"Go to hell, Eric." Dean said to the darkness around him.

"Oh, eventually. Not right now, though. I'm having too much fun with all you hunters."

He was lifted from the floor by a hand in his hair and punched several times in the stomach. Dean was hacking and coughing. Gasping for air. "You boys having fun too?" No answer. Dean thought for sure, at this point, they would be trash talking him or something. "Guys?"

Silence.

Dean's heart started racing like a rabbit again. He started taking wild swings into the air around him, hoping to land a punch. In his toxin addled brain, it never once occurred to him that they seemed to be able to see him just fine. He was wandering and spinning aimlessly around the room. "Say something! I know you're in here!" He had spun himself dizzy and stumbled over his own feet, luckily landing against a wall. He leaned back against it, trying to catch his breath. He wasn't sure if there were tears running down his face or if it was all just sweat.

He bent over and put his hands on his knees. He needed to slow his breathing down or he was going to pass out. Who knows? Maybe that's what Eric was hoping for. He stood up again. "End this, you shit heads!" That earned him a response. Several actually. His head felt like a punching bag. His lip split and his left eye was rapidly swelling shut. Not that that mattered since he couldn't see anything anyway.

"Yeah. That's it. Big bad monsters have to fight me in the dark because they know I would whip their asses if I could see them!" Spraying blood as he talked. He received an uppercut to the chin that knocked his head back, bouncing it off the wall. He fell to the floor and wobbled there, on his hands and knees.

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Using the badge, Krissy let them into the building. They stood there for a moment just listening. It was deathly quiet. For some reason, they assumed an insane asylum would be louder. They started down the hall. The first door they came to was the kitchen area. The only lights on in there were security lighting. They went in anyway and covered the large area, making sure no one would becoming out behind them.

When they came out, there was a woman coming down the hall toward them. She was walking with purpose but no real threat as of yet, so they held their ground. She stopped about eight or so feet away. "Who are you? What are you doing in here?"

They just looked at each other and then back at her. Krissy went for the straight up approach. "We're here to kick some monster ass and save our friends. What are you doing here?"

The woman considered Krissy's answer. She opened her mouth and hissed at them. As she did so, two large, snake-like fangs dropped down from the roof of her mouth, and something sprayed out of her mouth and all over Aiden's face, who had taken point.

"Eww. Eww. That's just nasty, man!" He started wiping the yellowish, sticky fluid off his face with the sleeve of his jacket.

The woman looked completely surprised and shocked that whatever she had done, had had no effect. Krissy, in the meantime, raised her gun and blew the thing away. Like Harry in the loading dock, black fluid oozed from her eyes and mouth.

"Oh damn! This stuff reeks! I just bought this jacket last week, too." Aiden took his jacket off and tossed it back down the hall the way they had come.

"Stop your whining. Let's go."

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"Enough. I think the dish is perfect and ready to be served." Eric said. Just then there was the sound of a gun shot. "Go." Eric commanded.

Dean heard the sound of rushed footsteps and the door opening and shutting. "HAHA! I bet that wasn't on tonight's menu!" Dean said it with full bravado and while it sounded great in his head, it came out in a slurred dribble of words. He spit another mouthful of blood to the floor below him.

Even though he just wanted this all to be over, because he honestly didn't know how much more terror his heart could take, he suddenly didn't want Eric to get his meal. So when he felt Eric's hand suddenly come to a rest on his back, he bucked up and swung out, hitting Eric along side his head. He tried to scramble away across the floor, but he was a mess and didn't get far before he felt Eric wrap a hand around his ankle. He started to drag him back and Dean kicked out with his other foot.

"Let go, you bitch!" For all the tough talk, though, Dean just didn't have any fight left in him. He collapsed to the floor as Eric dragged him all the way back.

"This has been highly entertaining, Dean. We really must do this again some time." Eric said it like they had gotten together for a game of poker and beers.

"Screw you, asshat." Dean mumbled. Dean was starting to wheeze and he began to wonder if he might have broken a rib.

Eric lifted Dean into a kneeling position, leaning his weight against his chest and resting Dean's head on his shoulder. Dean heard the barely audible snick as Eric's fangs popped out and grunted as they sank into his neck, not having even the energy to scream out at the searing pain they caused.

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Krissy, Aiden and Josephine had gone maybe twenty feet down the hall when a door ahead and to the left came crashing open. Two huge guys came barreling out and stopped when they saw the kids. They each had bloodied knuckles and the one had a spray of blood across the front of his scrub top. "I'm guessing bad guys, if the blood is any indication." Josephine whispered.

Krissy was still holding the gun out and when they spotted it in her hand and the dead woman behind them, they came rushing toward them. Josephine got a shot off but the bolt missed the heart and lodged itself into the one guy's upper arm. He bellowed in pain but kept coming. Krissy took a shot but the bullet just missed and pinged off the doorway they had just come through.

And just like that they were on them. The one grabbed Aiden by the throat and lifted him off the floor, slamming him against the wall. He held onto the demon blade, though, and when he raised it up, the man laughed. "What do you think you're gonna do with that, boy? It's not even silver."

"This." Aiden grunted with the full confidence that they not only had the right knife, but that it would actually do what Garth said it would. He jammed it between the man's ribs and into his gut, well below his heart. It didn't matter though. He dropped Aiden and stumbled back a step. He flashed a couple times. Aiden didn't know how else to explain it. He could see the man glow from the inside out and he caught a glimpse of the shape of his skull. The man then dropped dead at his feet. Aiden got down and worked on removing the knife from the guy's chest.

The other man, in the meantime, grabbed Krissy's wrist and twisted it around until she dropped the gun. Josephine put another bolt into him. He shoved the now weaponless Krissy out of the way and went for Josephine. Aiden ran up behind him and ran the knife home. The three looked at each other, visually making sure the others were okay. Krissy retrieved the gun and they silently agreed that the obvious route would be through the door the two men had come out of.

They went through the door and onto a stairwell landing. Before they could wonder which way to go, they heard the word 'asshat' echo up from downstairs. They pulled out flashlights and ran.

At the bottom they swung their lights around. "This way." Aiden whispered, pointing out scuff marks and foot prints in the dust on the floor. They followed the trail down the hall to a door. They readied their weapons, Josephine covering back down the hall the way they had come. "On three." Aiden mouthed. They nodded. Holding his hand out, he counted to three on his fingers. On three, Krissy pushed the door open as quickly as she could and she and Aiden swung in, weapons at the ready.

They were just in time to see Eric release his fangs from Dean's neck, dump Dean's lifeless body to the floor, and stand up. "Step away from him, now!" Krissy demanded. She was trying hard to be tough and not cry. They were too late.

He eyed them warily. "So. It's true then. The toxin doesn't work on the young." He looked at their weapons with interest. "That's why it's always good to have a back up plan." Aiden and Krissy exchanged a quick 'what-the-hell' look.

Eric reached into his pants pocket and shot Aiden in the leg. He apparently had a small caliber gun in there and shot it through his pants in their general direction. In the close quarters it wasn't hard to hit something. Aiden went down with a gasp, clutching his thigh. Before Krissy could decide how to react, Eric barreled past her and into the hall. In his exit he knocked Krissy into the wall and Josephine to the floor.

He didn't put much stock in kids as adversaries, though, and thought he was in the clear. Shooting from the floor was no problem, though. Josephine's bolt caught him through the neck. He grabbed at his neck, stumbled and fell. In that time, Krissy came out and ran down the hall. She stood over him and fired point blank through his back. Three shots, just to make sure and, maybe, some personal satisfaction as well.

When she got back to the others, Josephine was applying pressure to Aiden's leg. Krissy rushed over to Dean and checked for a pulse, hoping for a miracle. "Oh thank God." She whispered.

"Someone's coming." Josephine whispered. Krissy raised her head and could hear the footsteps running down the hall. She raised her gun, ready.

Garrett came skidding around the corner. "Thank God you guys are... oh no. Is he...?" Garrett looked at Dean laying on the floor in the beam of a stray flash light.

"No. I thought..." Krissy looked down at Dean for a moment. "Anyway. I'm glad you're up and running again because we're going to need a hand."

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The Okami kept skittering around on the ceiling trying to get him. He finally crawled under the bed in an effort to get some cover. When something touched his shoulder he jumped and turned around to see Sam standing over him.

"You woke up this time." He said, surprised.

"This time?" Dean groaned. His whole body ached and his head felt like it had been bashed in with a baseball bat...several times.

"Yeah. You've been out for two and a half days and been having nightmares off and on the whole time. It's been pretty rough."

"Is this real?"

Sam was caught off guard by the strange question. "What do you mean?"

"You're really here? I'm really here?"

"Yeah, Dean." Sam frowned with concern.

"Sammy, they messed with my head so much in that place, I feel like I don't know which way is up anymore." Dean struggled up into a seated position with Sam's help.

Sam came over and sat on the bed next to Dean. He looked at him for a moment. Looked him in the eye. He could see the barely suppressed fear and confusion hiding there. "This is real, Dean. I can't even begin to guess what they did to you in there, but this is real." He took Dean's hand and held it against his chest, over his heart. "I'm real." He let Dean pull his hand away. "Listen. Garrett, and the gang staged a pretty impressive rescue mission. They ganked the monsters and freed the hunters. You and I included. The bite wound on your neck got infected pretty bad, but it's looking better today."

Dean reached up and felt a bandage on the back of his neck. "It's weird, Sammy. I have all these injuries and can't remember how I got them."

"I imagine the Nehemoth were responsible, probably while you were under the influence of the toxin, but you're safe now." Sam wondered how long it would take for Dean to accept reality. "We're at Krissy's place."

"And Baby?"

Sam smiled and rolled his eyes. "Your car is fine and parked outside." Sam considered his brother again. "Tell you what. Let me get you something to eat and a few dozen ibuprofen. I bet you're starving." Sam stood up and headed for the door. He looked back and saw Dean looking curiously at the wounds on his hands, sighed and headed downstairs.

"Oh, hey man! Didn't know you were up! How you feeling?" Aiden hobbled in on a pair of crutches.

Dean looked up and frowned. "What'd I miss?"

"What these?" Aiden held up one of his crutches. "I got shot rescuing your sorry ass." He hobbled into the room and to the closet. "Just came in to get a bag from the closet."

With the door open, Dean could hear voices coming up from downstairs.

"Thanks again, guys."

"No problem, Randall. We would like to think you'd do the same for us."

"Oh sure thing. Well, I better hit the road."

"Feel free to swing by if you're ever in the area again. We always have a spare bedroom."

"Will do."

The front door opened and shut and Aiden headed out. "I'll let the others know you're awake." He paused for a moment. "I um...you..." Aiden glanced at the floor and struggled to find the words he wanted to say. "You're one tough motherfucker, Dean Winchester, and it's an honor to be considered a friend." He got a pillow in the face. "What?"

"Stop with the mushy crap and get your scrawny ass outta here."

Aiden smiled. "Yes sir. And...well... I was once told you never leave a Winchester hanging..." He hobbled away and Dean shook his head. Kids these days.

There was a light knock on the door a while later and Krissy came in holding a plate with a couple grilled cheese sandwiches on it. Dean made a face. "What? You don't like grilled cheese? For some reason I thought you'd eat anything."

Dean smirked and chuckled. "No. No, grilled cheese is fine. Bring it, I'm starving."

She sat on the edge of the bed and handed him the plate. "Sam will be up in a minute with a drink and some drugs."

"Please tell me there's more than just these two?"

She grinned and let out a sigh of relief she didn't realize she was holding. "Yeah. All you can eat."