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The tranquility of the warm, Summer's day was wrecked as the door of the old, wooden cabin burst open, slamming against the side of the house.
"No!" Deanna shouted, trying to squirm free of the vice like grip her father had on her arm as he pulled her from the cabin and out into the yard. "No! Dad, please!" She begged.
"You need to learn, Deanna." Her father responded. "It could save your life one day."
"Please, Dad! Please don't do this!"
"Stop fighting me, Deanna!" He bellowed before adjusting his grip on her so that he had his arms around her waist.
"No!" She screamed. "Nooooo! Please...please!" Tears were beginning to fall down her cheeks as she felt her father lift her from the ground and drag her towards the hole he had dug.
Deanna kicked to try and free herself of her father's hold, but it was no use. He was too strong.
When they reached the grave, Deanna looked at her father with a desperational expression. "No...please! Please, Dad! Please! Don't do this to me! Please..."
"You need to learn."
And then everything went dark.
Deanna moaned as she came to, throbbing pain coming from her eye and cheek. Flickering her eyes open, she gasped at the sight that met her, eyes widening in sheer panic.
Her father had buried her alive.
The air was so thin that breathing was almost impossible.
The weight of the dirt restricted her movements as she tried to move her arm but failed.
"Dad!" She shouted as loud as she possibly could, which apparently wasn't that loud because there was no reply.
And then the thought dawned on her that her father had probably walked off and left her. The whole exercise was about her knowing what to do if a situation like this ever happened in the future, so he was being precise to every detail by not being there when she would have to try and get herself out of the grave.
Deanna wasn't a sufferer of claustrophobia, but as the minutes went on and she still couldn't move her arms to try and dig herself out, the weight of the dirt seemed to become heavier as her breathing began to heighten as her heart pounded in her chest.
She was having a panic attack.
Deanna had only had one panic attack before. It wasn't from being in some amazingly dangerous situation that would sound acceptable when talking about panic attack causes. No, it was in a motel room in Nebraska when she had woken up from a nightmare. Deanna was glad that her father hadn't been in the motel room that night, or she would have gotten shouted at by him for being weak. Sam was the one who had calmed her down after it, offering her comfort as she tried to forget the horrific images that had played out in her dream.
She hadn't struggled for breath during her last panic attack though. That was new. But that could be a side effect of having six ton of dirt lying on top of you, trapping you in a grave that your father had dug just to train you on how to escape if a monster happened to throw you in one and bury you alive.
Because situations like that happen all the time.
"Dad..." She began in a weak, breathless tone.
"Dad..." Deanna spoke once again. "Please..." She knew she sounded pathetic as she begged for her father, but right now, Deanna would give anything to get out of the grave.
Her body began to shake as she screwed her eyes closed and forced her breathing to slow down as she tried counting down from ten.
That didn't work.
The shakes however did loosen the hold the dirt had on her arm slightly though which meant that she was able to move it upwards towards the dirt pinning her down on her back against the base of the grave. Beginning to claw away at the mud, she felt drops of blood drip onto her face from slowly bleeding fingers.
As the shaking became more severe, Deanna found herself becoming more and more worked up as she was really beginning to panic.
"Dad..." She began as tears streamed down her cheeks. "Please...I'm begging you please...I can't breathe!"
More minutes passed as Deanna's head began to feel fuzzy from lack of oxygen, exhaustion and claustrophobia.
That's when she felt a hand break through the dirt above her and grip her hard around the wrist. She was then yanked through the dirt with little care before Deanna found herself tumbling towards the grass, landing on her side amongst the tall, uncut blades.
Deanna coughed and spluttered, gasping at the cool, fresh air.
Her lungs didn't have long to refill though as her father grabbed her by the arm and roughly yanked her to her feet.
Deanna would have just fallen right back down again if he hadn't of gripped her by the shoulder with a bone crushing grip. His expression said it all.
"Useless!" He scorned, disappointment in his eyes. "Fucking useless, that's what you are! Can't even handle a little bit of dirt without freaking out like a baby!" John scoffed as he shook his head. "We'll continue this tomorrow..." He walked off, releasing his grip on Deanna's shoulder.
Without her father's support, Deanna dropped down to her knees, body still shaking from the panic attack that was still affecting her weakened body. Tears still streaming down her cheeks.
Pathetic. That's what she was. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C, pathetic!
Stumbling up onto shaky legs, Deanna slowly walked over to the cabin and inside. Making her way through into the bedroom that she was sharing with Sam, Deanna collapsed down onto the bed, not bothering to remove her dirty clothes or wash up. All she wanted to do was sleep, and that's what she did.
Deanna found herself deep beneath the ground in the grave once again.
"No one's coming for you, Deanna!" A voice taunted. "You're gonna' die down here!"
"No!" She whimpered.
"You'll die in this grave, and no one will even know you're dead." The voice began to laugh.
She felt the dirt falling away beneath her as she found herself falling down into the flames of Hell, the burning yellows and oranges and reds melting away her flesh as they danced around her, singing her name over and over with gleeful expressions.
"No!" She shouted. "Noooooooo!"
"Ahhhhh!" She screamed, bolting upright in bed.
Eyes locating the figure next to her, she saw Sam stood beside her with a panicked expression.
"Sammy?..." Deanna asked in a soft, weak tone, breathing hard as she tried to calm herself down.
"Yeah, Deanna...It's me." He replied. "You okay?"
"Yeah..." She nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine. Just a bad dream, that's all." Deanna lied. "When did you get back?"
"A couple of hours ago." Sam answered.
"Sorry for waking you." She apologised.
"Don't be." He smiled before furrowing an eyebrow. "Why have you still got your clothes on?"
"Oh...I couldn't be bothered to take them off so I thought, why not just sleep in them too?"
She saw her brother walk off towards the light switch.
But it was too late, the light switched on revealing her in all of her patheticness.
Sam's eyes widened as he took in the sight of his older sister. Her long blonde hair was messy, her face was covered in mud and blood while her eyes looked red from crying, one of them blackened as if from a punch. Her clothes were also torn slightly in places, and the fingers on one hand were bleeding. "What happened?" He rushed back over and sat down on the edge of the bed next to her. Placing a hand on her shoulder, he then noticed that she was also shaking. "Deanna?" He began softly. "You have to tell me what happened."
Deanna shook her head as she took a few seconds to regain her composure, trying to stop the shakes. "I'm sorry...I'm sorry. Ignore me, I'm just being stupid." She then got up from the bed. "I just need some air." Deanna opened the bedroom door and walked off.
Sam waited for his sister to leave before he too got up and walked through into the main room of the cabin.
Bobby and their father were sat at the table in the kitchen.
Bobby's eyes were still on the door where, presumably, Deanna had left through, while their father was downing a glass of whiskey.
Anger flared up inside Sam as he stormed over to the table. "What did you do to her?!"
"She had to learn, Sam." Their father responded.
"Had to learn what?" Sam asked.
"She needed training on what to do if the situation ever arose. It will help her in the future." He continued.
Sam, anger beginning to burst free, closed the gap between him and their father and grabbed him by the collar, pulling him up from the seat. "What did you do to her?"
Bobby was on his feet now too. "Sam..." He said in a tone that said just calm down, kid.
"I'm surprised she hasn't already started blabbering about it, blaming me for her terrible hardship!" He spoke in a mocking tone. "Pathetic girl!"
"John!" Bobby's raised tone shouted.
"Deanna isn't the pathetic one..." Sam began. "That's you..." He scoffed and shook his head, turning slightly before he swung a punch which hit their father across the face.
"Guh..." He groaned before looking back at his son. "Just because she wasn't strong enough to get herself out of it, doesn't make it my fault."
"Get out of what?!" Sam's tone rose in slight panic as their father began to reveal what happened.
Sam's eyes widened. "Grave? What grave?"
"Her training. What to do if she ever got buried alive. She started panicking and then kept shouting that she couldn't breathe so I had to pull her out. I was the stupid one for actually listening to her, none of the monsters would give a shit whether she was dying or not."
Sam felt sick. "She is your daughter..." He shook his head with an expression that showed his disgust at their father.
"And a pathetic one at that."
Sam went to pounce on their father, but Bobby restrained him, pulling him back.
"You stupid asshole!" He screamed.
"Sam! Sam!" Bobby shouted. "Calm down!"
Sam did, shooting their father a look of this isn't over before he walked across the room and out the door.
After the sound of the door slamming shut was heard, Bobby turned to John. "John, what are you doing?"
"I'm trying to do what's best for my kids. Train them up in case something happens and I'm not there to help." John answered. "Today proved that Deanna's not ready."
"You buried her alive, John. How was she supposed to react?!" He exclaimed.
"By getting out of there instead of panicking."
"What do you mean panicked? How panicked was she?" Bobby asked, concerned for the welfare of the oldest Winchester sibling.
"You can't just keep doting on her, Bobby. She needs to learn." John responded.
Bobby scoffed and shook his head. "You're unbelievable." Grabbing his jacket off the back of the seat, he walked off across the room.
"Where are you going?" John shouted after him.
"Home." He answered.
John stood up from his chair and followed after him.
"Come on." Bobby was motioning towards his car in the driveway when John got outside.
"You're not taking them. They've got training tomorrow."
"The hell they have."
Sam climbed into the back of Bobby's car.
"Deanna. Don't you dare get into that car!" John warned.
Deanna hesitated, every bone in her body obviously screaming against disobeying her father's orders. She took a deep breath, looking at her father, before she too got into the car.
Bobby took this as his cue to get in too before he started the engine and began driving off down the dirt lane.
All that could be heard over the sound of the engine was their father screaming after them.
A tear silently trickled down Deann's cheek as she watched their father become a speck in the distance as they drove off.
Once they were on the highway and clear of the house, Sam had climbed from the backseat to the front to allow his sister to lie down on the bench.
Deanna had fallen asleep a couple of minutes prior and was now curled up, head resting on her arms, lying strewed across the leather bench, her legs now stretching even further across so that they were touching the door on the other side of the car due to the new found space from Sam moving into the passenger seat.
Bobby kept occasionally glancing in the rear view mirror at the oldest Winchester sibling, wincing with guilt as the street lights illuminated the state the girl was in as they passed them. Her black eye looked painful while her fingers were wrapped with bandages to stop the bleeding. Still covered in dirt from her time in the grave, Deanna looked wrecked.
And so did her brother.
Sam's elbow was resting against the framing of the window, his head on top of it as he stared into the distance.
The youngest Winchester snapped out of it and turned to look at Bobby, stretching with a yawn as he did. "Yeah?"
"We can hold up somewhere for the night if you want?"
Sam shook his head. "We'll be safer when we get to yours, I mean, it shouldn't be too long now right?"
Bobby nodded. "About 20 minutes."
The silence returned.
"Sam..." He began once again. "She's gonna' be okay you know. Your sister's tougher than you think."
"I know she is, and that's what worries me. I mean she does this Bobby, believes that everything's her fault because of not being strong enough and then refuses to talk about it. It affects her, and she knows it does, but she just won't open up about it."
"Sam, your Daddy has always put a lot of pressure on your sister. And Deanna's always put a lot of pressure on herself, it's just the way she is."
"But it's not healthy, Bobby."
"I'm not saying it is...I'm just saying that maybe this is Deanna's way of coping with crap like this." Bobby responded.
"Thanks." Sam said after another brief period of silence.
"For what?" Bobby furrowed an eyebrow, glancing at the kid.
"For helping us out...again." Sam stated.
"No problem, kid."
Deanna awoke with a yawn as she sat up and looked around at her surroundings. A smile came to her face at the sight. Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
"Look who decided to join us." Spoke Bobby with a smile.
"Have I missed any thrilling conversations?" Deanna asked sarcastically.
"Don't be cheeky." Bobby fakely scorned.
"You okay, Deanna?" Sam asked, softly.
Deanna smiled at the concern her little brother had for her. "Yeah." She nodded. "I'm fine...I was just a little shaken up earlier, it's not big deal."
"I take it that was the wrong answer?" She followed up.
"Stop defending him!" Sam said, trying not to allow building up inside his body to explode.
"What?" Deanna furrowed an eyebrow.
"Dad. Stop defending him!" He shouted. "I mean, the man friggin' buried you alive and yet you're still being loyal to him?!"
"Stop it, Sam..." Deanna answered. "It was a training exercise, and I failed it. That was my fault, not Dad's."
"That's what I mean about defending him. The guy could start World War 3 and you'd still find some form of way to defend him!"
"Deanna! Sam!" Bobby shouted, ending the bickering of the two siblings.
They turned to him.
"Will you two stop your bickering!"
"Sorry, Bobby." They said in unison.
"Thank you." He nodded. "Now Deanna, this wasn't your fault."
She looked down.
Bobby noticed this. "Your Dad's not angry at you, he's angry at me for leaving with you two."
"He will be. I ignored a direct order." Deanna answered in a quiet voice.
"It's just Dad, Deanna. It was just an order." Sam responded.
"You don't understand, Sam..."
"Then help me!"
"The last time I ignored a direct order, something bad happened, and since then I've never ignored them because I don't want that person to get hurt again..." She paused. "Now leave it alone, Sam."
It was then that Bobby realised where this obedience had stemmed from. The kids were only young when it happened. Bobby remembered hearing that the kids had been dropped at Jim's by John. Jim had rang him to tell him about what had happened.
"The boys are at yours?"
"Yeah, John's just dropped them off."
"Everything okay?" Bobby asked. "Are they alright? They hurt?"
"John had taken them to some town and left them in a motel room, but it turns out what they was hunting was a Shtriga." Jim explained.
"I know. John was pissed when they rolled in. There's no marks on Deanna, but John Winchester's clearly let his mouth run again."
"God damn it, John! What's he said?"
"Well he was still having a go at her at mine. He practically dragged her out of the car then kept making comments about her. The kid hasn't spoken a word since she came in. Something's wrong, Bobby. I've never seen the girl so scared before. But it's the sort of fear that a kid would have, something John's said has clearly triggered something because right now she's sat beside the door of her brother's room with her sawn off."
"Why isn't she in the room with him?"
"John's wisdom again. He told her to let Sam sleep but phrased it more like 'I think you've done enough damage for one night, don't you' which Deanna obviously took to heart."
"Why's she got her sawn off?"
"To protect Sammy. Apparently the Shtriga they were hunting came to the motel room and fed on Sam. Drained him a little before John came in and shot the thing. John said that Deanna ignored a direct order to stay in the room and watch her little brother so the thing got in when she was out. Deanna was in the room before John was though, I'm guessing she froze up at the sight of it." He paused. "I don't know what to do, Bobby. I mean the girl hasn't said anything since she came in. She just nods or shakes her head. It's like when Mary died all over again."
"When I see that bastard..." Bobby began.
"Bobby, getting angry right now isn't going to help anyone."
"So what are you gonna' do?"
"Talk to her. See if I can try and repair some of the damage he's done."
"I can drive out there." Bobby stated.
"No it's okay. I'll call if I need you." Jim answered.
"Look after them." Bobby followed up.
The rest of the car journey was spent in silence, neither Winchester sibling talking to each. Bobby sent Sam upstairs so that he could talk to Deanna once they reached the house, before sitting down at the kitchen table opposite John's eldest.
"What happened back then wasn't your fault, Deanna." Bobby spoke up.
"So you know about that too, huh?" She responded.
"Look, all I'm saying is that not everything that happens is your fault, and just because your Dad says it is, doesn't mean he ain't lying. You are a smart girl, Deanna, and you know that you would protect your little brother to the end of the Earth, but there was nothing you could have done that night. How old were you that night? Nine? Ten?"
"You couldn't have taken that monster on by yourself, Deanna. Sammy didn't get hurt because of you. If anyone's to blame ere, it's your Dad for leaving you in a motel room alone in a town where a monster's snacking on kids." Bobby then looked Deanna over. "Why don't you go wash up while I make some food?"
Deanna smiled. "Thanks, Bobby."
"You're welcome, Deanna."