**Hey guys! Okay, I know this is only one chapter so far, but PLEASE REVIEW! It's my first one and I'm really super nervous, so tell me what you think and yeah! Also FYI: they get together pretty early on in the season. Not going to give anything away but just so you know!**
Woman in White
"Come on, let's say good night to your brother," Mary Winchester flicked the light on, illuminating the nursery before walking in carrying the four year old on her hip. She set the boy down, and he ran over to the crib that sat in the middle of the room and grabbed the bars, looking down at his baby brother. Mary glanced back through the doorway, smiling at the uncertain four year old who stood there. She reached back with an open hand, offering it to the child, who smiled nervously before taking it and allowing herself to be led into the nursery. She joined the second toddler and smiled childishly down at the baby in the crib.
"Good night, Sam," A young Dean leaned in to kiss his brother's forehead before looking up at his mother.
"Night," Melody Scott giggled as the baby wrapped his small fingers around one of her larger ones. She jostled her finger up and down making the baby's arm dance and him to giggle as well.
"Good night, love," Mary echoed the two kids, smiling lovingly at them and then down at her baby. She brushed what little hair Sam had back affectionately before planting a gentle kiss on his forehead.
"Hey, Dean, Mel," A smile lit up both of the kids faces when they looked back to see John Winchester standing in the doorway with his hands in his pockets. Since her mom had died three and a half years ago and her dad was always away on 'business', John and Mary had become her second parents. Well, technically they were her second parents, being her godparents.
"Daddy!" Dean ran over to his dad and hugged him hard as John picked him up and spun him around, laughing.
"Hey, buddy," He looked over just in time to kneel down and catch Mel as she also hugged him, causing him to laugh more. Mel wasn't his kid, but she may as well have been because he cared for her almost as much as his own sons. "What do you two think? Think Sammy's ready to toss around a football yet?"
"No, daddy," Dean and Mel giggled delightedly at his joke, and Mel pulled away from the two of them to glance back at Sammy. Mary smiled tiredly at them as she walked past on her way to the door, stopping briefly to push back Mel's chestnut bangs.
"You got them?" She gazed up at her husband, and he nodded still smiling.
"I got them," He answered before his gaze shifted to Mel. "Her dad drop her off again?"
"Few hours ago," Mary sighed, shaking her head, "I love having her, but…" She just shook her head again.
"I'll talk to him," John promised her, a small frown tugging at his lips. Mary hesitated but finally nodded before continuing out the door and to bed. "Sweet dreams, Sam," He smiled, rubbing Dean's back before taking Mel's hand and leading her out of the room with them, flicking off the light as he went. John put the two kids to bed, telling them a brief story before tucking them in and turning off the light.
"Good night, Dean," She giggled before squirming under the covers.
"Good night, Mel," He answered, smiling at her and then his dad as he left the room.
Almost as suddenly as sleep had overtaken Melody Scott, it vanished. She was bolt upright even before she was fully awake. In a way that only small children can, she sensed something was very wrong. Immediately, Mel looked over at Dean, who was also sitting up looking terrified, but not entirely sure what had woken them. A scream. Or someone shouting. Dean was climbing out of his bed, and Mel scrambled to do the same.
"What is going on?" She questioned, her hazel eyes wide with fear and confusion.
"Come on," Dean opened the door, and they crept out into the hallway, seemingly drawn to the open nursery door. Suddenly, the dark doorway was flooded with an eerie, bright light. John ran from the room with a crying Sam clutched in his arms.
"Daddy!" Dean cried, growing more and more fearful by the moment. John crouched in front of the two children and shoved Sam as carefully as he could into Dean's arms.
"Take your brother and Mel outside as fast as you can!" John looked wild, and Mel could see the flames from inside the door. "Don't look back!" He was shouting, urgency clear in his voice. "Now, Dean! Go!"
"Come on!" Dean awkwardly managed to push Mel down the hallway in front of him. One push was all she needed to begin running as fast as her small legs would carry her down the stairs. She was oddly comforted by the sound Dean's footsteps and labored breathing that followed her all the way out the door. She stopped on the grass a couple feet away from the porch; a morbid curiosity grasping her and making her look up at the window of the nursery that glowed with a strange orange light.
"It's okay," Dean was beside her now, clutching Sam to his chest. "It'll be okay," She hadn't realized she was crying until a teardrop splashed onto her hand.
"Run Melody!" John sprinted out of the door of the house, and Mel turned and bolted, running faster than she ever had in her life. "Gotcha," John grabbed Dean and followed her as the second story to the house exploded, flames coming out of the windows and licking at the roof.
It took ten minutes for the ambulances and fire department to arrive, not that it did much good. Mel was curled up into a ball next to Dean on the hood of the impala. Her arms were wrapped tightly around her knees as they watched the house burn as the firefighters tried in vain to save it. Next to Dean, John was clutching Sammy tightly to his chest and glaring harshly at the burning house, the events of the last twenty minutes replaying over and over in his mind like a broken record.
"I'm telling you, this is a bad idea," I told Dean for the millionth time as he slid the window open. He just glanced back at me and winked with that ridiculous, self-satisfied smirk on his face. Unfortunately, I also thought it was ridiculously sexy, which only worked to aggravate me more. I'd just spent a two hour car ride with him after we hunted a voodoo witch further south. Needless to say, it had been a long day.
"Relax, Mel, what could go wrong?" He slipped inside the house before offering me his hand with another smirk. I just shot him a look before swinging myself in easily. "Quit worrying,"
"Well one of us has too," I retorted, looking around the homey living room. "We could just use the door," I pointed out. "You know, like normal people?" He just grinned crookedly at me, making me grin back against my will. Stupid Winchester charm. I had to admit though, I was excited to see Sam again. It had been too long. He was practically a baby brother to me, and I hadn't seen the kid in over a year.
"I'm going to get us a beer," Dean moved and the floor squeaked under him, not that it mattered. The whole point of being here was to get Sam to help us find John. I followed Dean to the kitchen, opening the fridge only to find it void of anything alcoholic. "Who doesn't have booze? Seriously?" Dean was complaining softly from a couple feet away where he was checking the drawers and cabinets.
"I'm sure it's around here somewhere. We're talking about John's son here," I pointed out, smiling slightly as Dean glanced at me sharply. I winced as I remembered why we were here getting Sammy in the first place. "Dean, he's going to be fine," Dean just fingered the ring that he wore and shrugged.
"Whatever, let's just get Sam," He walked past me into the living room again, and I sighed as I watched him go. Damn Dean Winchester. A familiar feeling rose in my throat, and I swallowed it with an effort. Love. I was in love with him. I had been in love with him for forever. Unfortunately for me, that ship had sailed a long time ago. We spent practically our entire lives together. Growing up, our dads hunted the same thing that had killed both our moms, so we would be left together a lot. We'd dated in high school for nearly two years, and what was really funny was that I had been the one to end things. And here I was eight years later and still in love with him. Irony.
A grunting sound pulled me out of my thoughts, followed by the thud of skin on skin contact. Show time. I leaned on the doorframe watching the two men throw punches at each other. It didn't take long for Dean to pin Sam to the floor, that same crooked grin on his face as he glanced up at me with his amused green eyes before looking back down to Sam.
"Whoa, easy, Tiger," I couldn't help the smile from overtaking my face as I could almost sense Sam's surprise.
"Dean?" He asked incredulously between pants. Dean just let out a small chuckle, enjoying the situation immensely. "You scared the crap out of me," I let out a laugh at that and saw Sam's head tilt upward to find the source of the sound.
"That's cause your out of practice," Dean patronized him causing Sam to grab his wrist with both hands and use his feet to flip them, so Sam was on top with his hand at Dean's throat. "Or not," Dean chuckled while I laughed again making Sam look up at me. "Get off of me," I stepped into the room and was instantly shrouded in the moonlight from the windows while Sam stood and pulled Dean to his feet.
"Dean, Mel, what the hell are you doing here?" Sam asked, frowning a bit.
"What, no hug?" I pouted in mock disappointment while Sam grinned, moving past Dean, so I could fling myself at him. I wrapped my arms tightly around his neck making him laugh and hug me back equally as hard. Two rooms down, I heard his girlfriend getting up, so I pulled away from him. About four years ago I'd started developing…abilities. Well, really just one ability. I could hear things. Things like someone waking up two rooms away. I'd learned to hide it well, though. Not many people knew. John knew. And Bobby. And my dad had. And Dean. That was it.
"We were looking for a beer," Dean stepped in front of me and put both his hands on Sam's shoulders, shaking him slightly. Sam glanced past Dean to me and then back, his brow furrowed like he was trying to figure something out.
"Sam?" A new, feminine voice joined our reunion and the lights were switched on to reveal Sam's girlfriend, Jess, who was in her pajamas.
"Jess, hey," Sam didn't sound so enthusiastic about us meeting. "Dean, Mel, this is my girlfriend, Jessica," I didn't even have to look at Dean to know he was checking her out.
"Wait. Mel? Your best friend back home?" I half waved and offered her a smile which she returned warmly before moving on to Dean. " And your brother Dean?"
"I love the Smurfs," Dean responded, walking up to her while I glared at his back. "You know, I got to tell you, you are completely out of my brother's league," I couldn't take it anymore; I smacked the back of his head. He turned to me with almost childlike surprise, rubbing the back of his head. It wasn't the flirting; that I could handle. God knows I'd had years of training. But Sam's girlfriend?
"Let me put something on," Jess glanced uncertainly between the three of us, her gaze resting on Sam.
"No, no, no," Dean spoke smoothly, shaking his head. "No, I wouldn't dream of it, seriously," I couldn't stop myself from giving him another smack, but this time when he turned to glare at me there was a hint of smugness on his features. 'Sam's girlfriend' I mouthed to him, glaring back at him. "Anyway," We turned back to Jess, who was looking back and forth between us with a small smile. "We got to borrow your boyfriend here, talk about some private family affairs, but nice meeting you," I rolled my eyes at his gesture but didn't bother hitting him a third time, and instead just walked over to Sam.
"No," Sam decided, and I glanced at him in surprise. "No, whatever you want to say, you can say it in front of her," Dean and I glanced at each other uncertainly before I shrugged. It was his choice.
"John's went on a trip and he hasn't been home in a few days," I looked at him levelly, hoping he'd get the message. Jess glanced at Sam before looking back at me questioningly.
"John?" Wow, Sam really hadn't waisted any time delving into his past, had he?
"His dad," I explained in as few words as I could, returning my attention back to Sam.
"So he's working overtime on a 'miller time' shift. He'll stumble back in sooner or later," I shifted, biting the inside of my cheek, and opened my mouth to reply when Dean beat me to it.
"Dad's on a hunting trip, and he hasn't been home in a few days," The confident grin slipped off of Sam's face, and I knew he could see the worry hidden in Dean's eyes as clear as I could.
"Jess, excuse us," Sam followed us down the stairs as we left the house and headed back to the impala. "Come on, you can't just break in in the middle of the night and expect me to hit the road with you guys,"
"You're not hearing me, Sammy," Dean brushed off his protests. "Dad's missing. I need you to help me find him."
"You remember the Poltergeist in Amerst? Or the Devil's Gates in Clifton?" Sam insisted, "He was missing then, too. He's always missing, and he's always fine."
"Not for this long. Now are you gonna come with us or not?" Sam's eyes stayed trained on Dean as he asked the question.
"I'm not," He spoke decisively.
"Why not?" Dean asked incredulously.
"I swore I was done hunting for good," Dean rolled his eyes before looking back at Sam.
"Come on, it's just one hunt," I intervened in their argument. Dean's eyes snapped to me. I knew he wanted Sam to stay with us, to get everything back the way it was, but that just wasn't going to happen. If it had been up to me we would have never gone to Stanford, but we did need his help with this. "Was it really that terrible?"
"She's right," Dean agreed begrudgingly. "I mean, it wasn't easy but it wasn't that bad," Sam was growing less and less confident about his choices, which was good for us.
"Yeah? When I told dad I was scared of the thing in my closet, he gave me a .45," Sam argued with us.
"Well, what was he supposed to do?" Dean questioned while I opened the gate.
"I was nine years old. He was supposed to say 'don't be afraid of the dark'," Sam told us, glancing between us.
"He raised you the best way he knew how, Sammy," I told him, and then grew a little more heated, adding, "And of course you should be afraid of the dark. You of all people know what's out there."
"Yeah, I know, but still, the way we grew up after our mom was killed. And our dads' obsession to find the thing that killed her, but we still haven't found the damn thing. So we kill everything we can find."
"Save a lot of people doing it, too," Dean interjected evenly while Sam ranted.
"You think Mom would've wanted this for us?" Dean's face tightened as Sam spoke directly to him. Instead of answering, he pushed the gate open, and we walked through. "Do you think your mom would've wanted this?" He addressed me this time, and I glared up at him.
"I really wouldn't know, now would I?" I replied, my voice deadly calm. "Because the evil thing that your dad is hunting, killed her," Sam looked away in exasperation and then back.
"But she wouldn't have wanted this life for you. The weapon training and melting the silver into bullets?" He looked back at Dean and then me and then back. "Man, we were raised like warriors,"
"So, what are you gonna do?" Dean kept walking with me following and Sam behind us. "Are you just gonna live some normal, apple-pie life? Is that it?"
"No. Not normal," I stopped when I reached the Impala and turned to face him as he finished. "Safe."
"And that's why you ran away," Dean didn't phrase it like a question, but he waited for Sam to answer anyway.
"I was just going to college." Sam protested, glancing at me for support, but I was helpless. I hadn't exactly opened up to Dean about how I'd encouraged Sam to take the scholarship he was offered. "It was dad who said if I was gonna go, then I should stay gone. And that's what I'm doing."
"Yeah? Well, Dad's in real trouble right now, if he's not dead already. I can feel it," Dean glanced at me and then back at Sam. "We can't do this alone."
"Yes you can," Sam glanced between us, scoffing.
"We don't want to," I spoke up from beside Dean, knowing he probably wouldn't say it. I held Sam's gaze unflinchingly, pleading with him to reconsider his decision. Finally, he sighed in defeat.
"What was he hunting?" In answer, Dean pulled up the hood of the Impala, setting the rifle to hold up the false bottom.
"All right, let's see, where the hell did I put that thing?" I leaned in to point to the back left corner.
"I think you shoved it somewhere over there," I offered, glancing at Sam and giving him a small smile.
"So when Dad left, why didn't you two go with him?" Sam questioned, and I shoved Dean's hands away, picking up the folded paper from the side pocket and handing it to him with a smirk.
"We were working our own gig. This voodoo thing down in New Orleans," Dean spoke almost proudly, sending me a smirk; he had saved my life during that hunt.
"Dad let you two go on a hunting trip by yourself?" Both Dean and I turned to him indignantly at that.
"Sam, we're twenty six," I pointed out.
"Okay, here we go," Dean unfolded the missing persons reports, "Dad was working this gig just outside of Jericho, California. About a month ago this guy - they found his car, but he'd vanished. Completely M.I.A."
"So maybe he was kidnapped," Sam suggested with a naïve hopefulness.
"Yeah," Dean told him doubtfully. "Well, here's another one in April. Another one in December, '04,'03, '98, '92…" Dean listed off, glancing up at Sam to make sure he was getting this.
"Ten of them in the past 20 years," I told him; I'd studied the reports in the car on the way over. "All men, all same five-mile stretch of road,"
"Started happening more and more," Dean picked up where I left off. "So Dad went to go dig around. That was about three weeks ago. We haven't heard from him since, which is bad enough," Dean looked up at Sam again, who was looking more and more disappointed. This was no doubt a hunt. "And then I get this voicemail yesterday,"
"Dean," The distorted voice of John Winchester came over the speaker of the flip, "Something is starting to happen. I think it's serious. I need to try to figure out what's going on. You and Mel may need to look into it. Be very careful Dean. We're all in danger."
"You know there's EVP on that?" Sam offered as the message stopped.
"Not bad, Sammy," Dean's grin was back, letting me know a smart ass comment wasn't far behind. "Kind of like riding a bike, isn't it?" I grinned and shook my head while Sam shot me a look. "All right, we slowed the message down and ran it through a Goldwave, took out the hiss, and this is what we got,"
"I can never go home," A very creepy feminine voice whispered.
"Never go home," Sam echoed, thinking it over. We straightened and Dean pulled the trunk down to cover the ammunition.
"You know in almost two years, we've never bothered you, never asked you for a thing," Dean glanced at me and back to Sam, who met my eyes in surprise. I kept my gaze cool and didn't give anything away even though my brain was screaming at Sammy to keep his mouth shut. Sam looked away before finally sighing.
"All right. I'll go," He glanced at me and then back to Dean warningly, "I'll help you find him, but I have to get back first thing Monday. Just wait here,"
"What's first thing Monday?" Dean asked as Sam was walking away. He turned back to answer the question, and I could see the excitement dancing in his eyes as he did.
"I have an interview," Sam told him guardedly.
"What, a job interview? Skip it," Dean replied flippantly.
"It's a law school interview," Sam responded defensively, as if already preparing for Dean's remarks. "And it's my whole future on a plate," He added.
"Law school?" Was all Dean said before Sam rushed on.
"So we got a deal or not?" Dean didn't say anything and I sighed, rolling my eyes at his antics.
"Deal," I replied for him, grinning at Sam. "Hurry up and get your stuff we won't wait forever." Sam turned and hurried up the stairs.
"Law school?" Dean echoed again once Sammy was safely out of earshot. I just glanced at him and then back to where Sammy had disappeared.
"It's his life, Dean," I told him softly. Truth be told I was almost envious of him. Oh what the hell, I was jealous. He had a great life. Everything I had wanted in high school. "You could try to be a bit more supportive,"
"I am supportive!" Dean protested, making me turn and raise an eyebrow at him. "Maybe sometimes I can be a little harsh-" He began admitting.
"Sometimes?" I echoed playfully causing him to mock glare. I laughed, turning around to lean my back on the Impala door when suddenly a thought struck me and made me groan. "I'm going to have to sit in the back, aren't I?" Dean grinned, which of course made me grin back.
"Come on, it'll be just like old times. Me, you, and Sammy," He smiled with a childlike hopefulness and excitement. I looked away from his face. I knew that Dean wanted Sammy to stay permanently, and I also knew that Sammy would come back after we finished the case.
"Dean, Sammy has a life here. He has a girlfriend, and a house, and friends," Dean frowned at the stairs where Sammy had disappeared, but quickly changed the frown to a smirk when he saw me studying his face. That was the thing about Dean. He could be going through hell and no one would ever know. He was always had to protect Sammy and me, never let anyone see his pain.
"He'll come back," Dean tried to brush off his doubts. "We're family," I didn't say what I was thinking: maybe family wasn't enough anymore. We all felt strongly about family. Growing up, we relied on each other above all else, but Sammy had his own family now. I sighed, looking down before glancing back up at the house.
"I don't know, Dean. He seems…" I trailed off, looking for the right words to describe the Sammy I'd seen in there. "Happy," I finally went with simple. It was true. He seemed happy. Happier than I'd seen him in a long time. My eyes flicked to Dean to see he was watching my face, but as soon as my eyes met his he looked at the house. I tried to ignore the feeling that rose again in my stomach. I was twenty-six, not sixteen.
"He'll come. You'll see," Dean told me with false confidence.
"Whatever you say," I hid my smile by letting a curtain of hair fall over the side of my face as I gazed intently at the tip of my boot. I knew that whenever I said that it pissed him off.
"No, don't 'whatever you say' me," He walked over to me, looming over my five foot seven body. I just laughed softly at his joking attempt to intimidate me. "Just trust me on this. Besides, you owe me from the last hunt," He wiggled his eyebrows at me as he casually brought it up.
"I had it handled," I tried to brush it off as nothing, making him laugh.
"You were getting your ass handed to you," He laughed, and I rolled my eyes but joined him.
"Shut up," I gently shoved his chest with my hands, and he grabbed my wrists as his back hit the Impala. I made the mistake of looking up and was captivated by his green eyes. I could feel the smile sliding off my lips, and my brain screamed warnings at me. Above us, a door slammed and footsteps were coming down the stairs. I blinked harshly, and Dean quickly released my wrists, looking away as I backed up. Damn it. That was stupid.
"Ready?" Sam threw his stuff into the trunk and glanced at us. He frowned again as his eyes flicked between us before landing on Dean. "Your driving?" He prompted coming around to the front door.
"No, yeah, I'm driving. Of course I'm driving," Dean walked around the hood of his car to the drivers door while I tried unsuccessfully to suppress a smile.
"Shotgun," Sammy grinned at me, and I glowered.
"We're switching when we stop for gas," I warned him, and he just got into the Impala. Hopefully the trip wouldn't be too long, I thought as I stretched out in the back seat.
"Hey. You want breakfast?" Dean called to Sam, who was still in the passengers seat, looking through the multitude of fake credit cards and IDs. Sam glanced up at Dean, who had some candy bar sticking out of his mouth, and then his gave moved to Mel, who was asleep in the back seat leaning on the door.
"No, thanks, but you should probably get something for Mel," Sam answered, remembering how cranky Mel got when she didn't eat.
"Yeah, I know. I got her some bars already," Sam's mouth twitched up in a small smile and made a mental note to ask Dean about it later.
"So how'd you pay for that stuff?" He asked instead. "You and dad and Mel still running credit card scams?"
"Yeah, well, hunting ain't exactly a pro-ball career," Dean replaced the gas pump. "Besides, all we do is apply. It's not our fault they send us the cards,"
"Yeah," Sam grew a bit aggravated by how casually Dean broke the law. "And what names did you write on the application this time?"
"Uh…" Dean had to think for a moment.
"Bert Aframian and his son, Hector along with Lisa Froman," Mel spoke up from the back seat, blinking the sleep from her eyes.
"Scored three cards out of the deal," Dean grinned as he past her the two bars along with a bag of chips.
"Sounds about right," Sam nodded, and then, looking down at his cassettes, "I swear, guys, you got to update your cassette-tape collection." He glanced back at Mel, who shrugged.
"Don't look at me, I keep telling him. He just won't listen," I protested making Dean scoff.
"Hey! You love my cassettes. What's wrong with them?" Dean defended.
"Well, for one, they're cassette tapes," I laughed lightly at Sam's jab. "And two, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Metallica?" He held up the cassette, and Dean snatched it from him. "It's the greatest hits of the Mullet Rock,"
"House rules, Sammy - driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake hole," Dean told him, having heard enough of Sammy's bitching.
"You know, Sammy is a chubby twelve-year-old. It's Sam, okay?" Dean just turned up the music.
"I'm sorry, I can't hear you. The music's too loud," He glanced back at me with a grin before stepping on the gas.
"All right, so there's no one matching Dad at the hospital or morgue," Sammy told us, flipping down the phone. "So that's something, I guess." I was about to reply when something up ahead caught my eye, and I hit Dean's shoulder to get his attention.
"That looks interesting," I pointed to the police cars by the bridge.
"Check it out," Dean pulled over on the side of the road, and I nearly leapt out of the car. Stretching my legs had never felt so good. I opened Sammy's door to see Dean already had the glove compartment open and was drawing out the box. I walked around the car to Dean's side as he handed me the cards. Sam stared at us incredulously as Dean got out and stood beside me, offering Sam a cocky smile. "Let's go,"
"No sign of footprints, fingerprints. Spotless. It's almost too clean," The men down by the river were equally confused as they brought up nothing as well. Guy just vanished. We walked up to stand beside the car in front of the officers. "So this kid, Troy, he's dating your daughter, isn't he?"
"Yeah," The second officer spoke sadly.
"How's amy doing?" He questioned. Amy. We should look for her next.
"She's been putting up missing posters downtown," He answered with that same note of sorrow.
"You fellows had another one like this just last month, didn't you?" Dean announced our entrance, walking around the wary officer.
"And who are you?" I came to stand by Dean as he talked to the cop. The cop looked me up and down warily before his eyes returned to Dean with a look of suspicion.
"Federal Marshals," Dean responded as we held up our fake badges.
"Who's he," The cop, which I now realized was probably Sheriff, jerked his chin at Sam who stood behind us.
"Consultant," I lied without so much as blinking; the sheriff bought it, but was still suspicious.
"You two are a little young for marshals, aren't you?" He questioned. Dean just laughed shortly, looking away briefly.
"Thanks, that's awfully kind of you," I was already looking in the car. It didn't smell like sulfur, which meant probably not a demon. "You did have another one just like this, correct?"
"Yeah, that's right, bout a mile up the road," Could be a spirit haunting the road. "There have been others before that."
"So this victim - you knew him?" Sam asked the sheriff while I rummaged through the glove compartment and between the seats.
"A town like this, everybody knows everybody," The Sheriff responded, but I sensed a note of hostility in his voice.
"But you didn't care for him?" It wasn't really a question, but I left it open for him to expand on. He glanced at me and then across to the officer he'd been talking to before. Who's daughter had been dating him.
"Not my place to judge people," Was all he answered. "Some liked him, some didn't as much," He shrugged stiffly. "What does that have to do with it?"
"Any connection between the victims besides that they're all men?" Dean continued without missing a beat, saving me from answering as I stood.
"No. Not so far as we can tell," The officer informed us.
"So what's the theory?" Sam asked as I leaned my elbows on the car and studied the sheriff. Next to me, Dean finally stopped circling the car and Sam came to stand beside us.
"Honestly, we don't know. Serial murder, kidnapping ring." He listed theories, but he really didn't have any idea.
"Well that is exactly the kind of crack police work I'd expect-"
"Dean," I snapped, grabbing his arm and glaring at him while Sam stomped on his foot. I turned back to the sheriff, giving him a sweet smile. "We will be leaving now,"
"Thanks for your time," Sam smiled as well, "Gentlemen," He nodded at the others before walking back towards the Impala. I kept my grip on Dean's arm, steering him away from the police until we were out of earshot.
"What the hell?" I hissed at him.
"What?" I rolled my eyes and released him. "Oh come on, kidnapping ring?" My mouth twitched, but I fought the smile.
"They're a lot more likely to check our badges if your rude," I admonished him, glancing up as he sighed.
"She's right, Dean," Sam backed me up, and Dean sped up to hit Sam in the back of the head.
"Ow! What was that for?" Sam hissed, glaring at him as I fell into step on the other side of him.
"Why you got to step on my foot?" Dean hissed back.
"Why do you have to talk to police like that?" Dean looked between us with genuine surprise and walked in front of us, stopping us.
"Come on," Dean glanced back and forth between us, and I glared up at him. "They don't really know what's going on. We're all alone on this. I mean, if we're gonna find Dad, we've got to get to the bottom of this thing ourselves," I frowned as I saw officers standing behind Dean. Sam cleared his throat, and Dean turned to face them.
"Can I help you kids?" The officer asked. Kids?
"No, sir. We were just leaving," I answered, smiling kindly at him as the two agents walked past.
"Agent Mulder, Agent Scully," My breath came out shakily as I tried to hold in the laugh at Dean's smart ass comment. We walked around the officer and to the Impala.
"Shotgun," I got in, grinning at Sam as he pouted and got in the back.
"I'm taller than you," He argued as Dean drove.
"I'm older than you," I shot back. The ride downtown was short, and before I knew it, we were walking down a James street in search of Amy.
"I'll bet you that's her," I looked up as Dean spoke, seeing the girl using a stapler to hang the paper on the wooden post. We nodded and walked over.
"You must be Amy," Dean didn't bother with the pleasantries as she turned to face us questioningly.
"Yeah," She spoke softly.
"Troy told us about you. We're his uncles. I'm Dean. This is Sammy," Sam gave him a dirty look. "And this is Melody, his aunt," I offered her a consoling smile, which she returned sadly.
"He never mentioned you to me," She told us skeptically.
"Well, that's Troy, I guess," Dean played it off as we followed her to the next post where she put up another flyer. "We're not around much. We're up in Modesto,"
"So, we're looking for him too, and we're kinda asking around," Sam cut in, and we stopped walking. A girl came up to Amy, touching her arm comfortingly.
"Hey, are you okay?" Amy's friend asked in concern.
"Yeah," Amy nodded bravely, smiling a clearly forced smile.
"Anyway, do you mind if we stop and ask you a few questions? There was a diner just up there," I remembered, also remembering we hadn't had lunch and both the boys and I were starving. Amy nodded and a few minutes later I was sitting in between Sam and Dean in a relatively large booth. It was still a bit cramped, but I'd live.
"I was on the phone with Troy. He was driving home. He said he would call me right back, and he never did," Amy explained, staring at the table intently.
"He didn't say anything strange or out of the ordinary?" Sam questioned, and Amy shook her head.
"No, nothing I can remember," She answered honestly.
"Here's the deal, ladies, the way Troy disappeared - something's not right," Dean told them as much as he could without lying. "So if you've heard anything…" They looked at each other hesitantly.
"What?" I asked them as the shifted in the booth. "Anything that you know might help find Troy," That pushed them over the edge.
"Well, it's just with all these guys going missing, people talk," Amy's friend spoke up, and I frowned, sensing a story.
"What do they talk about?" Sam and Dean prompted simultaneously, causing me to glance at them in surprise.
"It's kind of a local legend. This one girl, she got murdered out on Centennial like decades ago," I looked up and met Dean's eyes. Seems like our kind of thing. "Well, supposedly, she's still out there. She hitchhikes, and whoever picks her up - well, they disappear forever."
"So," We all looked at Amy as she spoke, looking at us. "How long have you two been married?" Dean choked on the coffee he'd been drinking, and I stared at her for a minute in shock, only snapping out of it when Sam started laughing.
"We, um, we're not together," I told her, trying and failing at not being awkward or giving us away.
"No, she's a distant relative on his mothers side," Dean rambled, and Amy frowned. "I thought she was his aunt?"
"Divorced," I said and the same time Dean said, "Twice removed," I avoided looking at him altogether as Sam finally got his act together and rescued us.
"We really have to get going but thank you for your time," Sam put a twenty down on the table, and we got up and hurried out. Outside, Sam started laughing again, and I shoved him. "How long have you two been married?" He mocked, still laughing.
"Divorced?" Dean asked me incredulously, and I looked at him in disbelief.
"Twice removed?" I echoed his tone as we reached the Impala, "Do you even know what twice removed means?" Dean opened his mouth, and then paused. I rolled my eyes, "I thought so," I got into the back without even arguing this time.
Next stop was the library. So far it had been a couple of minutes with no luck. Dean typed in Female Murder Centennial Highway. No luck. I reached over to push his hands away and delete Centennial Highway and put in Jericho. Nothing.
"Let me try," Sam offered, and I backed away a little bit, but Dean swatted his hand.
"I got it," He snapped even though it was clear he had no idea what to type next.
"Just let him try, Dean," Dean's eyes bored into mine as we had a mini stare down. Finally, he sighed in defeat, looking annoyed and pushed his chair away so Sam could take his place. Sam glanced between us again, hiding a smile as he turned his attention to the screen.
"Your such a control freak," Dean muttered, punching Sam's arm. Sam didn't even seem to notice, and I pushed my chair to Sam's other side.
"So angry spirits are born out of violent death, right?" Sam checked.
"Yeah," Dean agreed boredly .
"Maybe it's not murder." Sam deleted Murder and typed in Suicide. One hit. "This was 1981," Sam read from the article. "Constance Welch, 24 years old, jumped off Sylvania Bridge, drowns in the river,"
"Wasn't that where Troy's car was found? That would also explain the five mile stretch of road," I double checked, and Dean nodded.
"Does it say why she did it?" Dean asked. Sam's face scrunched up as he read; bad news then. I leaned over his shoulder to scan the article.
"Yeah," I replied for him. "An hour before she calls 911 because her two kids are in the bathtub. She leaves them alone for a minute, and when she comes back, they aren't breathing. Both dead," I summarized, wincing at how horrible that must've been.
"'Our babies were gone and Constance just couldn't bear it,' said husband Joseph Welch," Sam read.
"You were right same bridge," Dean glanced at me before rising from the chair.
It was already dark out when we reached the bridge, and a bad feeling was settling in my gut. Something was going to happen, and we weren't going to like it.
"So this is where Constance took the swan dive," Dean mused as we looked over the railing and into the waters below.
"So do you think Dad would've been here?" Sam questioned, looking at us.
"Well, he's chasing the same story, and we're chasing him," I nodded as Dean responded.
"Okay, so now what?" Sam asked.
"Now we keep digging until we find him. It might take awhile," Dean replied, and my heart sunk as I heard the double meaning in his voice. I turned to face them, but leaned my elbows on the railing, watching the two brothers uneasily.
"Dean," Sam glanced at me, and I nodded sadly. "I told you both, I've got to get back by-"
"Monday," Dean finished for him, meeting my eyes as I offered him a small, sorrowful smile. "Right. The interview. Yeah, I forgot." I lifted my elbows off the rail and straightened as the tension became almost palpable. "You're really serious about this, aren't you? You think you're just gonna become some lawyer, marry your girl?"
"Dean-" I started warningly. Dean looked at me, and his eyes lost a bit of their fire.
"Maybe, why not?" Sam interrupted me causing me to glare at him. The fire returned.
"Does Jessica know the truth about you? I mean, does she know about the things you've done?" Dean knew the answer to that question, he was just trying to get under Sam's skin, and by the looks of it, it was working.
"No, and she's not ever going to know," Sam took a threatening step forward.
"Well, that's healthy," Dean quipped, and I glared at him. "You can pretend all you want, Sammy, but sooner or later you're going to have to face up to who you really are."
"Dean," I snapped coming to stand in front of Sammy, "That's enough,"
"No, it's fine," Sam snapped back in a voice that let me know it was very much not fine. "Who is that, exactly?"
"One of us," Dean told him, turning and heading back to the car. He could be so infuriating at times.
"No, I'm not like you. This is not going to be my life." Sam stormed in front of Dean, stopping him.
"Well, you have a responsibility," Dean was trying to get under Sam's skin. Trying to get him to see sense. Trying to get him to stay with us.
"To Dad and his crusade?" Sam asked rhetorically. I glanced back and forth between them, unsure, "If it weren't for pictures, I wouldn't even know what mom looks like."
"Sammy, stop." I tried to sound firm, but when he looked at me, I saw all the pent up anger in his eyes.
"Please, Mel, you of all people know I'm right. You don't remember what your mom looks like either. Don't try to lie. I know you've thought about leaving everything behind. You should. You were smart enough in high school," I could see the tears behind Sam's eyes, but my heart froze at his words. I had never told anyone that but him. "You should have just got out while you had the chance-"
"Don't talk to her like that," Dean's voice held rage, but Sam was too engulfed in what he was saying to notice.
"Even if we do find the thing that killed our moms, their gone. And their not coming back," Dean grabbed Sam's collar and slammed him into the metal beam of the bridge. My eyes widened in surprise, and I grabbed Dean's wrist as he spoke in a gruff voice to Sammy.
"Don't talk about her like that," He looked at me then, and I was taken aback by the raw emotion in his eyes, "Don't talk about them like that," He corrected, turning back to Sammy.
"Dean, let him go," I spoke softly, keeping my hazel eyes locked on Dean's green ones as I gently pried his hands off of Sam's collar. Dean released him roughly, stepping back away from both of us and turning away.
"Mel-" Sam's voice held an apology, but I honestly didn't want to hear it.
"Are you alright?" I interrupted him, coldly.
"Guys," My eyes flicked to Dean's back, and then past him at the woman wearing a torn white dress standing on the railing. I took a few steps forward till I was standing next to Dean but instead of stopping, I sped up until I was running towards her, hearing the guys shout my name behind me. I reached the railing just as she let herself fall off the edge. There was nothing to see in the river, for the spirit had vanished. The guys reached me a moment later and joined me in looking down at the river.
"Where'd she go?" Sam asked, and I shook my head.
"I don't know," Dean answered for both of us. Suddenly, there was the revving of an engine, and my stomach dropped. We turned to face the Impala, squinting as the bright headlights shrouded us in brightness. "What the-"
"Dean, do you still have the keys?" I asked, confused for a moment. Dean reached into his jacket and pulled out the keys to his car. The tires squealed as the car began to move forward, towards us. I took a step back, not quite able to tear my eyes away from the possessed Impala. Then Dean's hand was on my arm, pulling me backward, and I was running in between the Sam and Dean.
"Come on, run! Let's go!" Sam shouted as we started running in earnest. It didn't matter. No matter how fast we ran we couldn't outrun a car. The squealing tires and revving engine was gaining on us as we sprinted.
"Over the bridge!" I yelled at them, "We have to jump!" We veered right, and I grabbed the bar with both hands and swung myself over it. Before I could make it very far, an arm wrapped around my waist securely, halting my fall, and my arms automatically wound themselves around his neck. I grabbed the edge of the bridge with one arm before freeing myself completely from Sam's grasp. I pulled myself up onto the edge of the bridge before looking back down, panic rising in my throat.
"Dean!" I called down worriedly in between heavy breaths.
"What?" He groaned from where he'd dragged himself up on shore. I could barely see him through all the mud and plants that were stuck to him.
"Are you all right?" Sam asked before I could draw another breath. He had climbed up alongside me and was looking down at Dean as well.
"I'm super," Dean answered in between pants, raising his hand in a ok signal. I let out a small laugh at the sarcastic note in his voice and then looked at Sam who was laughing a bit as well.
"Thanks, Sammy," I laughed putting a hand on his shoulder and pushing myself to my feet.
"Anytime," There was a comfortable pause. "And don't call me Sammy," He added as an afterthought. This was the Sammy I'd missed. The joking, geeky Sammy.
"How bad do you think he smells?" I laughed, and he joined me. Relief was rolling off of us in waves. Relief that Dean was alive. Relief that I was alive. Relief that Sammy was alive. And, of course, the Impala was fine.
"I'm almost scared to find out," He answered, making us laugh some more. We walked back to the car still laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing was. "It is ironic though," Sam pointed out as we leaned against the hood waiting for Dean to come back up. "Dean always takes such good care of this car," I laughed, nodding. "So," Sam began casually after a moment, which made me eye him suspiciously. "How long has that been going on?"
"What?" I asked dumbly, and he rolled his eyes.
"You know, you and Dean," This time I rolled my eyes to hide my discomfort at the topic.
"Nothing is going on," I told him, and he laughed at me, making me glare at him again. Finally, I sighed, "Is it that obvious?"
"A blind person could see it," Sam informed me, and I groaned making him laugh again.
"Glad to see you two are having fun," Dean grumbled, coming up from behind us. I turned to him and couldn't stop the small laugh from escaping me. He was covered head to toe in mud and glaring at Sammy and me.
"Is the car okay?" Sammy offered him weakly.
"Yeah, whatever she did to it, it seems all right now," Dean told us, the glare sliding away. "That Constance chick - what a bitch!" He yelled the last part as if she could hear him. Maybe she could.
"Well, she doesn't want us digging around, that's for sure." Sam stated the obvious as Dean leaned next to me on the hood and sighed in annoyance.
"So where's the trail go from here, genius?" Sam asked with a note of smart ass. Dean threw his hands in the air in defeat.
"We should go talk to the husband," I suggested.
"We'll go tomorrow," Dean told us. After that, we just sat in silence for a few minutes, soaking up what had happened. Sam and I glanced at each other, and I bit back a smile as he wrinkled his nose.
"Dean, you smell like a toilet," I couldn't hold back the small laugh, and Dean looked at him before turning his gaze on me. I shrugged.
"Well, he's not wrong," I held out my hand. "I'll drive," Dean's eyes snapped to my face in disbelief while I raised my eyebrows.
"No way in hell. I'm driving," He snapped, and I raised my eyebrows at him.
"Fine, you drive and get mud all over the steering wheel and driver's seat," Dean's mouth opened and closed a few times, trying to come up with a retort. Finally he sighed, fishing the keys out of his pocket and handing them to me.
"What? How-" Sammy's joking protest was cut off with a look from Dean as he stalked over to the passenger's door. I got into the driver's seat and grinned. It had been too long since I'd driven; riding with Dean had it's downside. The drive to the nearest motel only took a couple of minutes, and it was spent mostly in silence.
"One room, please," Dean told the manager, an older guy who studied the three of us skeptically.
"You guys having a reunion or something?" He asked us. John.
"What do you mean?" Sam asked him.
"That other guy, Bert Aframian," The old man told us, looking up like we should know this. "He came in and bought out a room for the whole month." Dean looked at both of us and then back.
"Which room would that be?" I asked him, smiling briefly.
"Room ten," He told us, giving the credit card back.
"We'll just go check in with him," I smiled again before the three of us climbed the stairs and made our way to room number ten. The sun had just risen, so I had no trouble picking the lock and pushing the door open. I went through first, and then Sam grabbed Dean and hauled him inside as well. It looked as if someone had left without any warning whatsoever. If I hadn't known John, I would've said he was abducted. Dean picked up the half eaten cheeseburger and sniffed it, jerking his head away instantly at the rank smell before depositing it in the trash. I was more concerned with the pictures that had been hung on the walls of the room.
"I don't think he's been here for a couple of days at least," Dean told us as Sam crouched down to pick up a handful of the salt that lined almost everything in the room.
"Salt, cat's-eye shells. He was worried, trying to keep something from coming in," I listened to Sam as I studied one particular picture on the wall. "What do you have?" Sam asked, coming over to the wall.
"Centennial Highway victims," Dean responded as I scanned the article. "I don't get it. I mean, different men, different jobs, age, ethnicities. There's always a connection, right? What do these guys have in common?" I felt Sam come up behind me, and tapped the article, a small smile starting on my face.
"They're cheaters," I answered, and Dean came up on my other side. "All of the men were cheaters. He figured it out,"
"What do you mean?" Dean asked, and I pointed at the heading. Woman in White.
"He found the same article we did. Constance Welch. She's a woman in white." Sam answered as Dean turned back to the victims.
"You sly dogs. All right so if we're dealing with a woman in white, dad would've found the corpse and destroyed it," I nodded, biting the inside of my cheek.
"Which means there has to be something else. Some other way to destroy her," I mused, nodding.
"Right, she might have another weakness," Sam backed me up.
"No, dad would want to make sure. He'd dig her up. Does it say where she's buried?" Dean came over to scan the article.
"No, not that I can tell," Sam replied, and I shook my head. I had a feeling she was cremated, which means there had to be another way to kill her.
"We should go ask the husband," I pointed to the picture of a grieving Joseph Welch.
"If he's still alive," Sam added.
"Alright, why don't you two see if you can find an address? I'm gonna get cleaned up," Dean told us, and I nodded without looking away from the wall.
"Hey, Dean," Sam started and I sensed a brotherly moment coming on. I learned at a very early age with these two when a brotherly moment was coming on. "What I said earlier about mom and dad - I'm sorry," Dean held up a hand to stop him.
"No chick-flick moments," Sam scoffed, looking away and then looking back.
"All right, Jerk,"
"Bitch," Dean returned, and I grinned at the two of them, shaking my head. Something caught Sam's eye, and he walked over to the mirror. I followed him, and my eyes widened when I saw the picture tucked into the mirror frame. I was becoming more and more worried about John Winchester. We hadn't always gotten along, and growing up with him and my dad had been rough especially after my dad- No. I wouldn't think about that right now. John had been something of a second father to me, and I was worried about him. in the picture, a younger John held a five-year-old Sammy while Dean and I sat next to them in the back of the pick up, squinting into the sun. Sammy checked his phone, and I saw the bright smile that lit up his face and couldn't help smiling too.
"Check them," I told him, "I'll find the address," Sam looked up from the phone in surprise.
"Are you sure? I can help-"
"Sammy, I'm trying to do something nice here. Just go," He chuckled a bit as I crossed the room to the computer, my fingers flying across the keys.
"Hey, Mel, I never apologized-"
"Don't," I held up a hand and smiled at him, "You don't need to apologize," He opened his mouth to protest, but I cut him off. "You were angry, Sammy. It's fine,"
"Fine," He repeated, smiling a bit.
"Good," I replied, my smile growing.
"Good," He went back to his messages, and I went back to finding the address, which didn't take long.
"Hey, I'm starving," Dean came out of the shower, and I tried not to look at him. I wasn't one for one night stands but I promised myself the next bar we stopped at I would. It was hard to hold down a boyfriend while you were getting dragged all over creation to fight God knows what. I'd only had five or six serious boyfriends over the years, and I found it easier to fight the feelings if I could bury them in a commitment instead of a one night stand. But that was just me. "I'm gonna grab a little something to eat at the diner down the street," Dean continued, snapping me out of my thoughts. "You coming?" He asked me, and I stood.
"Yeah, I'll meet you by the car," I told him, pulling on my socks. I had taken my boots and socks off the minute I'd sat down. "You want anything?" I asked Sam as Dean shut the door on his way out.
"No," Sam answered, glancing at the door.
"You sure?" I waved the credit card. "Lisa's buying," He grinned but shook his head anyway. I slipped on both my boots and stood just as Sam's cell rang. I frowned, glancing at him before shrugging and walking towards the door.
Don't let Mel walk out that door. I heard Dean's worried voice from the other side of the phone. My hand froze on the knob, and I had no intention of walking outside even before Sammy pulled me back from the door.
"She's not," I looked at him with confusion.
Alright, Dude, Five-O. Take off. My heart dropped as I heard that, but I looked at a worried Sammy with now false confusion.
"What about you?" Sam asked.
Uh, they kind of spotted me. Go find Dad. The line went dead.
"What's happening?" Sammy ignored me and instead went to the window. I followed him, peeking out to see Dean talking to two cops. I didn't have time to listen because the sheriff jerked his thumb in the direction of our room and two officers came in our direction. I met Dean's eyes briefly and saw concern flash across them before I let the curtain fall back into place and grabbed Sammy's arm, dragging him into the bathroom. We left through the window, replacing the screen just as the door was busted in.
"Dean's going to kill you," I told Sammy as we approached the house of Joseph Welch.
"It was an accident," Sammy protested, looking down at the broken cassette that he had sat on. I parked and turned off the ignition, looking over at Sammy. "Maybe he won't notice," He got out and threw it into the trash bin nearest us.
"It's Metallica; he'll notice," I told him, and Sam's pouting face came out making me laugh. After this I'd put in a fake 911 call to the police station. I'd thought about it a bit, but decided that that was the best way to go, less conspicuous. I knocked on the door.
"Hi, uh, are you Joseph Welch?" Sam asked the small frail looking farmer.
"Yeah," He answered, stepping out.
"We are here to ask you a few questions," Joseph looked back and forth between us in confusion.
"We're with the news," I clarified, and his face cleared a bit. John usually used that one when he was interviewing a family.
"Are you with that other man? Here a few days ago. Askin' questions," Sam handed him the picture he'd taken from the mirror in the hotel room.
"Is this him?" He asked, and Joseph looked up at us a little more trustingly.
"Yeah, he was older, but that's him. He came by three or four days ago, said he was a reporter," He didn't sound so convinced.
"That's right. We're working on a story together," Sam lied easily.
"Well I don't know what the hell kind of story you're working on - the questions he asked me,"
"About your late wife, Constance," I interjected making him glance at me.
"He asked me where she was buried," He told us in absolute confusion as to why a news reporter would want to know that.
"And where is that again?" Sam asked none too subtly.
"What? I got to go through this twice?" His gaze turned harsher as his eyes flicked between us.
"Fact checking. We're terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but they refuse to let us broadcast unless we fact checked. Make sure we're accurate, you know,"
"In a plot behind my old place over on Breckenridge," He finally told us.
"And why did you move?" Sam questioned.
"I'm not gonna live in the house my children died," There was so much sorrow in his voice when he spoke that I felt bad about the whole thing.
"Mr. Welch, did you ever marry again?" Sammy asked. Smart. If he did, he could've been cheating on Constance with her.
"No way. Constance - she was the love of my life. Prettiest woman I'd ever known," He smiled a bit when he talked about her. He really had loved her. Or he was a very good liar.
"You had a happy marriage, then?" His mouth twitched, and his eyes betrayed his uncertainty.
"Definitely," He answered after a moment's pause.
"Well, that should do it. Thanks for your time," Sam told him, smiling pleasantly. I also offered him a smile and headed back to the car.
"Mr. Welch," I called to his retreating form, stopping him. "Have you ever heard of a woman in white?" Sam's eyes widened in surprise as his eyes snapped to me, but I didn't look at him. I knew what I was doing.
"A what?" Joseph asked as he turned, scrunching his face in confusion.
"A woman in white? It's a ghost story," I explained, "Well, really more of a phenomenon," I corrected myself. "They're spirits?" I tried to ring a bell, but he had no idea what I was talking about. Not that I had really thought he would, "They've been sighted for hundreds of years,"
"Dozens of places in Hawaii and Mexico," Sam continued, catching on as I walked back toward Mr. Welch. "Lately in Arizona, Indiana," I stopped in front of Mr. Welch, and Sam came to a stop next to me.
"Of course, all of these are different women, but all share the same story,"
"I don't much care for nonsense," The farmer told us with a dark look before turning and starting to walk away.
"You see when they were alive, their husbands were unfaithful to them," I followed the man, knowing that the last part would piss him off. Sure enough, he stopped walking. "And these women, had bouts of temporary insanity, and murdered their children." The man turned to face me, his face twisted into a rage filled look of horror.
"Then, once they realized what they had done, they took their own lives. So now their spirits are cursed, walking back roads, waterways, and if they find an unfaithful man, they kill him, and that man is never seen again," Sam finished. The man's lips were trembling now as he tried to comprehend the horror of what we were telling him.
"You think… you think that has something to do with Constance, you smartass?" He glared up at Sam, but I stepped in front of him, earning the man's stormy glare.
"You tell us," He had to admit he cheated. That was the only way to know for sure that she was a woman in white.
"I mean maybe - maybe I made some mistakes, but no matter what I did, Constance never would've killed her own children. Now you two get the hell out of here, and you don't come back," The man turned and walked away, and I tried to ignore the guilt that ate at me.
"Come on," I turned, pulling Sam's arm until he followed me on his own. "Let's get out of here," We stopped by the car and I pulled out my phone. "First things first," I had to spring Dean from jail. Well, Dean would spring Dean from jail; I'd just get rid of the guards. I dialed 911 and put the phone to my ear.
"Hello, this is the police department, what is your emergency?" The man asked in an almost excited voice.
"He-Hello?" I choked out, faking a sob. Sam rolled his eyes at my theatrics, "Y-You have t-to h-hurry,"
"Where are you, Miss?" The voice asked urgently, "Tell me where you are,"
"Whitefield R-road," I sniffled, "Please h-hurry. I-I h-heard sh-shot-ts," I hung up the phone before he could ask anymore questions. It had taken an hour to drive out to the farm, and we stopped for food on the way back, waiting for Dean to call us. It was eight thirty by the time Sammy drove through the dark back towards the motel, and I was hoping Dean had managed to get out. That's when my phone rang.
"Dean?" I tried to keep the relief out of my voice.
"Fake 911 phone call that Sammy or you?" Dean's smug voice came over the line and made me grin.
"You're welcome," I replied grinning over at Sam as I put it on speaker. "You're on speaker," I told him.
"We got to talk," Dean told us.
"Tell me about it. So the husband was unfaithful," Sam filled him in. "We are dealing with a woman in white,"
"And," I added, "She's buried behind their old house,"
"So, that would've been Dad's next stop," Sam grinned at what we'd found.
"Guys would you shut up for a second?"
"The only thing we can't figure out is why he wouldn't destroy the corpse right away," I frowned as I spoke, lost in thought for a moment.
"Well, that's what I'm trying to tell you. He's gone. Dad left Jericho," Dean sounded certain.
"What? How do you know?" Sam asked at the same time I asked, "What? Why?"
"I've got his journal," Dean admitted after a moment of silence. There was another moment of silence before Sam spoke.
"He doesn't go anywhere without that thing,"
"Yeah, well, he did this time," Dean responded.
"What's it say?" I questioned, suddenly curious. Did it say anything about me? About my abilities.
"Same old ex-Marine crap," Dean sounded a bit bitter and a bit concerned. "When he wants to let us know where he's going."
"Coordinates," Sam nodded. Same old John.
"Where do they lead?" I asked.
"I'm not sure yet," Dean replied hesitantly. This wasn't right.
"Dean, what the hell is going on?" Sam had a point. This wasn't like John to just vanish without a trace like this. "Dean, just be careful, okay?" That wasn't what I had been planning to say. I don't know what made me say it, but for a moment I just couldn't think of anything else that was more important. Before he could respond, however, I caught sight of the woman standing in the middle of the road. "Sammy!" I yelled, and he slammed on the breaks, bringing the car to a screeching stop, but not before we ran through the spirit. We were both breathing hard as the car stopped, I glanced up into the mirror and let out a small, startled scream as I saw the pale eyes staring back at me.
"Take me home," She demanded. I looked to Sam, who wasn't moving, and I focused on regaining my breath. "Take me home," She repeated more forcefully.
"No," Sam told her firmly. That wouldn't work. We had to do something she wouldn't expect.
"Sam, get out of the car," I ordered, opening the door partially only to have it close by a force much stronger than myself. The doors locked themselves, and I glanced at the mirror to see the ghost still there. The engine revved as the accelerator was pressed by an invisible foot and the gear was shifted. The car was driving itself as Sam and I desperately tried to get out; it was no use.
"Sammy, keep your hands on the wheel," I took charge. He glanced at me and did what he was told. "She's taking us to her old house," That much I was sure of, but beyond that it was a mystery. One that I needed to solve if I planned on getting both of us out alive. We stopped in front of the abandoned, decrepit structure.
"Don't do this," Sam tried to reason with the spirit.
"I can never go home," The woman, Constance, told us with a look of eternal sorrow on her face.
"Your scared to go home," Sam figured out, turning to look at her, but there was no one there. He met my eyes and then between us, the woman flickered into sight, crouching like an animal ready to pounce. She jumped at Sam, pinning him to the seat while I made to grab her, but my hand only passed through her. Damn I didn't have a gun on me. I needed to find something iron. I opened the glove compartment, rummaging around desperately as she pushed Sam down.
"Hold me," She whispered seductively to him; she was trying to get him to cheat on Jess. "I'm so cold,"
"You can't kill me," Sam played his last card. "I'm not unfaithful. I've never been,"
"You will be," After this I was keeping an iron pole in our glove compartment. She grabbed his face and kissed him harshly as he tried desperately to pull away. I paused for a moment, letting everything sink in and then something came to me. Sam managed to grab the keys as she disappeared. He looked to me for a moment warily; I was breathing hard, and I probably looked a mess. Was she gone? Suddenly Sam's back arched, and he screamed in pain.
"Sammy!" I yelled, crawling over to him, hating how useless I was. I ripped open his jacket and saw the five holes being dug into his chest. The demon flickered into view. It was fingers. She was digging her freakin' fingers into Sam's chest. She pulsed in and out of view in time to his heartbeat, and that's when her words drifted back to me. I can never go home. That was it. I lunged past her for the ignition but jerked back as something fast moving cut my cheek.
"Shit," I cursed as I pressed myself back into the seat to avoid getting shot. The shooting stopped for a moment, but the ghost didn't. I slid over to Sam, not caring that I was basically on his lap, and revved the engine. "I'll take you home, bitch," I slammed my foot down on the accelerator, heading straight for the house. Dimly, I heard Dean shout my name, and I shut my eyes tightly as the car slammed into the wooden house. There are worst last things to hear than Dean shouting my name. Everything happened in a blur, and then we were stopped. Pain was shooting up my right wrist, and I think it bent back on the steering wheel when we crashed. My cut cheek was bleeding and a couple toes were sore, but other than that I wasn't too bad.
"You okay?" I asked, my voice sounding hoarse due to all the dust in the air.
"I've been better," Came his gravelly reply. I let out a short bark of laughter, "Next time," he panted a bit, "Your thinking of crashing the car," He groaned which made me glance at him in concern. "Just give me a fair warning,"
"Melody!" I heard Dean's yell and tried to answer, but all that came out were coughs. "Sam!"
"Here!" Sam managed to call back.
"You two okay?" Dean leaned down to look through the passenger's window. His gaze darkened and he hesitated as he looked at us, and I remember that I was still sitting on Sam's lap. Gingerly, I moved off of him and sat down heavily next to him with him weakly trying to help.
"I think," Sam responded, and I nodded with him. "Get Mel first," He grunted in pain as he sat up.
"Can you move?" Dean asked me, real concern lacing his voice as he yanked open the door.
"Yeah, I'm not bad," I brushed off the concern, making it to the door only to have Dean pick me up and carry me away from the car. "I'm fine," I insisted, really hoping I wasn't blushing like some schoolgirl. "Go get Sammy,"
"Can you stand?" He asked, ignoring my protests completely. I nodded, and, of course, as soon as he put me down I nearly fell over. I looked up into his eyes as he steadied me, trying to make him go check on Sam, I knew he was worried about him.
"I'm fine," I leaned on the hood. Dean fingered the bleeding cut on my cheek, his face darkening; I caught his hand in both of my smaller ones and met his eyes with mine. Dean was protective, and I loved that about him but right now he needed to check on Sam. "Go check on your brother," I told him gently, and he studied my face to make sure I was telling the truth before nodding and turning away.
"You doing alright there, Sammy?" Dean asked him, and I felt a load lift off my chest when I heard him answer.
"Yeah. Help me," Dean grabbed his hand, and I let out a breath, turning my head to study the room. That's when I saw Constance picking a picture frame off the floor.
"Uh, guys?" I swallowed hard, knowing we were in no position to fight her off. They both came to stand beside me and froze when they caught sight of her. She glared at us and sent a dresser our way, pinning the two boys to the wall. She started towards them, and I picked up Dean's fallen gun, stepping in front of them and ignoring the pain in my wrist.
"Mel!" Dean yelled, struggling to get out from behind the dresser. "What the hell are you doing? Run!" I ignored him, cocking the gun. Just then the lights began to flicker and Constance looked around in a fearful confusion. Then I heard the rushing of water and looked to the now wet stairs. Constance walked slowly to the bottom of the stairs, her whole frame flickering wildly. There, at the top of the stairs, stood two children with their hands clasped, dripping water all over the old, moldy carpeting.
"You've come home to us, mommy," The two children whispered eerily, disappearing and reappearing behind their mother. I took a small step back at the anguish that was etched into Constance's features. A mother's pain. The two kids hugged her around the waist, and she threw back her head and gave a piercing, agonized scream that made me take another step back. Her image flickered and began to dissolve, growing murky and shorter, then turning blood red, then black until finally sinking into the floor with a draining sound. I let out a sharp breath as she vanished; it was over. There was a crash beside me, and I turned to find Sam and Dean were out from behind the dresser.
"So this is where she drowned her kids," Dean and Sam came to stand next to me and look down on the puddle that used to be a woman in white.
"That's why she could never go home," Sam pieced together.
"She was too scared to face them," I added, smiling a bit sadly down at the puddle.
"You found her weak spot. Nice work," Dean hit Sam in the chest, smiling fondly at his kid brother. Sam laughed a bit until it disappeared into a groan of pain.
"Yeah, Mel was the one with the plan. That's more than I can say for you," Sam turned as I followed Dean to the car. "What were you thinking shooting Casper in the face, you freak?"
"Hey, saved you two, didn't I?" Dean glanced at the two of us, his eyes never really meeting mine. "I'll tell you another thing. If you screwed up my car, I'll kill you,"
"What? Mel was driving," Sam turned to look at me and my mouth practically fell open.
"To save your ass, Sammy," I reminded him, laughing a bit as he grinned.
"Okay, here's where dad went. It's called Black Water Ridge, Colorado," I leaned my elbows on the seats in front of me as Dean glanced over from the drivers seat. Sam traced the line with his finger on the map, showing us.
"Sounds charming," Dean quipped, making me grin.
"How far?" I questioned.
"About 600 miles." Sam answered.
"If we shag ass, we can make it by morning," Dean told us, and the smile dropped off my face as Sam hesitated. Dean's face looked crestfallen for a brief moment before he covered it up, glancing back at the road. "You're not going," It wasn't a question, but I knew he was still hoping for an answer.
"The interview's in like 10 hours. I got to be there," Dean looked out the window, and I wanted so badly to comfort him but anything I did would only make it worse. Instead, I looked away from Dean to Sam, who looked torn yet determined at the same time. I tried to muster up a smile for him, but couldn't. "Mel - Dean - "
"Yeah," Dean interrupted him. "Yeah, whatever. I'll take you home," Sam flicked off the flashlight, and I retreated into the backseat again. An hour later, we were pulling up in front of Sam's house, and I got out as well, hugging him tightly.
"Take care of him," Sam whispered, and the ghost of a smile touched my lips. "He needs you,"
"I will," I promised. "Take care of yourself, Sammy," I stepped back and got into the passenger's seat, slamming the door behind me. Sam leaned down to talk to us.
"You'll call if you find him. Maybe I can meet up with you guys later, huh?" Sam offered.
"Yeah, okay," Dean tried to hide the pain in his voice, but both Sam and I heard it. Sam looked down and then turned and began walking up the steps. "Sam!" Dean called, putting his arm on the seat and leaning towards me. "You know, you and us, we made a hell of a team back there,"
"Yeah," Sam agreed sadly as Dean turned the keys in the ignition and started the car. We drove off, leaving Sam at his house like he wanted.
"You okay?" I asked after a moment, throwing a sideways glance at Dean.
"Was what he said true?" That threw me for a moment. "High school. Were you thinking of ditching out for college?" He looked at me carefully guarded anger in his eyes.
"What the hell?" He snapped, my hesitation having been answer enough. "You just thought you'd just leave everybody behind? Live some stupid-"
"I didn't leave okay!" I was getting pissed that he would think he had the right to get angry at me. "It happened eight years ago! It doesn't matter now!"
"Did you ever think to tell me-" He began hotly.
"What would you have said? You couldn't have stopped me if I'd left!" I interrupted him angrily. "Is this about Sammy?" I was practically yelling now.
"Don't call him Sammy!" Dean snarled back. That stopped me cold. Never in twenty-six years had Dean ever told me not to call Sam Sammy. I scoffed, turning to look at the dashboard for a moment.
"Dean, slow down!" I realized we were speeding crazily. "Pull over!" I yelled and I nearly hit the dashboard as the brakes kicked in, and we skidded to a stop on the side of the road. Both of us were breathing shakily from the fight. "Dean," I began slowly, trying to take deep breaths to calm myself. "I get-"
"No, you don't," He interrupted me softly, looking away. "Look, Mel, there aren't a lot of people I care about," He stared straight ahead at the road as he talked, refusing to look at me. "My dad, Sammy, and you," He finally turned his head to study my face with an intensity that scared me a little. "And now my dad's vanished, Sammy's at college. That just leaves you," He needs you. Sam's words floated back to me.
"I'm not going anywhere, Dean," I told him softly. Then a wave of nausea overtook me, making my head ache and my stomach churn. I doubled over, holding my head and felt Dean's hands grab my wrist. If he was saying something I couldn't hear him, I could only hear water running from a shower. It was as if something was tugging me back the way I'd come. "Sammy. Something's wrong," The nausea started to lessen until I could see and hear normally again. I was panting and shaking slightly, breathing unevenly
"Damn it. Melody!" Dean's voice was ragged with concern, and I blinked myself into the real world.
"I'm okay," I whispered, massaging my temples. "Sam's in trouble,"
"How bad?" Dean demanded, but I could only shake my head helplessly. Dean swore as we pulled to a stop in front of Sam's house to see it on fire. I was out before Dean had even stopped the car, sprinting towards the front. I kicked open the door and rushed into the bedroom, following my gut.
"Sammy!" I yelled as I saw him on the bed screaming at the ceiling. I swallowed hard when I saw Jess's once pretty face being consumed by fire. I snapped myself out of it, running to the bed and grabbing Sam's collar, hauling him off of it. He stumbled and fell to the floor, screaming her name heartbrokenly.
"Sam! Mel!" Dean entered the room, stopping briefly to stare horror struck at the open roof.
"Dean!" I shouted, trying to haul Sam up. "Sam, run!" I snapped at him, fear making my voice harsh. The next second Dean was next to us, grabbing Sam by his collar and pulling him roughly to his feet, pushing him towards the door.
"Jess! No!" He screamed up at the dying girl on the ceiling. I turned away from the roof and helped Dean push Sam through the door, shutting it quickly just as the room exploded. We managed to get him into the yard, him struggling every inch of the way.
"Sammy, stop!" I yelled, holding him down as he thrashed. "She's gone. Sammy, she's gone," As the minutes ticked by, the thrashing stopped. The fire department arrived, and Dean and I led Sam away from the house and back to the Impala.
"I'm going to see what they're saying," Dean spoke lowly to me as we watched Sam sitting on the hood of the Impala alone, looking broken.
"I'll talk to him," I answered, looking up at him sadly. Walking over to him cautiously, I sat on the hood of the Impala next to him, my heart breaking for him.
"She's gone," He whispered so quietly I could barely hear him. "It's my fault," I wrapped my arms around his shaking shoulders and he grabbed my arm in his hands tightly. After a couple of minutes, he stopped shaking and this time when he talked I heard him loud and clear. "I'm going to kill him," I released him, and he jumped off the hood, going around to the trunk and opening it to reveal the arsenal. He cocked a rifle as I came to stand next to him, and Dean stood behind us. He looked up at us, tear stains still visible down his cheeks.
"We got work to do," He told us, throwing the gun back in the trunk before looking at us with a new fire burning in his eyes. And somehow, I didn't like it.