Chapter 1: The Found Tape
"The guy's batshit crazy, Sam. That's all there is to it," Dean had his arms crossed as he leaned against the motel window. He looked a little like a disgruntled bird in his heavy winter garb, and extremely out of place. Most of their cases were located in warmer areas as a lot of the supernatural tended to stick with the larger populations, and those were more often than not in places with 'pleasant' weather - at least, that's what the common consensus was.
"Come on Dean, don't be like that," Sam gave him a look before grabbing a nearby VHS tape. The only thing indicating there was actually content was the sticker and the words on it in black sharpie: Nov. 1, 2006, "Bobby wouldn't have sent us out here - all the way to Russia - for nothing. I mean, look at all of this," The younger Winchester picked up a rather thick stack of newspaper clippings and documents before slamming it back down on the table, "Missing persons, deaths… hell, even this Daniel guy has a lot of his own theories written down that we found in his office! There's way too much stuff happening up there on Kholat Syakhl that there can't be anything natural causing this. I mean, even the name of the mountain itself: Dead Mountain!"
"Then what could it be?"
"I-I don't know. All signs point to a vengeful spirit. The most recent incident - that Daniel was involved in - happened exactly like the ones in 1959 and 1987. Ten hikers each time: nine die from hypothermia or other means and one gets lucky. The three hikers always have injuries like that of a car crash but without the external bruising," Dean nodded for him to continue, "But vengeful spirits like to reenact their own death or the events surrounding it, yet no one before the first Dyatlov Pass incident has died up there besides the odd lost hiker. It couldn't be the first group either, because their deaths were also unexplainable. It just doesn't make sense."
"Well, what do the locals have to say about it?"
"Nothing really supernatural Dean. There really aren't any legends that fit. Many speculate that it's a case of cabin fever, but they weren't up there long enough for that. Others say avalanche paranoia, infrasound phenomena, military experiments gone awry or even the Mansi warriors. But if Bobby doesn't think it was any of these things - and neither do I - then it's something else. Maybe something we haven't encountered yet," As he said this, Sam fiddled with the tape in his hands. The thing seemed worn, even though it was created not even a month prior, "Daniel says it's demons, or something that could easily be confused with them at the very least.
"And the ones that were lucky… they died a month later. Daniel says they tried to get him, but he was able to make it out alive."
The blonde rolled his eyes, "I wouldn't take what this Daniel guy says seriously. Yeah, he ended up doing a lot of leg work for us with the 'classified' government documents and newspapers but really man, he sounds nuts. He even acts it, did you not see the first video? Where he threw the guard and stabbed the doctor with a scalpel!?"
"Whatever Dean, I was only answering your question. Besides, I need to watch this so be quiet for five minutes."
After inserting the tape, there was a bit of static before a black haired male appeared on the screen. The siblings had seen his pictures on the walls of his home: black hair, blue eyes, maybe around Sam's age… But something seemed different about him as he regarded the camera with glassy, half-lidded eyes. His skin was paler than the image laying on the table next to Sam and his face was covered in a thin sheen of sweat. Dean almost regretted his words earlier. Almost.
"My name is Daniel James Fenton and the date is November first of 2006. The…"
He paused to take a deep breath before continuing.
"The following I say of sound mind and under no duress."
"I call bull," The older Winchester's gruff voice cut in briefly.
"Sh!" The sound was harsh and clearly, Sam was done with his shit. Dean pouted a little before lowering his gaze to the dirty carpet, his boots kicking at it. He wouldn't be caught dead walking without shoes on these kind of floors.
"There is no one here to witness this recording. There is no one in the building. I will reiterate, I am all alone… I was there… On Dyatlov Pass…"
Sam leaned forward in his chair a bit, the wood creaking under his weight.
"The Russians told me nothing could have been up there with us besides wolves. That Vitalij… that he went crazy and killed all of them… and almost me.
But I was there."
The American behind the screen squeezed his eyes shut tightly.
"I saw what happened…"
He paused for so long that both brothers thought the video was over. Sam leaned forward to extract the tape from the player but jerked back immediately as Daniel's eyes snapped open, his voice raising to ear splitting levels. Dean's head snapped up quickly, practically giving him whiplash.
"They can tell anyone that I'm crazy but that will never change what I saw! What really happened!"
The current hospital patient was trembling at this point and Dean muttered 'fuck' lightly under his breath. It seemed Daniel had calmed down enough to speak relatively normally. But he was whispering now.
"I...I saw something in that forest. Something dark… something evil. It came with the fog and orange light."
He started to cry, tears were travelling from his eyes and his chin trembled violently. Sam squinted at the screen and Dean pulled out a chair with a screech, before sitting in it.
"I-I can still feel its breath on my neck; its gaze still on my back."
The crying male's hands came up to cover his mouth.
"O-oh god… I'm still scared, scared that it'll get me like it got Vitalij. Like it got everyone else."
Another deep breath, more tears.
He took a moment to get his sobs under control before whispering again.
"I can still hear its voice in the deep recesses of my mind… whispering…"
"Are you coming?"
Dean and Sam both stood with a shout, the man behind the screen doing the very same. Except he was shouting at the intruder in his home: to leave him be, that they got what they wanted. Orange light and fog seeped its way into the camera's line of sight, obscuring their view of what was happening.
"Where are you?"
"P-please! No more! Go away!"
With a final yell, it went silent. All they could hear were the heavy breaths of the American as he hyperventilated. Shuffling can be heard as he stood from his place on the floor and the Winchesters watched with bated breath.
"I have no eyes."
It felt like an eternity before a blood curdling scream reached their ears. Crashing could be heard but the screaming just wouldn't stop. It was a while before Sam smashed the eject button, cutting off the sound and keeping it from driving them to insanity.
They stood there, not saying anything for a while. Their eyes were wide and their chests were heaving. This wasn't anything they were used to. Nothing real was ever caught on tape, or nothing concrete enough to warrant real concern. But this raised the hairs on their arms and goose bumps dotted their skin, even though the room was comfortably warm and they were bundled up tight.
"We're seeing him, now."
"Y-yeah… yeah okay."
Chapter 2: The Visit
Dean and Sam go and visit Danny in the hospital.
I don't own anything but the story
I apologize in advance for sporadic updates
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Sam never liked hospitals, and he probably never would. The smell of death clung to anyone who entered like a thick miasma, and they were known to house and breed some of the more lost and nasty spirits. All in all, hospitals just held bad memories for those who lingered.
He shivered before pulling his winter coat closer around his tall frame. Another thing about these places, they were always cold. Maybe this scalding hot piece of shit tar that passed for coffee here would keep him warm. Swirling the black liquid in the styrofoam cup, Sam glanced up.
The town was small, thus, the hospital was verging on claustrophobic. The waiting room was crowded with cases of frostbite and hypothermia, the chatter of people a dull roar. Both brothers kept to the walls, squeezing against the chipping plaster in an attempt to avoid touching others. Oh God, they were going to catch something. Every human that brushed up against them had a horrible, wet cough. One that sounded heavy with mucus, maybe blood… You never know.
Yet, despite all of the noise, the bodies and the smells, everything still felt a bit...anticlimactic. Sam's shouts of 'izvinite' had been left unanswered, not one person so much as turned their head in their have probably been waiting for an hour, and no one has come to see them. They haven't even had the chance to flash their fake CDC badges to the staff members.
"I say we just go in," His older brother cut into his thoughts. Of course he expected him to think 'do first and think never'. That was Dean Winchester. That was the Winchester mentality, actually, "This is taking way too long."
"Yeah, okay Dean. And what, you're going to be fluent in Russian all of a sudden? Good luck with that," Sam scoffed, a lock of brunette hair flying up in the air at the action. Dean scowled before tossing back the rest of his coffee, the sound of his snow jacket oddly loud.
"It's not like you're fluent, Samantha."
"At least I know more than you. Do you know anything besides 'no'?"
"...Nyet..." The response was resigned and the youngest felt slightly accomplished at this, even if there was a snarky undertone.
"Besides, you can't just go barging in and causing trouble. We're not back home, where it's easy to explain and the only trouble we could get in is with the local feds," He ran a hand over his face, "This is Russia Dean. Not home. We get into a pickle here, we might not set foot on America soil again, worst case scenario."
"I know, okay? And seriously? Pickle? Who uses that anymore?"
"You know what, Dean? Screw you."
"Prostite, ser," Dean looked down at the petite blonde in front of him, surprised at being addressed. Taking a quick peek around, he realized that while they were bickering, the busyness had died down, "Mogu ya tebe pomoch'?"
"Uh…" Was his smart reply. Before Sam could cut in and save him from embarrassing himself, the nurse smiled.
"Oh, Americans? What are you doing in small town?" Her accent was thick, but her English was good. The tenseness in their shoulders evaporated as the issue of a language barrier was taken care of. They never did any international hunts, mainly because if they got caught, they'd be in more trouble with more dangerous people than just the FBI. They had to be careful.
Sam cleared his throat before pulling out his badge, Dean doing the same, "We're agents of the CDC and we're here to question one Daniel Fenton. Could you lead us to his room?"
The smile melted from her face and her eyes took on a steely glint, "You want to talk to crazy man? Why? You investigate sickness, not, how you say, 'accidents'." They both swallowed at the danger in her tone.
"Uh, yes. We're here for a follow up on what happened on the mountain," He didn't need to elaborate, everyone knew what mountain he would be talking about, "We have reason to believe that there may have been a virus involved."
Her brown eyes seemed to stare straight through the hunters, calculating, reading them. It felt like an eternity before she seemed to nod to herself before turning on her heel, a finger beckoning them to follow, "I don't know what you'll find. We examined the bodies, and we found nothing. What makes you so different?"
"Just covering our bases, miss," A sniff was all the eldest received in response.
Dean silently wondered what it would be like to talk to this man. The locals didn't like him - hell - neither did he. If he was really as crazy as that footage led him to believe, he wasn't sure if he wanted to stay any longer in this frozen wasteland. He just wanted to go back home, drink a nice cold beer and work on his baby under the sun. Yeah, home sounded nice just about now.
"Here. Good luck talking to the psycho," Sam wasn't even able to squeeze in a 'thank you' before she sped out of the hallway, seemingly eager to leave their presence. Whether it was them or the patient, he didn't know. He had money on it being the latter, though.
"Dude, she may be cold but damn," The eldest murmured, "She's got a nice ass."
"You shouldn't objectify women like that," A quiet but steady voice said, casually reminding them why they were here in the first place, "Especially Natalia, she'd bend you over her knee and take a paddle to your ass like a babushka."
There was an awkward silence, Sam not knowing what to say and Dean making a face that slightly resembled him being constipated. The bedridden make just gazed at them, his face revealing nothing of what he could be feeling.
Even if his eyes weren't alight with terror and his skin lacking the sheen of sweat he had had in the video, the Winchesters knew this was their guy. He had the short raven hair that seemed to stick up in all directions and his blue eyes had dark shadows beneath them. He had a slight stubble, but other than that he was an exact duplicate. Or the same guy, you pick.
"I'm sorry to disturb you Mr. Fenton," He went to grab his badge, "We're from the CDC -."
"I know who you are, Winchester," That caught them both off guard. All the training their father put them through momentarily left them as they froze, their eyes slightly wide in surprise and shock. Monsters knew their names, but never the victims, "Don't be so surprised. After I was up… up there, I had to find out for myself what it was. I came across you hunters in my little research project, didn't think anything would come of it…" He talked around the incident he had had a month prior, the memories still obviously fresh in his mind.
With a look, the hunters closed the door for privacy before standing at either side of the bed. It made the other male feel uneasy with both dangerous people in such a small room with him, standing on each side of him. He felt protected and threatened at the same time.
It was Sam who started talking first.
"I'm sorry about what's happened, but we need more information from you," He didn't want to meet Daniel's heavy gaze, they were too blank; too strange, even for him. But he was silent, and normally that wasn't a good thing during an investigation, "Daniel-."
"My name is Danny. Not Daniel, not Dan, Danny," Dean made a face but neither paid heed to him.
"Okay. Danny. It's important we get this information from you, someone who was up there on the mountain," Danny sighed, before pushing himself upright. Sam helped readjust his pillows so he'd be comfortable. He didn't trust the guy, but he wasn't cruel.
"Thank you Mr. Winchester," He paused before continuing, "I'm going to assume you read my files? The ones I kept in my desk?" Sam nodded and Dean coughed.
"Yeah, and I'm going to tell you it didn't help us much," The words seemed insensitive, but they were true nevertheless. He nodded.
"Then you know as much as I do," Sam's heart sunk, "Everything you found was all I could get my hands on, and to be honest, right before I was… attacked, I had hit a block."
"Shit," Dean groaned before running his hand through his hair. His voice increased with every word that left his mouth, "Well that's just great, now we're going up their half-cocked and that means we're probably going to die!"
"Okay Dean, just - calm down -."
"Calm down? You want me to calm down Sammy?! How can I when this hunt could get you killed?! When I get my hands on Bobby..." Dean was practically ripping his hair out of his head he was so frustrated. They've never been this blind and unsure of anything in a hunt.
"Now listen, you can't just scream in a hospital!"
"I do whatever I damn please! This is getting beyond ridiculous! We can't go up there knowing jack shit!"
"I know that but you need to calm down!"
As they argued, Danny slipped farther from their minds, which was good for him at the moment. The injured male mulled over his thoughts, deciding whether he should help them or not. He wanted to find out what had happened so bad, and put an end to it, but could he do it with them?
Well, he couldn't exactly do it himself.
They didn't turn.
Okay, maybe he shouldn't have taken so long to decide.
"Watch it Dean."
"Since when did you get so bossy?"
"When you started acting like a spoiled brat!"
"That's rich coming from you!"
"Mr. Winchester!" They both rounded on him with a harsh 'what'. There was a long pause before they realized how childish they were being, but Sam was the only one with the decency to look ashamed.
"Sorry about th-."
"You're not going in blind."
"What?" Dean whispered, his tone slightly hostile.
"You won't be going in blind. Quite possibly deaf, but not blind."
"And how's that?"
"Because I'm going with you."
I'm sorry I made Dean a dick