Season Three

Episode Six: Have No Fear

By SnSam

Part One

 

Bennington, Vermont
Forest—Glastenbury Mountains


The late afternoon sun bathed the Vermont forest in a soft amber glow, casting shadows all around the young couple as they hiked through the dense forest. It was the perfect time of year to be one with nature, even though the air was pretty chilly, but right now Lauren Miller could care less. It probably had something to do with the fact Trevor, her boyfriend of two years, had led them in circles for the past hour or so, though he insisted they were heading back to the car. Yeah, and apparently he parked the car at the top of the mountain…who knew?

The small-framed brunette tightened the straps of her backpack as she glared daggers at the back of Trevor’s head. “Trevor, I don’t get why you won’t admit we’re lost.”

Trevor barely turned to look at her. “I told you, Lauren, we’re not lost. I’ve been trekking through these woods forever. I think I know where I’m going.”

“Yeah, how about you try saying that again, this time a little more convincingly,” she muttered as she stepped over a root protruding from the ground, but not before stumbling over it.

Trevor stopped and turned to face her. “You know what would really help me out right now? If you would quit bitching at me every five minutes.”

“I wouldn’t have to bitch if you could get your head out of your ass long enough to actually learn how to read a map.”

Trevor held the map out to her. “Here, you think you can do any better? You take the damn thing and find a way out of here.”

Lauren stared at the map in his hand before letting out a long sigh. “I don’t want the map, Trevor.”

She knew she wasn’t really angry at Trevor—it was mostly exhaustion and the fact they really hadn’t had anything decent to eat since breakfast earlier that morning. They didn’t pack a heavy lunch, mostly snacks, simply because Trevor assured her they’d be out of there by lunch time. The only thing she really wanted at the moment was to take a hot shower, followed by a fatty diet consisting of pizza and double-fudge brownies. A little extreme, yes, but after today she figured she deserved it.

“Okay, I think I found out where we are.” Trevor was looking down at the map, his brows drawn together in concentration. He pointed to an area of the map before looking up at her. “I remember seeing a mile marker a few yards back, so if we just cut through to our left, it should bring us back to the trail.”

“Are you sure?” She shivered slightly against the cold wind and pulled her jacket tighter around her tiny frame.

“I think so.” Trevor folded the map and slipped it into his pocket before cupping her face in his hands and giving her a kiss. “I know today hasn’t been the best, but I promise when we get back home, I’ll make it up to you.”

Lauren smiled coyly. “What exactly did you have in mind?”

Trevor arched a brow before flashing his own coy smile. “I guess you’ll just have to wait and find out.” Taking her hand, he led the way and after a few minutes they finally emerged onto the trail. “See, told you we’d find our way back.”

“We’re still not home free yet, you know,” she said, continuing to follow him down the marked trail.

“Come on, Lauren, what happened to having a little bit of optimism?”

Lauren sighed. “I’m not going to fight about this again, Trevor.” She rubbed her arms as the chill seemed to get colder. “Let’s just hurry, okay? It’s really starting to get dark out here.”

They continued their trek in relative silence, with nothing but the soft serenade of crickets keeping them company. The soothing lullaby did nothing to chase away the fear she suddenly felt creeping down her spine. She didn’t know if she could explain it, but she had a feeling something was off. Almost as if someone—or something—was watching them. She knew the wilderness around her was plentiful with bears, mountain lions, deer, and other species and she figured that must be what she felt—some wild animal in search of food. Still, it did nothing to alleviate her fear.

“Hey, are you okay?” Trevor gave her hand a gentle squeeze as he looked down at her in concern.

Lauren nodded shakily. “Yeah, I think I’m starting to let my imagination play with me, that’s all.”

Trevor smiled. “We should be at the car soon, okay?”

Lauren nodded again at the same time a wild cackle echoed all around them. She didn’t bother to stifle her squeal of terror as she clutched tighter to Trevor. “Did you hear that?”

Trevor frowned. “It was probably just a coyote.”

“Are you sure?”

“No.” He squeezed her hand again as he pulled her along, the cackle still echoing all around. “Come on, we should get out of here.”

They barely took three steps before something leapt out of the air and landed right in front of them. Lauren screamed as Trevor quickly pushed her behind him, both their eyes widening in horror at the sight before them. She continued to scream as the being merely smiled at them before exhaling a blast of what appeared to be blue flame. Trevor took the blast head-on as he blindly pushed Lauren down to the ground behind him.

“Lauren, get out of here!” he yelled as he clutched at his face.

Lauren tried to get her body to obey, to get up and run like Trevor was telling her to do, but her brain was having a hard time getting the rest of her body to comply. The only thing she could do was crawl backwards as the being stepped over Trevor and took slow deliberate steps towards her. The brunette couldn’t stop the sob from escaping as her back collided with a tree, stopping her frantic escape.

“Please…” she whispered.

“Stay away from her!” Trevor yelled from his position on the ground.

The being ignored Trevor’s order and took another step towards Lauren. Her eyes grew to the size of saucers as the blue flame once again shot out of his mouth, this time hitting her. There was a burning sensation, almost as if soap had been poured in her eyes. She clawed at them, trying to alleviate the blinding pain. She opened her eyes trying to see where the creature was, but it was almost as if someone had taken a paintbrush and painted over her eyes. She couldn’t see anything through the cloud blanketing her pupils.

The next thing she knew, she was being picked up and carried off into the night, Trevor’s screams for her fading further and further away.


Lou’s Diner
Booneville, Kentucky


“I don’t get you, Dean. How can you say that?”

“Say what?”

“You’re going to sit there and honestly tell me you think Led Zeppelin is the greatest rock band ever?”

Dean Winchester tapped his index finger against his chin thoughtfully, acting as if he was giving the question serious consideration. “That’s what you heard me say isn’t it?”

Mia Cameron shook her head. “You are so delusional, you know that?”

Dean sat back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest. “Okay, so you obviously disagree with me. Tell me—who do you think is the greatest rock band of all time?”

“AC/DC.”

Dean chuckled. “Seriously?”

Mia narrowed her eyes. “You don’t agree?”

“Don’t get me wrong—AC/DC is a kick ass band but no way are they even comparable to Zeppelin. I mean, where else do you find a drumming god like John Bonham?”

“And where else do you find anyone who can play guitar like Angus Young?”

“Can I get you anything else?” A waitress suddenly appeared at their table, a coffee carafe in her hand, and Sam Winchester swore right then and there she was a gift from God himself.

“Earplugs,” the young hunter said, an almost pleading look in his eyes.

The gray-haired woman smiled in confusion. “I’m sorry?”

Sam shook his head. “Forget the earplugs. Do you have a skillet lying nearby I can knock myself out with?”

“Um…” The waitress glanced away, looking uncomfortable. “I think another table’s needing me.” She hurried away before Sam could say anything else to her.

“Dude, what the hell was that?”

Sam turned back towards Dean, seeing the amusement on his brother’s face. “Apparently a lame ass attempt at a joke,” he muttered.

“What was that crack about earplugs? You getting tired of hearing our voices?”

“No, your voices are fine, Dean. It’s the fact the two of you are carrying on like an old married couple that’s getting on my nerves.”

“Oh…” Dean turned his attention back to Mia. “And what do you mean no one plays the guitar like Angus Young?”

Sam rolled his eyes, trying to reassure himself the pounding in his head had to do with the country music blaring over the diner’s speakers and not Dean and Mia. They’d been arguing about anything and everything under the sun since leaving Oklahoma and Sam gathered it was in part to drive him crazy as Dean now had a verbal sparring partner as stubborn as he was. Not that Sam wasn’t stubborn himself and couldn’t argue with the best of them—after all, it was in the Winchester Code of Rules—all men born under the Winchester name were required to be as stubborn as an old mule.

Even though Dean and Mia argued like they did, it didn’t take an idiot to see the attraction between the two of them. Sam noticed it as soon as they’d gotten her to Kyle’s—after she tried to flatten them with the roof of the local police station, that is—and the younger Winchester had to admit it was a welcome change in Dean, instead of watching him chase every skirt in sight. Dean tried to shrug it off, of course, but Sam knew his brother; he knew Dean more than anyone ever would, maybe even Dean himself. It was that outsider looking in thing, he supposed.

Taking a long sip of his orange juice, Sam tried to drown out Dean and Mia’s voices and focus on his task at hand. He had his laptop open in front of him, seeking out their next hunt. After the fiasco with Mia and her many possessions, he was hoping he could find them something relatively easy in order to relieve some of the stress they’d been carrying around like heavy luggage. It was still managing to take its toll on the two hunters, especially since they never quite figured out who or what was possessing Mia and why. He’d been searching for the last half hour or so but he’d come up empty after scouring the reports in Colorado, Ohio, Nebraska, and Wyoming. He was beginning to wonder if the supernatural was taking a break when a newspaper article out of Vermont caught his eye. Clicking on the link for the Bennington Banner, he took a couple of minutes to scan the story.

“Hey, I think I found us something,” Sam said without looking up from the screen.

“—has a great guitar riff,” Dean was saying.

Mia threw her hands up in the air in exasperation. “I never said it didn’t. What I said was nothing could beat Freebird.”

“Guys,” Sam tried again, but either they weren’t listening to him or they were conveniently ignoring him.

“You’re unbelievable, you know that?”

“I’m that and countless other things too, Dean,” Mia said smugly.

“Oh, and she’s full of herself, too.”

“You’re one to talk!”

“That doesn’t make me full of myself, sweetheart.”

“What does that make you then?”

Dean smirked. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

“You’re a complete ass—“

They both jumped as a shrill whistle pierced through the diner. A few patrons even stopped eating to see who had caused the disruption. Sam slightly blushed at the unwanted attention, but quickly shrugged it off as it got the desired reaction—Dean and Mia finally shut up long enough so he could speak.

“Glad I finally got your attention.”

“Hell, Sammy, you got everyone’s attention with that. You could have just asked for us to stop, you know. There was no need to get all dramatic.”

“I tried—” Sam closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh, refusing to be baited by Dean. “Never mind.”

“You gonna tell us what was so important you felt the need to create a fuss like that?” Dean asked, trying to cover up his smile.

Nope, not going to do it. “I think I may have found our next gig.”

“Yeah?” Dean took a sip of his coffee. “Where’s that?”

“Vermont.”

Dean smiled. “Vermont? Hell, Sammy, the state’s barely a speck on the map and you managed to find us a job there?”

“Delaware,” Sam and Mia said at the same time.

“What?” Dean looked back and forth between the two of them.

“Delaware’s barely a speck on the map, Dean.” Sam said. “It’s the smallest state in the U.S.”

“Well, excuse me Rand-McNally. Any other geography lesson you two want to give me?”

Sam found his patience with Dean growing very thin. “Can I just tell you what I found?”

“Fine.” Dean leaned back in his chair like a scolded child, causing Mia to snicker. “What the hell are you laughing at?”

“Dean…” Sam said through clenched teeth.

Dean scowled. “Hey, she’s a part of this, too.”

“So help me, I will leave the two of you here…”

Dean looked at Mia, a triumphant smile on his face. “We better behave before Samantha blows a gasket.” Turning his head to be met by Sam’s glare, he said, “Okay, let’s have it. What’s waiting for us in Vermont?”

Sam turned the laptop towards his brother, grateful to finally be on track. “A couple of days ago, a young woman, Lauren Miller, goes missing while on a hike with her boyfriend.”

Dean shrugged. “Sounds like your garden variety missing persons case to me.”

“Keep reading.”

Dean did as he was told, his brows furrowing as he continued to peruse the article. “‘The thing leapt out of the air at us and a bright blue flame shot out of its mouth, blinding me,’ said Trevor Gregory. ‘When I could finally see again, it was gone along with Lauren.’” Dean pushed the computer back towards Sam. “This guy could be imagining the entire thing, Sam. You know, spending too much time flying high and getting the munchies.”

“What if he isn’t?” Sam shrugged. “Look, it can’t hurt to check out his story, can it?”

Dean finished the last of his coffee and signaled the waitress for the bill. “No, I guess not. But I’m telling you one thing right now, Sammy. This thing turns out to be a bust, you’ll be washing and detailing the Impala for a month.”

 

Bennington, Vermont

Hours later, Dean pulled into the small town of Bennington. It was charming to say the least, with a two-way street running through the major part of town. Stores lined both sides of the street, with people crowding the sidewalks, talking, shopping, and getting on with their daily lives. While a small part of Dean wished he and Sam could have a normal life like that, a bigger part of him was glad they didn’t. Dean needed the constant action hunting gave him almost as much as he depended on the air he breathed.

“Okay, so tell me where this guy lives,” Dean said as he braked for a group of teens crossing the street.

“Trevor Gregory,” Sam answered as he pulled a piece of paper from his jacket pocket and unfolded it. “1216 Jefferson Street.”

After stopping to ask a local for directions to Jefferson Street, Dean turned the Impala off the main road, steering towards the residential area of the town. Honestly, he didn’t even want to talk to this guy right now, preferring to find a motel room and some decent grub instead of going on what could potentially be a wild goose chase, but dammit if Sam didn’t flash those puppy dog eyes of his. Dean was seriously going to have to look into a way to become immune to it, because too many times it landed him in some serious trouble.

It wasn’t that Dean didn’t want to find out what happened to the missing girl, it was just they had problems of their own, namely the one sitting in the backseat. They needed to find out why demons were gunning for Mia before it ended up getting her killed. He had to admit, he liked having her around if for nothing more than to break the monotony between him and Sam. She was a very intriguing woman and though Dean denied it to Sam, he felt himself liking her more and more, even though she was more challenging than any woman he’d ever known.

“I think this is it,” Sam said, breaking through Dean’s thoughts.

Dean slowed as a little, one story brick home came into view. Killing the engine, he noticed a small navy Chevy S-10 sitting in the driveway. “Looks like someone’s home. Let’s go see if it’s our guy.”

“Mia, you coming in with us?” Sam asked, turning around to look at the petite brunette.

Mia shrugged as Dean got out of the car. “Sure. There isn’t much to look at out here anyway.” She got out, following Dean up to the door, Sam taking up the rear.

Dean rang the doorbell and it was soon answered by a disheveled looking young man with unkempt dirty blond hair and dressed in a T-shirt and sweat pants. “What do you want?” he asked, squinting at them.

“Trevor Gregory?” Dean asked.

“Yeah.”

Dean produced a badge from his pocket. “My name is Dean Young and this is my partner Sam Rudd,” he said, hitching a thumb back at Sam. “We’re with the State Police. We’d like to ask you a few questions if that’s okay.”

Trevor nodded at Mia. “Who’s she?”

“She’s with the Park Service—she’s helping with the investigation,” Dean answered smoothly.

“Look guys, I’ve been talking to reporters and police for the past two days and I’ve been getting nothing but flack. I’m not in the mood to be ridiculed any further.” He made to close the door but Sam stepped forward and stopped it.

“Please, Mr. Gregory—I know this has been hard for you, but we’d really like to know what you saw.”

“Do we have to do this now? Can’t you come back later?”

“We wait until later we may never find Lauren,” Dean said and he saw Trevor flinch as if he’d hit him. “Please, Mr. Gregory.”

Trevor nodded as he opened the door to let them in. They followed him into the living room and settled onto a worn black leather sofa as he took a seat in the small La-Z-Boy recliner.

“What can you tell us about that night?” Dean asked as he and Sam pulled out small notepads and pens from their pockets.

Trevor took a deep breath. “Lauren and I were out for a hike near the Glastenbury Mountains when we got lost. We were both becoming frustrated and…it took us a while to find our way back to the marked trail. When we finally did, we heard this cackle all around us.”

“Cackle? What, you mean like a coyote?”

Trevor shrugged. “That’s what I told Lauren it was, but mostly to calm her down.”

“So, it wasn’t a coyote?” Sam asked, frowning.

“I don’t know what the hell it was. It was deeper than how a coyote would sound.” Trevor shrugged. “Anyway, I told her we should hurry and all of a sudden this thing leapt out in front of us.”

“Can you describe it?”

“No, I didn’t get much of a look at it before it sprayed some kind of crap in my face.”

“Now, you told the Banner it was a blue flame,” Dean said. “Is that correct?”

“I don’t know what the hell it was. It burned, sure, but not like a fire would. All I know is as soon as it hit me, I couldn’t see.”

“What about Lauren?”

“I pushed her down out of the way.” Trevor began to wring his hands together and he swallowed hard. “I heard her screaming and I told her to run away. I could hear her trying to get away, but then she was struggling, and then nothing.”

“How long was it before you could see again?”

Trevor shrugged. “A couple of hours, I think.”

“Mr. Gregory, do you think you could show us approximately where you were when you were attacked?” Sam asked.

“Sure, I have a map right here.” Trevor got up from the chair and grabbed a small map from a stack of newspapers in the corner of the room. He unfolded it and spread it out across the small coffee table in front of the sofa. He pointed to a spot on the map. “We were right here.”

“Do you mind if we take this?”

“No, not at all.”

Sam gathered up the map and stood up, Dean and Mia following suit. “I think that’s all we need, Mr. Gregory.”

Trevor followed them to the door. “I have to know, detectives—do you think you’ll find Lauren?”

Sam turned back to look at Trevor. “We’re going to try our best, Mr. Gregory.”

The brothers and Mia walked back to the Impala in silence. Even as they climbed inside, Dean made no move to start the car.

“So, what do you think?” Sam asked.

“I’m not sure, Sammy. I’m still thinking this could be nothing.”

“You heard what he said, Dean.” Sam sighed. “How he was talking: that was a man in serious denial and grief. No matter what we think, we should get out there and see if we can find anything.”

“Yeah, I know.” Dean turned the engine over and pulled away.


Abandoned hunting lodge
Glastenbury Mountains

Lauren Miller came to with a startled gasp and in a world of pain. Her arms felt like they could give at a moment’s notice, but that wasn’t what was causing her the pain, even though she was currently hanging by her wrists from a beam in the ceiling. No, the pain was in her head—it was relentless, almost as if a Battle of the Bands were vying for the championship title up there. What she wouldn’t give for a few ibuprofens at that moment, but she knew it wasn’t going to happen—not in this lifetime, anyway.

She wasn’t sure how long she’d been here, or where “here” even was. It appeared to be a hunting lodge of some sort, made apparent by the fact several deer head, along with several other species of game, were mounted on the walls. The place didn’t look like it had been used in years, which didn’t bode well for her. It meant no one would be coming to save her any time soon, if they even knew the place existed at all.

While her predicament was enough to scare the hell out of any normal person, her greatest fear through all of this was Trevor. Lauren had no idea if he was okay, or if he was even alive for that matter. She’d asked time and time again, but the man—as far as she could tell it was a man—wouldn’t tell her anything. He would just smile and she would go back to the place so full of pain and fear, a place she so desperately wanted to find escape from.

“Please…somebody…help me,” she croaked, but even those few words caused great strain to her parched throat. She knew full well the plea would fall on deaf ears. No one would help her.

Something behind her made a tsk sound, causing her to jump in fright.

“My dear, sweet girl…” the man crooned as he stepped out of the shadows and stopped in front of her so she could see his piercing red eyes. “No one can hear you.”

“What do you want from me?” A single tear ran down her cheek and she immediately hated herself for it. She hated this vile thing to see her as weak.

He brought a clawed hand up to her face and wiped the tear away. Bringing the finger to his lips, he licked the salty liquid off, a wicked smile forming. “That fear…it tastes so…sweet.”

“What do you want?” Lauren demanded again, louder this time. She didn’t care if it made her throat worse. She wanted answers and she wanted them now.

“I want to taste your fear.”

Okay, this guy is definitely off his meds. “Where’s Trevor?”

He merely smiled.

“Tell me!”

“I wouldn’t worry about him.” He walked in a slow circle around her. “But tell me something—is that your greatest fear, hmm? Afraid of losing that boy of yours?”

“Leave him alone.”

“I take that as a yes.” He chuckled. “Oh, I don’t have to do anything to him. You see, what I want,” he stopped in front of her once again and placed a finger on her forehead, “is right here.”

Lauren tried to move away from him but with her feet barely touching the ground, it proved difficult. “Stay away from me.”

He went on as if he didn’t hear her. “Let’s see what you have in there for me, shall we?” Bringing both hands to her face, he placed them on her cheeks as he closed his eyes, sighing in what could only be described as ecstasy.

Lauren jerked under his touch, feeling as though she was being electrocuted, and then it went away as her eyes rolled back in her head and her mind drew her into a dark abyss.

Trevor stood across the street, a bright smile on his handsome face when he caught sight of her. She lifted her hand in an exuberant wave, a smile of her own gracing her face as she let out a relieved sigh. Everything before had been nothing but a nightmare—she was back with Trevor again. Everything was going to be okay now.

She watched as Trevor stepped off the sidewalk and started to make his way across the street towards her. She wanted nothing more than to wrap herself in his arms and escape in his warm embrace.

Lauren tried to take a step and frowned in confusion when she couldn’t. She looked down at her feet but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t move them. She glanced back up to see Trevor still walking towards her, but now it was almost as if he was walking in slow motion, even though everything else remained at a normal speed. She tried once again to take a step to no avail.

All of a sudden, a loud horn shattered the silence and Lauren looked up in horror as a truck sped out of control down the street narrowly missing scrambling pedestrians. She turned her head to see Trevor was no longer moving. He seemed to be stuck just as she was and when he sought her out, there was terror written all over his face.

“Trevor!” she screamed. She tried to will her body to move, to do anything, but it stubbornly refused to comply.

If it was at all possible, time seemed to slow even more, but Lauren knew it would do nothing to change the outcome. She closed her eyes tightly, refusing to watch. Instead, she heard with sickening clarity as Trevor’s body slammed against the truck, followed by the loud screech of brakes. She heard a piercing scream and it took her a second to realize it came from her and not a bystander. Just as she heard Trevor’s body hitting the pavement with a resonant thud…

…She was no longer there.

She sucked in a deep breath as she felt the hands move away from her face. She opened her eyes to see she was once again in the lodge and for a second, she honestly didn’t know which was worse—watching Trevor die or still being stuck in this living nightmare. She watched wearily as the man moved away from her, his gaze now directed towards the window, almost as if he sensed something—or someone.

Please, let it be someone…

She couldn’t stop the whimper escaping her lips as he turned to back to look at her, a cruel smile on his lips. She felt her eyes growing heavy and before she slipped into the wonderful bliss of unconsciousness she heard him say something.

“Don’t worry, love. Looks like you’re going to have some company soon.”


Forest—Glastenbury Mountains

“It looks like we’re going to have to walk it from here,” Sam said, his flashlight illuminating the map spread out across his lap. He knew it was the last thing Dean wanted to hear, mainly because the woods plus the Winchesters never equaled anything good. That was made apparent by Dean’s loud sigh as he brought the Impala to a stop, jerking the gear into park in annoyance.

“I so don’t want to do this,” Dean muttered as he glanced out of the windshield at the trail ahead, its path lit by the faint glow of the moonlight.

Sam smiled despite himself as Dean stepped out of the car and walked back to their cache of weapons in the trunk. His brother could protest about it all he wanted, but Sam knew in the end Dean would do what needed to be done. Sam pushed out of the car and joined Dean where he was loading salt rounds into their sawed-off shotguns.

“Do you think we should take anything else?” Sam asked as he pocketed additional rounds and grabbed a couple of flashlights.

Dean shrugged. “We don’t know what’s out there, if there even is anything. This should do for now,” he added as he shut the trunk and pocketed the keys. He handed one of the guns to Sam. “Let’s grab Mia and get going.”

“You really think that’s a good idea, Dean? We bring her out there with us she’ll be out in the open. It makes it that much easier for a demon to get to her.”

“If we leave her here, Sammy, she’s just as vulnerable. At least out there, I can keep my eyes on her.”

Sam frowned, then grinned as an idea struck him. “Maybe not.”

“What?”

Sam ignored him as he opened the car and rummaged through the glove compartment. A few seconds later, he re-emerged holding a thin, white pencil.

“Is that what I think it is?”

“It will keep her safe, Dean,” Sam said as he began to dust the roof off. Would it actually kill Dean to wash the car every now and then?

“Dude, no way in hell am I letting you draw on my car again. I had a hard enough time getting that crap off the last time you went Crayola on me.”

“What’s going on out here?” Mia asked as she rolled down the window. “You two are carrying on like children.”

“Nothing. Sammy and I are just having a minor disagreement.” Dean never took his eyes off of Sam.

“About what?”

“You.”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Dean, you know I’m right. Quit being such a baby about the Impala—it will wash off. Hell, I’ll wash it off for you.”

“What the hell is this about?” Mia asked, looking between the two of them.

Sam stepped back to peer in at Mia. “We’re trying to figure out a way that would be safer for you while we go investigate the attack site. I vote to leave you here under the protection of a Devil’s Trap, but Dean seems to think you’ll be better off with us.”

“Do I get a say in this?”

“No!” the brothers said in unison.

“Last time I checked I was a big girl who could take care of herself,” Mia said glaring at them.

“And the last time I checked, Moses called us to watch over your ass because you weren’t doing such a great job,” Dean said, finally looking at her.

“Hello, demons? Kind of hard to look after your own ass when they can make you go stark raving mad in the blink of an eye.”

“You still don’t get a vote on this. We were asked to keep you safe and that’s what we’re gonna do.” He shot a look at Sam. “Draw your damn Devil’s Trap. No way am I going to listen to her bitching the entire time.”

“This isn’t fair, Dean.” Mia fixed her glare on him.

“No one said I had to be fair, sweetheart.”

Sam handed his gun over to Dean and leaned down to talk to Mia quietly. “If you stay in here, you’ll be safe. Demons can’t get through one of these. We’ll try to be back as soon as we can.”

Mia said nothing, instead staring out ahead into the forest. Sam straightened himself up and proceeded to draw a large Devil’s Trap on the roof of the Impala. After double-checking to make sure it was precise and unbroken, he pocketed the pencil and followed Dean up the trail.

“She’s pissed,” Sam commented as soon as they were out of earshot of Mia.

“She’s not the first person to get pissed at me, Sammy.” He flashed a grin at Sam. “Hell, I haven’t even begun to reach my quota for the day.”

“That’s pretty sad, Dean, considering it’s only a couple of hours until midnight.” Sam chuckled and they continued their trek towards the site of the attack. It took about ten minutes to find it and when they finally got there and began to comb the area, Sam had to wonder if maybe the attack was imagined after all. There were no signs of a struggle, no signs that anything had happened at all. Sam knew not all supernatural creatures left evidence behind, but there should still be a little something. Maybe this was a domestic problem, an argument that got out of hand and Trevor did something to Lauren. It wasn’t that far-fetched; people did some pretty amazing things to stay out of the eyes of the law.

“We’re not finding anything out here, Sammy. This is nothing but a search for a needle in a stack of needles,” Dean said, breaking Sam from his thoughts.

Sam sighed. “Yeah, I know.” He didn’t want to admit Dean was right about this but it was looking more and more like he was.

“I say we cut our losses, grab us a bite to eat, and find us a motel for the night.”

Sam nodded, casting one more look around. “I still can’t help but think there’s something to his story, Dean.”

“Maybe there is, but we’re not going to find it tonight, dude.” He glanced down at his watch. “Let’s head back to the Impala and make sure Mia’s okay.” He didn’t wait for Sam as he began to lead the way back.

“You just want to make sure she’s not mad at you anymore,” Sam said, smiling.

“Dude, can you blame me? There is nothing worse in the world than having a chick pissed at you.”

“Not even demons or the other things we hunt on a daily basis?”

“Nothing,” Dean repeated. “I’d take any demon any day of the week than a pissed off woman.”

“God knows you’ve left a trail of those in your wake,” Sam muttered loud enough so Dean could hear.

Dean shot him a look over his shoulder and was about to retort when a loud cackle filled the air. Both brothers stopped, bringing their weapons up, eyes alert for any sudden movement.

“Trevor’s right about one thing,” Dean said softly, his eyes never stopping its constant search of the forest.

“What’s that?”

“That ain’t a damn coyote.”

Sam scoffed. “Yeah, I kind of figured that.”

The cackle sounded once again and Dean let out an irritated sigh. “It sure is annoying as hell though.” He glanced over at Sam. “You see anything?”

“No,” Sam answered just as a dark figure leapt from the sky to land right in front of the brothers.

Dean brought his gun up and shot Sam a look. “You were saying?”

 

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The Winchester Chronicles

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