Standing in the doorway, Sam squinted through the darkness, his arm instinctively tightening round his brother's chest, pulling him closer, feeling Dean flinch as the motion pulled on his wound. He slowly shuffled sideways so that he was standing partly in front of Dean, his body forming a barrier between Dean and whatever was in that room.
"S'matter S'my?" Dean's strengthless voice whispered over his brother's shoulder.
"Shh;" Sam scanned the room, his hackles rising as his sense of unease deepened.
The room, although dark, was well lit by moonlight which threw a hazy grey glow across the two unkempt beds, the glass of water on Dean's bedside table, the chair where Sam had spent most of the night. Both brothers watched silently, staring intently into the room, flinching as the curtain fluttered at the open window.
"Sammy, whas'matter?" Dean asked again; Sam's unease seemed to have woken him a little, the voice sounded more alert; and he seemed to be standing under some of his own steam again.
"I think there's something in the room," Sam whispered cautiously.
"Don't know – but it can't be good."
Sam's eyes darted around the room; he could swear he saw something moving in his peripheral vision, something that was there, but wasn't; and the smell - sure, the smell of Bobby's yard was something they were used to; it seeped into their bones and skin, they came away from Bobby's house smelling of wrecked vehicles, but this was different; there was something else in the mix, something sour, salty; something very, very wrong.
He briefly turned to Dean, "you ok bro'?" Dean stared straight past him with eyes wide as saucers, and nodded silently and slowly; "Sam," he whispered; "look at the windowsill…"
They both squinted through the darkness at the windowsill; there was a dark, wet smear across it, which continued down the wall most of the way the floor.
Then they saw it. On the floor, just in front of the closest bed, about three yards in front of them; a narrow, coiled shadow.
Sam gasped and abruptly slammed the door shut, staggering backwards tugging Dean with him as the door clattered loudly under the weight of a heavy blow which slammed against it from the other side.
They stumbled back across the landing away from the pounding door and burst into Bobby's room. "Bobby!" Sam yelled, switching on the light and decanting his brother down heavily on the end of the bed across the shocked older man's feet.
Bobby scrambled out from under his quilt, a dishevelled figure in a vest which appeared to be held together by coffee stains. He covered his eyes, blinking blearily through the light; "what the hell ...?" he squinted at Dean, half sitting, half sprawled on the bed, and up at Sam; he was too close to the edge of sleep to be able to formulate the words.
"It's a Lyndworm," Sam gasped; "yeah, an' it's in our friggin' room," Dean added hoarsely.
Bobby tugged his feet out from under Dean's sprawled legs, and stared through sagging sleep-muzzed eyes at the brothers as if they were mad; "W-what?"
"A Lyndworm, in our room Bobby;" Sam scraped an agitated hand across his face, "we gotta deal with it before it gets out," he shouted over the increasingly furious clattering.
The crashing against the rattling door was continuous – it was clear the door wasn't going to stand up to much more punishment.
"But Sam, those things are friggin' enormous, it couldn't possibly get into the house."
"This one isn't, it looks pretty small compared to the other one we wasted," muttered Dean. "Yeah, but it still sounds like a vicious sonofabitch; listen to that," Sam tilted his head urgently towards the furious clattering at the door across the landing.
A head suddenly appeared round the door. It was Tom; "hey, what the hell's going on – what's that noise?" He looked down at Dean sitting, heavy eyed and shivering on the bed.
"We think we've got a Lyndworm problem;" Bobby looked up at his old friend.
Bobby turned to Sam, "Sam, get Dean down into the panic room; I'll deal with our reptile problem."
"No Bobby, I'll …"
Tom cut him off, "Sam, we can't risk Dean - he's not strong enough to fight it off or, God forbid, take another bite - now get your ass down there and take ya brother out of harm's way."
"I'll be ok, I don' need …" Dean began irritably. "Move it," yelled Bobby.
Sam nodded sharply as Bobby clambered out of bed and reached clumsily for a pair of pants.
"C'mon bro", Sam offered his hands to Dean, "let's get you safe."
"Hate this," snarked Dean; standing up on shaky legs, and gripping Sam's arms as they made their way to the top of the stairs. When they reached the top step, Dean hesitated, swaying slghtly; "dizzy," he grunted, trying not to look down the staircase.
Sam realised he was going to have to pick his brother up and carry him down the stairs – there was no time for dignity or pride; Dean could punch him for it when he had his strength back; but that was a moot point if that thing in the room managed to get hold of them, as he bent down to hoist Dean over his shoulder, there was a cracking smash as the door exploded outwards.
Sam turned abruptly, losing his footing in the process, and Dean watched in horror was his brother tumbled backwards down the stairs.
"S'MMY!" he cried out, reaching out forlornly to his brother's flailing hands as he fell; not noticing the sinuous bodies which burst with liquid swiftness from the room, and Dean suddenly found himself crouching and pinned into the corner by not one, but two flickering, indistinct forms looming over him; they appeared to be around as long as he was tall, their bodies about the thickness of his bicep, the sour odour of their clammy scales and toxic breath overwhelming him. Behind them he could see Bobby and Tom watching, paralysed in horror from the bedroom door.
Dean stared, breathless with dread at four glittering amber eyes which swayed hypnotically in front of him; he cursed the fact that his legs were too weak for him to try to stand, to get away, to help his brother; he was trapped helplessly against the wall, and glancing down the stairs, he saw Sam was clearly hurt.
"S'mmy" he whispered, "y-you ok?"
"…think I broke my arm," came the dazed response from the bottom of the stairs.
The two fluid forms edged closer to him, their mottling, blurring outlines teasing his vision, making him feel giddy and sick. Closer and closer they advanced, as he shrank further back away from them, cowering into the corner until he could feel their warm clammy scales against his skin, and feel their flickering forked tongues exploring his face.
He could see Bobby edging toward him, a knife in his hand.
"Bobby, NO!" he hissed, as one of the creatures turned and lunged towards the older man with a violent hiss sending Bobby stumbling backwards. "You can't take them both."
Casting his eyes to the side, Dean could see Sam edging up the stairs on his knees, left arm tucked protectively into his side. A vivid purple bruise was blossoming across his cheekbone.
"Sam, NO!" barked Dean, "keep back".
One of the creatures pressed it's head against his shoulder, it's sinuous form worming bonelessly around the crook of his neck; Dean's breathing hitched as he heard it's hiss and felt it's tongue flickering against his ear, he cringed and closed his eyes, expecting the worst.
The two slithering bodies enfolded him, as he curled up, burrowing into the corner; he gritted his teeth, gagging with revulsion as their forked tongues explored every inch of his face.
For the longest time, no-one dared to breathe; helpless in the face of these two lightening-quick predators; scared to move in case it resulted in another bite which they all knew would spell the end for Dean.
Then Tom broke the silence.
"Oh my God."
Bobby turned to him, "what?"
"They're her young."
Dean squinted desperately at Bobby and Tom from within the knotted slithering mass of reptilian bodies. "What?" he croaked.
"Think about it," Tom continued breathlessly, "most hunters go their entire lives without seeing one of these things. You've just wasted one and now you've got two potted versions on your ass." He turned to Bobby, "That's no co-incidence."
"Get to the point," gasped Dean, squirming under the onslaught to try to catch a glance at Sam who was still crouching awkwardly halfway up the stairs, his horror-stricken eyes fixed unblinking on Dean.
"So, are you saying these two are out to get revenge on their mother's killers?" Bobby couldn't keep the fear out of his voice.
"No," Tom said "look at them, they're not trying to harm him - they're not strong enough; they're trying to stay close to him."
He looked at Bobby's puzzled stare; "I've heard of this in infant animals before - I wouldn't mind betting they're newly hatched."
"Bobby, they've imprinted on him" He continued;
"They think he's their mother".