Nowhere Else to Turn (Part 4/8)


( This is my entry for the @brothersapart 2016 Contest: . Enjoy! )

Ziana slept for a total of five minutes while sitting by Shay’s bed. Spending the majority of the day and evening scoping out rooms for food and non-existent medication took more out of her than she cared to admit, but she didn’t dare go to bed after her encounter with the man claiming to be brothers with a friendly human.

A stressful day overall.

She blinked hard and shook her head as she came out of her brief nap. Standing up, she stretched her sore arms over her head; that was what she got for sitting with her arms crossed so tightly for hours. Shay was curled up with her back to Ziana, the blanket pulled up to her chin.

Dim light filtered from one wall. The lamps were on in the motel room on the other side. It had to be morning at least, judging by the rumble of footsteps coming from the room. Ziana could only hope that meant the “brothers” were preparing to leave that morning. After all, Sam claimed they would only stay for one more night.

“Good morning,” Ziana said in a singsong voice, moving over to the table to scrape up some breakfast. Not for her; she could do without, but Shay needed to eat and keep her strength up if they wanted any hope of breaking that fever. “Looks like Sam decided not to have his human come rain hell on us.”

When she received no answer, she looked over her shoulder from the crinkly wrapper.

“Shay?” she called, a little louder.

A barely audible moan came in reply.

Dropping the crumbs on the table, Ziana rushed back to the bed and leaned over Shay to turn her over. Skin hotter than ever, Shay fluttered her eyelids a few times but couldn’t keep them open more than halfway before they drooped back shut.

“Shay? Say something, come on!” Ziana sat on the edge of the bed and pulled the other girl’s upper body into her arms, giving her a rough shake. “Come on!”

“M’sleepy,” Shay murmured, peering at Ziana from under her eyelashes. “Just… a little more sleep. I’ll be fine.”

“Don’t give me that! You know this isn’t okay!”

Ziana bit her lip and shifted Shay’s weight to one side so she could peek under the bandage on Shay’s upper right arm. Bracing herself, she lifted the edge of the wrapped cloth and almost gagged; the skin around the gash was angry red and swollen. She didn’t look at it long enough to be sure, but some nasty stuff seemed to have built up on and around it.

“Gross,” Ziana hissed, cradling Shay back into both arms. “I’ll look again today for some medicine. Hell, even an actual bandage. I swear, I won’t come back until I–Shay?”

The other girl’s eyes were no longer even at half-mast. Her eyelids didn’t so much as twitch in response to Ziana’s voice. The only signal that assured Shay was alive was the weak tickle of breath on Ziana’s neck. But who knew for how much longer that would last if they carried on like this, with no proper medication for the festering wound.

Maybe we can help, she remembered the man from the motel room saying.

“Shut up, Sam,” Ziana muttered, clutching Shay more protectively at the mere thought of the massive human stomping through the room just beyond the wall. Dean, Sam had called him.

Shay let out a soft, shuddering sigh like a whimper, her head falling limply against Ziana’s shoulder. Her breaths came slower, and she began to shake. For a few agonizing moments, Ziana sat there on the edge of the bed, aware that Shay’s skin could go from burning hot to icy cold in a matter of hours if she didn’t do something.

“Fine, fine, fine!”

There was nowhere else to turn. She secured one arm around Shay’s shoulders and slipped the other under her knees to scoop her up. Too desperate to change her mind there and then, Ziana rushed to the passage leading to Sam and Dean’s room.


By the time she reached the opening behind the nightstand, Ziana had considered going back home no less than a dozen times. It occurred to her that she hadn’t brought her climbing gear. Not that it mattered. Hauling Shay around meant that hooks and ropes weren’t going to do either of them any good. Still, she felt naked without her usual supplies. She wanted to kick herself for not grabbing her needle on the way out, at least.

If Sam was lying and Dean was the snatch-em-up type, she and Shay were royally screwed. But what else could she do? She couldn’t leave Shay to die, even if others would do just that rather than go to a human for help. She could barely handle watching Shay when she first broke out in a fever.

The floor shook again–a sure sign that Dean hadn’t left the room. The drone of the TV was mere background noise between the human’s stomping and Ziana’s instincts screaming in her head to flee back to safety.

A glance down at Shay’s troubled face was enough to force Ziana through the opening and walk along the edge of the wall. She moved out from behind the nightstand, but stayed hidden between it and the bed’s shadows.

The towering human stood by the far table, packing things up by the looks of it. Sam hadn’t been lying when he said they were only staying for that night, and it seemed neither of the “brothers” had pursued any interest in finding people in the walls after last night’s incident.

Ziana swallowed hard. “H-Hey,” she said, quieter than a mouse.

And then Dean’s boots were on the move.

Ziana held Shay tighter, biting back a cry and shoving her back against the wall, but the human didn’t move in her direction. In fact, it seemed he was still minding his own business. He hadn’t even heard her. She squared her shoulders and tried again when he stopped moving in front of the dresser.

“Hey.” It wasn’t much louder than the first time.

Again, she was ignored.

Feeling her cheeks grow hot, she bit down hard on her lower lip and released a long, shrill whistle to get his attention. “Hey!” she roared. The giant’s movements paused. “Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, long legs!”

The moment the words left her lips, Ziana realized she should have at least left Shay within the opening of the passageway until she could get a better read on Dean’s personality instead of carrying her vulnerable friend directly into danger. She should have grabbed her needle. She should have had a backup plan in case things went south.

She should have not yelled at a freaking giant.

But it was far too late to take it back and do it over. The boots turned and started for the nightstand.

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