Summary: Sam's life has never been easy. He lost his father at a young age, joined the knighthood in order to be close to his half-brother Adam, was saved from a monster by a shapeshifter wolf named Dean, and now is being haunted by visions of a dragon. Turns out there's a legend for just about everything.
Disclaimer: Not mine but a girl can dream, can't she?
Author's note: Knights, wolves and dragons. Oh my.
I changed the summary, obviously. Hopefully this one works better xD
Previous Chapters: One
Fireflies floated around the air in their nightly dance to the chorus of crickets and frogs; nocturnal animals scurried to hide among dead logs and threads of grass.
Leaves crunched beneath his feet as he walked through the depths of the forest, the silver light of the full moon giving the bare, bloody skin of his body an almost ethereal glow. He held his injured arm close to his body, the black cord from the golden amulet he held dangling down between his fingers.
The large bonfire burned steadily within the circle of large stones that prevented it from spreading. The dancing flames stretched towards the starlit sky, casting orange glows on the numerous figures positioned around it. Each head shifted towards him at his approach, but he ignored them in favor of their blonde-haired alpha.
“Mother,” he lowered his eyes for a moment in respect, and when they met hers again the green depths were filled with pride, “the kill is mine.”
“Though I see that it was not without consequence, Dean,” Mary lightly chided. She gently touched his arm to assess the damage. “How did the human fair?”
“He survived the attack with minimal physical damage. Though I’m pretty sure the Lekio’s blood poisoned him.”
“The Winchester boy will recover.” A heavyset dark-skinned woman approached to place a wooden bowl in Dean’s hand. “A healer will see to that.”
Dean downed the grass-colored liquid and gagged at the mixture of foul spices and herbs. The potion would not speed up the healing process but it would make the pain more manageable during it.
There were four main packs of Wolf Shifters in existence (North, South, East, and West) but even so their numbers were few. During the age of dragons, the wolves had been their loyal allies and had been given the ability to change into human form in order to better aid them. They could interact with true humans for the purpose of dealing with them as allies or enemies, or hide among them if need be. As with the story of Threa and Theon, a dragon could not grant themselves the ability of human transformation and required the aid of a demon. So it was legend among the Shifters that they too had accepted such a deal, although no one knew if that was true. They were however the only known animal that could change form.
Samuel Campbell had always denied the accusation. He claimed that, like the story, their kind was tricked into their human bodies. They were not chained to them, but many wolves over time had chosen to shed their true forms forever and remain among human kind. It was a curse, not a blessing, Samuel had insisted.
Successor to her father, Mary Campbell had been leader of the Southern pack for several years. Her success relied on both her own instincts as well as the counsel of Missouri Mosely, their trusted healer and soothsayer and only human member of the group.
As Mary’s only offspring, it was Dean’s role to lead most of the hunts while she protected those left behind. He preferred to go off by himself but the times that more than one wolf were needed he insisted on only taking his cousins: Gwen, Christian and Mark.
The rest of the pack consisted of William, Ellen, Jo, Ash, Caleb, Isaac, Tamara, Bella, and Rufus.
Now that their pack was whole again everyone except Mary and Missouri dispersed. Mary watched her son go then turned to her friend. “You’re sure the boy was the one?”
Missouri turned her attention back to the bonfire. She raised her hands towards it, palms facing out. Two clusters of the flames rose higher than the others and morphed, one into the shape of a wolf and the other into a dragon. They clashed and swirled around each other in a circle. “Yes. Samuel Winchester is the one we’ve been waiting for.”
Mary stared hard at the flames until her eyes began to water. “Then we know what we must do.”
“Will you tell the others?”
“No, not yet. For now this will remain between us.”
Bobby Singer was relieved when the castle finally came into view in the distance, and he barely resisted the urge to speed up the slow walk of the horse beneath him. They had been gone on patrol for far too long and he was looking forward to a meal that consisted of something other than rabbit. Beside him Jonathan Winchester didn’t even seem to notice how close they were to home, his attention buried in the journal that he was constantly writing in.
“We should be entering the gates within the next hour,” Bobby pointed out. “I’m sure Sammy’s watching for you.”
John grunted in acknowledgement but didn’t look up, trusting his horse to know the way. He was practiced in expertly using his quill while swaying from side to side in the saddle. “He should be preoccupied with his lessons.”
Bobby sighed and shook his head. Sometimes he wondered if John even remembered that he had two boys: seven year old Sam and two year old Adam. Being the prince, the little toddler received constant attention and affection by his mother and nursemaid but Sam was basically on his own. Bobby would be the first to insist that John loved his children, but he had never been the same after losing the woman he given his heart to. That was one of the reasons that Bobby had decided to take Sam under his own wing, earning the title of “uncle” though there was no shared blood between them.
Upon entering the village, they dismounted from their horses at the stables and headed into the castle. Sam immediately came running.
“Daddy! Uncle!” He wrapped his arms around John’s waist, looking up at his father like he was both the sun and the moon. “I knew you’d be back today! Guess what? Adam said my name! Margery let me play with him today while the queen was busy, and he said ‘Sam’! Isn’t that great?”
“That’s wonderful,” John replied, ruffling his son’s chestnut hair. His hands then grasped the child’s thin shoulders and gently eased him away. “It’s been a long ride. I’m going to bed and I want you to do the same.” He walked off down the corridor.
Seeing the clear disappointment on Sam’s face, Bobby smiled down at him. “Come on; tell me everything that happened while we were away.”
Sam’s expression brightened and he took Bobby’s offered hand.
Those had been the days of innocence. After John’s death, Sam understood everything would change if he didn’t do something. Without his father Sam would be sent to live in the village and would be lucky to see Adam from afar, so the only thing to do was to join the knighthood.
Sam had taken to training like a fish to water, which he had no doubt inherited from John since he had been the same way. John’s legend of valor and skill lived on after his death and covered Sam’s every move like a shroud; watching him was almost as if his father had come back from the dead.
So a mere six years later, which was remarkable since training usually took years to master, Sam was accepted to partake in the Grand Melee, a tournament of great skill as well as entertainment where knights and knights-in-training would compete against each in front of the whole kingdom. The winner would automatically win a place in the Kingsguard, a group of knights that permanently resided in the castle instead of the separate barracks building.
Bobby did not compete, choosing instead to watch from the sidelines with Sam to keep him focused. When it was Sam’s turn to prove himself, Bobby had felt a fatherly pride as the fifteen year old boy he’d raised and taught for the last several years showed his skill among the excited cries of the crowd. No one cheered for him louder than ten year old Adam, seated in the stands at his mother’s side.
Suddenly there was a flash of metal and the crowd gasped in horror as Sam hit the ground, blood pouring down the side of his face. Bobby immediately raced forward, grabbing Sam’s arm as the teen struggled to his feet.
But Sam yanked away from him, determined to continue even as his body trembled in pain. The blood had run down to smear over the armor protecting his chest, turning the polished silver a dark red.
“It’s not over yet,” Sam growled, raising his sword.
His opponent looked taken aback for a moment, then smirked and raised his own weapon. “So be it.”
Everyone was in stunned silence as the fight continued. Injuries and even death were a common occurrence in the tournament but never had a hurt person insisted on finishing. In the end, Sam managed to disarm his opponent and gained victory. As soon as he was declared the winner, he collapsed onto the sand.
He survived of course, but the hit had sliced his eye and he would never again be able to see out of it.
Pushing away the memories of so long ago, Bobby opened the door of Sam’s bedchamber. The young man startled and turned around to look at him.
“Oh, Uncle, it’s just you,” Sam breathed in relief as he finished pulling his shirt on over his head.
“Just me?” Bobby snorted, walking further into the room. “I come to check on you and that’s the greeting I get?”
“Sorry.” Sam looked abashed. “I didn’t mean it that way. I just thought you might be Adam.”
“I see.” Bobby crossed his arms over his chest, raising an eyebrow. “And you didn’t want him to catch you sneaking out.”
“I’m not sneaking.” At the older man’s pointed look, Sam sighed. “Okay, yes, I’m sneaking. I appreciate my brother’s concern but he’s been hovering. I need some air.”
“And where do you plan on getting this air? The prince will be mad if you go too far.”
“Just to the tavern for a drink. Honestly, Uncle, I don’t need his permission to go where I want to.”
“Tell that to Adam.”
“I’m the older brother!”
“Tell him that, too.”
Sam crossed his arms and glared. “Whose side are you on?”
“I’m just telling the truth,” the senior knight smiled. “The two of you bicker like an old married couple. Go on; get out of here before you’re caught. But if Adam asks me where you’ve gone I’m giving you up, just so you know.”
“Thank you.” Sam smiled back and quickly left the room.
Bobby watched him go, then turned and focused on the wall across from Sam’s bed. Hanging on it was a battle-worn, slightly dented and chipped long sword. Bobby had seen the weapon more times than he could count, either in John’s hand or the sheath he kept attached to his belt. Reaching up, Bobby lightly touched his fingers to the faded bloodstain on the flat side of the blade. “If only you could see your boys now, John,” he murmured.
Gwen and Dean walked side by side through the human village just as they’d done many times before. The only attention that they garnered was from merchants calling their wares; no one the wiser to the fact that the two were not as they seemed to be.
“Why are you still wearing that thing?” Gwen gestured towards the bump of the amulet beneath Dean’s shirt. “It’s been weeks.”
“I like it.” The cord was loose enough that it could be worn during both human and wolf transformations so Dean didn’t bother to remove it. Ever since he found it in the woods after saving the human’s life he’d been strangely attached.
Gwen rolled her eyes but didn’t pursue it further. She had stopped trying to understand her cousin when they were pups.
Using his alpha status Dean did what he felt like. The only one he even attempted to listen to was Mary, both because of the natural respect he felt for her being the leader of the pack, and because she was his mother. But even her insistence that Dean stopped hunting alone didn’t sway him over half of the time. It shouldn’t have been in a wolf’s nature to want to go off by themselves, being a pack animal, but Dean seemed overly irritable whenever even family joined him, like they were invading his territory.
Gwen’s biggest concern was Dean getting himself killed. She didn’t really know who the knight had been outside of a name and a description of his appearance but she was grateful for the small help he had provided with the Lekio, or a hurt arm would have been the least of Dean’s problems.
They often came to the village together for a supply run for Missouri but it wouldn’t be long before they would separate. Gwen went on to the merchants that sold the needed herbs while Dean zeroed in on the local tavern. If there was one thing that Dean enjoyed about the guise of a human it was the alcohol. Actually, that was the second thing. The first was the endless amount of easy women practically begging to be fucked. He had no qualms about using them, nor did they have any about being used.
Leaving his cousin to do Missouri’s work, Dean entered the village’s largest ale house. The floor was filthy and covered in straw, like many places, but was well lit with numerous candles on the rusty chandeliers that dangled from the arched beams in the ceiling. Long tables housed metal cups, bowls and plates waiting for customers’ orders, and the large pit in the center of the room was ablaze beneath a gutted pig on a spit.
Dean nodded his head in greeting to the tavern owner, a man named William who was old enough to be Dean’s father. All of William’s hair had slid off his head to attach to his chin, the salt and pepper whiskers just long enough to cover over the scar on his neck he’d gotten during his previous occupation as a Raider. William had given up the life of and petty thievery twelve years prior to settle down with a local woman named Lysanna. Only five years into the marriage she had died while giving birth to a stillborn son, leaving William with nothing but the tavern that he’d named after her.
Dean’s ale was placed in front of him. Soft fingers tangled themselves in the short hair behind his head and he looked up at the familiar face of his favorite serving wench.
“I was wondering when you’d show up again, Dean,” Lisa smiled at him. Her dark hair was pulled back in a messy bun to keep her neck cool in the stuffy air inside the tavern, a thin sheen of sweat on the exposed skin of her shoulders and swell of her breasts above the low cut of her dress.
“You know I can’t stay away from you long.” Dean pulled the barmaid so she sat sideways on his lap, one of his arms around her small waist as his other hand went for his cup.
Lisa giggled and brushed soft lips against the side of his neck. Since the first day he stepped through the doors Dean had been her favorite customer. She’d lost count of the number of times they’d had fast and rough sex in the back alley or on rare occasions, on one of the rentable beds upstairs, but each time was as thrilling as the first. Dean wasn’t like the other men. There was something feral and exciting about him that had Lisa quickly seeking him out before any of the other women could get the chance.
He lowered his drink but before he could say anything to her about going outside with him, he was distracted by a familiar scent. The woman on his lap forgotten, he turned his head and immediately focused on the man that had just taken a seat at the counter.
Sam smiled his thanks at William as he placed a cup of mead in front of him. “How’d you know?”
The ex-Raider smiled back. “You looked like you could use it. Everything okay now, Sam?”
“I suppose you heard everything?”
“People like to talk in this place,” William replied. “Especially when it comes to creatures in the woods that try to kill knights.”
“It’s not like we’re immune to attacks of any kind.” Sam picked up the cup and took a long drink, the sweetness of the alcohol a welcome feeling in his throat and stomach. He lowered his hand as he felt the sudden presence at his side.
“We’re definitely not immune. Especially when it comes to our dear little knightling, here,” Gordon sneered.
“I want no trouble, Sir Walker,” William protested roughly.
“Mind yourself, Will. We’re just talking.”
Sam kept his eyes forward but his body had gone rigid. “I have nothing to discuss with you or your cronies, Gordon.”
“That’s okay; I’ll do all the work.” He sat down on the stool beside Sam, while blond-haired Sir Kubrick sat on his other side and brunet Sir Creedy hovered uncertainly behind. He was effectively boxed in. Gordon leaned one arm on the table, his brown eyes intent on Sam’s face. “You just listen, Little Sammy.”
The nickname made Sam smirk slightly, since he was a head taller than all three men.
“Do you want to know the interesting tidbit of information I found out?” the dark-skinned knight asked, plump lips pulled into a smile. “I heard the Queen is finally going to end your time playing with the big boys and send you packing. Perhaps you can find your true calling as a pig farmer.”
Sam snorted. “It’s been seven years in the order, Gordon. I’m hardly playing.”
“He did take the oath, same as us,” Creedy pointed out. “And he won the melee--”
“Barely,” Gordon cut him off, his voice hardening. “He barely won.”
“Aww,” Sam smiled at him condescendingly, “are you still pissed I took your title, Sir Walker?”
“Gee, I don’t know. Are you still pissed I took your eye?”
Sam’s gaze narrowed. “If you don’t get away from me in the next five minutes I’ll show you just how I feel about that.”
Gordon moved eagerly in on the tension like a shark scenting blood in the water. “Think you’re top shit because you’re the prince’s right wing, do you? We all know why you have that place, Sam. Why you’re not stuck on guard duty in town like all the knights that are far better than you. It’s not because of the melee. It’s because John couldn’t keep his dick in his pants and you’re related to our future king. But Adam can’t always protect you. Once he’s crowned he won’t have time to babysit, and I’ll make sure you get what you deserve. You’re worthless, Sam. Just like your mother.”
Sam and Gordon’s stools both hit the floor with a loud crash. Gordon grunted as Sam pressed him back against the counter, his hands fisted in the older man’s shirt so tightly that his knuckles were white.
“Don’t you ever talk about my mother like that,” he hissed. “She was anything but worthless.”
The older man smirked. “You’re right, of course. Whores are worth their weight in gold coins in this village.”
Gordon immediately stiffened as the sharp blade of Sam’s dagger touched the front of his throat. Kubrick’s hand went for the sword at his waist but he froze as another dagger rested against his lower back.
“I wouldn’t if I were you,” a low voice growled in his ear.
Sam turned his head to see a man with short hair standing close behind Kubrick. The momentary distraction was all Gordon needed and he knocked Sam’s hand away, punching him across the face. Sam stumbled to the side then lunged, knocking both of them backwards against the bar spilling drinks everywhere.
Kubrick spun to face the man behind him and swung, surprised when all he made contact with was air. Dean came back with a fist slammed beneath Kubrick’s jaw, sending the man crashing through a table. Creedy leapt for him but Dean caught his arm and flipped him feet over head to join Kubrick on the floor, knocking the air from his lungs.
“Humans are so damned slow,” Dean sighed, disgusted.
Dismissing the two dazed men, he turned his attention on Sam and Gordon. They seemed easily matched, both landing punches and kicks with such ferocity that it wasn’t long before blood began to flow. William shouted something and came around the counter, grabbing Gordon as another, heavier man grabbed Sam. The two knights struggled, trying to get back to each other as they yelled curses and threats. By then everyone in the tavern was watching, some of the more drunken patrons shouting encouragements then protests as the fighters were dragged away from each other.
Dean sheathed his dagger, a necessary weapon when in his human form, and grabbed Sam’s arm as the heavy man attempted to push him outside. “I got him,” he assured the bald human, and dragged the brunet knight outside the rest of the way into the warm afternoon.
Once out the door Sam yanked away from Dean’s hand, walking a few steps away from him as he continued to curse under his breath. Dean could literally sense the anger coming off him in waves.
“Let me guess,” he said, trying to cut through the tension, “you two don’t like each other.”
Sam looked at him incredulously, then upon seeing the smile on Dean’s face, he relaxed and chuckled a little. “Yeah, you could say that. Thanks for stepping in back there with Kubrick.”
“And the other guy, whatshisface,” Dean supplied helpfully. “The dark-haired one. I kicked his ass, too.”
Sam laughed. “Okay, thanks for Creely, too.”
“I’m just saving your ass all over the place. It this shit a normal thing for you?”
“No, those guys were just a bunch of assholes.”
“Well obviously but I didn’t mean just them. You were attacked in the forest, too.”
Sam groaned and rolled his eyes. “I am never going to live that down. It’s not even what you think.”
“I know what it was. I was there.”
“You fight well for someone who’s obviously drunk.” Sam raised an eyebrow at him, amused. “Where do you live? I’ll help you get home where you can sleep it off.”
Dean snorted. “Please. Thanks to your antics I barely had a sip. If not for you I’d be happily plastered and fucking a barmaid right now.”
“Is that so? Well, if it was Lisa I’m sure you could go back inside and continue where you left off. I hear she’ll lift her skirts for anyone. Even drunkards like you.”
“I’m not drunk!” Dean reached into the neckline of his shirt and pulled out the amulet. “Does this look familiar to you?”
Sam’s eyes widened. “How…?” He stepped forward and reached for it, but Dean backed up and tucked it back in his shirt.
“No way. It’s mine now. For starters let’s consider it reparation for a busted arm.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Dean smirked. “How soon you forget what an adorable wolf I am. Especially when I was all heroic and stopped a monster from snacking on your pretty face.”
Sam stared at him. Although the whole village had been talking about his encounter with the creature, no one but him had known about the wolf.
“I suppose I should thank you for that rock,” Dean continued, watching the play of emotions on the younger man’s face. “Although I had it completely under control, just so you know.”
Slowly lowering his arm, Sam looked the other man up and down like he was expecting to see Dean suddenly become furry then and there. He shook his head. “This can’t be possible. You can’t be a… a what? Werewolf?”
Dean laughed and shook his head. “That old fairy tale? Sorry to disappoint but those things don’t actually exist.”
“Then what are you?”
“Holy fuck.” Sam ran a hand through his hair. Did he really believe this?
“Dean, I’m ready to go back now.” Gwen walked up beside him with a basket in her hands. She looked Sam over, taking in the blood and blossoming bruises on his face and knuckles. “Is this your knight? He’s more handsome than I thought he’d be, despite the fact he obviously got his ass kicked recently.”
Dean rolled his eyes. “He’s not mine, Gwen.”
“So can I have him?”
“Oh come on.” Gwen smirked at Sam. “I’ve always wanted a pet.”
Sam didn’t even to know how to respond to that. “Look, Dean, thanks for your help in the tavern.” He refused to mention the woods. “Just keep the damn necklace.” He turned and walked away, trying to ignore the feel of Dean and Gwen’s eyes on his back.
“Well that was interesting.” Gwen watched the human leave and then looked at the man beside her. “Did you have fun today?”
“Not the kind I had intended,” Dean replied, heading for the forest. Gwen fell in step beside him. “But it was definitely interesting.”
She was silent for a moment. “Are you sure I can’t have him?”