Dean looked around in confusion. One moment, the Winchesters had been side by side; then Dean had led the way round the corner of the sports club, his favourite pearl handled colt pistol cradled in both hands in advance of his body, Sam guarding their rear, or so he'd thought. The next moment he'd felt a cold wind on his bare neck, an sudden emptiness at his back where Sam's big bulk should have been. He span around, all senses on full alert, to see – nothing. A bit fat nothing where the broad shoulders of his little brother should have been, blocking his view of the amber street lights across the deserted street. Instead, he had an entirely unobstructed view of the empty expanse of dark tarmac, save for the pale frosted mist generated by his own heavy breathing as he fought off a sudden wave of panic.
"Goddam it, Sam! I know I joked about making you bait, but this wasn't what I had in mind..." He muttered under his breath.
Something cold and damp caressed the back of his hand and he jumped, then smiled grimly as he realised it had started to snow. Large flakes were drifting silently down around him, getting thicker and thicker every second, obscuring visibility. Dean pulled out his cell, punched in Sam's ID on the speed dial – the voice said "number unobtainable" and he gritted his teeth as his anxiety grew. He tried Bobby's number next, with the same result, which led him to check whether his phone had a signal. It seemed to be working ok, so he tried again, but again came up empty. Frustrated, he thrust the useless piece of junk back into his jacket pocket and turned up his collar against the growing cold. He gripped his gun harder but his hand was getting numb as the temperature plummeted and he shoved his other hand deeper into his pocket in an attempt to warm it up.
Where the hell was his brother? How could a gigantic, six foot five Yeti of a man just disappear into thin air without a sound? It was ridiculous. Impossible. Only angels could do that kind of shit….
Dean drew in a deep breath, feeling a warm fury start to burn inside his stomach. Zachariah. That son of a bitch must have done something, stolen Sam away – but why? He glared around at the swirling mass of snow as if it could give him the answers he needed, instead of just covering everything around him in a blanket of pure white.
"Excuse me…" The soft hesitant voice coming from directly behind nearly made him jump out of his skin. Distracted by Sam's disappearance, he had momentarily forgotten the reason they had come to this sports club car park in the middle of the Chicago night, and now in his head he had two Winchester voices busy telling him off – Sam with an instantaneous "jail bait, bro!" as he took in the tiny attractive Asian-looking girl now backing off in terror from the gleaming pistol he was waving (well over her head, it had to be said, as she was barely five foot tall) – accompanied by his Dad's low grumble "stay alert, stay alive, boy!" for having let someone (however harmless she might appear) creep up on him like that.
"Oh shut up!" he thought, then realised he had actually said it out loud.
"I'm sorry, please, don't hurt me…" the girl was repeating, over and over as she backed away, her white hands fluttering like doves. Just for a moment, he thought that the girl was surrounded by a flurry of small white birds instead of snow. Dean blinked a couple of large snowflakes off his dark lashes to clear his sight, and swiftly pocketed his gun, holding his empty hands out placatingly.
"It's ok, it's ok, I've put my gun away – see? I won't hurt you, kid, you see I'm…." thinking quickly "I'm a cop."
"What're you doing out here on your own in the middle of the night, kid? You look frozen."
The girl seemed reassured by his words, or his tone, or both. Whatever, she had stopped backing off and was now hugging herself with thin white arms. He took a step closer, and he could see that she really wasn't dressed for a winter's night in Michigan. Her whole body was visibly shivering in its thin white cotton blouse and black mini skirt, which made it even more of a mystery what she was doing out there at all.
"My boyfriend…" she stuttered through chattering teeth, "He …we were driving back from the cinema and he wanted…wanted to…" she looked away, embarrassment written all over her perfect oval face, "Well, you know…and when I said no we ...we had a row and he said I could walk home…"
"What a dick!"
Dean frowned in sympathy, assuming full-on protective mode. Now he was closer, he could see the girl was not as young as he had first thought, though the Sam-in-his-head was probably right in his assessment that she was no more than 16 or so, definitely too young for Dean to hit on, even if he'd been inclined, with the air temperature dropping lower by the second. He did notice how beautiful she was though, with dark almond eyes and her long jet-black hair starred now with sparkling crystalline snow flakes. He started to take off his battered leather jacket, then thought better of it, and beckoned to the girl.
"What's your name, kid?"
"Yuki. Yuki Ona."
She was Japanese then. Something about that name triggered a faint memory in Dean's head, but it was too elusive and he had other things to worry about, so he let it go.
"Come here then Yuki, before we both freeze to death. My car's back there somewhere," he gestured vaguely in the direction of the Impala, invisible now through the blizzard, thinking that their best bet was to get back to the car and hope the engine would still start.
And that his best bet for finding a Sam who'd been kidnapped by angels was to call on his own personal angel. He would need to enlist Castiel's help on this one, and of course to do that since he and Sam had acquired their own built in angel and demon protection, he had to find a working phone. Which of course begged the question – just how had Zachariah tracked them down in the first place? More bible-bashing spies perhaps? Or maybe this whole gig was just a trap for the stupid Winchester boys to go blundering into…
This unpleasant train of thought was interrupted as Yuki slid her cold little body inside his open jacket. Her dark head barely came up to his chest as he wrapped his jacket round them both in a vain attempt to conserve some bodily warmth. Vain because Yuki herself was as cold as an ice sculpture. Dean shivered involuntarily as she pressed herself up against his torso, and standing on tiptoes, placed an icy white hand on either side of his face.
"Thank you," she whispered as she brought her carmine-red lips up to his and took in his warm breath. "Oh shit. You…" he gasped. How stupid can you be, Dean Winchester? Caught judging by appearances, taking your eye off the ball again…
Dean's hazel eyes darkened as he stared down into the dark pools of Yuki Ona's eyes, seeing himself reflected in their depths, his expression one of chagrined surprise as she sucked in his breath and stole his consciousness away. Time for one last thought before the dark winter claimed him; one word.