Title: Ghost of a Chance
Author: jana5
Pairing: gen
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Dean and Sam are sent to help a haunted woman but things take a shocking turn!


"What's happening?" Dean asked with a gasp. He sat bolt upright in bed, beads of sweat dripping down his face.

"You've been dreaming, and you cried out like a girl" Sam Chuckled.

Dean recalling his nightmare narrowed his eyes and stared at his brother with a look that said 'the dream was too real and that's not funny'.

"Seriously, like a five year old girl whose lost her favorite doll!" Sam was trying desperately hard not to burst out laughing at the expense of his brother; but for once he was enjoying ribbing his sibling for his girly scream, albeit in his sleep. For his trouble he had a pillow thrown at his head, dazing him for a second he sarcastically laughed "now that's not nice".

"Well shut up then" Dean responded more subdued than his normal self and whilst rubbing his own aching head. His dreams having kept him awake throughout the night, and the darken rings around his eyes were the evidence things were not right in his world.

Sam couldn't help himself "so did you lose your dolly?" he asked with his back to his brother expecting another pillow to head his way. Dean looked at him and saw his shoulders moving to the rhythm of laughter, shaking his own head he rose out of bed.

"Something is gonna happen and it's not going to be nice!" Dean stated as he walked passed Sam and put the bathroom light on. Closing the door behind him he could still feel his brother's eyes staring at him, he called out "got your attention now?"

Sam was actually staring at the door, a look of confusion on his face, what the hell did Dean mean, he got up to find out. Pushing open the door, he saw his brother staring blankly into the mirror "Dean what's up?" he asked with concern.

"My dreams were too real; there was a house, a knife, Sam you got to promise to make sure I'm alright…" Dean swallowed hard, vivid images from his dreams still fresh in his memory.

Dean had no time to finish, as Sam picked his mouth up from the floor "I'm with you all the way Dean, I'll look after you, you can count on it!"

"No Sam, I had the same dream over and over last night, and each time no matter what was done differently I ended up stabbing you" lowering his head, and closing his eyes Dean tried desperately to hold back the tears "you've got to make sure I'm alright with you and if I'm not get as far away from me as you can!"

Sam choking back on his own tears; searched for the words to comfort his brother "there's no law to say what you dreamt is going to come true, it was a dream Dean, just a dream".

Dean turned bleary eyes, "I hope you're right Sam, because I don't want to live that dream in any way shape or form… ever"

The moment was interrupted by the phone ringing.

"Can you get that?" he asked wiping his eyes, trying to find his big brother status.

Sam went over to the dresser and picked up the phone "it's a message, from Dad I think"

"What does it say" Dean asked, calling out from the bathroom while he splashed water over his face.

"We got to go to Ohio, a woman needs our help" Sam stared at the details of the message.

"Ohio, crap" Dean shook his head and grabbed a towel as he joined his brother. "Why?"

"Says she's haunted, we'll get more info from his book" Sam looked up at his brother, watching him pat his face dry, "you going to be ok?"

"Yeah, you know me, take the rough with the smooth, as long as there's no big house down a long windy lane, and you drive where we're going so I can get some sleep, no problem" his cheeky grin did nothing to convince Sam he was now okay.

On the road, Sam couldn't help looking over at his brother while he slept. Noticing at times the movement of his eyes, a sure sign he was dreaming. He only hoped Dean wasn't experiencing the nightmare he had before or even the types of dreams he had about Jess.

Their journey was nearly at an end, they were now going along the last road to their destination, they hadn't seen another car for the last 5 miles "Dean, wake up, Dean!" Sam reached over and tried to wake his brother grabbing him on the leg.

"Arrggghh" Dean screamed, scaring the life out of Sam too when he almost jumped out of his own skin.

"Whoa woooh" Sam cried out, the car weaving all across the road.

Dean, now very much awake, took hold of what he could as Sam tried to gain control.

"WOOOH, woah, WOOOah" Dean panted, his eyes picking out the tree in the distance where he was going to die. "WOAH SAM LOOK OUT"

The car seemed to take on a life of its own, no matter what Sam did the car fought against him. Within seconds, the tree Dean had eyed was fast approaching.

"SAM STOP THE DAMN CAR NOW!" Dean pleaded, screwing his face up anticipating a crash.

"Help, I can't control it" Sam's hands were trying to work the steering wheel, as he pumped the brakes, but neither was to any avail.

Quickly glancing over, Dean was about to grab the wheel when the car spun across the road and slammed right sided into a tree.

An uneasy silence fell, the night was drawing in, help for the boys seemed a distant hope.

With his head resting on his arm over the steering wheel, Sam groaned, a small cut down his cheek was oozing blood. "Argh, mmmph" Peeling himself away from the wheel, he gently looked up, a glow of orange lit the area and then was gone, his confusion soon going as he realized it was the blinker light. "Oh man, what the hell..?" His head pounding, he tried to work out if he was still in one piece. Not feeling any objection from his body he slowly pushed himself back into his seat. Closing his eyes as he took in a deep breath, but reality slapped him across the face "Dean?" he gasped, his eyes almost popping out of their sockets. Turning to look, the sight before him was almost too bad to see.

Dean was unconscious, the door pushing against his side where it had craved in from the impact. His body doubled over, his head almost suspended as the seatbelt took his weight.

"Oh God, Dean?" Sam unbuckled himself, and turned to his brother. Hesitate of what to do next; he then noticed a 'dripping' from Dean's head.

Bending to look, he saw a gash where Dean's head had smashed against the window. Now unsure where to touch his brother; panic was setting in.

"Dean please wake up, come on man, wake up" Sam cried out, he hoped for something, but Dean remained out cold.

Sam wiped the sweat from his brow; he had to somehow find a way to help his brother. "I'm sorry Dean" thinking he had no other choice he took hold of Dean's neck to support him and tried to gently place him back.



Dean's eyes rolled around, his face showing the pain he was in. "Sam?" he mouthed.

"Don't move" Sam demanded, before realizing if there was any damage to be done, he'd had already done it.

"It hurts" Dean managed to utter to a concerned brother.

"Where?" Sam sheepishly asked, hoping and praying it wasn't his back.

"My ribs, head, I've got the mother of all headaches!" Dean's humor was surfacing.

"Try and stay still, I've got to find a way to get you out, can you move your legs?" Sam finally asked.

"What you want me to do the can-can? Yes I can move them, but you touch my ribs I'm gonna have to break your neck" Dean huffed

"You're gonna have to come out this side, are you going to be able to do it?" Sam ignored his brother's remark, he knew Dean was hurting and was trying to cover it up with humor.

"Yeah, no sweat" Dean started to shuffle in his seat, wincing under the pressure he placed on his side.

"Let me help you" Sam reached over and tried to grip his brother under the arm and help pull him out.

"Ouch, Sam stop" Dean pleaded, grabbing at his side hoping that would ease the pain.

"Sorry, oh man sorry" Sam threw his hands up.

Dean felt the warm flow of blood run down his face, reaching up he felt the sticky fluid, the cut to his head split about two inches; he was going to need stitches.

"We need to stop the bleeding" Sam began searching the back seat for the first aid kit.

"Sam I don't feel so good" Dean swallowed, he was salivating like he was about to be sick.

"You need to get to a hospital, where's the cell, I'll ring for an ambulance" Sam picked up a cloth and gave it to Dean to place on his head, before reaching for the cell.

"I don't need to go to the hospital" Dean protested.

"Yeah, you do" Dialing 911 Sam's faced dropped. "Nothing"

"What?" Dean asked weaker than before.

"No signal, were in the middle of no where, with no signal" putting the cell in his pocket "I'm gonna have to go for help"

"You're taking me with you" Dean shifted in his seat, groaning and throwing his head back as his ribs protested his movement.

"Dean you need to stay here, I'll be back when I can" Sam glanced at Dean for a moment, hoping he wouldn't get the back chat.

"Where we go one, we go all, or something like that, help me out" Dean took in a deep breath and began making the move out of his seat and then out of the car.

Sam shaking his head, knowing it was a bad idea, he still helped his brother where he could.

Some agonizing moments later Dean slumped against the driver side of the car.

"You wrecked my car bro" Dean said taking in short breaths, the blood still running down his face.

"All in a brother's job description" Sam tried to joke.

"There's nothing around here for miles right?" Dean had no idea where they were, he just knew the pain he was going to be in trying to make it somewhere, and was trying to prepare himself for the journey.

"You really need to stay here" Sam tried to tell him again, replacing the cloth against his brothers wound "protect the car".

"Sammy, there's no one around here for miles, the car has enough weapons to protect itself, I'm coming with you" although he was hurt, he had no plans to leave his brother walking down unknown roads at night by himself.

"Hey Dean, we've got to be only a couple of miles from the house Dad's wanted us to go, we make it there, we can call for help"

"Great two birds one stone" the older brother hissed as he pushed himself off the car "come on we got a ghost to dispose of"

"Don't think you're up to that" Sam said in all seriousness.

"What gave that away, the blood pouring from my head, the throbbing, or that fact I've broken at least three ribs" Dean in his usual dry humored way gave Sam a look to let him to get his ass is gear.

"We should take supplies" Sam went to the trunk and rummaged around for their ghost ridding kit.

Dean caught sight of what Sam was about to put in the bag "NO" he shouted.

The younger brother was startled for a moment then questioned "what?"

"Not the knife okay?" he stood awkward watching his brother doing what he would normal do, prepare for the fight.

"Sure" Sam nodded, kicking himself for not remembering, "okay that's everything, let's go."


"You don't look so good" Sam was staring at his brother who was obviously finding the walk hard.

"I'm okay stop worrying, no wait, actually start worrying on how you're gonna pay to get my car fixed" the older hunter glared over to his brother.

Sam raised his eyebrows.

"Yeah that's right, you're paying" Dean smirked half trying to cover the pain he was in from his ribs.

"Hey look" Sam pointed over to a turning, "that's got to be the road"

"Great, last one there's a battered up freak, whose brother wrecked the car" Dean sarcastically answered, touching on his forehead checking the makeshift bandage was still in place.

Sam shook his head, ignoring his brother's comment "you know what I don't understand?"

As Dean was about to turn into the road a shiver ran down his back, "What?"

"Dad would normally send us co-ordinates right? Yet the message sent gave us the details of a haunted woman in Ohio, and it said to look in the journal, but there's nothing much in there, I don't get why?"

"Maybe the message wasn't from Dad, someone tried him and then they come to us" Dean tried to reason stopping and turning around to his brother.

"Yeah but if they rung Dad, why wouldn't they ring us, doesn't make sense and how would they know about the journal" Sam looked lost in thought trying to figure out if the message they got was actually from their father and why they would blindly go where the message sent them.

"You know Sammy, someone out there needs our help, albeit in some little part of Ohio" Dean rolled his eyes "whether Dad sent the message or some little old lady it doesn't really matter now that we're here does it?"

"Guess you're right" he said reluctantly, "kill the bad guy and all will be right" Sam shifted the bag he was carrying and looked back towards the direction they had come, the car no longer in sight gave him a real sense they were all alone. He pulled the cell from his pocket and let out a sigh, still no signal.

"Come on bitch, we haven't got all night"

"Jerk" Seemed to just slip out of Sam's mouth.

"You do know ghosts are already dead right?" Dean asked with a smile.


"You said 'kill the bad guy' well ghosts are already dead, dumbass!" Dean laughed but immediately regretted it as a sharp twinge almost made him double over.

"Shut up Dean" He looked at his older brother and got a smile back.

They had walked for about ten minutes when in the darkening night a house began to immerge from the trees.

Dean suddenly froze.

Sam turned to his brother and saw the panicked look on his face "are you okay?"

Dean swallowed hard "yeah it's nothing"

"Don't give me that, what's wrong?" Sam moved to stand in front of Dean "is it?"

The injured hunter looked into his brother's eyes, and then looked towards the house "promised me Sam, look after yourself and if I've got a knife stay the hell away from me, you got it!"

"Dean with all due respect look at you, I'd only have to poke you and you'd be on the floor, somehow I don't think whatever nightmare you had is going to come true, and I didn't pack a knife remember" Sam delicately took hold of his brothers shoulders.

"Sam I.." Dean's voice was shaky, visions of his nightmare coming back to haunt him.

"Don't worry, whatever it is we will deal with it" Sam was use to having his own nightmares, they'd even joked about him having some physic ability from them so he felt his brothers pain and was now regretting laughing at him when he had screamed out like a girl. "You need to change that" Sam reached up and removed the blood soaked bandage from Dean's head.

"Aaaw" Dean winced as the cloth was pulled away from his wound. "You'd never make a doctor"

Sam gave him a sarcastic smile as he searched for another dressing "why do you think you're the one having the dreams"

"Jealous?" he asked with his face screwed up as Sam replaced the dressing. "Trust me, I don't what them, I don't know how you've managed, I proud of you Sammy"

Sam looked at his brother in shock but still managed to correct him "Sam"

"I am… Sam" Dean looked at his younger sibling in admiration.

"You okay?" Sam asked as he picked up the bag.

"Yeah, lets go before we have to hug or something" Dean walked off with his arm shielding his damaged ribs, though trying not to let Sam see the pain he was in.

Walking closer to the house the trees rustled in the night air, Dean came over with an uneasy feeling but he couldn't work out if it was the house or his head that was the problem. Only a dimly lit room on the first floor showed the only sign of life in the house. Sam took a look at Dean just before the front door way became visible.

"Let's just get inside before we go on about who we are, I need to sit before I fall" although Dean knew they were there to help the haunted woman, the journey to the house was finally taking its toll. His face had become ashen and he was finding it hard to breathe. Sam seeing his brother in difficulty gave him support to make it to the door.

The door was opened in seconds of them knocking by a woman in her fifties dressed all in black. "Oh my, what happened to you?" she gasped as she took sight of Dean "quick come inside"

Before either of them said anything Sam helped Dean in, taking him to the sitting room as directed.

"Here sit, let me take a look at you" the woman insisted.

"I'm fine, no need to fuss" Dean tried to pull his head back as the woman went to remove the dressing, but his strength was fast leaving him "Aaaw"

Sam looked on, noticing Dean's obvious discomfort. "Sorry to be a nuisance" he felt obliged to say to the woman.

"Nonsense" she answered moving away from Dean leaving his wound open to the fresh air.

"Dean?" Sam called to him, but it was no use. The effort he had made to get to the house was all gone, resting on the couch Dean's eyes slowly closed.

"What happened to you both?" the woman asked from the kitchen, where she had gone to fill a bowl of water to clean Dean's wound.

"Our car crashed just up on the main road" Sam began to explained as she came back into the room.

"Well I'm sorry I've got no phone here to ring any one, but your friend here will be just fine" her words were soothing and eased Sam's concern.

"My brother" he corrected, now watching her bathe Dean's head.

"Brother" she smiled.

"I'm Sam, that's Dean and thank you" Sam noticed her slightly flinch at the names.

"Winchester?" she asked.

"Yeah, how did you know?" Sam was curious.

"I was expecting a Dean Winchester, I know his father, your father" she turned to him "I'm Annabelle" she got up and headed back to the kitchen.

"Wait you know my Dad? How? Have you seen him?" the questions in Sam's head felt like they were spiraling out of control, glancing down to check on Dean, he then quickly followed her.

"I haven't seen him sorry, trust me if I had I wouldn't have called your brother" she replied as she emptied the water into the basin "I'm surprised you are here though"

"Yeah well it kind of just happened" Sam had started to get a gut feeling, but he wasn't sure if he could trust it "you left the message? But I thought you said you didn't have a phone?"

"I don't, I used a friends when I went into town, no good me having one up here, no signal"

"Yeah we noticed that already" Sam replied.

"You're the sensitive one, Dean goes in and does the job thinks nothing of it, but you, you're more aware than that, right?" the woman chuckled at the look on Sam's face "right!" she handed his a soaked cloth to clean his own wound.

"Why did you call?" he didn't need to be told about him and his brother.

"Okay, well I think that can wait until the morning, nothing should happen tonight the moon is not full yet, let your brother rest there and I'll show you where you can sleep"

Sam's gut feeling was getting stronger. "I don't think I should leave him"

"He'll be fine; I'll cover that gash up when I've sorted you, besides we'll only wake him if we try to move him now." She smiled at Sam and pointed him in the direction of his bedroom.

"He's probably broken his ribs too" Sam was still unsure if he was okay to leave his brother.

"Don't worry, we'll get him bandaged up tomorrow" Sam looked at Annabelle, she seemed to know what she was doing and finally he let her lead him to his own resting place.


Sam stared in the mirror, gently wiping the blood away from his cheek. Glancing for a moment back to the door, his thoughts filled with concern for his brother, knowing if the roles were reversed Dean would not have left his side. Feeling the guilt he got up and headed back to the sitting room.

Annabelle paced up and down, looking over to Dean and smiling, the gash on his head still exposed and seeping blood. "This is going to be too easy" she laughed to herself, an odd look spreading across her face. Picking up the movement of Sam she quickly went over to 'tend' to Dean.

Sam slowly peered into the room, his dread turned to somewhat relief as he found Annabelle delicately placing a bandage onto his brother.

"He's fine" Annabelle smiled over to him "I've put some of those plastic strips on to help close the cut".

"Butterfly stitches?" Sam questioned.

"That's them, he should really get it done at the hospital, but we're miles away".

Sam cut her off before she could say more, "he won't go anyway".

"Then he'll probably have a scar, but chicks dig scars, right?"

Sam laughed "Yeah, I'm sure he'll be happy with that," there was something about the woman in front of him that he couldn't quite place but he had to trust she was doing right by his brother.

"Go back to sleep now, you'll need your energy" she said with what appeared to be a genuine concern for him.

Reluctantly Sam walked away, leaving his brother in her 'care'.

Annabelle waited a moment, hearing the bedroom door shut she whispered to Dean "for all that boy senses, he has let you down". Pushing herself off the sleeping hunter's chest, she looked pleased as punch when he groaned in agony.

Again she took up pacing the room. Looking over to Dean checking he was still asleep she began to 'talk' to him. "You know I thought it was going to be hard taking you out, but look at you, you're nothing, a weak excuse for a human being, I was going to take great pleasure bringing your life to an end and getting my revenge on your precious father, but there's no satisfaction killing you now, is there?" she laughed "Unless... wonder what Daddy will think when he finds out his darling son killed his special brother, revenge dear Dean is oh so sweet".

Turning for one more satisfying look, Annabelle walked out of the room and simply disappeared down the hallway.

It was in the early hours when Dean's eyes flickered open, glaring up at the ceiling trying to focus, he couldn't place where he was for a moment, that was until it all came flooding back when he tried to sit up "Son of a bitch" he huffed, gripping at his side trying to numb the pain.

In more of a 'leaning this way because it's comfortable' position than upright, he slowly tried shifting forward to stand himself up. The room he was in was dark, as he got to his feet a woozy feeling came over him "Oh man" Gaining his composure and with the aid of the nearly full-moon outside shining in, he could just make out enough not to trip himself up. He headed for the kitchen to get a drink for his desert mouth, and something stronger for his pounding headache.

Grabbing a glass with his left hand and his right arm hugging his side, he struggled his way over to the sink. Taking his time, he filled the glass and slowly and with great relief he began to drink.

"Wooh I needed that" placing the glass down, he figured he was more likely to find the medicine in the bathroom, so off he went, with no actual idea of where he was going. Walking out of the kitchen he didn't seem to notice the knife block, a knife block with one of the knives missing!

"Sam?" he quietly called out as he headed down the hall, hoping his brother would come and point him in the right direction "Sam?" Not having a thought to switch on the light, he guided himself along the wall, eventually coming to a door.

Smiling to himself he wondered if he was about to enter Annabelle's room and what he'd say if caught. He began turning the handle; screwing up his face he slowly entered the room. "Hello?" he tried to ask without laughing.

"Dean?" he heard a voice reply that he wasn't prepared for.

"Who's that?" he face was frozen and the funny quips he has just thought of were gone.

"It's Sam you idiot, what are you doing?" Sam was resting on his elbows staring at his brother's outline that bared an unflattering resemblance to the hunchback of Notre Dame.

"Looking for the bathroom if you must know" Dean's smirked was lost in the darkness.

Sam shook his head as he got up and switched the light on.

Dean squinted for a moment turned to his brother and smiled "guess it's not here then!"

"Your head's bleeding" his eyes sorrowed at the state of his brother.

Dean raised his hand to his head; pulling it away he saw his bloodied fingers "Damn".

Sam guided Dean to the bathroom; searching through the cabinets he found some headache pills and more dressing. "Sit" he demanded.

Dean looked down at the toilet seat and back to Sam.

"Sit" Sam demanded.

Without arguing Dean gingerly took a seat.

Sam pulled at the bloodied bandage, carefully removing it "that's odd, she said she'd put those butterfly stitches on".

"Butter who?" Dean asked desperately trying to resist the temptation to feel the wound.

"Those plastic stitches you can get, she said she put them on".

"Maybe you heard her wrong" Dean rubbed the other side of his head; he was having trouble hearing his brother himself.

"I don't think so," patching his brother up the best he could, his mind started to wonder about who this Annabelle woman actually was.

"You're done" his brother sorted, Sam led him back to his room; Dean was in need of rest.

"You going to be okay?" Sam asked, realizing he had never had to take care of his brother like this before".

"Yeah, now leave me in peace, I need my beauty sleep!" Dean replied with a yawn.

That was how Dean was, no matter how bad his situation, he always had a quick remark.

Sam closed the door behind him and went to the sitting room to take up the couch, a figure hiding in the shadows watching his every move.

Morning fell upon the house; Sam was awake and went to check on his brother. Opening the door he was surprised to find Annabelle wrapping bandages around Dean's chest.

"There you go, that should protect them for the time being, I don't think they're actually broken, but you've got some really bad bruising" Annabelle handed Dean his shirt.

"Well that's good to know" he smiled fiddling with the bandage before realizing Sam had entered the room "hey Sammy".

"Hey" he replied, somewhat suspect of Annabelle's presence "morning".

"Good morning, now that you boys are up, and we all know who is who, lets get that coffee going" Annabelle patted Dean on the knee and then smiled at Sam as she left to go to the kitchen "I think we might be in for a long day".

Dean struggled with his shirt, trying to figure out the best way to put it on without it hurting.

Sam felt uncomfortable watching "let me help you".

"Yeah cos that would look like a great Kodak moment!" Dean replied slightly annoyed with himself that Sam had to offer but still held out his shirt for the help with a smile.

With some comic moments later and Dean fully dressed, they made their way to get that cup of coffee.

"So, what can we do for you?" Sam asked Annabelle as she finished filling his cup.

"It's simply really, my husband passed a year ago and he now haunts this house each full- moon, it hasn't been a problem really but this full-moon will land on the anniversary of his death and he threatened he would be more powerful and wasn't going to take any prisoners, he was going to avenge his death" Annabelle's face saddened "I love my husband but I cannot take him affecting my life or that of anyone else like this anymore… I need him gone".

"Avenge his death? How did your husband die?" Sam quizzed her, as he sipped on his drink.

"He was murdered, out by the big tree" she began to sob "I came home expecting to see him in front of the tv, I didn't realize he was outside fighting for his life".

"Do you know who done it?" Dean questioned with concern.

"No" she quickly answered, not raising her head to look at either of the brothers.

Sam's eyes narrowed, he wasn't sure how much he believed her. "How do you know our father?" he asked again having not received an answer from her last night.

Dean almost choked on his coffee at his brother's question, but turned to Annabelle and waited for the answer.


"He was here last year, there was a problem in town, I don't know much about it to be honest, I just served him breakfast a few times at the coffee shop" she answered making herself busy in the kitchen.

"What kind of problem?" Sam asked.

"Oh it was something about an evil presence at one of the homes, but to be honest he didn't actually say much about it, just that he was trying to help"

"Who?" Dean quickly interrupted as he leaned awkwardly on the kitchen top.

"I really don't know, I guess he wrote things down in the journal he had with him, he seemed very attached to it, he talked about you boys too, I know that you have it now he mentioned that some time ago, I thought it might help if you knew he'd already been this way"

"So you've kept in touch with him" Sam jumped in, looking slightly mystified on how much this woman actually knew.

"No, as I said that was a long time ago now, if I could have got a hold of him, I wouldn't have called your brother" Annabelle nodded over towards Dean, who was also a bit miffed at what was being said.

"Did I miss something?" he asked as he moved his footing to steady himself.

"Annabelle knew that Dad was working on something, she's been trying to get a hold of him to help her but had to settle for us"

"Oh" Dean pouted his lips as his side gave him more grief.

"What are you going to do about my husband?" Annabelle tried to get the conversation back to them helping her.

"Sure, sorry" Sam's mind clicked back to the problem in hand "where's your husband buried, if we burn his remains before tonight, case closed"

"Well that's going to be a problem" Annabelle looked concerned "there are no remains, he was cremated"

"That's new," Dean quipped.

Sam looked at Dean then told Annabelle "we've got a lot of work to do then, tonight's the full-moon and we need to get things ready, you ok if we get on with it?"

Dean looked at his brother slightly puzzled, it wasn't helping that his own body hurting was taking up most of his concentration.

"Sure, please make yourself at home" Annabelle instructed as she picked up the cups to refill.

Dean glanced around the kitchen and his eyes became fixed.

"Dean what's up" Sam whispered.

Without speaking Dean grabbed Sam's head and turned it in the direction he was looking.

"What?" Sam didn't understand.

Dean quickly let go as Annabelle turned to them handing back their cups of coffee, he smiled.

"You want anything to eat?"

"Bacon, bacon would be good" Dean cheerfully answered, regretting moving too quickly before.

"And you?" she looked at Sam

"I'm good thanks" Sam looked at his brother, trying to understand what he was going on about.

Dean rolled his eyes and just spurted it out "excuse me Annabelle, you erm, there's erm, knife, you got a knife missing" he pointed uneasily at the knife block.

Sam's eyes widened.

"No I haven't, it's in the dishwasher" Annabelle answered somewhat confused "are you alright?"

"Yes, oh yes fine, no problem" Dean replied giving her the ok sign before turning to Sam he face turning serious "that's a problem!"

Sam nodded.

"We're just going to go take a look around" Dean stated as he took hold of Sam's shirt.

"Please do" Annabelle answered without turning to look at them.

Dean pulled at Sam's shirt and lead him away from the kitchen, Annabelle turned to watch, a smile forming on her face "too easy".

The brothers had made their way to the bedroom "Man, Dean this isn't right, there's something about that woman" Sam pointed towards the door "she's… lying"

"She's lying?' Dean bluntly repeated taking a sit on the bed "Sammy don't you mean that is one messed up chick! I don't know what we've got ourselves into but I sure as hell don't think we're here to rid her of just her husband!"

"So what we gonna do?' Sam was rummaging through their bag, "she knows about us having Dad's journal, but she doesn't know why he was in town, doesn't make sense?"

"We need to take another look at it" Dean stated as Sam pulled the journal from the bag, raising his eyebrows as he did so.

Flicking through the pages nothing seemed to be jumping out at them.

"This is too weird, we get a call from her, she doesn't have a phone, you having the nightmares, the car crashes like it has a life of its own" Sam got quickly interrupted.

"Dude, YOU crashed my car, don't be blaming that on anything supernatural" Dean looked at his brother "you're still paying"

Sam muttered something under his breath whilst shaking his head slightly before continuing "we end up here in the middle of nowhere, she says she used stitches on you and there wasn't, I don't know Dean, my gut is screaming not to trust her"

"I know" Dean agreed lowering his head "but the only thing we can do is play along, find out exactly what's happened and if her husband's alive, or dead and buried."

"Here, look" Sam pointed to a page "says Dad was working on a poltergeist, but looks like it was a textbook case, nothing out of the ordinary"

"Does it say where exactly?" Dean asked, his forehead wrinkling up as he struggled to focus on the page, his headache was returning.

"No, nothing" Sam turned the page but that was the end of the information.

"You think Dad was here don't you, and the poltergeist probably Annabelle's husband?" Dean rubbed the bridge of his nose.

"Maybe, but why doesn't she tell us if her husbands come back, especially if Dad already got rid of him once"

The brothers were interrupted as Annabelle knocked on the door and entered "Excuse me boys, you're bacon is ready"

"Thanks I'm coming" Dean carefully rose off the bed, he turned to Sam and winked "keep checking"

Sam smiled and nodded.

As they left, Sam turned back to the journal, making sure he hadn't missed anything.

Dean hesitated entering the kitchen, glancing quickly at the now full knife block but still took a seat at the table.

"I hope that's okay" Annabelle said as she placed a plate of bacon in front of Dean.

"That's great, thanks" Dean didn't really want to enter into any sort of conversation but he had to ask for something to take care of his headache "don't suppose you got any pills for my head?"

"Sure, I'll get you some now" Annabelle wiped her hands on the towel and headed off in the direction of the bathroom.

"This is going to be a long day" Dean said to himself placing his head in his hands.


"Huh?" Dean looked up and saw Sam.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, it's just a headache, what are you doing?" Dean asked gaining back his big brother composure.

"Going outside to have a look around" Sam grabbed a piece of bacon as he passed his brother and went to the back door.

"Good call" Dean waved his brother goodbye as Annabelle returned.

"There you go" she handed him a couple of pills and then headed over to get him a drink.

"Thanks" he looked at what he was about to take and then placed them in his mouth as Annabelle handed him the drink.

"Your brother looking for anything in particular?" Annabelle tried to get information out of Dean.

"Not sure, he just goes off in his own little world and there's no stopping him" Dean smiled.

"Eat up" she calmly responded, "I'm just going to sort out the laundry"

"Right" Dean looked at her as she left, his puzzled look a dead give away that he couldn't believe she was going to do laundry on the day she wanted her husband rid of. "that is one strange woman".

Finishing his breakfast he placed the plate by the sink and went to join his brother in the garden.

"Find anything?" Dean asked as he slowly made his way to where Sam was standing.

"Look at this" Sam pointed at a tree and then the ground.


"That tree has been burned and look at the different color of the soil" Sam bent down and picked up a handful.

"So Sherlock what do you reckon?" Dean asked scanning the area.

"Well Watson, I think Dad was here and whatever he done he thought it worked and left job done, but something or someone has put a spanner in the works"

"Well if the husbands back we got to find out how and make sure his gone for good this time" Dean responded looking back at the house "she definitely knows more than she's letting on"

"We got to thread carefully, we got to be ready for anything" Dean could see Sam's mind going into overdrive.


The brothers had spent the rest of the day around the house, working out all the possibilities that could happen. They had spoken to Annabelle several times, but not once did you give up any information that they could use. She always skirted the issue of her husband and the conversations she had with their father, they were playing her game and they didn't like it. All they could do was set up to rid her of her husband's ghost!

"That should do it" Dean said as he clicked the shotgun closed.

"You said he'll come in here first?" Sam questioned Annabelle, double checking the detail.

"Yes, he'll definitely come in here, now are you ready?" Annabelle asked with a wicked grin.

Dean and Sam looked at each other, she looked too happy, they didn't have to wait long to find out why.

It felt like the 'being' had burst into the room in an explosion, its force alone sent Dean crashing to the floor, the shotgun flying out of his hand.

"Dean" Sam called out, but was stopped from going to help by the unseen force.

"Meet my husband Richard" Annabelle laughed. "Hi honey" she said with glee when what appeared to be a breeze brushed against her face.

Dean hadn't moved, the impact on the floor had knocked him out and he didn't look well enough to wake up anytime soon.

Sam was now being pinned against the wall, no chance of getting to his brothers side, "it's no good, he's already done for and it's all going to be because of your father!" Annabelle still had that grin on her face as she touched Sam's cheek. He tried to move away but 'Richard' was holding him firm, he's eyes though were filled with fear.

"Revenge against your father is going to be so sweet you being here, I've got his precious son going to kill the special one" Annabelle was all but rubbing her hands together at the thought of what she had planned.

"What the hell are you talking about, you got us here so he could kill me" Sam's faced screwed up in disgust, looking down where his brother lay, he was still not moving.

"Him kill you, no no dear, you're going to kill him! Though, looking at him it's not going to be too difficult!" The look on Sam's face made Annabelle burst out laughing "oh so you thought you were the special one, ha ha ha fraid not, you may have some physic ability but when it comes down to it, he's the freak I want dead and I want YOU to tell your father it was YOU that done it!"

Sam had no words, he had run all sorts of options round his head before this, but having the husband come back to help the wife get him to kill his brother wasn't one of them!

"Oh look at you, now why don't I want to kill you?" Sam tried again to wriggle free but to no avail as Annabelle continued, her voice full of hate "it's HIS life I want, your father left him because he knew there was something about him that he couldn't take the reasonability for, and yet he fights believing he is doing what his father wants, no questions, he's a fool. Your father doesn't love him like a son; he just wants him to protect you, the precious son"

"Shut up" Sam snapped.

Dean slowly opened his eyes; he could hear people talking in the background without moving, he focused on what was being said.

"What it is to be loved, hey Sammy? You have your father and brother's undying love, but poor Dean has a father who doesn't want him around even though he was the good little soldier, and a brother, a brother who reluctantly had to join the 'family business', and that was just selfish wasn't Sam? It's too good having you here to kill that little freak for me, your father was wise enough not to return, he knew I'd pay him back for trying to get rid of Richard, I thought this was going to be harder, but with your accident, killing your brother now is the best opportunity I'm going to get"

Sam was fuming, her words were cutting deep into him, sure he would help his brother anytime, anywhere, but she was right he had only joined Dean to help him solve who killed Jess. And was it true, did their father abandon Dean because he didn't want to be with him because of who he was, did he actually love him? Sam was so worked up, it was time for Annabelle to exploit the opportunity that presented itself.

"Sam, get ready to meet my husband… personally" she smiled and nodded.

Sam's head was in a spin, he was upset, unfocussed, he didn't even realize the grip on him was released until it was too late.

Annabelle stood and watched as Sam's body shook violently, his eyes clouded over before closing. Within seconds he fell to the ground the shaking suddenly stopping.

Dean had heard enough, he knew he had to get up, to protect himself, to protect Sam.

"Sam?" he gasped as he gingerly stood up "What have you done to him bitch?" Dean swayed slightly, as he set his eyes on his brother's form.

"Now now, that's not nice is it? You're brother is going to do something for me, makes it a bit more exciting now that you're up"

"Kiss my ass" Dean sarcastically replied keeping a close eye on her as he made his way to Sam.

"You have such a way with words, guess that's why your father left you"

Dean wasn't biting, ignoring her he was only interested in checking on his brother.

"He doesn't love you, you know that right?" Annabelle was still content messing with their heads and watching what was going on.

"Well if he doesn't give a shit about me, why are you going to kill me to get your revenge, you thick cow" Dean bent down at his brothers side.

Annabelle shrugged "I'm not going to kill you" she responded smugly as she went to the kitchen "Sam is?"

Sam's body flinched, and before Dean could do anything, his brother was standing looking down laughing at him.

Dean scooted back onto his hands out the way. His right side almost buckling under the weight.

"Get up and fight" the words came out of Sam's mouth, but Dean knew it wasn't him it was the husband.

Slowly Dean got to his feet, taking a quick look at Annabelle as she came back into the room, she just looked back at him smiling.

"Great" Dean stood slightly bent over, his ribs grinding inside causing him problems. "Sammy you don't want to do this" he pleaded knowing Sam was somewhere inside.

Richard smiled back, "Yeah I do" he took the knife from Annabelle and pointed the blade in Dean's direction "your times up"

Dean stared at Sam "funny I saw this the other way round" he said dryly as his brother twiddled the knife around in his hand.

"Just shows you're an amateur" Richard laughed.

"You really have issues when your processed, don't you!" Dean dropped his head for a moment, recalling looking down the barrel of the pistol and then the sound of it going off, he already be dead if it was loaded, shot by his brother, now he was going to be attacked, perhaps killed by whatever had taken over his brother again, but he wasn't going to give up without a fight.

"He has no choice but to kill you, see my husband is pretty pissed your father took him from this earth, granted he wasn't quite human, but leaving him in the state he is now he's not happy! And well your Daddy's not going to come and save you but he is going to learn a lesson, an eye for an eye, or more to the point my husbands life for yours" Annabelle gladly got interrupted.

"You do know that Sam is the one your father loves right" Richard bluntly said.

"What?" Dean looked blankly at his brother, hearing him talk, seeing him, it was hard for Dean to remember it was Richard.

"Oh don't worry, we'll keep this one alive, just so he can tell your father how he killed his special son, special but not loved!" Richard laughed.

"Are you thinking does daddy love you?" Annabelle pretended to wipe a tear from her eye "No, he used you! You're the only freak of the family, being with you for all those years, he couldn't take it anymore and left. And you got scared, ran to your baby brother, still searching for that somebody to love you. Your brother who wanted nothing to do with you, just wanted a normal life. I'm sure your father would like nothing more than to see Sam, but you around he couldn't. Hell I even spelled it out to him what I was going to do to you and look around; do you see him here to save you? No!"

Tears welled up in Dean's eyes, he knew she was playing with him, but deep down she was hitting a nerve, a really deep rooted nerve. "You don't know what you're talking about"

"You're wrong, see I know more about you Dean Winchester than you do, I know why you wear that necklace, I know what you saw the night your mother died"

"Shut up or I swear I'll.."

"You'll what? Kill me?" she nodded over at 'Sam'.

Richard smiled, it was time.

"Sam, come on, fight him, I know you can hear me, fight him" Dean frantically asked, stepping back to get some distance between him and the knife.

"Too late" the husband cried out as he lunged at Dean.

Dean's pain had to wait, throwing his arm up to block the attack; he shifted himself to the side pushing Sam to the floor.

"You may have taken his body, but you fight like shit" Dean declared, relieved he'd got enough in him to at least fend off the first blow.

The husband picked himself off the floor, laughing as he did.

Hearing Sam laugh like that sent a shiver down Dean's spine, it was evil.

Dean protected his ribs with his right arm, his left held out like a boxer ready for the next attempt on his life, shooting pain running up and down his body.

"Don't try to fight it, the sooner he kills you the sooner your brother will be free"

Her words ran round his head, his brother would be free?

The husband approached Dean again, Sam's faced screwed up showing the intent of the husband.

"Awwww" Dean screamed out as the husband jumped him knocking him to the floor.

Annabelle all but stopped herself from dancing around the room at the sight of the two brothers fighting it out on the floor, obviously knowing her husband was Sam the would be victor.

"Kill or be killed" Sam's voice was harsh, as he fought to bring the blade down into Dean's chest.

Dean wasn't going to give up that easily, using both hands he was desperately trying to direct the knife away from him.

"Finish him" Annabelle shouted.

Dean took in a deep breath and pushed with all his might. The result, Sam flew back taking Dean with him. The knife getting caught up in their hands came down hard into one of the brothers.

Dean tried to catch his breath, his aching ribs protesting any movement his chest made. Lying for a split second he then moved to find his brother pinned down by the knife in his arm.

"Sorry Sammy" Dean muttered in torment, trying to get to his feet.

"You think that's a problem" Annabelle was getting impatient.

Her husband slowly pulled the knife out of Sam's arm, there was no screaming, no agonizing moans, the only sense that Sam was hurting were the tears welling in his eyes.

Dean was hunched over, his left hand resting on his knee, he knew he couldn't take much more, and he definitely wasn't ready for what happened next.

The door burst open, the sound of a gunshot caught Dean off guard as he received a roundhouse kick from Sam, he collapsed to the floor reeling in agony. The noise of someone chanting was drowned out by his own groans of agonizing pain.

Sam had jumped on top of Dean and spread-eagled him out, turning to the figure who had entered the room the husband laughed "perfect timing" before bringing the knife down to Dean's chest.

The chanting stopped, the room fell silent. Sam slumped over Dean's body. Annabelle was gone, and the figure fell to his knees.

Sam's eyes opened and closed, his own senses awakening. "Dean, no, oh God no" rolling off his brother he cried out at the sight before him "NOOOOOOOO DEAN, please no" he own blood running down his arm, Sam was in shock.

Dean lay wide eyed, blood spitting from his mouth as he gasped for breath. Sam shook his head, "no no no" tears rolling freely down his face, he looked at the knife, he didn't want to touch it, it lay embedded in his brothers chest.

"Sam" a voice called.

Sam turned to see the figure "Dad?"

"Let me help" John quickly took his son's hand and stroked his face.

Dean's eyes' rolled in his head, he was losing consciousness.

Bending down John took control, "Sam there's a bag just outside the door, get it for me"

Sam didn't argue and left to fetch it.

John looked anguished as he felt for a pulse on his first born "I'm sorry son" he said holding back his own tears.

Dean caught sight of his Dad, he wasn't sure if he was dreaming but he still managed to ask "Sam?" as blood ran down his chin.

John cradled his head as answered, "He's fine, let's worry about you"

Dean was taking short gasps for air; the knife had probably gone in far enough to puncture his lung. Reaching out for his Dad to take his hand, pain ripped through his body, and just barely remaining conscious he had to ask "Do you love me?"

John heart sunk at the question but he didn't have time to answer as Dean's body went limp and his head lulled to one side.


Sniffing back his tears "SAM HURRY" John cried out.

Sam practically threw the bag at his father, hoping beyond hope he could save his brother. Standing over he only could manage three words "I'm sorry Dad"

"It's not your fault Sammy, I don't blame you" John pulled out a number of things from the bag, giving his youngest a bandage first off for his arm "strap up your arm son, you've got to help me, okay?" he said as he then carefully began ripping open Dean's shirt around the knife and exposing the now reddening dressing around his chest.

Sam nodded staring down at his brother as he then watched his father delicately remove the dressing from around the wound. Sam finished off tightening his own bandage before kneeling down at his brother's side, resisting looking at Dean's face he stared at how much damage his brother's body had taken. Deep purple bruising on his right side was the result from the accident; Sam knew Dean must have been in more pain than he had been letting on.

"We need to get him to a hospital as soon as possible, spray that over his chest it'll help stop the bleeding". Sam took the can and sprayed around the knife making sure he didn't aggravate it in any way.

"Dad there's not a hospital around here for miles" Sam remembered Annabelle saying as he watched the affect of the spray.

"Yes there is, there's a clinic in town" he explained, as he took a look at Dean's head "okay we need to find something to move him on, I think there might be a big enough piece of wood in the truck, quickly Sam"

Sam answered his Dad by getting up and running out to the truck.

John checked his son's pulse, it was there but it was weak, "please fight" he whispered. Dean's eyes were closed, the only visible sign he was still alive was the slight movement of his chest slowly rising and falling. John continued to check the wounds of his son, trying his best to stop the bleeding and getting him ready for the ride to the hospital.

"Got it" Sam ran back in, treading through the pile of dust where Annabelle once stood. John had blasted her in the head with the shotgun, her body turning to dust was a sure sign she had somehow made herself into some kind of zombie.

"Gently Sammy" John instructed as the small plank of wood was positioned to shift Dean onto it. "I'm only going to lift him a little, you need to slide it underneath ok?"

Sam nodded as he shuffled his feet for a better balance.

John delicately reached over Dean's body and took hold of his left side. Closing his eyes for a second, saying a small prayer he pulled Dean towards him "Now Sam"

Sam placed the board underneath his brother, as John then gently laid Dean's limp body onto it.

"Grab hold we got to get him out of here"

Sam was at Dean's side, opposite his father as they maneuvered through the rooms to the outside. The board wasn't big enough to take all of Dean's body, his legs hanging down made it difficult at times, but they had finally managed to get him out. Moments later Dean had been loaded delicately onto the back of the truck. Not once did he wake, or even made a sound.

"Ride with him Sam" guiding his young son to sit by his brother John then wasted no time getting into the driving seat. Glancing for a moment at the house he started the engine and pulled away.

Sam flinched every time they hit a bump in the road, he was holding onto his brother to control his movement trying to prevent any further damage. He did wish though that Dean would show him some sign of life even if it was a groan of agony.

John quickly glanced around to see Sam's agonized face staring down at Dean, looking back to the road he let out a sigh, he hadn't been there as a father to them for a long time, but he was thankful they had each other. Getting closer to the local town, although speeding down the road he managed to call ahead to the clinic, as Sam took care of his brother in the back of the truck.

"Dean?" Sam whispered seeing his brother slowly open his eyes "don't move okay"

Dean's glazed eyes turned to look at Sam, pain and fear evident in them.

"Please" Sam almost begged, frustration in his voice at not being able to do more for his brother "don't move"

Dean mouthed the word 'Dad' but no sound came out. Sam didn't realized what Dean was trying to ask, he was just happy he was awake. Reaching down he felt Dean's forehead, it was warm and clammy to touch "you're going to be okay, we're nearly at the hospital"

Taking in the sight of his worried brother and not knowing whether his Dad was still with them, Dean slowly closed his eyes.

"DEAN!" Sam called out trying stop his brother losing consciousness "stay with me" he pulled at Dean's eyelids, looking for an response but there was none.

Minutes later they had pulled up at the clinic, a group of medical staff waiting outside for their arrival. Sam watched as they took control, he rubbed his hands over his head and looked around for his Dad.

"He's going to be okay" John placed a hand on Sam's shoulder and gently squeezed it.

Sam didn't take his eyes off Dean as he was taken inside the clinic "I hope so" he replied to his Dad barely looking at him.

A nurse approached the two men, "you need to get that taken care of" she said pointing to Sam's arm. Sam was so concerned for his brother he had forgotten all about his own injury, looking down at his blood stained arm, he turned back to the nurse and smiled in acknowledgement.


"Go ahead Sam" John instructed "I've got to go back to the house and finish it"

Sam screwed up his face in disgust "Don't you think that can wait" he wasn't one for mincing his words, "Dean needs you"

John was tempted to say nothing and leave but looking at his son he had to explain "Dean is being looked after, it's better I go now he won't even know I've gone"

"I will" Sam said trying to tell his Dad he also needed him.

"I'll be back soon" John bowed his head not wanting to discuss his decision anymore and walked to his truck.

"You selfish bastard" Sam words were barely audible as he watched John get into the truck, a tear rolling down his face showing his pain. The nurse seeing what had just happened, took hold of Sam around his waist and guided him towards the clinic "come on let's take care of you"

By the time Sam was stitched and bandaged up, Dean was on the operating table. The gruesome task of removing the knife was already underway. The doctors were working vigorously to improve the young mans condition but were still in awe of how he could take such a battering and not have already given up the fight.

John walked into the house, speaking in Latin. He knew the spirit of Richard was gone, but as for Annabelle, that was a different story. She was the one with the power; she was the one who had somehow brought her husband back. Although the pile of dust proved the 'body' she had formed was nothing more than a zombie, she was a strong powerful spirit and John wasn't planning on taking anymore chances, his cleansing ritual had begun.

Monitors beep to a slow rhythm, as the doctors continued their fight to save a life. Sam sat alone, waiting, thinking, and watching the door hoping the next person to walk in was his father.

It had now been an hour and a half since they came into the clinic, and the only news that Sam had been given was from the nurse that treated him and all she could tell him was that the operation was going well, but to Sam that did little to settle his fears. Images of his injured brother invading his mind as a figure appeared in the doorway.

Sam didn't say anything, he wanted his Dad to speak, to apologize, to ask how Dean was, to at least show some emotion that Dean wasn't just his good little soldier.

"Annabelle and Richard won't be coming back, the house has been cleansed, job done" John began to explain his whereabouts "I've also got in touch with Pete's garage, he'll pick the car up in the morning, you need to go and see him tomorrow afternoon and he'll let you know when the car will be ready"

Sam couldn't believe what he was hearing, sure he knew the house and car needed to be sorted but wasn't Dean more important than that?

"How are you doing?" John asked Sam taking a seat in the waiting room.

"Good, Dean's the one you should be worrying about" Sam's answer was to the point.

"Why, what have they said?" John looked at his young son with a concerned look.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing, he's lying in there with a knife sticking out of his chest and they've said nothing, but that doesn't matter does it, you're more concerned with your job" Sam began to let out his emotions, being scared for his brother and upset that his father wasn't there to comfort him was taking it's toll "you're more worried about the chance of a ghost still haunting a house than you are about Dean"

"That's not true!" John snapped back.

"Isn't it?" Sam retorted, then pointed to the door "you come in here and you don't even ask how he is, he's just a soldier to you"

"Sam you don't know what you're saying, I'm sorry you feel this way but trust me, I'm worried about Dean just as much as you, but he's strong, I know he'll get through this" John's voice was low, and sensitive but Sam didn't want to listen and turned away from his dad. His emotions boiling over as tears ran down his face.

"Mr Winchester?" the doctor asked as he came in through the door.

"Yes" John answered standing up.

Sam quickly asked "how is he?" wiping the tears from his eyes.

The doctor smiled at Sam "The surgery went very well; although the knife did puncture his lung the damage was only minimal. We need to monitor his progress over the next 24hours, and he is going to be sore for a while but I'm confident he'll make a good recovery, he's a very lucky man" as the doctor spoke to the Winchesters you could sense the relief in the room.

"Can we see him?" Sam asked in anticipation.

"He'll be in recovery shortly I'll have a nurse come get you. There will be a number of machines to aid and monitor his recovery but the nurse will let you know everything you need to, just don't worry okay " the doctor smiled.

"Thank you" Sam smiled back.

John wiped his hand over his face "thank you"

"You're welcome" the doctor nodded and then left the father and son to gain their thoughts.

Sam found the nearest seat and sat down, letting out a sigh of relief he bent over and placed is head in his hands "thank God". Breathing out slowly he looked up towards where his father was standing. He suddenly jumped up, his father was gone.

John having left the room; was trying to make his own way to where they would take Dean, he couldn't wait for the nurse.

Sam ran out into the corridor and looked both ways, not knowing which to follow, or even if he should.

John peered through the glass at Dean, the mask covering his face misting up as he breathed, the tubes attached to his arms delivering vital fluids. "I'm sorry " he muttered as he placed a hand on the glass bowing his head and then mouthing "I love you"

"Excuse me, can I help you?" a female voice asked.

"Huh?" John looked up and turned to the young nurse.

"No I'm okay, he's my son, I'm just.." John got interrupted.

"You can go in if you like, and can sit with him"

"No, no I'm just checking his okay and I'm.." again he was interrupted.

"Leaving! Isn't that right Dad?" Sam stood knowing the answer, but he wanted to hear it from his father.

"Sammy you got understand, it's not safe for you boys if I stay" John replied sternly but not wanting to fight.

"I knew it" Sam walked passed his Dad and looked through the window at his brother "you could at least wait until you can tell him yourself"

"I can't, I need to go now" John took a step back.

Sam didn't answer; he just stared at his brother through the glass.

"Tell him I'll call soon, when it's safe" John softly said.

Sam nodded, "fine" he simply replied.

John took one last look at Dean through the window and turned to leave.


"He's waking up" the nurse called to him, but John chose not to listen and kept walking, screwing his eyes up trying to hold back the tears.

The nurse turned to Sam and smiled "you want to go in?"

Sam looked at the disappearing figure of his father, "sure" he sighed, not knowing how he was going to tell Dean their father had left.

"It'll take a few moments for him to be fully awake, just let him come round in his own time" the nurse was busy checking machines and charts as Dean stirred.

Sam sat at the side of Dean's bed watching the nurse fuss over his brother, and how he seemed to be enjoying ever second of it "I'll be back in a short while" she said smiling at the recovering hunter. She got a wink back for her trouble and she then left the brothers alone in the private room.

"You okay?" Sam asked feeling again somewhat guilty about the condition of his brother.

"I feel like crap" Dean answered, his voice raspy and weak but he had that smirk on his face "but I'll live. You okay, you look like you got a nasty cut there?" he twiddled his finger in an attempt to point to Sam's arm.

"Hurt's like crap, but I'll live" Sam grinned back.

"Glad to hear it" Dean tried to move slightly to get more comfy, but his body protested with a sharp pain in his chest, he had to accept where he was, was good enough.

Sam didn't know how to say it, so he just tried to come out with it "Dean, Dad had to"

"So I did see him, man I thought I was dreaming, where is he?" Dean interrupted lifting his head to look around the room, relieved he wasn't seeing things.

"Yeah he was here; he went back and finished up at the house" Sam started to try and explain.

"Good, though I wouldn't have minded whooping the Annabelle's ass myself"

"Dean, Dad's gone" Sam finally said soberly.

The smiled that had graced Dean face was wiped off "What? When?"

"Just a few minutes ago, he said he had to leave, it wasn't safe if he stayed"

"Well, if he had to go, I guess" Dean's heart almost broke, he desperately wanted to see his dad, to know, but if he was gone, there was nothing he could do.

"You guess what? You're okay he went without saying anything to you?"

"Sam he knows what he's doing, if he said its dangerous then we got to believe him" Dean surely couldn't tell Sam what he truly was thinking, of course he wasn't okay his father left without saying nothing, not even those three little words he wanted to badly to hear.

"Bullshit Dean, he could have waited and he'll be here now to say goodbye himself" Sam erupted, he couldn't understand how Dean could take the way he was treated.

That was enough for Dean, his mind telling him not to, but he could no longer help himself the built up emotions came out "Don't you think I wanted him to Sam, don't you think I spent those years with him listening to him go on about how proud he was of you, how you've made a good life for yourself, do you think he ever said that about me, NO! I'm not his son, I'm the good little soldier he trained me to be, what do you think, I don't get it? When mom died that was it, I lost my family, Dad went all marine shit on us, and I ended up being your protector, you got to play, be a kid, watch tv, I got to make your dinners, clean the guns, keep you safe when dad left our ass's to fend for ourselves, you think he's disappointed you, you've got no idea. Me? He doesn't give a rat's ass as long as you are okay!" Tears flowed down Dean's cheeks, the effort he had put into his rant was also taking its toll.

"Dean?" Sam wasn't expecting any of that, wiping his own tears away as he looked down at his wounded brother.

"He doesn't give a shit about me Sammy, as long as I'm protecting your ass. If this was you, do you think he would have left, I know you called him when I was dying before, he didn't come then, hell he didn't even call." Dean let out a sob, his eyes slowly opening and closing.

"I'm sorry" Sam couldn't think of anything more to say, he knew there was some truth in his brothers words.

"Don't be, I don't blame you, hell I don't even blame him, that's the way I've been brought up, forget it" Dean was trying to pull himself together, realizing he had already said too much.

"Dean you're my brother, why didn't you say this before?" Sam wiped a tear away, hoping to talk to his brother about what he just said.

"Yeah I know" Dean half smiled "look I'm just doped up, forget it, we'll speak in the morning, now dude I'm tired, go away so I can catch some z's" Dean in an attempt to shut his brother out, closed his eyes and turned his head the opposite way.


"Seriously, if you don't go, I'll get up and kick your ass" Dean said in almost a whisper, but sounding like he meant every word.

"Yeah, course you will" Sam gave up, acknowledging his brothers reluctance to talk more, he left the room.

Dean lay back in his bed, his eyes opened to watch Sam walk down the corridor and out of sight, tears ran down his face, a weakness his mind was telling him as he tried to deal with his emotions, he shouldn't be crying, he shouldn't be feeling this way.

"How is he?"

Sam turned to see his Dad leaning against the wall.

"Dad? What?" Sam's jaw almost fell to the floor.

"I'm sorry son" John had walked over to Sam, and hugged him, his hand wrapping round his head as he kissed it.

"Dad, I don't understand" Sam said as he pulled away from the embrace.

"I couldn't leave not knowing, I don't want you to think I don't care" John's face was sincere, looking at his young son, he saw the pain he was in.

"Dad, Dean feels alone, he feels betrayed by you, by me, you should have saw his face when he knew it was you he saw, and then when I told him you'd left, Dad, Dean's hurting"

"I know son, I know, I'm going back to tell him something I think he needs to hear" John smiled as Sam as he put a hand on his shoulder.

Sam smiled; his Dad perhaps wasn't such a bastard after all.

Dean shifted in his bed; he couldn't find that comfortable position, and it didn't help the pain relief wasn't doing my relieving! Tears gone now from his eyes, he had gone back to soldier mode, telling himself to stop being like a chick, he knew better than that, besides he was too scared what might happen if he did actually finally breakdown.

Turned away from the door, Dean heard someone open it. He didn't want to deal with anyone right now and snapped his eyes shut hoping however it was would go away.

"Dean" the voice whispered "Dean, I'm back" John swallowed, not actually sure if he wanted his son to be awake or not.

Dean, hearing the voice opened his eyes but waited.

"I'm so sorry I left son" John took in a deep breath "I love you, you got to know that"

Dean slowly turned over to see his dad.

"Hey kiddo"

Dean nodded not really sure what to say.

"You okay?"

"I'm going to be fine" Dean's voice cracked with emotion.

"Dean son; I'm sorry I left, I'm sorry I left you all that time ago, I haven't been much of a father to you have I?" John had never seen Dean in such a way before; he was finding it hard to take in.

Dean looked sheepish, wanting to say 'no you haven't' but not having the guts or the will to do so.

"That's a 'no you haven't look'," John reflected "I can't stay Dean, I wish I could, but you are in danger the longer you are around me, I can't take that risk."

"I was dying, you didn't even call" Dean said bluntly.

"I know" John answered ashamed "I knew Sam was taking care of you, and I did find out you were okay through the hospital, but you're right I should have spoken to you"

"So why now, why did you come?" Dean was subdued, he was listening to his father without really wanting to hear him.

"Because Annabelle was setting a trap" John starting to say but stopped " because you need for me to tell you I love you!"

Dean almost burst out crying "do you?"

"Dean of course, you're my son, like Sammy, nothing on this earth will change that"

Dean didn't know whether to laugh or cry he had just heard his dad finally tell him he loved him and all he could think about was why his dad couldn't stick around and what was so dangerous.

"Dean, where's your necklace" John sounded panicked.

"Oh shit," Dean reached at his chest to feel it "they must have took it off"

"I told you never EVER take it off" John's voice changed instantly, from an apparently loving father he was now a stern marine.

"Like I had an option" Dean whispered. That was it, no more niceties.

"Get your necklace back and wear it, you'll be safe enough" John almost ordered.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Dean was getting confused; the pain relief was finally kicking in.

"Don't worry I'll get Sam to get it, wear it Dean it'll protect you" John looked through the window, checking Sam was still waiting outside.

"What about Sam… and you?" Dean was beginning to panic as his dad was getting more anxious.

"Don't worry just take care and stay safe, I love you son"

Dean didn't have time to say anything; John was out of the door and talking to Sam. He watched as it appeared Sam was nodding like he was taking orders, Dean was even sure he had said 'yes sir' about three times, before his own eyelids became too heavy to keep open, his world went black.

The End


Next story in series - Protector.