Characters: Original Male Character, Sam Winchester
Warnings: post-Season 10 by a few years, language, a little gore.
Author's Notes: A mini case!fic for the lovely safiyabat, for tumblr's Bitter Sam Girl Club Secret Santa Exchange! The fic, however, is surprisingly un-bitter, I promise. Sam is, per safiya's request: BAMF-y, psychic, smart, and--get this--rides a motorcycle. All the good things there could ever be! Oh, jeeze, I almost forgot: thank you amberdreams, for the speedy beta! *smooooch!*
Summary: When Wyatt Hatfield called Hunter Central for support, he didn't expect who showed up. THE Sam Winchester. And things just got weirder from there.
Wyatt sat his ass on the guardrail and took a drag off a Marlboro, watched the fog drift between the hills at the crook in the road. It was an interstate highway, really, but only in name; mostly, it was two lanes of dirty, pot-holed concrete, dotted with roadkill and grease stains. Overcast clouds were beginning to steal the color from the sky, and he glanced at his watch, his breath steaming white in the cold.
If it got much later, he was going to have to give up the hunt. Which would suck, because that’d mean he’d gone and ruined a good coat and lost a fistful of arrows for nothing. And damn, but he really wanted to figure out what this thing was. He’d taken out tailypo, hodags, and an honest-to-God werewolf this past year, seen a cool-as-shit residual haunting at a civil war cemetery in Murfreesboro, but this critter? It was a whole lot of unknown. Not even his granddad could’ve taken a stab at what the hell it was, and the man knew a bible full of local lore.
Wyatt looked up as a brown truck rumbled around the bend, stirring up fallen leaves, but it disappeared down the road without slowing. He took another drag on his smoke and kicked a flattened pop can across the shoulder.
“Don’t you worry, young man, I’ll get you back-up. DO NOT engage on your own, you hear? Promise me.” That’s what the woman at Hunter Central—Joanie, Jody, something like that—had told him. She’d assured him that the network was still active and spreading and twining its fingers all over the world, and she’d have someone there to help him within the hour.
Wyatt was getting antsy, down to his second to last cigarette and ten minutes on the clock. The creature was still in the grove last time he checked, slowly devouring the 8-point buck that was supposed to be Wyatt’s kill for the season. 8 fucking points! If Wyatt hadn’t been so totally blind-sided by the sheer weirdness of the thing, he’d have been really, really pissed off.
Another mechanical rumble echoed through the valley, but it didn’t sound like a car to Wyatt. Too sharp and amplified, a finely tuned growl. The glow of a single headlight sliced through the fog and a motorcycle appeared, like a ghost itself, or the Headless Horseman or those nazgul things from Lord of the Rings. Wyatt gave an involuntary shudder in his hoodie. Damned December.
The rider’s head turned towards Wyatt, and the bike slowed, gearing down with a couple decisive revs of the engine. It swerved and crossed the highway, cruising to a stop between Wyatt’s Jeep and the guardrail. The bike was an old one, this much Wyatt could tell from the silhouette, but well cared for, its fenders as black and shiny as spilt oil.
Wyatt stood up, shouldered his rifle, and tossed the cigarette into the road where it bounced and rolled towards the double-yellow line. The bike’s engine cut off and the rider stood up. The guy must’ve been close to six and a half feet, what with the boots and all.
“Hey, Joanie send you?” Wyatt jutted his chin in a sort of welcome and squared his shoulders, stood up as tall as his 5’8” would let him.
The biker pulled off his helmet and shook out way too much hair. He was tanned and sharp-boned and when he smiled, his teeth were very white.
Great. Joanie had sent a fucking surfer dude.
The man grabbed a canvas duffel and slid a sawed-off shotgun from one of the bike’s saddlebags. “It’s Jody,” he said, still grinning. “And yeah, she did.”
When Wyatt walked closer, something clicked. He’d seen this guy before...the slanted eyes, all that forehead. Years ago, on the internet. Jenny Ming, this hunter he knew out of Topeka, had been gossiping about—
“Holy shit. You’re Sam Winchester.”
The man’s steps slowed and he reared back a bit, like he’d been thrown an insult. His smile faded and Wyatt was suddenly aware of how wide the guy’s shoulders were. If Sam Winchester wanted to put a bare-knuckled hurt on someone, Wyatt had no doubt there was very little that could be done to stop him. Especially given what Jenny had said, if the yakkity-smack was true.
“That a problem?” Winchester asked, overly casual.
“No, no, man! I just … you’re kinda famous is all, you know?”
Winchester took a deep breath and kept walking.
Wyatt felt a ping of adrenaline, somewhere along the top of his spine. He
was hunting with the Sam Winchester. Damn. “Hey, great bike, man.”
“Bet the parts are a bitch to find.”
Winchester shrugged, seemed to relax slightly. “I’ve got a good garage. Lots of vintage stuff.”
“But didn’t you used to drive this big black—”
“Don’t drive it much anymore. That was my brother’s car.”
Wyatt jogged to get in front of Winchester, to lead the way to the game path they had to follow to find the thing. Jenny had shared the deets about brother Dean, too ... how he’d stared too deep into the abyss and became one of the things they hunted. The baddest of the bad, an actual demon, so the rumors claimed. Was probably bullshit, but Wyatt had to know. “Is it true?”
“That your brother kinda went off the rails?”
Winchester slid him a level glance, grinned again. Like a shark. “Maybe.”
Wyatt watched him for a few clumsy seconds, ready to bolt out of arm’s reach if need be, but Winchester seemed to be quite done. Wyatt let the tic in Winchester’s jaw be the punctuation on that topic.
“Right. So, it spits.” Wyatt said. “This acid stuff. Ate through my coat like boom.”
“Jody told me. So I won’t get close to it.”
“It looks like this giant slug or grub or something. Bigger than me, probably not bigger than you—”
Winchester snorted a dry laugh.
“—and I tried blowing holes in it, but the fuckin’ holes just seal up. Bullets are a no-go. Arrows too.”
“It’s probably a mulilo.”
Wyatt nodded, rolled his eyes. “Well, yeah, of course. Just what I was thinking. Everybody knows that it’s a—seriously, dude? What even is that?”
“I do my homework.”
“Share with the class?” Wyatt clambered over the guardrail and Winchester followed, stepping over with his mile-long legs like it was a speedbump.
He spoke without turning around. “A mulilo is a gastropod cryptid out of the Congo. Usually they’re dark brown or black, but you said this one was gray?”
“Yeah, with speckles. Like a bluetick hound.”
“So it’s probably a weird variation. Eggs got over here somehow, and they mutated, adapted. But we do know they’re poisonous, and sometimes they like to hang out in trees. So watch your head.”
“Hey, anything up a tree will get you before it gets me.”
The grove wasn’t actually that far from the road, just down towards the creek a piece and tucked behind a copse of evergreens. They crept up to the small clearing silently, as hunters do, and there, nibbling away at the carcass of Wyatt’s buck, was a giant hulking slug-thing. How the hell it had existed in these parts of the woods, without being discovered before this, was still a mystery, but Wyatt supposed it could’ve indeed been the thing’s coloration. Its grayish mottling and slow movement was probably killer camouflage. Or maybe the Walmart going in down by Humboldt had stirred up and displaced the wildlife, including this freak.
Whatever the case, it had to go. Couldn’t have a poison-spitting slime machine eating its way through the deer population. Only a matter of time before it moved on to cattle, chicken, children and whatever else it found tasty and easy.
“Hold this,” Winchester mouthed silently as he shoved his canvas duffel into Wyatt’s arms. The sack weighed a frickin’ ton, and he nearly dropped his rifle. Winchester pulled safety glasses from his coat pocket, put them on, then gestured with his head for Wyatt to follow. The fallen leaves were damp and slick, and Wyatt skidded under the added weight. Winchester gave him a laser stare and put a finger to his lips. He pulled Wyatt in close and whispered tightly in his ear, “Vibrations. Be careful. When I shoot it, dump the duffel on it. I’ll keep it distracted.”
Wyatt nodded, a jitter of excitement tingling in his fingertips. He slunk down the slope as Winchester circled around the mulilo, clearly looking for the best place to get a close, clean shot. He found a spot roughly thirty feet from the slug, wedged himself against a white pine, and brought the shotgun to his shoulder. He was wearing a thick leather jacket; if the slug decided to spit, the leather might buy him more time than Wyatt’s cammo coat had. Wyatt slunk in behind, to the ass end of the creature, and paused to set down his gun and unzip the duffel. The bag was full to the top with dirty white chunks. Looked like road salt.
Of course. This was Slugzilla; salt would totally take it out.
Wyatt looked over at Winchester, nodded, and waited for the shotgun blast to cut the quiet woods and blot out the frankly disgusting slurpy, gnawing sounds coming from the mulilo.
But what they got instead was the sudden bark of Ozzy Osbourne’s manic ‘Crazy Train’ laugh, as Wyatt’s phone went off.
Wyatt spit out a “Fuck!” and fumbled the bag, trying to get to his phone in his back pocket. Stupid, stupid amateur mistake. He felt his cheeks heat up scarlet.
The slug’s eyestalks snapped around to Wyatt, quicker than a whip, and the pungent stink of ammonia began to fill the air.
The mulilo undulated and hocked a steaming jet of liquid straight at Wyatt. Winchester shot out a hand, palm forward, in Wyatt’s direction. A pummel of super-heated air, some sort of invisible force, hit Wyatt so hard it blasted him backwards into the embankment. His tailbone jarred against the earth, but the acid hissed overhead to splat ineffectually into the leaves, sizzling and burning out.
For a heartbeat, Wyatt could swear Winchester’s eyes reflected gold like a coyote’s caught in the headlights of an on-coming car. Gleaming and wild. Not ... human.
“Get the salt!” Winchester boomed, as he re-aimed and sent a shotgun blast into the beast. It shrieked like steam escaping, not so much a voice as the release of fury, somehow made real. Its head—if one could call the rubbery glob a head—snaked around to Winchester, and the slug’s body heaved again, acid rocketing at the pest that had just caused it pain.
Winchester spun behind the pine and curled his big shoulders in to protect his face. Before the slug could spit a second time, Winchester was aiming again, and another round blew into the slug’s head region, leaving the eyestalks little more than stumps that smoldered and leached clear fluid.
Wyatt blinked away shock and jumped into action. He dragged the duffel down the hill and with a mighty heave, upended the sack across the mulilo’s back.
The odor that rushed up and hit Wyatt nearly burned off his nose hairs, certainly made his stomach want to surrender its contents. He fell back, coughing, as the slug quivered and hissed and coiled in on itself, viscous slime pouring out of it by the gallons, literally gallons. Wyatt scuttled backwards, away from the mess. His adrenaline was fading fast, leaving him nauseous and quivery. He hazarded a glance at Winchester, and something deep in his brain whispered warning.
Maybe the other brother wasn’t the only one who went off the rails.
When you hunt, you can start to believe just about anything. Even the most absurd what-ifs become possibilities. Wyatt didn’t think he could screw up the energy to run if he had to, so he just prayed, said an actual almost-prayer to whoever was up there listening, that he was let to live another day.
Winchester was rubbing acid off his back onto a different tree, using the bark as a scrub. Looked like he’d been mostly spared, save a few smoldering spots on his sleeves.
“You all right?” he said, over his shoulder. Just as cool as that.
Wyatt managed a nod, right before he hurled all over himself.
“As far as I’m concerned, this was a textbook hunt. Smooth as silk.” Winchester took his helmet off the back of his bike—an Indian 440, as it turned out. He had a single blister high on his cheek, dangerously close to one eye. As Wyatt watched, the blister faded into nothing more than a spot of pink.
Wyatt just shuffled from one foot to the other. He was half afraid he’d throw up again if he tried to speak.
“Jody doesn’t need to know you forgot to turn your phone off, right? The world doesn’t need to know what a bush-league fuck-up you were …” The threat behind his words came through like a tornado siren, despite Winchester’s broad, pearly grin.
“No sir,” Wyatt barely croaked out. He wasn’t that much younger than Winchester, ten years maybe, but somehow ‘sir’ seemed appropriate in the moment.
“Good.” Winchester gunned the engine, walked the bike away from Wyatt’s Jeep, and paused for a second, watching. Dusk made shadows of his eyes, pooled dark under the sharp angles of his cheekbones. “And Wyatt?”
Winchester strapped on the helmet, nodded once. “You’re welcome.”
And then he chuffed out a quick laugh and pulled away from the shoulder, onto the highway, around the bend.