Hunting Humanity XI

BY : greenwizard
Category: Supernatural > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 896
Disclaimer: I do not own the Supernatural universe. I don't get any money from this story, only entertainment.

Two weeks later Sam got a call from Mick asking them to meet with him. Dean agreed to go, but as they sat in the conference room and waited he seemed a little agitated. “Alright, that's it. I'm waiting in the car,” he stood from the table he was sitting on.

 

“Dean, dude, wait a second,” Sam urged his brother to relax.

 

“No. You know what? Getting jobs from these dicks is one thing, but I didn't sign up for this reporting for duty crap, especially when they're late.”

 

“Sorry I'm late,” Mick entered the room as soon as Dean finished the sentence. “My report to the home office ran long. We've had our hands full since...” His gaze fell on the blood stain by the control center. “Well, best not to dwell on that.”

 

Dean scoffed. “Wow. That is some world class repression. You are British.”

 

“We prefer to call it a stiff upper lip.”

 

“Okay, enough,” Sam cut Dean off when he opened his mouth to reply. “Mick, what's the deal with the bat signal?”

 

“There was an incident in Wisconsin. An animal attack.” Mick handed Sam a gray folder. “A girl named Hayden Foster's in the hospital, and her brother lost his heart. Looks like a werewolf.”

 

Sam looked the file over. “Well, they don't usually leave behind survivors.”

 

“Freak probably got spooked before it could finish the job,” Dean commented.

 

Mick shrugged. “Well, perhaps. But it usually takes more than a fright to put your average werewolf off his supper.”

 

“Usually, yes,” Liam agreed as he moved near Sam to get a look at the file.

 

“Oh, you'd know that, would you?” Dean looked at Mick with a lot of skepticism.

 

“Actually, I would. I did extensive research into lycanthropy at Kendricks,” Mick responded.

 

“Kendricks?” Sam repeated the word with a raised eyebrow.

 

“The Kendricks School. It's where the British Men of Letters train their operatives. It's like our...”

 

“Hogwarts?”

 

“Exactly. Kendricks is the largest collection of occult lore in the world. So when it comes to werewolves, I'm not entirely ignorant. For example, we know that last night's attack didn't happen on a full moon. Therefore, we're looking for a pure blood.”

 

“You think?” Dean's tone was sarcastic. “It's like a milk run to me.”

 

“Then you don't mind if I tag along?” Mick posed the question.

 

Sam shook his head. “Mick, um... Listen, I don't think it's really your kind of thing.”

 

“Oh, no, maybe it should be,” Mick argued. “I had the best team, but most of us, we were thinkers, not fighters. And let's be honest, you two and your mum, you're the only reason I'm still alive.”

 

“So now you wanna be like us?” Dean was a little suspicious.

 

“No. I just want to be ready for whatever's next. I have been told to take the advice of a former vampire seriously, and he thinks we need to be better prepared,” Mick looked to Liam.

 

Liam shrugged. “I did say that, and I'm not often wrong.”

 

“Well, we need to discuss this between ourselves,” Dean said as he motioned for Sam and Liam to follow him into the hall. “Dude, he is dead weight, and you know it,” Dean turned to his companions as soon as they were out of ear shot.

 

“Look, Mick's inexperienced, sure. But these people have some serious knowledge,” Sam argued.

 

“So? Dude, what we do, you can't learn this crap in a book. You put on a flannel, you pick up a gun, you go out there. Either you get good fast or you get dead faster.”

 

“We're working with these people now and we're getting wins. We're saving people. The better they are, the better we are.”

 

“And who better to teach him than you?” Liam said as he wrapped his arms around Dean's neck and pressed their bodies together.

 

“Not fair,” Dean grumbled. “And what if he gets himself killed?”

 

“Then we won't have to deal with him anymore.”

 

“I heard that,” Mick said as he came out all ready to go.

 

“But then the British Men of Letters might send someone else here who is even more of a dick,” Liam pointed out.

 

Dean sighed and gave Liam a quick peck on the lips before pointing to his brother. “If he's coming, you're babysitting him.”

 

A little while later they were all in the car, Sam reading a lore book while Mick sat in the back with Liam listening to a podcast about monks. “Okay, enough of that,” Liam ripped Mick's phone from his hands and turned the podcast off. “I need music.”

 

Mick looked taken aback at that. “Are you always so....?” he didn't quite know how to finish the sentence.

 

“Yep,” Dean answered the question. “Get used to it.”

 

“I've been wanting to listen to that one,” Sam protested.

 

Liam patted Sam's shoulder. “Well, Mick doesn't count because he's a guest, and it's me and Dean against you. Listen on your own time.”

 

“You're a little cranky,” Sam commented.

 

“Being bored to tears tends to do that.”

 

“You know, monks like Martin Luther are among the earliest hunters. He even wrote parts of that book you're holding,” Mick said to Sam.

 

Sam was surprised. “What? This lore dates back to the 16th century?”

 

“Yeah. Well, in Europe, everything’s old. Though we do have our fair share of new tricks for dealing with wolves; sulfate gas, silver nitrate lethal injection.”

 

“Take a handful of silver bullets over any of that fancy crap,” Dean mumbled.

 

Mick sighed. “Yes, well, thanks to that fancy crap, Britain's last werewolf outbreak was in the '20s. We rooted them out, bitten and pure blood alike.”

 

Sam raised an eyebrow at that. “Wait a second. You killed them all? Even the ones that weren't hurting anyone? I mean, werewolves aren't like most monsters. Some can control it. I mean, we have a buddy got bit. Nothing but beef hearts ever since.”

 

“Visiting him was interesting experience,” Liam added.

 

“And you trust him?” Mick was surprised. The three men let the silence speak for them. “Well, killing is a fundamental need for werewolves. And monsters don't just stop being monsters.”

 

“Well, Garth did,” Dean argued. “And if Mom really did tell you all about Liam, you'll know he was a vampire, but never a monster.”

 

“He seems to be a very interesting exception,” Mick agreed. “Oh, turn here.”

 

Dean turned into the parking lot of a fairly nice hotel and pulled up to the entrance. Sam got out and looked around. “This place, uh, seems a little...” he couldn't think of the right word.

 

“Shabby?” Mick finished the sentence for him. “Yeah. Three stars was the best I could do. Least our bean counters will be happy. Booked us all suites.”

 

Sam blinked at that. “Wait, you... We're in separate rooms?”

 

“Yeah, of course,” Mick nodded. “Though I did take the liberty of assuming Dean and Liam would want to be in the same room seeing as how...”

 

“You say three stars?” Dean was a little excited about that. “So we're talking fresh towels, little baby shampoos?”

 

“And I believe there's a pool,” Mick said as he headed inside.

 

“I think I like you a little bit more now,” Liam said as he followed.

 

Sam, Dean, and Liam waited out front for Mick the next morning. “Man. Those pillows, right?” Dean looked to his brother when Sam came out. “The little chocolates that they put on? I mean, I'm ruined, Sam. Those limey sons of bitches ruined me. I even took a swim this morning.”

 

“You brought a swimsuit?” Sam raised an eyebrow.

 

“No,” Dean shook his head.

 

Sam made a little disgusted look. “I don't even wanna know what else you were up to last night.”

 

Liam crossed his arms. “Not what you'd think.”

 

Dean rolled his eyes. “A, we're currently working a case. And two, I don't know why you're complaining because you usually complain about the holes we normally stay in.” Liam stuck his tongue out at Dean, and Dean turned to Sam. “What'd you get up to?”

 

“I read through more of Mick's lore books,” Sam answered.

 

“Really? Wow. Those three stars are wasted on you.”

 

“Anyways, listen to this. It's crazy. So apparently, back in the '30s they were working on this treatment for werewolves. This, like, blood therapy.”

 

Mick joined them. “Plasma therapy. Useless, I'm afraid. So how were your accommodations, lads?”

 

“I've had better night's sleep in my baby,” Dean answered, causing Liam to snort. “Get in. Let's go.” Dean leaned in to whisper in Liam's ear. “Not gonna give him the satisfaction.”

 

Dean drove to the hospital to see the girl who was attacked. As they approached her room a nurse had just left and only her mother was in the room. Mick moved to enter, but Sam stopped him. “Wait, let us,” Sam insisted.

 

“Oh, I'm a quick study,” Mick assured them.

 

“Well, good for you,” Dean didn't seem impressed. “Okay, stay here, keep watch. Anything comes up, I don't know, whistle.”

 

Sam approached the mother. “Ms. Foster? Sorry to bother you. Agent McVie. These are my partners, Agent Fleetwood, and Agent Walsh. Um, we'd like to ask your daughter a few questions.”

 

“She's sleeping,” Ms. Foster began to protest.

 

“We'll be quick. Promise,” Dean assured her.

 

“I said no. Hayden needs her rest. She's...”

 

Mick entered the room wearing a doctor's coat and picked up the girl's chart. “Good morning. And how is our patient today?”

 

“I'm sorry. Who are you?” Ms. Foster asked.

 

“Dr. Buckingham. Hayden's attending doctor, Dr. Markum, asked me to look in on her. Um, would it be okay to ask you just to step outside for a moment?”

 

“I, um... Of course, Doctor.” Ms. Foster got up, and the three men followed her out.

 

Out in the hallway Dean poured the woman a cup of coffee and handed it to her. “Here.”

 

“Thank you,” she gave him a small smile. “I'm sorry about all that.”

 

“It's okay,” Sam assured her. “After what you've been through, you have no reason to apologize.”

 

“I just... I don't even know what my kids were doing out there. You know, Hayden was supposed to be sleeping at her friend's house, and... I just keep thinking this is a nightmare, you know? That I'm gonna wake up.”

 

“We know this is hard,” Liam tried to comfort her a little.

 

“I'm just glad the FBI is here, not those crazies,” Ms. Foster said as she took a sip of coffee.

 

“Crazies?” that caught Dean's attention.

 

“Bigfoot truthers. Calling, sending emails. They thought Hayden was... Like I said. Crazy. Some girl even came by here saying she was from the Fish and Wildlife Service. Barely as old as Hayden. I mean, like I'm gonna buy that.”

 

“You remember what she looked like?” Sam asked.

 

“Yeah. Blonde. Bad attitude. I actually have her card right here,” she pulled it out of her pocket and handed it to Dean. Mick came out of the room. “How is she?”

 

“Wound's healing up nicely. Nothing too serious,” Mick gave her a warm smile.

 

“Oh, that's so... Thank you so much.”

 

“Pleasure. Excuse me.”

 

Ms. Foster went back into her daughter's room, and Dean turned to Mick. “Was she bit?”

 

“No, she's a lucky girl.”

 

“Then why was she left alive?” Liam wondered out loud, his eyes narrowing a little.

 

Mick just gave a little shrug. “Like I said, lucky girl.”

 

Sam nodded. “Good. What about, uh, Fish and Wildlife Service? Think it's another hunter?”

 

Dean looked at the card in his hand. “Young, blonde, pissed off. Sound like anybody we know?”

 

“You think she would?” Liam came to the same conclusion. “Even after what happened the last time she tried?”

 

“She's stubborn. You're stubborn. Would you let one close call stop you?”

 

“I don't think she's as stubborn as I am. Definitely not as smart. But you have a point.”

 

Dean grabbed his phone out of his pocket as they headed for the car. “I'll call Jody and probe, but if Claire isn't safe and sound at home...”

 

As far as Jody knew, Claire was checking out collages. That was enough for Sam to track the number on the card the mother gave them. Sure enough, they found Claire in a gas station parking lot. Before they approached her Dean called the number and watched her reach for the phone. “Hello? Uh, this is Agent Beatrice Quimby,” she answered.

 

“Oh, thank God. There's a bear. It's the size of a freaking tank!” Dean tried to disguise his voice. “I think it wants my pic-a-nic basket!”

 

She sighed and turned around to see them. “Hi, Dean.”

 

“So Fish and Wildlife? Really?” Dean raised an eyebrow at her.

 

“Claire, what are you doing here?” Sam asked.

 

“Same as you. Werewolf case,” Claire answered.

 

“Since we're all here together, you're coming with us,” Dean pointed to the Impala with a tone that implied she didn't have a choice in the matter.

 

They took her back to their hotel and went to the bar where they were supposed to meet Mick after tracking Claire down. “Now. Beers all around, and a rum and coke for you,” Mick brought over a tray of drinks.

 

“Who are you?” Claire asked him.

 

“Oh. Mick Davies,” he reached to shake her hand. “Men of Letters. British.”

 

“Long story. And like, Downton Abbey boring, so...” Dean saw Claire reach for a beer and slapped her hand away. “Uh, no.”

 

Claire sighed in frustration. “Anyway... I've been on this a day. And guess what? The girl, Hayden. Her story about what happened the night of the attack. One big lie.”

 

“We figured,” Liam confirmed. “Her mother said she was supposed to be staying with a friend. Being so deceitful is a typical young girl thing.”

 

Claire scoffed. “And you're supposed to be the cool one.”

 

“You'll soon find out I still am.”

 

“Staying on topic, do you know where she was?” Dean asked.

 

“She was at the local dive bar getting trashed,” Claire answered the question. “I tracked her phone and asked around and... Bartenders love me. It's a gift.”

 

Mick took a sip of beer and made a funny face. “Yeah, why I ordered the rum and coke,” Liam said when he noticed.

 

“Right. You get anything else?” Sam asked Claire.

 

“The guy I talked to was a scumbag. Tribal tat, motorcycle, grabby.”

 

“Grabby?” Dean repeated the word, sounding like a protective parent.

 

Claire rolled her eyes. “I'm a big girl. I handled it.”

 

“Doesn't seem to bother you when men get grabby with me,” Liam mumbled.

 

It was Dean's turn to roll his eyes. “One, you're not a young girl. B, they're usually lying on the ground crying by the time I get there because you already handled it.”

 

“True,” Liam admitted.

 

“I'm an adult!” Claire was offended.

 

“Barely,” Dean argued.

 

Mick stood up. “Right. Think I'm gonna call it a night.”

 

Sam looked down at his watch. “Dude, it's 5:30.”

 

“If our back and forth here is bothering you, well, you'll have to learn to adjust,” Liam said.

 

“Oh, no, that's not it,” Mick assured them. “My report's due at 6:00 sharp. All work, no play.”

 

“I'd say so,” Liam looked a little suspicious. “What is there to report on? All we know right now is that there's a werewolf running around.”

 

“Still, headquarters likes to be kept in the loop.”

 

“Nice meeting ya,” Claire gave him a little wave. When Mick was gone she turned her attention back to the guys. “So, your foreign exchange student is totally lame.”

 

“Why don't I believe him?” Liam wondered out loud.

 

“Because you're very mistrusting of everyone you don't know well,” Dean answered the question. “But he's Sam's best friend. They're like nerd soul mates.”

 

Sam shook his head and let out a deep sigh. “Anyway, why are you alone?” he turned the conversation back to Claire.

 

“Jody's busy with sheriff stuff. And she said to call if I found anything,” Claire lied.

 

“So you called her?”

 

“You called first. And she's great, by the way. And so is Alex. So, should we go to the morgue?”

 

“Take it easy, Clarice. Morgue's closed,” Dean pointed out.

 

“By the way, when's the last time you had a hot meal that didn't come from a Gas-n-Sip microwave?” Sam asked.

 

“Not that there's anything wrong with that,” Dean added quickly.

 

Claire looked down at her feet and didn't say anything for a moment. “It's been a while.”

 

“Well,” Dean said as he put a menu down on the table in front of her. “Go nuts. It's on, uh, Harry Potter.”

 

“Cool,” Claire smiled and picked up the menu.

 

Liam moved to look at it too. “Do they have chili cheese fries?”

 

Dean shook his head. “And you bitch at me...”

 

The blond glared at his partner. “You're worse.”

 

In the morning Dean was contacted by the hospital doctor. The girl had died, and something seemed rather odd about it. All of them dressed in suits and went to check it out. “Thanks for coming by so quickly. Ms. Foster gave us your number,” the doctor greeted them when they got there.

 

“You have any idea what happened to her?” Dean asked.

 

The doctor could only shrug. “Autopsy's tomorrow, but it could be an arterial embolism, cardiac arrest.”

 

“A heart attack at her age?” Sam found that strange.

 

“It gets weirder. When we admitted her, she had defensive wounds to her arms.” The doctor pulled back the blanket covering Hayden to show them. “Now they're gone.” His phone rang and he looked to see who it was. “Excuse me,” he mumbled as he left the room.

 

Claire looked around at the guys. “Okay, what the hell?”

 

Dean eyed Mick. “You checked Hayden out. Did you notice anything weird?”

 

Mick was flustered for a split second. “No, but the girl could've had internal injuries or...”

 

“But somehow her external injuries all healed? No way,” Sam wasn't buying it. “This is almost like, uh...”

 

“Like she turned,” Liam finished the thought.

 

“Explains the whole Wolverine healing factor thing,” Claire seemed to agree.

 

“But that'd be crazy because that means she would've been bit,” Dean kept his attention on Mick. “And Mick here says that that didn't happen. Right, Mick?”

 

“Not that I saw,” Mick seemed to get a little more nervous. Unless I made a mistake.”

 

“Hell of a mistake.”

 

“Dean...” Sam tried to call his brother off.

 

“Sam, things aren't adding up here,” Liam pointed out. “Not with Mick's story anyhow.”

 

“I get that you're a suspicious man, but...” Mick tried to defend himself.

 

“And I can also smell fear.”

 

“Hey!” Claire shouted to get their attention back. “Whatever got Hayden is still out there.”

 

“Okay,” Dean sighed. “So let's say the night of the attack, wolf ices big bro, chomps down on a little sis, and then, poof, vanishes? Does that make any sense?”

 

“Maybe he let her go,” Sam suggested.

 

“On purpose? Why?” Claire wondered.

 

Liam looked down at the girl's body. “It all seems to come back to her being turned. Unless things have turned all weird again, it's the only thing that makes any sense.”

 

Sam nodded. “Right. Which means this wasn't random.”

 

“Which means it would've been somebody who knew her,” Dean added.

 

“Probably someone from the bar,” Claire said. “That is where she was.”

 

“Alright. Sam, you and Claire, you go talk to the girl that she was supposed to be crashing with, and me and amateur hour and Liam will hit the bar, see what shakes loose,” Dean ordered.

 

The three of them left the hospital and started walking down the sidewalk toward the bar, Dean keeping a brisk pace. “Dean, what happened back there... My mistake, it won't happen again,” Mick tried to apologize.

 

“Better not,” Dean gave him a sharp glare. Mick tried to open the bar door, but he pulled back with a sigh. “Problem?”

 

“The old carpal tunnel,” Mick rubbed his wrist.

 

“Probably from all of that research,” Liam commented a bit sarcastically as he opened the door.

 

When they walked in the bartender was unpacking bottles. “Howdy,” Dean greeted him with his FBI badge.

 

“Uh, hi,” the bartender put the bottle he was holding down on the bar.

 

Mick flashed a picture of Hayden. “Do you recognize this girl? She was here three nights ago.”

 

He shook his head. “Not really.”

 

“Yeah, I'd lie if I served underage girls, too,” Dean accused.

 

“Look, man, I... I really need this job.” He took a deep breath and sighed.

 

“All we're interested in at the moment is what happened to this girl,” Liam looked him in the eye.

 

“She started coming in a few weeks ago after Conner got hired.”

 

“Conner?” Mick repeated the name with a questioning tone.

 

“Yeah, the other bartender. They're having a thing.”

 

“What kind of a thing?” Dean asked.

 

Just then a man wearing a white t-shirt and a tribal tattoo on his neck walked in. “Ask him,” the bartender pointed to the guy.

 

“Hi, Conner,” Dean turned his attention to the other guy. “Nice ink. So you like high school girls, do you? You get older, they stay the same age. Is that it?”

 

“That's not how it was,” Conner got defensive as the shock of being confronted wore off.

 

“Oh, so you weren't dating Hayden Foster?” Mick asked.

 

“Dating? No, I let her in from time to time. She is stupid hot. Okay? But that's it. I swear.”

 

“And the night she got attacked, did you let her in that night, too?” Dean asked.

 

Conner flicked his gaze back and forth between the men. “Look, I don't know what happened. I was behind the bar the whole night. I didn't even see her leave.”

 

“And then what did you do?”

 

“Guess I went home.”

 

Dean raised an eyebrow at that. “You guess? Well, it's a simple question, Conner. I ask what you were doing, then you tell me.” He turned toward Mick. “For instance, what were you doing last night?”

 

“Me?” Mick seemed a bit caught off guard.

 

“Yeah,” Dean nodded.

 

“Oh. I was writing my report.”

 

“And then?”

 

“Well, I watched an episode of 'The Great British Bake Off' and went to bed.”

 

Dean turned back to Conner. “See? Simple.”

 

“I went home, man,” Conner got even more defensive. “And I didn't do anything to that girl, okay?”

 

“We'll see,” Liam said as he started for the door and Mick moved to follow.

 

“Oh, one more thing,” Dean turned back to Conner. “Did you happen to meet a, uh, blonde girl the other night? About yay high. Feisty?”

 

“Yeah. Said she was Hayden's cousin. Crazy bitch threw a beer at me.”

 

“Well, from what I heard, you earned it.”

 

“What are you, her dad? Dude, come on. Girls like that?” he snorted.

 

“You ever touch her again, I'll break your face.”

 

Liam grabbed Deans arm and started pulling him toward the door. “That's enough.”

 

When they were back out on the sidewalk Dean turned to Mick again. “Nice work in there.”

 

“Thank you. I-” Mick started to reply.

 

“I almost bought it.”

 

“Sorry?” Mick froze in panic for a split second.

 

“See, here's the thing about sixteen year old girls, especially sixteen year old freshly minted werewolf girls, they don't just die. And you've been acting sketchy all day.”

 

“You were acting a little off last night, too,” Liam added. “I thought Mary would've warned you.”

 

“Oh, Mary warned me about your instincts,” Mick confirmed. “But I don't know what you're talking about.”

 

Dean grabbed Mick's injured shoulder and squeezed it hard, making him wince and whimper. “What did you do to her?” Dean demanded.

 

Mick took a step back and drew in a deep breath. “I did what needed to be done.”

 

“And that means?”

 

“Last night I injected her with silver nitrate.”

 

“So you killed her?”

 

“Well, she attacked me. She tore up my shoulder. And... I had orders.”

 

“You had a choice,” Dean was starting to get angry.

 

“Did I? Killing monsters is what we do. Or maybe palling around with demons and witches, you've forgotten.”

 

Dean shoved Mick hard against a brick wall. “Don't tell me how to do my job!”

 

“Well, then do it.”

 

“You think it's that simple, huh?”

 

“I really do.”

 

“I used to think the same thing. Well, here's a little tip. Things aren't just black and white out here. You said you read up on Liam's story. He was a vampire, I was a hunter. If I followed your rules and killed him as soon as I met him, that would've been a huge mistake.”

 

“You didn't know then what you know now,” Mick argued.

 

“That's exactly my point. Sometimes there's more to a situation than what you see at first glance.”

 

“That was your luxury. We have a code.”

 

“A code that got a few of your people killed not that long ago,” Liam pointed out. “Or is your memory that short? Or hell, maybe you just don't care.”

 

“Don't say that!” Mick growled.

 

“I thought you wanted to come along with us to learn, not undermine the way we do things.”

 

“I do want to learn. I don't want to be caught with my pants down again, and your methods of research found things ours didn't.”

 

Dean shoved his hands in his pockets. “Yeah, well, now Hayden's mom, she gets to bury two kids instead of one, thanks to you and thanks to your code.” Mick sighed as Dean and Liam walked away.

 

Dean and Liam returned to their hotel room. Not long after they settled in to watch some TV they heard a frantic knock on the door. “Hey, it's Sam!” they heard Sam's voice.

 

Dean got up to go open the door. Sam was standing there with his arm around Claire. She was scratched up and a little bloody. “You guys okay?” Dean asked, worried.

 

“I'm fine,” Sam assured his brother as he helped Claire to the bed. “The werewolf knows we're onto him. He attacked and bit Claire.”

 

“I must be crazy or over tired because it sounded like you said Claire was bitten.”

 

“That's because I was,” Claire swallowed hard and swiped her hair aside to reveal a bite mark on the side of her neck. “It's not Sam's fault, it's mine.”

 

While Dean was bandaging her up Mick came by the room and saw what was going on. “We gotta cool her off. She's burning up,” Dean said as he finished fixing her up.

 

Mick grabbed a blanket. “No, keep her warm.”

 

“Back off,” Sam got between Mick and Claire.

 

Mick sighed and took a step back. “Look, I understand you're angry-”

 

“Mick, you killed a kid. We're not angry. We're done!”

 

“How long have I got until...?” Claire looked up at Sam with a freaked out expression.

 

Sam could only shrug. “Sometimes it takes a full moon. Sometimes it just takes time.”

 

“If Hayden was anything to go by...,” Liam bit the side of his lip and crossed his arms while he sat on the edge of the bed.

 

Claire whimpered and Dean knelt down in front of her and took her hand. “Hey, listen to me. Look, nobody said this was gonna be easy, okay? But you can live with this.”

 

Claire shook her head. “No way.”

 

“Look, so you have to stay locked up a few nights out of the month, okay? The rest of the time, you're you.”

 

“Unless I break out. Maybe some people can control this, but I can barely keep it together on a good day. So if there's any chance I could hurt Jody or Alex, or anyone, I'd rather die.” She was starting to break down into tears.

 

“Claire, there may be another way,” Sam said from a little table where he was going through a book. “There's the blood therapy that you talk about,” he motioned to Mick.

 

Mick shook his head. “I told you, it doesn't work.”

 

“It says right here one out of nine test subjects was cured.”

 

“That study was on mice.”

 

Dean got to his feet and took a few steps toward Mick. “You want to tell me what the hell he's talking about?”

 

“We experimented with the blood of sire werewolves. And we found it was possible to reverse the early stages of lycanthropy in rodents.”

 

“So you never tested on humans?” Sam asked.

 

“Once.”

 

“And?”

 

“The subject died in agony. Sorry.”

 

“Maybe second time's a charm,” Claire looked a tiny bit hopeful.

 

“No,” Dean turned back toward her. “You don't get a vote in this.”

 

“It's my life. I get all the votes.”

 

Dean turned to his companions. “Guys, you wanna back me up here?”

 

Sam shrugged. “It's her life.”

 

“I'm siding with Sam on this one,” Liam agreed. “I mean, if it were you...”

 

Dean glared at Mick. “I bet you think this is a great solution. It works, or she dies. Either way, one less monster, right?”

 

Mick frowned at that. “I don't think there's any great solutions here.”

 

“Dean, please,” Claire practically begged. “I can't.”

 

Dean grumbled under his breath. “Alright. If we do this, how do we get it done?”

 

“We need blood, live blood, from the werewolf that bit her,” Mick answered.

 

“Great. Who we looking at?” Sam asked.

 

“Tribal tat. Back at the bar,” Dean answered. “We shook him down about Claire, and right after, she gets bit. That's not a coincidence.”

 

Sam nodded in agreement. “Timeline fits, connection to both victims.”

 

“Then we should go. The full moon rises in less than an hour,” Mick started to get up and grab his coat. “And if she turns and feeds, our cheery success rate drops to zero.”

 

“You stay with her,” Dean ordered Mick.

 

“You trust him?” Sam raised an eyebrow.

 

“No, and that's why Liam is staying too.”

 

“What?” Liam protested. “You always take me with you.”

 

“But now I need you here,” Dean explained. “You I trust. And not just to protect Claire, but to make sure Mick's cure works like a charm.”

 

The blond sighed and lowered himself back on the bed. “Yeah, sure, no pressure there....”

 

Dean put his hand on his partner's cheek for a moment. “You haven't let me down yet.”

 

While the brothers were gone Claire gazed out the window while Mick and Liam worked on the cure. “Let's give it time,” Mick said when he noticed how anxious she looked when the full moon was high in the sky.

 

“Well no wonder your human trial didn't work,” Liam mumbled when he saw the last ingredient. “The blood volume adjustment calculations are off.”

 

“Really?”

 

Suddenly Claire cried out in pain. “It burns!” She was grabbing at her shoulder and moved over to a mirror. She took off the bandage and saw that the wound had healed. There was a gun on the table and she reached for it, but Mick grabbed it first. “You don't understand. It's happening! Give it to me!”

 

“No.”

 

“Then you do it, please! It's happening! And you don't understand how this feels!”

 

“Oh, but I do,” Liam said. “Well, sort of. You're strong, you can do this.”

 

“What if I hurt the two of you?” her pleading features were turned at Mick.

 

Mick's face was unreadable as he pointed the gun at her. “I know a man who would shoot you right now without a moment's thought. And every instinct I have says he's right, that I ought to do my duty.” He then sighed and lowered the weapon. “But my instincts haven't been so grand of late. Sit down.”

 

“Also my duty would then be to kill you,” Liam pointed out.

 

“That, too,” Mick nodded. He picked up some leather straps. “Now okay, here's what we're gonna do. Firstly, we're gonna restrain you, right? For our protection.”

 

“Will those hold?” Liam asked.

 

“They should,” Mick answered as he moved toward Claire. She let him tie her to the bed. “And then we're gonna sedate you, also for our protection. With any luck, when you wake up, this will all be over.” He pulled out a brown bottle and a syringe. Liam took a look at the bottle just to make sure he was really just sedating her.

 

Claire seemed a bit calmer, but still scared. “If I wake up. I gotta call Jody.” She started to cry again. “She's gonna be so mad at me.”

 

“I think mostly she'll be happy that you're okay,” Liam said. “Because I will make this work.” The door was suddenly kicked in and a masked figure entered. “Protect her,” Liam ordered Mick as he charged the werewolf.

 

He had grabbed a silver knife off the bed as he rushed past, and he wasted no time burying the blade into the intruder's side as he tackled him. The werewolf howled in pain and threw Liam off with incredible strength. His mask came off and revealed the first bartender.

 

Liam was still stunned on the floor so Mick hit the werewolf from behind. The bartender punched Mick in the gut and threw him off easily. Liam threw a vase at him, hitting him in the back of the head. The werewolf turned and pounced. The two struggled and Liam nearly got the upper hand until he was kicked in the knee at the right angle to make it buckle. Then the werewolf easily used his own size to pin the blond to the wall and bite him in the shoulder. Liam kept struggling until his head was slammed against the wall.

 

Sam and Dean returned to the hotel to find a mess. “Liam!” he ran over to his husband on the floor. “What happened?”

 

Liam groaned and tried to sit up. “We had an unfriendly visitor,” Liam revealed the bite mark on his neck.

 

“Not you too,” Dean looked very distressed as he examined the wound.

 

“Bright side? I bet no one else has ever been both a vampire and a werewolf in one lifetime,” Liam joked.

 

“Not at all funny. Where's Claire?”

 

“Last I saw her she was over there,” Liam pointed to the bed.

 

“The wolf probably took her,” Mick said as he too got up off the floor where he had fallen.

 

Dean got up in his face. “What did I tell you?”

 

Mick motioned to Liam. “We tried to stop him, obviously.”

 

“How hard did you try?”

 

“Take a breath,” Liam said as he reached for their first aid kit. “He tried.”

 

“I can find her. I put a tracker in her pocket,” Mick told them.

 

“You planted a bug on her?” Sam raised an eyebrow.

 

Mick sighed. “Look, you can kill me later, after we find Claire.”

 

“Actually, that was smart,” Liam admitted as he sat while Dean tried to do a quick patch job on his shoulder. “We won't have to search the whole town.”

 

Dean mumbled something under his breath while putting the bandage in place. “So start finding her.”

 

Mick logged onto his computer and got the coordinates from the tracking device. It led them to a house a little outside of town. Sam kicked in the door and the men rushed in. Sam and Mick engaged the werewolf while Dean and Liam went over to Claire, who was tied to a chair. “Dean!” she called out when she saw him. Her eyes were already yellow and reflecting the moonlight shining through the window.

 

“She's completely changed,” Liam observed. “So careful.”

 

“And you?” Dean asked in concern.

 

“I...” The blond started to speak, but he was distracted by the moonlight. “Pretty,” he gazed out at it mindlessly.

 

“Perfect,” Dean grumbled and very carefully moved to untie Claire. “Easy,” he said as he helped her to her feet, but then she growled and got into an attack position. “Whoa!” Dean picked up a frying pan and tried to hold it as a shield. “You guys might wanna hurry up,” he called over to his brother and Mick.

 

“We're trying,” Sam called back as he punched the bartender hard and quickly grabbed him by the arms. “Mick, hurry!”

 

Mick jabbed a needle into the bartender's back, but then both he and Sam were thrown to the ground.

 

Claire knocked the pan out of Dean's hands, but just before she lunged, Liam tackled her to the ground with a viscous growl. The two of them tore at each other while wrestling on the ground. “Come on, before they kill each other!”

 

Sam attacked the bartender again, and while he had his attention Mick shot him in the back and the bartender dropped to the floor. Mick pulled the needle and syringe now filled with blood. “Get him off her!” Mick shouted.

 

Dean swallowed hard and made a bold move to pull Liam up and away from Claire. He seemed to be calmed by Dean's touch, but he kept sharp and now golden eyes on Claire while she looked for a way around her opponent. “That thing ready yet?” he asked Mick.

 

“Almost,” Mick replied. “I think he fixed the formula, but his handwriting is awful.”

 

“I got it,” Sam took over.

 

“Funny though,” Mick observed the scene before him. “Even as a werewolf, at least partially, his first instinct is to protect you rather than hurt you.”

 

“I'll be comforted when he's himself again,” Dean growled.

 

“Here,” Sam ran over with two needles. One he quickly passed to Dean, the other he plunged into Liam's arm. The blond screamed in rage and started to attack Sam, but he fell to the floor mid lunge and curled up.

 

Dean kept himself focused, and when Claire tried to use the distraction to attack Dean again he managed to stick her with the antidote. She fell to her knees, growling and screaming. “You're gonna be okay,” Dean whispered to her as he moved her to a couch.

 

“They're both strong,” Sam assured his brother as they watched both Liam and Claire whimper and twitch. “They'll both be fine.”

 

Liam was the first to open his eyes and sit up. “I think I'm gonna be sick,” he groaned.

 

Dean half smiled and ran a hand through Liam's hair. “And you're gonna take things easy for a while this time.”

 

“And Claire?” the blond turned his attention to her.

 

“She was further along in the change than you were,” Mick said. “Your protective instinct seemed to bring out the savage in you when Dean was threatened, but you were only recently bitten.”

 

“Yeah, but if it worked for me...” Liam got to his feet and nearly fell over when the room started to spin.

 

Dean caught him and held him steady. “It's just gonna take a little longer.”

 

They sat and waited for another hour, all of them praying that Claire would wake up her old self. Then her claws finally receded and her eyes fluttered open. “You guys look like crap,” she said in a weak voice.

 

They returned to the hotel and gathered their things to leave. Mick was waiting for Dean, Sam and Liam when they carried their bags out. Claire was also loading up her car. “I'll give you this one,” Mick said. “That girl is a walking miracle.”

 

“She is,” Dean agreed. “Listen, thanks for the win back there.”

 

“So we're good?” Mick seemed hopeful.

 

“Not quite, but we'll give you a second chance,” Sam answered.

 

“Just don't mess it up. There won't be a third,” Dean added.

 

Claire came over to say goodbye. “Hey. How you feeling?” Sam asked her.

 

“Honestly? I'm sort of craving a Milk-Bone right now,”

 

Liam chuckled at that. “Now that you mention it, I could go for a rare steak.”

 

“With the fever you have you're getting bed and chicken soup,” Dean insisted.

 

Claire shook her head. “You're just a really protective guy, aren't you?”

 

“Yeah, I am,” Dean admitted.

 

“Look, um, what I said before... You guys are here when I need you and that's all that matters.”

 

“You gonna tell Jody what happened?” Sam asked.

 

Claire sighed. “I don't know.”

 

Dean patted her on the shoulder. “Well, whatever you decide, we got your back.”

 

“I'll keep in touch,” Claire hugged them all goodbye and returned to her car, looking very lost in thought.



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