t wanna know...” Claire cleared her throat from the backseat, reminding the boys of her presence.
“Can we do what we came to do? In case you forgot, there’s a job waiting for us.”
“She’s right, Dean. We have a wendigo to track down.”
“I still don’t think it’s a wendigo...” Dean grumbled.
“Then what is it, Dean?! All the signs point to wendigo! Accept it!”
“What if you’re wrong, Sam?! Then what?! You fire an incendiary round at it and it just laughs at you and says, ‘that tickles,’ then what?!”
“Then we cut the damn thing’s head off! We’re wasting time, Dean!!”
“Well, one of us isn’t...” Sam looked to where Dean had shifted his attention. Claire was gone.
“Jody’s gonna kill us... twice...”
“You should wait for Sam and Dean...”
“They’re busy comparing dicks, I don’t need them.”
“...That’s an odd thing for brothers to do...” Claire just shot Castiel an exasperated look as they walked on through the woods near Eureka. A sound to the west snagged Claire’s attention and she pivoted, bringing her gun around. As she watched, a deer stalked cautiously into the area. Claire lowered her weapon as the deer trotted away, but she was instantly on guard again as the deer bellowed just moments later. Claire ran after the sound, heedless of any kind of stealth she had been trying to maintain.
“Claire, wait!!” But it was no use, she wasn’t listening. Castiel followed after her, prepared to clean up yet another mess.
“CLAIRE!!!” Dean hollered, knowing she wasn’t going to answer.
“She’s gone, Dean. We’re gonna have to go find her.”
“She’s gonna get herself killed if we don’t! I will NOT be taking a corpse home to Jody, Chuck dammit!”
“Relax. She can’t have gotten far by now. We just need to think like an adolescent girl...”
“You’d know all about that, wouldn’t ya?”
“Shut up,” Sam scoffed. They stalked off toward the trees, hoping their wayward hunter had had the same thought.
When Castiel caught up to Claire, she was standing in a clearing, looking down, fascinated, at the severely mutilated remains of the deer she had spared. Castiel walked up beside her and looked at it as well.
“We have to tell Sam and Dean. This is proof that I was right, it’s a wendigo.”
“Don’t ask questions, Cas, let’s go, we’re losing time.” Castiel just sighed as he followed her back the direction they’d come.
“Sam, Dean, I found-“
“Don’t ever do that again! We hunt together, we don’t split up! This isn’t Scooby-Doo!”
“Yeah, but Dean, I-“
“I will send you home to Jody right now. Do you hear me?!”
“I GOT IT, WOULD YOU FUCKING LISTEN TO ME FOR A MINUTE?!?!”
“This better be good. Jody’s already up on speed dial.”
“If you’d get your head out of Jody’s ass for two seconds, I tracked the wendigo into the woods, it’s vulnerable.” This time, Sam spoke up.
“You- you tracked it into the woods? And you didn’t kill it?!”
“Well... I didn’t actually see it... just a dead deer, but it was torn apart, wendigo style.”
“Wendigo don’t eat deer, Claire. They eat people. Especially young hunters that go off on their own!!”
“Whatever, Dean. I know what I saw. You can believe me or not, but I know what I’m hunting.”
“No, you don’t. Read the lore. Or better yet, stay in the hotel room and let Sam and I hunt the damn thing!” Claire just rolled her eyes and groaned as she headed in the direction of the seedy looking roadside resort.
“It’s too late. I should’ve killed you when I had the chance.”
“What do you mean...?”
“The goddamn Winchesters are here!! The game’s up. I hope you’ve made your peace with purgatory, we’re gonna be spending a lot of time there.”
“Maybe we can kill them?”
“Have you learned nothing from our predecessors?! You don’t just KILL a Winchester!! They don’t stay dead for anything!! We’re fucked!!”
“Well... what about the blonde girl? Can we kill her?”
“No, we ca- actually... maybe if we take blondie hostage...”
“You want to negotiate with them?”
“I’d rather eat them, but this may be the only way to even have a shot at staying alive... and even that’s a piss poor option.”
“So... where do we find her...?” The older man grinned.
“The Winchesters have a penchant for staying in the shittiest motel room possible when on a hunt. That’s where we’ll find her. We just have to wait for them to come looking for us and leave her there. They clearly don’t trust her.”
Sam and Dean walked into the hotel room to find Claire already sitting on one of the beds, laptop open and focused intently.
“Reading the wendigo lore?” Dean asked, an edge of satisfaction in his voice.
“Updating my Facebook.” Dean looked angry, but Sam just rolled his eyes as he sat at the small table.
“Okay, so get this, the people in this town know that there’s something in the woods, right? But they don’t seem to know what it is, most just think it’s an animal of some kind, and they ignore it as long it ignores them. Why? What stops them from eliminating the threat?”
“You think they have a truce with this thing?!”
“Why not? It makes sense. They don’t bother it, it lets them live, just eats the livestock.”
“I don’t believe this. A vegetarian monster. Sounds like your kinda whackjob.” Sam just rolled his eyes and continued on.
“We should talk to some of them, see if they know anything useful.”
“I’ll go get the ID’s, make sure the suits are clean.” Claire raised her hand.
“And what am I supposed to do?” Dean glared at her.
“Update your Facebook.” Claire just offered an angry sigh and put her headphones in, returning her attention to the laptop.
“Seriously?! Why do I have to be the girl?!”
“I think we both know the answer to that,” Dean said with an amused chuckle. Sam stared at him for a moment, then sighed.
“Whatever, let’s go.” He raised his hand to knock on the door, but Dean stopped him.
“I’m the one who knocks, remember?” Sam bit back a retort and let his brother knock on the door. It didn’t take long for it to be answered.
“Yes...? Can I help you gentlemen?”
“I’m Agent Dawson, this is my partner Agent DeWitt. We’d like to ask you a couple questions, ma’am.”
“O-of course, come in...” The brothers followed the young woman into the living room.
“Missus Klein, what can you tell us about the livestock population’s sudden decrease lately?”
“I... I don’t know... it’s the strangest thing. We find another dead animal every few days... I don’t understand it, but I haven’t been able to track down who’s doing it either...”
“Ma’am...” Sam spoke up, “We think it might not be a ‘who,’ but a ‘what.’”
“Exactly,” Dean said.
“I-I don’t understand... like an... animal attack?”
“Something like that,” Sam replied grimly.
“If you hear anything, you give us a call,” Dean said as he handed Mrs. Klein a business card.
“I-I will, Agent Dawson.” Sam and Dean stepped outside the house and headed in the direction of the hotel.
“She seemed completely clueless,” Sam remarked.
“Or she was lying.”
“Dean, I don’t think she knows anything. She was genuinely confused about the ‘what.’”
“Okay, even if she’s telling the truth, we’re still back at square one.”
“Let’s see if Claire found anything useful.”
“Doubt it...” Dean mumbled.
“What was that?”
“I said your hair looks nice.” Sam raised his eyebrow, but let it go as they entered the hotel room.
To find it empty.
“Dean, I don’t think she’s here...”
“Son of a bitch!! Jody’s gonna fry us... We gotta find her. I KNEW bringing her along was a bad idea.”
“Maybe we should get ahold of Alex?”
“And bring another of her kids into this mess so Jody can kill us a third time?! No, Sammy, this ends with Claire. We’re gonna find her, we’re gonna gank whatever this thing is, and then we’re going home, and we are NOT telling Jody about this. Ever!”
“...Okay. Where do you wanna start looking?”
“...The woods. That’s where she was when she went off on her own last time.”
“Now listen here, blondie, you be good and you get to live. You act up and... well, we’ll leave the consequence to your imagination.” Claire was bound and gagged and sitting on a chair in what looked like an old barn.
“Oh, and in case you were expecting those two pretty boys to save you, it’s not gonna happen. They’re playing right into our hands.” Claire just looked furious as she struggled against her restraints.
“Keep struggling, I like my food with a little kick to it...”
“We’re not going to eat her, idiot. Stay here, and don’t do anything stupid, I’ll see to it the denim wrapped nightmares find their way here.”
“Cas, get your feathery ass down here, yesterday!!” The sound of wings caused the boys to turn around.
“I’m already on it, Dean. I’ve picked up her trail, get in the car, I’ll guide you.” Dean was already getting in the driver’s seat until Castiel finished speaking. The speed with which he took off reflected his fury, leaving a streak of rubber on the road behind them.
“I hear an engine... they’re here, what do we do?!”
“First, get a fucking grip. We’re in charge here. Not them.”
“Right...” the younger man took a deep breath and centered himself. “I’m ready.”
“Guns blazing or stealth?”
“Guns blazing. Stealth went out the window when they kidnapped our family.”
“Okay...” Dean shattered the barn door with a kick as Castiel and Sam followed him in, angel blade and gun drawn, respectively, ready to annihilate anything in their path. The sight ahead of them made them hesitate.
“Let her go,” Sam said, “And you might get outta here alive.”
“Fuck that,” Dean cut him off, “He dies. Right now.”
“Stay where you are,” the young man said, his hand re-gripping the knife held against Claire’s throat. “I-I don’t wanna do this, but I... I will.” His eyes flicked upward briefly and he winced as he realized his mistake.
“Sam, look out,” Castiel shouted. Sam reflexively spun and redirected his aim as the older man jumped at him from the barn’s second story.
“WEDIO!!!” Claire’s muffled yell came from behind the gag. Sam fired a shot and it burned through the monster’s skull, leaving a smoking husk laying at the hunter’s feet. The younger man’s concentration faltered for just a moment, but it was long enough for Castiel to get behind Claire and get her hands free. The young hunter chopped the monster behind the knees and he collapsed with a yelp. Dean closed the distance between them in a heartbeat and put his foot on the monster’s throat.
“Talk, you piece of shit. What are you?!”
“Our ancestors were wendigos, but I only eat animals, I swear!! The girl was just bait, Roger wanted to kill you, but I won’t, just let me go, I’m no threat to you!!” Dean stood over him, gun cocked.
“Sorry, vegetarian or not, monster’s a monster.” Before he could protest any more, Dean put an incendiary round through his forehead. Sam picked Claire up and she dusted herself off.
“Thanks, but I had it under control.”
“Sure,” Sam replied as he gave her a once over. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Guys... thanks, and... can we not tell Jody about this...?”
“Oh, we’re telling Jody about it,” Dean said, offering a cocky half smile, “But when we tell it, there were six of em and they had us surrounded until I Wyatt Earp’d two of em and you guys handled the rest.”
“Awesome, I know. Let’s go, it’s a long drive back to Sioux Falls.” The four of them started to walk back toward the car. Dean fired Baby up and “Love Bites” blared from the radio as they drove back toward South Dakota.
“Ma’am, what would you have us do about the wendigoborn’s bodies?” The woman sat for a moment, fingers steepled and eyes distant.
“Dispose of them. They never existed and no one is to mention them ever again...”
“Yes, ma’am. As you wish.”
“And Gregory? Find me Dean Winchester’s base of operations.”
“Yes, Missus Klein.”
As they walked to the door of Jody’s house, Castiel suddenly turned to look at Claire, a question forming behind his eyes. The young girl reached for the doorknob.
“Claire, wait, I have to ask you something.”
“If it’s about the incendiary rounds, I had s—“
“Who is Monica?”
+ THE END +