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impala in hiding
Title: Night of the Hunter
Show: Supernatural
Author: [info]gaelicspirit
Genre: GEN
Characters: Dean, OC (with appearances by Sam, Bobby, and Castiel)
Rating:PG-13 for language, violence, and one mature scene in chapter 1
Spoilers:Season 5, bridges episode 5.03 Good God, Ya'll to episode 5.05 The End.
Summary:Hunting isn't something Dean can simply quit. Even if his family walks away; he's survived worse than loneliness. He's survived Hell. But when an ancient and dangerous breed of vampires and a mysterious hunter cross his path, Dean learns that Hell was just the beginning.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. More's the pity. Title of the story comes from a 30 Seconds To Mars song of the same name.
Warning: This story is definitely PG-13 and might be considered borderline R in some parts for language, violence, and one mature scene in the first chapter. I trust you know your tolerance level.
Author's Notes:My hope is that you'll be able to enjoy this story on the merits of the story alone, but since the whole reason you're here is because we share a love for those Winchester boys, I feel I must own up to Sam playing a very small role in this story. He is important to Dean's state of mind in this setting, but this story centers on Dean. Because of where I've chosen to situate the story, Sam does return at the end.

Also, I've taken a few artistic liberties with the timeline. In canon, it appears there's roughly one week between Sam's walking away from Dean at the picnic table and Dean and Castiel's Excellent Adventure to trap Raphael. I'm stretching that out a bit to make the events of this story work. If done right, you won't care. But there are those who notice such things, so I wanted you to know it was purposeful.

This story is for my dear friend Janet who has worked tirelessly to save my sanity. Bead buíoch thar lá mo bháis ! (I shall be forever in your debt.)



One night of the hunter; one day I will get revenge. One night to remember; one day it'll all just end….

"Night of the Hunter" by 30 Seconds to Mars

PROLOGUE

Somewhere beneath Greeley, Pennsylvania

Keep breathing.

It was an order, barked in Dean's head with conviction, shouted in his own voice, spoken from his soul, forcing him to pull in a thin, shallow breath. He gagged slightly on the stench of death and blood, thick in the air around him, helplessly shuddering in revulsion. Gooseflesh raised along his bare skin, more out of horror than cold. Dean clenched his jaw, his next breath skipping across his teeth on its way in.

He could not – would not – let them win. Not now. Not like this.

His shoulders burned, the muscles there quaking with effort, stretched beyond their limit. He was so tired, his body thrumming with exhaustion. He yearned to give in, just one moment of relief, but the second he did, the ropes binding his wrists to the hooks above his head slacked and the rope around his neck tightened, choking him and reducing his air intake to a thin slipstream.

The skin of his throat was raw – both inside and out. His wrists were raw and ached from taking the weight of his body. His calf muscles shook from the effort of pushing himself upright. His head pounded – a relentless spike of pain behind his left eye, ratcheting up as he strained to see something.

Anything.

Because none of the physical pain matched the panic-inducing fear spawned by the darkness wrapping around him.

Dean could see nothing, the black surrounding him as complete as if he'd literally been swallowed by the Earth. He'd seen pitch like this only one other time in his life: right before he'd forced himself to claw his way up through the wood and dirt and pulled free of his own grave.

But he could hear them moving; the sound of claws skittering along the crumbling rock wall, the hiss of what he assumed was language as they encountered one another. He felt them moving; the slight shift of air as one passed by him on its way to another victim.

They were biding their time.

Dean was fresher, could last longer. He'd caught a glimpse of his prison before the creatures had yanked him by his rope tether, ripped his shirt from his body and strung him up inside the darkness. He'd seen a hellish vista of half a dozen bodies hanging from the ceiling in an earth-bound cold storage. Men, women, young, old – some obviously dead, others barely alive. But then his ropes were pulled tight, his arms raised above his head, his body suspended from the ceiling until he was precariously balanced on the balls of his feet.

He was left in the darkness, nothing but memories of another Hell to combat the increasing fear of his fate.

Keep breathing.

As cold, dry skin brushed against the taut muscles of his abdomen, he tried to pull away without strangling himself. He tensed, his body trembling, awaiting the sharp sting and burn of the cuts he knew would come his way. He knew because he'd seen the remains of those who hadn't survived.

He knew because of what they were. What they wanted.

The creature moved away and Dean dared to relax, trying to draw in a slow, shallow breath. A helpless, insane laugh threatened to choke him. He was in the hurt locker. No one knew where he was, no one was coming for him. And the hell of it was, he'd done it to himself. He'd allowed this to happen.

He was hidden from Castiel due to the markings along his ribs; he didn't know if the angel would hear him even if he were able to call. And he'd let Sam go, let his brother just walk away – from hunting, from him, from temptation. Because Dean hadn't been able to protect him. Dean hadn't been there and bad things had happened to Sam.

Dean swallowed a rush of bile, burning the tender skin of his abused throat. He'd gotten himself into this; getting himself out was going to be hell.

And he knew Hell.

Lock it down. Put it away. Don't think about it. Don't think at all.

Carefully twisting his hands against his bindings, searching for a weakness that would give him an advantage, Dean allowed that this would be a perfect time for Sam's Spidey sense to tingle, alerting his brother to the fact that Dean was more than in danger – he was literally hanging on by a thread. It would be a perfect moment for Sam to change his mind, to return, to sweep in and cut him free so that together they could take out these bastards.

For a sudden, brief moment Dean recalled with crystal clarity the moment Sam had appeared in that filthy, abandoned warehouse and cut Dean's arms free from the djinn's bindings, holding his heavy body as feeling returned to his limbs, keeping him up, keeping him there.

I thought I lost you for a second.

You almost did.

Between one heartbeat and the next, Dean felt an acute stab of longing for his brother's presence; it drew a sob from him, but he bit it off, unwilling to let them hear. Sam wasn't here. And he wasn't coming.

But something else was.

He heard it chatter and hiss in his direction, the stench of death nearly overpowering as it drew close to Dean once more. And suddenly Dean was grateful Sam wasn't there. No way did he want his brother cut into by these things, his blood drained, his body hollowed out.

Dean cried out, his voice hoarse and foreign in his ears, as the skin along his stretched ribs was split with the scalpel-like sharpness of the creature's clawed fingernail. He felt a mouth follow the path of the slice. Cold lips on his burning skin, a wet tongue sliding along the cut. He growled, trying to pull away from the hideous sensation, but the ropes at his wrists tightened the rope around his neck and he choked, forced to hold still.

What followed caused his breath to still, his skin retracting in horror as a groan climbed from his gut: the thing was drinking.

He could feel the lips vacuumed to his side, the tug of his flesh into a mouth as it swallowed the blood pulled from him. He wanted to scream, to thrash, to wrap his fingers around the thing's throat and rip its head off with his bare hands. His body shook with the need to fight back, resisting this invasion. He felt something half-way between a groan and a whimper catch at the back of his throat.

Keep breathing.

He closed his eyes, taking himself away from this moment, away from this crypt. He was in the Impala, driving down an empty road, Sam sitting next to him, bent arm resting on the open window, evening zephyr rolling across them. He was on Bobby's porch, drinking a beer, watching Rumsfeld stalk a squirrel. He was back-to-back with Sam as they fished off of Pastor Jim's pier. He was sitting on the tailgate of his father's truck, filling clips with silver bullets and listening to Bad Company.

Dean grunted with pain, trying to keep quiet and failing as he felt another slice along his other side, another mouth on him, another tug.

Lock. It. Down. Do not think.

He'd survived worse than this; he'd survived Hell. This time he knew they couldn't get into his head. They couldn't use his balance against him. They couldn't poison the only light he'd ever had in his life: his family.

And he knew they wouldn't kill him – not yet. They could feed on him for weeks, if he survived that long. He could still get away, get free. Kill them all. If they were going to take him out, they damn well would be going with him. He drew strength from knowing they couldn't get to him – not really.

Not like the others had.

Dean felt the mouths leave his body, heard the clicks and scratches as they moved on to another victim. And for one brief moment his heart panged at the thought that Sam would never know what had happened to him. Dean would simply be gone. And Sam would go on.

Fatigue swept over him, a wave so dizzyingly powerful he nearly succumbed. He felt his knees give, the muscles in his legs seeking relief. And then the rope at his neck pulled taut, snapping his head up and back. He began choking, unable to breathe. He forced his eyes open, no matter that the dark around him matched the dark behind his lids. It was the act that mattered, the effort of awareness that would save his life. He straightened his trembling legs, swallowing roughly.

Told you these guys were bad news, man.

Dean shot his head to the right in shock. Sam's voice had been so real, so there….

He regretted the motion immediately as the coarse rope rasped along his weeping skin. Of course it wasn't Sam. His brother was gone. In Idaho. Or Florida. Could be in Canada for all Dean knew. He wasn't here. He wasn't here and they couldn't get him.

You always gotta be the hero, dontcha?

"Shut up," Dean whispered, willing the voice away. His words elicited a familiar, human-like cry down to his left. Another victim, another body.

He felt the creatures stirring closer to him once more; he tensed up as he tried to figure out how to stop them from cutting him again. He wanted to grab the rope – the rope they'd used to haul him in here – and leverage himself up, get his legs around a throat, rip it out, kill them…kill them all…. His hands were numb, and he knew the minute he messed with the ropes binding his arms he'd end up strangling himself.

Keep breathing, Dean.

"'m trying."

Help is coming.

Dean blinked wide into the darkness, a shadow somehow, impossibly moving before his eyes. A shadow that looked an awful lot like Sam.

"No…," he moaned. It couldn't be Sam.

Sam had left. He quit hunting. He was far, far away from here.

But Dean could see him.

Hang on, Dean. Don't you let them beat you.

"Get outta here," Dean pleaded, his voice rough against the heavy, still air.

And then he felt them again – this time along his back. A slice, a mouth, the pull of blood causing his belly to sink and his heart to shake. Two, then three. And Dean released a weak scream from the pain of it, from the helplessness.

"Get outta here!" Dean yelled, louder, stronger this time, willing the image of Sam away, needing it to not be real.

He needed Sam safe. Needed to know that no matter what, Sam was free of this. He was living a normal life. He wasn't a hunter anymore.

And he wasn't in this pit.

"Please…," Dean whispered.

The mouths left his burning skin and he froze, listening as the creatures scraped and clawed their way to someone else. He waited for what came next. Remembering the bite marks on the other victims.

Keep breathing.

And then the scraping sound stopped.

And the darkness exploded.

Continued here in Chapter 1

Comments

( 43 Tall Tales — Tell Me A Story )
ladyarcherfan3
Jul. 30th, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
I will be back later after I read the story, but I just wanted to tell you I literally flailed when I saw you'd posted. So excited!!
gaelicspirit
Jul. 30th, 2012 12:19 am (UTC)
I like flailing. :) Hope you enjoy!
ladyarcherfan3
Jul. 30th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
Wow, the tension, the fear in the opening is fantastic in its horribleness. If this is any indication of what's to come, we're in for quite a ride! *rushes off to next part*
gaelicspirit
Jul. 30th, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
*grins* Good! The prologue did it's job. The tension eases back a bit in Chapter one and it's designed to build as you continue on (if I've done my job). I hope you continue to enjoy!
yohkobennington
Jul. 30th, 2012 12:24 am (UTC)
Yes! yes! Fuck yes! Another story from you! And dammit I can't read it right away, but I'm so bookmarking this to read over the week.


YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSS!!
gaelicspirit
Jul. 30th, 2012 12:27 am (UTC)
*grins*

I hope you enjoy -- I'm working on the final two chapters now, and will post one chapter a week (maybe speeding it up at the end as long as everything in RL cooperates).

It's been a long time since I've written/posted a multi-chapter fic. Eep.
yohkobennington
Jul. 30th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC)
Photobucket
amonitrate
Jul. 30th, 2012 12:46 am (UTC)
Oooh, really tense opening.
gaelicspirit
Jul. 30th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC)
Thank you! I hope you enjoy what's to come! :)
thruterryseyes
Jul. 30th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
I'm just sucking hind tit and thats all there is to it...
gaelicspirit
Jul. 30th, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
You're half blind. And you've read it already. Most of it, anyway. ;) So it's all good.
bubbles759
Jul. 30th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
Ahhh! So excited for this. Off to read now. Will be back later to tell you how awesome it is
gaelicspirit
Jul. 30th, 2012 01:21 am (UTC)
I hope you enjoy! :)
metallidean_grl
Jul. 30th, 2012 03:11 am (UTC)
Oh man, why'd you have to end it there. NO FAIR!!!! :D
gaelicspirit
Jul. 30th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC)
Eep! Sorry...but I did post chapter 1 along with the prologue. Does that help?

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy!
metallidean_grl
Jul. 30th, 2012 03:39 am (UTC)
I read the next part, but I meant leaving that part of the story with the darkness exploding and then the next part picking up a week prior to this. Oh, you you you you little devil you!!! :-D
(Anonymous)
Jul. 30th, 2012 05:26 am (UTC)
I quite literally squealed when I saw you posted a new story!!! I am so excited for your next installment of the Winchester boys, but especially Dean (naturally).

I hope life is treating you well and thank you for the wonderful surprise today when logging onto LJ!

Britt
gaelicspirit
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
Hi Britt!

Thanks so much! I am pleased this was a good surprise for you. I'm posting the next bit today -- there will be 10 chapters and I have 8 completely finished with the last two outlined. Once I have the last two done, I may post the chapters more quickly than once/week, but we'll have to see.

I truly hope you enjoy what's to come.

Best,
Gaelic
(Anonymous)
Jul. 30th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC)
I quite literally squealed when I saw you posted a new story!!! I am so excited for your next installment of the Winchester boys, but especially Dean (naturally).

This part: "They couldn't poison the only light he'd ever had in his life: his family..." brought me to tears. This hit so close to home for me which is one reason I connect with Dean's character so strongly. Thank you for that.

I hope life is treating you well and thank you for the wonderful surprise today when logging onto LJ!

Britt
gaelicspirit
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
Hi again -- sorry that you had to post twice -- I did get the first one, but as you aren't logged in, LJ 'screens' it and I didn't get in here fast enough to unscreen so you could see it. :)

Dean's strength truly does originate from his family -- but what he does with it from there is to turn it into his own brand of iron and I so love him for that.

I know what you mean about aspects of Dean's character hitting close to home. I think that's why I've always connected so much more strongly to him than Sam.

Thanks again for your review, your time, and your well-wishes.

Slainte!
rince1wind
Jul. 30th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
Ooh! Great beginning! I've got to go do some actual work now – but I'll be back!
gaelicspirit
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Actual work gets in the way of so many things, doesn't it? ;)

Hope to see you back soon and that you enjoy what's to come.

Slainte,
Gaelic
tifaching
Jul. 30th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
Wow, that was an intense opening sequence. The rope and the exhaustion and the creepy bitey bloodsuckers. Dean's in for it here. Can't wait to see what happens next!
gaelicspirit
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and taking time to review -- more to come soon!
saberivojo
Jul. 31st, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
AAAHHHHH! Poor Dean and those things. Yuck. I keep reading but I have this grimace on my face - just yuck.
gaelicspirit
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:07 pm (UTC)
Good! I did my job. :) Hee.

I look forward to your thoughts on the rest of the story. As we've talked about before, using original characters in a story is risky as some just want the brothers, but I've always found it so intriguing when -- if the OC is done right -- the boys are seen through the eyes of another.

Hopefully...I'll have done this right.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 31st, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
Hello there! Long-time reader, first-time commenter here. I was *so* excited to see the link for this pop up on hoodietime. After salivating over the art posted by Thru Terry's Eyes, I couldn't wait to read the actual story, and I'm so glad it's finally here! I loves me some Hurt!Dean, and you are a master at it! If the prologue is anything to go by, we're in for quite a ride! I thought you did a nice job, as always, of jumping into Dean's head. His desperate longing for his brother to come and get him out of this, followed quickly by his thankfulness that Sammy is not there experiencing this pain with him. You've set the story up nicely. Guess we'll find out how Dean got to this point in Chapter 1. BTW, thanks for the upfront warning that Sam's not in the story much. I am a Dean girl, but I love my boys together and being brothers. I appreciate the heads-up that we'll be waiting till the end for most of Sam's appearance in the story. Great start!
gaelicspirit
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
Well hi there -- thank you for 'coming out' and commenting. So happy to see you here.

Yeah, because of where I chose to set this story and because I'm sticking as close to canon as I can, Sam won't be in it until the end of the story as 90% of this story spans the time the brothers were apart. But he does come back. :)

I hope you enjoy what's to come. This isn't a typical story for me, but there are times when seeing my hero through the eyes of another makes him all that more appealing to me. And that's what I've tried to do here.

Take care!
(Anonymous)
Jul. 31st, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
Hiya! I was able to eek a few minutes out to reread and review this first part earlier than I thought. :)

Holy moly! This prologue hooked me! I loved it. Your word choice is fantastic. It's like we're right down there with Dean. It's so Dean to not even what halluci-Sam (?) to be safe and not trapped with him.

Excellent start! I can't wait 'til next week!

Talk to you later!

Mandi
pandi19
Jul. 31st, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the anonymous post too. I'm having a day which all of every day is a day this is just exceptionally 'there'.

I'll read part B later!

Mandi

P.S. Sending a PM soon.
gaelicspirit
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
Hey you -- I'll reply to this one as I'm not sure replies to anon posts get sent back to you.

I'm glad you felt like you were 'there' with Dean -- that means I've done my job. :) Thank you for reading and for taking time to review with all that's going on in your life.

I'm posting the next bit today -- there will be 10 chapters and I have 8 completely finished with the last two outlined. Once I have the last two done, I may post the chapters more quickly than once/week, but we'll have to see.

Best to you, always.

Gaelic
pandi19
Aug. 7th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
Reading when I can is an escape from life, so I'm happy to read and let you know my thoughts. Sometimes I might be a little late, but I'll try to review every chapter.

Of course, you've done your job! :) This...this is fantastic. Seriously, I don't say anything I don't mean.

Can't wait to the see how the story unfolds, at whatever pace you choose to flip the pages.

Take care of you!
Mandi
jesters_tear82
Aug. 3rd, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
Hey!

So - I'm hooked :)

I was really drawn into the whole chapter, from the scary, blood chilling start, Dean's desparation is so palpable and I found myself looking behind me every few seconds, his fear was getting to me bad! Those creatures have me very curious, as I assume they're not our regular kind of vamps, right?

Knowing this story takes place when it does, the brothers being apart, is a bit of a draw back for me - because I usually stick to Sam&Dean centered fics. However, you weave such an captivating tale I could not stop reading, & I appreciated Sam's constant "presence" in Dean's mind, with our boy feeling the guilt, wishing to be saved etc.. My heart broke for him & with him when he pounded that shower wall :(

Another element I "like" is the memories of hell being always there in the back, hiding in the shadows & popping out to disturb Dean's days and nightmares. It just makes him a real person, with issues that linger on and cannot be simply wiped away (as show sometime does to our hero).

LOVE Bobby's support, the introduction of Noah (did you model him after a specific actor..? I'm pretty sure I can guess who ;) Still not sure if he turns out to be friend or foe, but he did capture my interest. Oh & I enjoyed that little sexy scene :) Our Dean, such a gentleman - changing short Ali's bulb (I can sympathize with the woman! we need our tall, hunky men around for a number of reasons LOL ;)

Waiting eagerly for your next installment,
thank you for writing!
*hugs*
gaelicspirit
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
Yay! I like hooking a reader. :)

You assume correctly. These are not our regular kind of vamps.

Thanks for letting me know that the time period is a bit of a draw-back for you. That's totally understandable. I hope you're able to return and continue to read to see if you like it. Sam does return at the end, but I stick as close to canon as I can, and 90% of this story takes place when the brothers are parted.

One thing I like, though, is seeing my hero through the eyes of another -- if that other character is done well. I hope you'll see that is true of this story. And if not, that's okay, too. We like what we like. :)

Yes, I have a muse for Noah -- I discovered when I first started writing Fanfic that having Jensen in my head when writing Dean made all the difference. When I've written original pieces, I've had to picture someone to describe their expressions actions, all of that. Annndd, yeah, you probably can guess who my muse is. Hee.

Hope you enjoy what's to come! Next part to be posted later tonight.

Slainte, G
jesters_tear82
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
I knew it - blue eyes, tall, thin but strong.. you're such an Alex O junkie ;)

Oh, I'll be back! Cannot leave Dean hanging..
apieceofcake
Sep. 27th, 2012 03:55 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna enjoy getting into this :-)
gaelicspirit
Oct. 8th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
Okay, so here's me -- slower than molasses -- finally replying to reviews/comments. I know you're further than Part 1, but I wanted to say thank you for taking a chance on this one. I hope you enjoy the whole thing. :)

GS
apieceofcake
Oct. 8th, 2012 06:24 am (UTC)
No worries hun! I haven't actually got any further yet! I want to read it straight off so I'm saving it for when I can now.

xx.
yasminke
Sep. 29th, 2012 12:04 am (UTC)
That was definitely worth the glimpse!
gaelicspirit
Oct. 8th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Hooray! :)
borgmama1of5
Oct. 7th, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
Now that it's complete, is there a pdf I can download to my kindle? I have all your other stories on it for my reading pleasure :)
gaelicspirit
Oct. 7th, 2012 04:27 pm (UTC)
Yep! I have to reply to The Ramble comments and then I'll be pulling together a PDF and posting a "master post" so that it's all together. Probably will be up by mid-week this week.

I'm excited to see what you think. I hope you enjoy. :)
jennygeee
Feb. 23rd, 2013 10:17 am (UTC)
At last I'm reading this! I have a bit of free time this weekend and intend to use that time wisely and enjoy this. Great start gaelic - you've grabbed me already. The problem is that I know now that I've started reading this I won't be able to put it down.

I'f I'm totally honest with you, I think the reason I haven't read this one yet, along with having no time, is that Sam isn't in it and although I'm a total Dean girl I do like Sam in a fic showing how much he cares and worries, although with the way the seasons have turned out (apart from the ep before last) that is sadly not so much any more. But having said that, after speaking with you in London, I can't wait to read this.
( 43 Tall Tales — Tell Me A Story )

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