Well, here's chapter 2, hope you like it! It's shorter than chapter 1 but quite a lot happens so I hope that's okay.

And I know people thought that John was not very…characteristic. Well, I think he's a pretty harsh person and we all know he and Sam fight. Maybe I went a little too far in the first chapter where that's concerned, I don't know. But I don't want to sugar coat him as some people do. I really like him, yeah, but he's not a saint. That's all…

Chapter 2:

On Friday evening after school finished Sam did not, as he usually would, head straight off across town to the motel. Instead, he stowed his schoolbag and books in his locker, replacing it with the bag full of spare clothes, food and camping equipment he had packed in secret the night before. Mike and Adrian were both bringing two-man tents, so Sam had not had to worry about getting hold of one himself, and they would not need much for two nights in the forest. He was just glad he had never told his father exactly where they planned to go, or he had no doubt John would not hesitate to drive right out to drag him home. Even the idea gave Sam shivers.

He met Mike and the others outside the school gates: they planned to go back to Mike's house to pick up the tents and then drive on out to Airman's Creek. Mike only lived a few minutes from school and they walked it quickly, all excited. Sam alone was quiet and uneasy-he had not told his family what he was planning, and he did not intend to until he and his friends were safely out of town: Airman's Creek was an hour's drive away and he thought he would be safe enough from any retribution at least until he returned.

Return…he shuddered. It was not going to be pretty. But he had made the decision to do this and suffer the consequences as they came, and he would not back down now.

The four boys were met at Mike's house by his smiling mother Alison, who plied them with hot cookies and helped them get the tents into her van before driving them out to the forest. "I want you all to be very careful out there," she said firmly as they drove, glancing back at them all. "Stay together and don't take any stupid risks. I mean that."

"Mom…" Mike muttered in an embarrassed tone. Sam wondered why he should be annoyed: if he had had a mother to be concerned about his whereabouts and safety he would have been pleased. It would have made him feel loved, cared about. He felt a sharp pang at the thought, wondering yet again how it was fair that he had never known his own mother, that Mary Winchester had been slashed out of life before her youngest son had ever had the chance to get to know her…wishing that his mother could have been there to smile at him, greet him when he came home from school, love him unconditionally…

"Sam? Are you okay?" It was Alison, and she was watching him in concern. "You look really upset, is something wrong?"

Sam made an effort to master himself and dredged up a smile. "No. No, I'm fine, thanks."

Alison nodded, frowning, not completely convinced, but turned her gaze back towards the road. She did not know Sam Winchester well, but he was a sweet kid, and smart, and mature-and yet there was something about him, something almost wary in those wide, honest hazel eyes, an expression of having seen too much, of bearing secrets within him that no fifteen-year-old should ever have to know. She remembered Mike telling her that Sam's mother was dead and that his family moved around a lot, and she felt a wave of sympathy rise in her heart for him. She did not know what it was, but she sensed a deep sadness and loneliness in Sam, and as a mother of three herself her maternal instincts just cried out, irrationally maybe, to help him.

She drove them to the edge of Airman's Creek, a gently-bubbling little stream in a shady, secluded part of the forest, helped unload, outlined a few safety guidelines, determinedly fastened a silver crucifix around her protesting, flushing son's neck-"to protect you", told them not to eat anything they picked in the wilds, and left them there to make camp, warning them again to be careful. Mike immediately tipped all the camping equipment out onto the ground and stood there staring at it in comical bewilderment.

"Uh…anyone know how to pitch a tent?" he asked hopefully.

It was six in the evening by the time they were finished, surveying the two scruffy-looking tents with a disproportionate amount of pride. Sam looked around, feeling oddly uneasy-maybe he should put down some salt lines around the camp, just to be sure. He had brought a saltshaker just in case, out of nervous habit, but he did not see how he could do it without seeming extremely odd.

"Uh…hey, you know, what, guys?" he said awkwardly. "We should tell horror stories tonight."

"Bring on the blood and guts," Adrian muttered.

"No, seriously," Sam said eagerly, warming to his theme. "Like…hey, I know." He dropped his voice to a menacing stage whisper. "I'll put a salt line all around the camp, to stop the demons getting past." He went to his bag and pulled out the saltshaker, his face falling a bit when he saw the incredulous faces of his friends.

"Salt?" Mike said. "Why salt?"

Sam shrugged. "Isn't that what they use in, uh, zombie movies?"

Mike looked dubious. "No point. We can scare each other enough tonight, Sam. Don't waste the salt."

Sam hesitated, then realised there was no way he could insist and keep them believing in his sanity. He relinquished the saltshaker, trying to reassure himself-why would there be anything to worry about out here? It would just be too great a coincidence. It was crazy to think anything would come for them. Crazy. This was just a forest, as safe and secure and lonely as any other…

They spent the rest of the evening trying to climb the biggest of the trees surrounding their camp, all except for Tom, who settled down on a tree stump with his gameboy and shut himself off from the world. Sam tried to relax with the others but it was almost impossible, knowing that his dad and brother would be worrying about him by now, that they would be furious, that he should never have deceived them as he had. At eight they lit up the little camping fire Adrian had found in his garage, and made an attempt at frying sausages. Then and only then Sam did retrieve his phone from his bag-it was time to explain. He switched it on and cringed-seventeen missed calls from Dad and Dean. He closed his eyes briefly, took a deep breath, then pressed speed dial one.

Dean picked up on the first ring. "Sam! Where the hell are you, I've been trying to call you all freaking evening! What d'you think you're playing at? Dad says you must've gone camping, that he already forbade you but I swear-"

"Dean," Sam said hoarsely. "I'm sorry?"

Dean paused in mid-tirade. "What?"

Sam pressed on, struggling to control himself. "I, uh, I have gone camping, with friends. I'm really, really sorry but Dad wouldn't let me go and-"

"You'd better not be serious," Dean said, his voice low and dangerously calm. "'Cause so help me, Sam, if you've lied and sneaked off-"

"I'm just telling you I'm okay, and not to worry about me," Sam said all in a hurry, hating himself, wanting to kill himself for worrying Dean like this, for doing something so stupid. "I'm sorry."

"Where the hell are you, Sam? 'Cause I'm gonna come right up there and get your ass-"

"I'm not telling you where I am," Sam forced himself to say, taking breaths so deep he was almost hyperventilating, eyes clenched tight shut, one hand pressed against his face. "You have to trust me this time, Dean. I'll…I'll see you Sunday night." He slammed the phone shut and immediately switched it off, then bit his lip so hard he broke the skin and tasted blood to hold back the howl of self-hatred and guilt that threatened to break free.

So maybe his dad had been wrong to forbid him to go. But he had been wrong, too, to lie and disobey and hurt his brother like that. Sure, his father needed to understand him, needed to realise that Sam was not just a good little soldier who would follow him unconditionally and have no will of his own-but this just seemed so wrong, so hopelessly, hopelessly wrong.

"Hey, Sam!" Mike suddenly called from behind. "Is this yours? Wow-" Sam whirled round to see his friend holding his clasp knife which must have fallen out of his bag when he had removed his phone, examining it admiringly. Sam tried to smile.

"Uh, yeah, that's mine."

"Where did you get that?" Mike asked, awe-struck. "It's a real beauty…"

"My Dad gave it to me," Sam replied, a bitter taste filling his mouth.

Sam lay staring up at the tent canopy in the darkness, listening to Mike's snoring beside him and wondering how he was ever going to be able to explain this to Dean and his father. He was beginning to think that he had gone too far this time, that it was not going to be easy to go back on this-he wouldn't be surprised if they never forgave him, and if his dad hated him forever. It was no more than he deserved, he reflected bitterly. A failure of a son-practically a traitor. He closed his eyes, wishing he could just fall into sleep and escape the misery of the mess he had created for himself-things would look better in the morning, he was sure. They had to. He slowed his breathing, praying he would not be tormented with nightmares as he so often was, particularly when he was apart from Dean. He had barely ever slept in a separate room form his big brother his entire life, and it felt wrong, and confusing to be so far away from him now, and so at odds with him.

He was just beginning to drift off when he heard a twig crack sharply outside the tent, and was instantly wide awake again, his sharp hunter's senses on alert. He listened hard-again, that crack, as if someone was walking, very slowly, towards them. Sam went cold all over-why hadn't be insisted on putting down salt lines, why hadn't he erected some kind of defence…he got to his hands and knees very, very carefully, hand reaching out for his knife, almost stopping breathing. Mike stirred faintly but then relaxed again, and Sam crawled forwards, fumbling for the tent opening and unzipping it as silently as he could to peer out into the night.

The cold streamed through, the night looming in with bushes transformed into crouching demons all around-silence. Dead silence. Then another crack, and the sound of heavy, hungry breathing. Sam's heart missed a beat-he could see nothing, but he knew with a sure and vital instinct that there was something in the camp, something dangerous, something malevolent-only metres away. Something was stalking them.

Cliffy already! Reviews are inspiration-I actually mean that, they really do help!