Rating: R for language and violence
Spoilers: It takes place after "Nightmare" and before "Shadows" so anything up to there is fair game.
Summary: Sam and Dean have to figure out what's causing all the bodies buried in an small town cemetery to suddenly come alive again.
Sam had always hated hospitals. But he knew that was normal. Who actually liked them? Besides the doctors who worked there of course. Who actually looked forward to going to the hospital? Even to visit. Maybe people could be tolerant of them, could go to one without being jittery and depressed and anxious to get out. But not Sam. Hospitals always brought back memories. Most recently, of Dean. Dean laying pale. Dean laying still. Dean dying. It was enough to make shiver and shake. But that could also be attributed to blood loss and adrenaline.
Because Dean wasn’t pale and he wasn’t still and he wasn’t dying. He was standing right next to Sam, watching with a disgusted face as a doctor stitched up the four long gashes in Sam’s arm. Granted, Dean had one hell of a black eye, but bruises they could handle. Scratches too. Sam’s weren’t too deep, but deep enough for Sam’s entire jacket sleeve to be saturated in blood. He’d lost a good amount, too. Enough to make him slightly light headed while the doctor’s needle was tearing in and out of his skin. But it didn’t matter. Because Dean was here and they were both still standing, well, Sam was sitting but he could stand if he wanted to.
“You’re one lucky guy,” the doctor said. Sam looked away from his brother, who was oblivious to Sam’s observations and looked at the friendly man. For once, they had gotten a doctor who showed emotion, who showed care, who showed that he wasn’t just another zombie walking around fixing people. Okay, bad metaphor. The doctor looked up at Sam as he finished the last stitch. “Cougars usually do more damage, even to big fellows such as yourself. You’re lucky it only swiped at you and didn’t attack, or else we’d be stitching up a lot more.”
“Luck of the Irish,” Dean said, giving the man a wide smile.
The doctor chuckled. “I’m sure, Mr. O’Malley,” he said and turned around to put his equipment down. Then he took off his gloves and gave one last look at his work. “Well, we’ve got you all together again, but with all animal attacks there’s a strong chance of infection. I’d like to put you on an IV with antibiotics for a couple of hours, what do you say?”
Sam was about to tell the man no, that they didn’t need it. Infection was something both of the brothers knew plenty about. Dean had a serious one when he was sixteen. He’d been scratched during a hunt, a small, little scratch that hadn’t even warranted a hospital trip. Just a couple stitches from John and a nice bandage and they thought he’d be fine. A few days later, Dean’s temperature had suddenly spiked to 105.1 and he’d passed out in the living room while Sam and their Dad had been out buying groceries. When they’d come home, they’d found him and had rushed him to the hospital. It had turned out he’d gotten a staff infection, a pretty severe one that worked unusually fast. He’d had to stay in the hospital for a week and a half and for a while there, they hadn’t thought he was going to make it. They’d taken precautions against infections ever since. Always a hefty supply of antibiotics on hand. They knew how to take care of it, thanks doc.
But Dean beat him to an answer, surprising Sam. “Sure, doc, hook him up.”
The doctor smiled. “Good, then I’ll go get that all set up and we’ll move you to a room where you can lay down for a while,” he told them and then turned around to leave.
Sam frowned and turned to glare at his brother. “What are you doing?” he grit out. “I don’t need to stay,” he protested.
Dean bounced his head to the side, a cocky move that always annoyed Sam. “Probably not, but one of us needs to stay here and wait for any word on Joshua.”
Sam was surprised with the answer. “What? Where are you going?”
Dean grinned that stupid grin of his and said, “I’m going to finish this, because I know what we’re dealing with now.”
“You can’t do this by yourself. Zombies are-”
“Oh, it’s not a zombie,” Dean said, pulling his jacket on and looking at Sam again.
Sam frowned. “How do you know?”
“Well, for one, you’re not walking around doing the Evil Dead impression,” Dean chuckled at his own joke before going on, “And for another, I got a look at it and that thing was no zombie. Zombies are limited to the strength of their human bodies. This thing was strong, it was fast, and I’m going to kill and be home in time for supper.”
“If they’re not zombies, what are they?” Sam asked, moving his arm, testing how much it hurt. With the pain medication, he could barely feel it. But the skin pulled and tugged on the stitches when he moved it and he knew that if he could feel it, it would be killing him.
Dean pulled out their Dad’s journal, which he had leafed through while they had waited in the waiting room. “It’s a Draugr.”
“A Draugr?” Sam asked.
“That’s what I said,” Dean grouched and quickly found the page before turning it for Sam to look at. “Draugrs are like zombies, except they’re not limited to the strength of their human bodies. They move fast, attack faster. And they’re spawned,” he paused for effect. “from the corpses of people who are protecting treasure.” Sam chewed his lip. Sounded like what they were looking for, but that didn’t explain all the bells. “Lucky for you, they don’t spread the zombie disease.” Sam snorted at that.
Reading a bit more in the journal, Sam paused after he read a certain passage. “It says they’re immune to all mortal weapons.”
“Not quite,” Dean said. “The way you kill one of these things is you chop its head off, salt and burn the body, and then throw the ashes into a body of water.”
Sam snorted again. “Well that’s a process.”
“Tell me about it,” Dean agreed. “There’s another thing. Remember how it screamed when I shot at it? I think it was tricking us. I think it knows what we are, it knows why we were there, and it wanted us to think we could hurt it by shooting it.”
Sam looked up at his brother wide eyed. “What, so it’s smart?”
“Unbelievably smart,” Dean said. “Whereas zombies are mindless, these things have logic that rivals the Pentagon.”
Sam shut the journal and tucked it under his good arm, shaking his head and looking at his brother with a confused look. “And you want to go out there by yourself?” Dean just grinned. Sam scoffed. “Dean, what about all those ringing bells. One over every grave rang, if there are that many of these things, it would be like facing off against the smartest army in the world. You won’t be able to-”
“Oh there’s only one,” Dean assured him. “Draugrs give off this…aura, I guess. Apparently, they replenish their power every day at the very time their human bodies were killed. When that happens, they give off this charge. Like an undead radiation. It sorta filters to everything nearby but wears off in a minute or two.”
Sam shook his head, not agreeing at all with what Dean wanted to do. “I still don’t think you should go out there by yourself.”
“Sammy, I got a plan, dude.”
It was nearly two in the morning by the time the doctor said Sam could go and see Joshua. Sam had been hooked up to an IV for a while, going over Dean’s “totally awesome butt-kicking” plan in his head. It made sense to Sam, when he looked at it from certain angles, but he still had his doubts. There was so much room in Dean’s plan for things to go wrong that Sam couldn’t help but worry. But Dean had assured him that he wouldn’t be going to the graveyard until three, because he had some supplies he wanted to pick up. Maybe Sam could still meet up with him before he went.
Walking into Joshua’s hospital room, Sam was a bit surprised and instantly worried when he saw the state of the older hunter. Joshua was resting back on the bed, his leg stitched, bandaged, and resting in a nice cast. The doctors had told Sam that they were lucky they didn’t have to amputate. A few inches to the right and they would have. But as of right now, Joshua was bedridden and would remain so for a couple of days.
“Venezuela,” Joshua said, making Sam pause in the doorway. The older hunter turned to look at him, grinned, and then nodded his head towards the television. “Jeopardy reruns.”
“Oh,” Sam let out and then nodded, closing the door behind him as he came to stand next to Joshua. “How you feeling?”
“Fine and dandy,” Joshua replied and then eyed Sam. “What’s up?”
Sam shook his head. “It’s Dean. He figured out what we’re up against and he’s going out there to kill it.”
Joshua looked alarmed. “What is it?” Sam quickly explained to Joshua what the creature was. The older man didn’t look too surprised, he was nodding along with everything Sam said. “And that stubborn idiot went out there by himself?”
“He said one of us should wait here to see how you were doing,” Sam said.
“That’s bullshit,” Joshua spat. “He was just trying to get rid of you.”
“I know,” Sam nodded and then let a small smile slip onto his lips. “But we’ve got a plan.”
Dean sat in the Impala, watching the minutes tick by slower than fucking evolution. He had a machete sitting on his lap, a pistol tucked into his jeans, and a shotgun laying handy on the passenger seat. Dean Winchester was ready. Ready to get in there and kill this fugly thing. He hated the slimy things. Creepy, scary, even smelly he could handle. But the slimy really did him in. Ever since that bog monster in Little Rock when he was fourteen. The slime had stuck with him for weeks. He found that shit in places he didn’t even know he had.
Dean wondered how Joshua was doing. He hadn’t had a chance to go in and see him before he ran out to get ready for this showdown, but he hoped the older man was all right. He tried not think of how pissed their Dad would be if he wasn’t.
The alarm on Dean’s phone went off, making him jump a moment before he realized what it was. He quickly grabbed it and shut if off. Turning his head to glance out the window at the waiting graveyard, Dean smiled slyly. “I’m coming for you, you freaky bastard.”
Grabbing the duffle bag with the salt and lighter fluid, he put the shotgun inside and then swung it over his shoulder, getting out of the car as he did so. He grabbed the machete, tucking it into a homemade sheath on his belt and grabbed the flashlight as well before he closed the door. “Showtime,” he whispered as he walked pass the gate. Hallowed ground always thrilled him for some reason. There really was no physical difference, but Dean could tell there was. Things were more…alert on hallowed ground.
It didn’t take him long to find the spot they’d been digging at earlier. There was still blood lightly coating the grass near the dug up dirt. The sight of it just fueled Dean’s anger towards this creature. Oh yeah, he was going to enjoy chopping this thing’s head off. Dean shook his head at the sight before turning to look at the crypt in the center of the graveyard. That’s where he needed to go.
Walking over to it, he pulled out a pair of bolt cutters from the duffle and quickly cut the chain that was keeping it closed, noting along the way that the door had been opened recently, though the chain was still in place. He picked up the lock. There wasn’t a key still there, but the lock did have some odd markings, scratches along the outside. Fingernail marks? Oh, this thing was good.
Heading inside the crypt, Dean shone his flashlight around. The names on the walls signaling the remains of the people buried here were well worn, unreadable. But he could see the empty slot, just like Joshua had said there would be. He hesitated on it for a moment before scanning the room again, finally finding what he was looking for. At the back of the small interior of the room was a knob on the floor. It didn’t look like much from where Dean was standing and if he hadn’t known to look for it, he probably wouldn’t have even paid any attention to it. But he knew to look for it, so Dean recognized the trap door when he saw it.
Placing his stuff down next to him, he reached for the knob and pulled it open. The wooden door creaked and cracked as he pulled it up, resting it against the wall. Musty dust circled up from the hidden compartment beneath the crypt. Dean smiled to himself and then spoke out loud. “You know, back in the day, they used to equip all these crypts with hidden rooms like this one so that a secret grave keeper could live here twenty-four seven.” Dean grabbed his stuff and threw it into the hidden room. “They were usually employed by people who had buried important personal belongings to them. Gives a whole new meaning to the word crypt keeper, doesn’t it?”
Swinging his legs into the hole, he felt for a footing, but couldn’t find one. He shone his flashlight down into the hole, gauging the distance, before he let himself drop in. He quickly scoped the room, making sure nothing else was in it with him before he slowed down and took a deep breath. “You know, the funny things is, these rooms aren’t ever recorded anywhere, so no one but the owner usually knows they’re here. It was a bitch to find out about this one. You’re owner really knew how to cover his bases.”
Dean gave a small, nervous chuckle, one hand shining the flashlight around the room, realizing that this room was a lot bigger than the crypt that sat atop it, while the other hand clutched the handle of the machete so tightly his knuckles were white. “I know you’re listening,” Dean whispered. “I know you have something planned. And I just want you to know that whatever it is, it ain’t happening. Because I know things that you probably don’t think I know. Like the tunnels, for one. What? You think I wouldn’t figure it out? I wouldn’t figure out how you move around without anyone seeing you? I gotta tell you, Tremors is one of my favorite movies, and I always had a fantasy of running into a Graboid, but you’ll have to do.”
Pausing in his talk, Dean shone his flashlight into the corner of the room, something catching his eye. In all reality, Dean didn’t know if the Draugr was really listening to him. If it was, good. If not, well Dean was keeping himself entertained. What he was really doing was looking for one of the tunnel entrances that he was sure was around here somewhere. And maybe he’d just found one.
Moving forward, he unsheathed his machete, pulling it out as he walked closer to the protruding object sticking out from the wall. What was it? Another knob. But the closer he got, the more his heart started hammering in his chest. Geeze, this was a lousy idea to come out here by himself. Because protruding from the wall was a finger bone, pointing, straight at him. “That’s gross,” Dean whispered, turning up his nose. And just as he was about to reach out for it, the finger bone started to waggle. Dean’s eyes widened. He got out a quick, “Oh shit,” before the ground suddenly moved beneath his feet.
Falling was a sensation Dean never enjoyed. He seemed to do it a lot. Well, maybe it wasn’t the falling that he hated, but the landings. And this one hurt like a bitch. He fell a good six or seven feet before being abruptly stopped by the earth. Pain exploded in his leg, sending hot white flares up his body, stars dancing in his eyes for a second.
“Ow, fuck,” Dean whispered as the dust settled around him. He realized three things all at once. One, he’d lost his machete in the fall. Two, this thing was damn good because hell if he hadn’t even considered there being a THIRD room. And three, this really wasn’t going according to his plan.
Trying to sit up, he cried out as the white hot pain exploded in his leg again. He leaned his head back against the ground, breathing in, gritting his teeth, back arching. Oh god, that stung. The bone didn’t feel broken. But it almost felt like…
Lifting his head, Dean eyed the wound on his leg and groaned as he realized his assumption had been right. The jagged end of a pipe was sticking up through his thigh. His jeans torn and already soaked in blood. The blood was still coming.
Yeah, definitely not going according to plan.