Dean turned and stared at Buffy a moment. “If we get separated, there’s a chance it’ll try to impersonate one of us to get to the other two.” He shook his head. “If you can’t see me or Sam, then don’t assume that it’s actually us if you hear our voice say something.”
Buffy nodded. It made sense. After all, if she just assumed that it was actually Dean or Sam, she could end up seriously screwed. She could end up as the Wendigo’s dinner. Or kidnapped or collapsed on the ground because she’d blacked out from some injury.
She wasn’t going to let that happen though. She wasn’t going to become a liability on this hunt.
Sam held out a handgun to her. “This won’t kill it but it just might slow it down long enough for you to make a break for it if it comes after you.” Once she took the gun, he made sure that he had his own.
“Didn’t you say that it was fast?” Buffy asked.
He hesitated and then nodded. “Yeah.”
No one acknowledged the fact that if it was so fast then it wouldn’t matter if they shot it. It wouldn’t matter because the thing would be on them.
Dean glanced between the two of them. “Let’s go.”~*~*~
Buffy frowned down at the ground as they walked through the woods. “I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a city girl,” she muttered.
Dean snorted. “Not a fan of camping?”
“This isn’t camping. This is walking through the woods and hoping not to get eaten or shredded or whatever.”
“Dean’s doesn’t really like camping either,” Sam told her. When she turned to look at him, he nodded. “He’s not big on the woods or hiking or anything.”
“Shut up,” Dean said. “I do better with this than you do.”
“Sure you do, Dean.”
“Right. Who was it that cried for like an hour when he found out we were going to be staying at a cabin in the woods?”
“I was seven,” Sam protested. “And you had just made me watch Friday the 13th, you jerk.”
“You asked.” Dean shot him a look. “Insisted you were a big boy and you could watch it just as easily as I could.”
“And you listened?” Buffy blurted. He shrugged and smirked.
“I’m not sure if I should be offended or not that you don’t think I was able to watch it,” Sam muttered.
“Crying for an hour makes it sound like you couldn’t.”
Sam made a face rather than respond as they came to a stop in front of a cabin.
“This is it,” Dean told them.
“Are we sure that it’ll attack us?” Buffy asked.
Sam nodded. “It won’t be able to resist. A Wendigo is as smart as we are and so it won’t fall for a simple trick. It’ll know that we’re a threat and so it’ll see us as a challenge.”
Buffy let out a breath as they walked up to the cabin and Dean muttered about stupidity when they realized that it was unlocked.
That was comforting.
“It’ll probably try to attack tonight,” Sam added as they walked inside.
“Fantastic,” Buffy muttered. “Can’t wait.”~*~*~
The sound of a scream is what first drew their attention. All three of them tensed and Dean stood up, heading towards the door. Buffy straightened as Sam stood.
“What are you doing?”
Dean paused in the act of opening the door and glanced back. “I’m going to make sure there’s nothing outside.”
“Dean, you can’t just go out there, what if—“
“Something starts to go wrong, come after me,” he said quietly.
“Which it will and we will,” Sam muttered. “Dean, we can’t just not have a plan.”
“You said it yourself. This thing is as smart as we are,” he whispered. “Plan’s not going to work. Taking it by surprise? It just might.” “Who said I had a plan? I don’t know how many’s down there, but I wanna find out. And I’ll know when I land. If you don’t come in after me, I might die!”
“Oh, this is going to go so bad,” Buffy breathed. Sam nodded even as Dean slipped out.
“He always does this.” Sam grabbed his gun off the table and tucked it in the waistband of his pants. “You ready?”
Buffy took a deep breath and made sure she had her gun before tucking a dagger into her boot. “As I’ll ever be.” She bit her lip. “Do we really just wait until something goes wrong?”
He shook his head. “No. We can’t. Something goes wrong and Dean could be dead.” He didn’t say anything else as he opened the door and glanced back at her, raising an eyebrow. She nodded in response to his silent question and followed him out the door.
Her eyes adjusted to the darkness quickly, as usual, and she began to scan the area for some sign of Dean or the Wendigo. Not that she knew what she was looking for but if the thing was as tall as Alex had said, it shouldn’t be hard to spot, right?
They were so screwed if it was hard to spot.
“Sam?” she whispered. “Will it be hard to find?”
“It might be.” His voice was tense as he looked around. “It might be,” he repeated. “Depending on what’s happened.”
He didn’t have to say that it depended on whether or not something had happened to Dean. It was in the way his body stayed tense, the way his eyes kept searching.
There was the sound of something snapping to their left and they both turned, Sam already pulling out his gun. Buffy shifted, pulling out her own gun, and prayed she wouldn’t miss when it really counted.
“It’s me,” Dean said as he stepped out of the bushes. “I thought you were supposed to come if something went wrong?”
“Wrong with a Wendigo usually means dead or nearly dead, Dean.”
They tensed as there was a rustling to the left and then a laugh. Buffy swallowed and wished she had something other than a gun to fight with.
“Shit,” was all Dean had time to say before something was coming straight at them. They each dove out of the way, landing in different areas. “Move!”
Buffy shoved herself up and started running, swearing when she realized that she had started running in the opposite direction of the cabin. She stopped and then sucked in a breath when she heard laughter again.
“Oh God,” she muttered.
She spun towards the sound of Dean’s voice, prepared to respond, and then stopped. “If you can’t see me or Sam, then don’t assume that it’s actually us if you hear our voice say something.”
Instead of replying, she took a step back and, following her instinct, spun out of the way in time to avoid being grabbed by the Wendigo. She knew better than to scream, knew that the brothers would want to come but would also be trying to figure out a plan. She swallowed and tilted her head back, staring up at the tall Wendigo.
“Well, you really are taller than Sam,” she said. It tilted its head, pulling itself up from its hunched over position.
She looked down at the gun, remembering what Sam had told her in the car about killing a Wendigo.
“This isn’t going to set you on fire.” She shoved the gun into the back of her jeans and fell into a fighting stance. “And I’m missing some matches so let’s go.” She wondered where the hell all of this was coming from but it was helping her stay calm.
She dove forward, tucking her body into a roll, and then standing. She turned and kicked out, blinking in surprise when she actually connected with the Wendigo. Even as she pulled her leg back, the Wendigo was moving forward and grabbing her. She fell, letting out a surprised grunt when she connected with the ground before using her other leg to kick the Wendigo back. She rolled to the side and stood.
“Okay, you are completely in my way.”
She wouldn’t be able to outrun it if she tried right now. She’d have to injure it or she had no chance.
“Come on, ugly,” she muttered.
As if it understood her, it launched itself at her and she moved to the side, reaching out and grabbing it with both hands before tossing it as hard as she could into the nearest tree. She felt a flare of satisfaction when she heard something crack and then she was pulling out her gun, flipping the safety off and aiming. She only hesitated a moment before pulling the trigger, only waiting long enough to see that the bullet had embedded itself into the Wendigo’s leg, before she turned and ran.
She let out a breath as she cleared the trees and nearly ran into Dean.
“Buffy,” he said, grabbing her shoulders to steady her. “You okay?”
She nodded up at him and then glanced at Sam, shifting her grip on the gun. He glanced down at her hand and then back up at her, a question in his eyes.
“It worked.” She licked her lips. “I shot it in the leg and then ran for it. I thought if it had a hard time running, I’d be able to actually make it.”
Dean stared down at her for a moment and then looked over her shoulder as if debating with himself.
“You remember which direction you came from?” he asked. Buffy nodded again.
“I think so.” She frowned. “But will it still be there if we go back?”
“It’s worth a shot,” Sam said. “If we can get rid of this thing now, while it’s injured, there’s less of a chance of one of us getting hurt.”
“One of us nearly was,” Dean muttered before stepping back from Buffy. He paused. “You sure, Buffy?”
Buffy considered it for a moment and then nodded. “If we can get rid of it now, then we probably should.”
Dean looked at her as if determining whether or not she meant it before he nodded and turned back towards the cabin. “I’ll get the supplies.”
“Buffy,” Sam said, moving towards her. “Did it get you?”
She blinked at him. “What?”
“You looked like you were limping a bit when you ran. Did it get you?”
“My leg. It grabbed my leg.” She lifted one shoulder. “I think I surprised it when I kicked it in the face.” Buffy sighed. “Honestly, I’m not sure how I even managed to do that before shooting it.” She looked back towards the trees and thought of how natural it had felt to fight the Wendigo and wondered again just who she had been before meeting the Winchesters. She turned back to Sam. “Don’t tell Dean yet. We can look at it later.”
He frowned. “I get wanting to finish this, Buffy, believe me, I do. But if you’re hurt—“
“It’s not so bad that it can’t wait and it’s not a cut so it won’t get infected. I don’t even think it’s sprained because that would probably hurt more.”
Sam sighed. She was right, even if he hated admitting it. He couldn’t think of anytime he’d seen someone run on a sprained ankle. Twisted, yes. But sprained usually meant a slow and painful walk with some hopping possibly involved, not running.
“Fine. But we look at it as soon as we get back.”
Buffy smiled. “Deal.”
“Okay, ladies,” Dean announced with a smirk in Sam’s direction as he walked outside. “Let’s finish this.”