The ruins were old, older than any man-made structure like this should exist here. Sam suspected the stones had been brought from the Old Country, carried here with bloodied hands and broken backs before carefully laid down and allowed to take root. In the light of the harvest moon, they stood pale like bones of some great beast; a row of jagged teeth, ready to tear them to pieces.
Ironically, it wasn’t so far from the truth.
“Here?” Dean asked, gesturing at the circle of smaller stones at the centre. It could have been remains of a well, or a fire pit, but of course it wasn’t anything of the sort. The hunger it quenched was for nothing so innocent as water or food.
“Yeah,” Sam answered. His voice sounded strange to his own ears, thin and tense, like wire about to snap. “There’s…” He glanced at the moon. It stared back, heavy and swollen. “I’m sorry.” It was almost funny how inadequate that phrase was. Sam swallowed. “There’s not much time,” he finished, turning to look at his brother again.
“Okay. That’s… Okay.” Dean nodded to himself, once, twice, his fingers steady as they unbuttoned and tugged at clothing, finally wrapping around the hilt of a knife. “Here,” he said, offering it to Sam the same way he’d always given everything else, including himself: deliberate and unhesitating.
“Take it, Sam,” Dean urged and there was that familiar older brother exasperation, that audible eye-roll of fondness, the one that said ‘it’s going to be okay’ and ‘trust me’ and ‘I’ve got you’.
Sam’s hand closed over Dean’s, their joined grip on the blade strong and unwavering as they stepped into the circle. Around them, the stones sighed with anticipation, the moonlight spilling over everything like blood from a fresh wound.