A rumbling growl came from behind Sam, giving him seconds to react before a large paw swiped through where he’d been standing. With a cry, Sam dove to the side. His knife was out in an instant, falling naturally into the defensive grip Dean had shown him. Surprised hazel eyes took in the sight of the massive tabby cat that was stalking him.
Sam shivered at the hungry stare in its eyes as he backed away. The cat recovered from its miss, crouching down and preparing to pounce.
“Crap,” Sam muttered. The one time Dean was out of sight.
This time, the paw slammed right into him. He rolled across the floor, his jacket with four slashes down the side. Biting pain hit, and he knew he was bleeding. Before the cat could finish him off, he finished his roll and stumbled behind the cabinet along the wall. He barely made it far enough back that the cat couldn’t reach him. The paw scrapped threateningly along the ground as it tried to finish off its kill.
Dean paced through the house, searching for any sign of a spirit. The EMF reader was silent in his hand as he went, taunting him with its silence.
Dean grumbled, hitting it on the side in annoyance. Was it acting up? Surely there was a spirit at work…
His thoughts trailed off when at the edge of hearing he heard a cat yowl. Dread started to creep up on him.
Sam was in that direction.
Dean sprinted down the hall, almost skidding past the door that the noises were coming from. To his great relief, the cat wasn’t sitting there with a bloody set of clothes in its claws, but it was trying to swipe at something hidden behind the cabinet.
Dean stalked over, grabbing the cat by the nape of its neck and hauling it off the ground. He tossed it out of the room, sealing the door shut. Upset meows made it through the wooden door.
Putting that out of his mind, Dean walked carefully over to the cabinet to see what the cat had trapped. Getting down on his knees, he dug out his flashlight and shone it into the crack.
A small, huddled form flinched away from him and the light, a tiny silver knife at the ready. “Sammy,” Dean breathed. “Thank god you’re okay.”
There was no answer to his voice, no sign that Sam even heard him. Dean’s brow furrowed in concern. “Sam,” he tried again. “Can you walk? I can’t reach you back there.”
With no response still, Dean was getting worried. “Alright,” he muttered to himself. “I’m gonna assume that means you can’t come out here on your own. Hang on, kid.”
Getting up, Dean grabbed the dishware on top of the cabinet, dropping it all on the table. He gripped the side of the cabinet, shifting it away from the wall to put Sam in reach.
The moment Sam was in sight, Dean stooped to pick him up. Before the older hunter could react, a cold metal blade slashed at his hand, Sam lashing out in a panic.
“Crap, Sam. It’s me!” Dean hissed. He stuck his thumb in his mouth for a second for the bleeding, snatching at Sam with his other hand. The fingers curled around the small hunter, trapping the knife-wielding arm between Dean’s index finger and middle finger.
Dean gently pried the knife from Sam’s grip. “Sammy, it’s me. It’s just Dean. You’re safe, I promise. That cat’s nowhere near us right now. I took care of it.”
After a few minutes of cajoling, Sam finally peered up at Dean. His small eyes were wide, panicked. The look of a hunted animal. “D-Dean?” he stuttered out.
“That’s right. Just me.” Dean took a seat at the dining room table, unfurling his fingers.
The reason for Sam’s panic was revealed.
Blood coated Dean’s hand where it had wrapped around Sam’s back.
Dean shoved the plates and silverware set up on the table out of his way, gently laying Sam down on a dishcloth. “Hang on, Sammy,” he whispered. “I’ll take care of that for you.”
Sam groaned, trying to sit up. “Dean…” he gritted out. “Cat…”
“I took care of it. Don’t worry, it can’t reach you, pint-size.” Carefully, Dean pushed on Sam’s chest, forcing him to lie still. “Just give me a minute. I need to grab supplies.”
Sam sagged back down, letting Dean take over. His eyes fluttered closed, and for a second Dean panicked until he saw the small chest move up and down. Only then did he get up. Supplies… he needed supplies. He hadn’t brought supplies in with him. Something to disinfect the slashes, something to wrap them up with. It would be impossible to give Sam stitches.
Shoving away the panic welling in him, Dean opened up the door again. The cat was waiting outside and tried to shove its way past him. Angrily, Dean grabbed it by the scruff of its neck. He locked the cat up in the kitchen. The people who owned the house would be back soon enough, they could let it out.
The bathroom next to the kitchen had a first aid kit. He grabbed it and ran back to the dining room. Sam was still slumped down, only this time he was unconscious. Dean cursed under his breath.
With great care, he removed the jacket Sam had on, wincing at the slashes that raked the back. Another jacket down for Sam…
Dean gently dropped it to the side, then had to take off the tiny t-shirt his brother had on. He maneuvered the small, fragile arms so they didn’t get caught as he stripped it off. Sam’s body was limp as Dean held him up, shifting his brother so he was lying facedown on the hand.
Four bright red lines stretched across the hunter’s lean back. Blood caked every part of him, more welling up as Dean watched. Hurriedly, he pressed a rag against the cuts, covering them up while he got an alcohol pad ready. “This is going to hurt,” he warned his brother’s unconscious form before pressing it against the cuts.
Knocked out or not, Sam writhed in pain at the contact. Dean bit his lip, forcing himself to not move. He stroked it down the cuts, cleaning off the blood and sterilizing the wounds. Dabbing a wet paper towel against Sam’s back cleaned off the rest of the blood before he decided to try wrapping it.
With one hand occupied, Dean had to use his teeth to rip the gauze and start unraveling it. Once he had enough, he put a sterile cloth against Sam’s back and began to steadily wrap the gauze around the other hunter, trying to avoid making it too tight. He sighed when he was finished, carefully checking his work to make sure he’d covered the full injury.
Sam started to shiver, from cold and blood loss. Dean cupped him against his chest. “It’s okay, Sammy. You’re gonna be okay, I promise.”