**Sam and Dean decide to set up camp in an old farmhouse that is said to be haunted, but find things are not always what they seem**

**This is a contest entry for nightmares06. It's a one shot using her Brother's Apart AU and an OC of my own.**

It was evening when the Winchester brothers pulled up to the deserted farmhouse. It was towards the edge of town in the countryside, unseen from the road, tucked away in the woods surrounding it. The long dirt driveway diverting from the main road was mostly hidden, but the rusty mailbox leaning slightly to the left clued them in that they had found it.

The brothers were in between cases and were passing through town when they decided to stop and eat supper at the diner here before getting a room at a motel for the night. Their plans changed when they overheard a group of teens making future plans to spend the night at a haunted house nearby. This had prompted Dean to ask them some questions while Sam listened in his pocket, getting the information they needed in order to come here tonight.

Dean shut of the engine and pocketed the keys, careful not to jolt the shoulder Sam was now perched on. "Well, not much of a case really, but it's something," Dean said, turning his head slightly towards where Sam sat. He couldn't see him at this angle, but the slight shifts Sam made let him know he was there.

"Those kids didn't seem to have that much information about it," Sam replied, holding onto the collar of Dean's jacket to steady himself as Dean reached to the backseat to gather his duffle bag. "I think it's more of a ghost story the local teens tell to scare each other than the real deal."

"Same here," Dean grunted, pulling the duffle bag over to the front seat. He popped the trunk and slid out of the car, heading over to add more items to the bag. "No deaths besides the previous owner about a month or two ago- and even that was just from old age so it's not very significant. Just the occasional scare from scratching noises, flickering lights, and that one kid said someone heard, moaning?" He frowned down at the weapons in the trunk, trying to decide which ones they would need. He grabbed the shotgun loaded with salt rounds, the EMF, a bag of salt, and a few other items just in case.

Sam watched thoughtfully as Dean made his selection. "Which could all be from overactive imaginations." He added. He wasn't sure how helpful he would be if this was a ghost case…It was mostly your basic salt and burn gig, and Sam hated the thought that Dean might have to do all the work. He sighed, as usual his size left him at a disadvantage in cases like these, but he'd find a way to help.

"Probably. But I'm glad we're checking it out just in case. I'd hate to have some stupid kid on a dare die at a place we passed up because it didn't sound legit enough." He slammed the lid of the trunk down. "And hey, it's a free place to stay," He joked, slightly bumping his shoulder up to tease Sam, smirking when he felt a light punch on his neck in return.

Sam flinched slightly at the sound of the trunk being shut but recovered just in time to be shaken by his brother's movement. He steadied himself and gave Dean's neck a punch. "Jerk," He said before getting more comfortable.

"Bitch," Dean replied without hesitation. He zipped up the duffle bag and hoisted it up. "Ready?" He asked Sam.

"Yeah," Sam replied while adjusting his bag so it would hang more comfortably on his shoulder. "Let's go ghost hunting."

At that Dean walked around the impala and towards the front porch. The sun was low in the sky but they could still see around fine. The wooden stairs creaked under Dean's weight as he made his way up them, pausing to take in their surroundings before opening the door. The hinges creaked loudly when Dean finally got it open with a little extra pressure, and then they were in the house.

Dust motes floated lazily around them in the stale air. The house definitely had an eerie feeling to it, as most forgotten places tend to have. After a quick scan, Dean trudged over to the kitchen table and laid his duffle bag on top. Sam took the opportunity to quickly scale down his brothers arm to get to the table himself.

Dean stiffened slightly when he felt Sam moving, not wanting to throw him off as he made the decent to the table. Once Sam had made it, Dean unzipped the duffle bag and started unpacking the necessities.

Sam glanced around, noticing it was getting darker. He walked towards the duffle bag, kicking up a thick layer of dust as he went. This was definitely going to coat his clothes. He held in a sneeze. "So what's the game plan?" He asked, eyes watering.

Dean looked over at Sam, "First I need to figure out how to get the lights on. Then we can do a check of the house to see if there's any spooky ghost energy." He paused to pat his jean pockets in search of something. "I got something…" Dean rummaged around in a pocket before producing a small salt packet he had nabbed at the diner. "Here," He held it out to Sam, "this is for you. If anything goes wrong-"

"I know, make a salt circle." He took the salt packet from Dean's pinched fingers with two hands. Although it was smaller than a sugar packet it would awkward for him to carry around, but it would come in handy if he was separated from Dean and anything came up. He checked it over, noticing that ripping it open would be fairly easy when needed; this was a good idea. "Thanks, Dean." Sam said up to his brother.

"No problem," he grunted back, rechecking everything they had. "Now we just need to find out if this place is really haunted."

As if on cue, the lights came on, momentarily startling the brothers before their instincts went on high alert. Sam gripped his salt packet and Dean grabbed for his gun, his left hand protectively coming close to Sam just in case. They both stiffened, waiting.

The lights flickered, once, twice, before finally going out again, leaving only the setting sun to light the room again.

After a minute of silence, nothing else happened. Sam pushed Dean's hand away from him so he could see around better without it blocking his view. "Well, I guess that answers that question." He muttered loud enough for Dean to hear.

"Right." Dean stated, voice low. He frowned at the space around them, intense green eyes searching for any tiny hint of danger before obliging to move his hand all the way away from Sam. "Let's have a look around then," he said while picking up the EMF in his left hand, keeping the shotgun loaded with salt rounds ready in his right.

Sam climbed back up to Dean's shoulder. It was a more difficult climb now that Sam had the salt packet in one hand, but he made it up safely. Not that he had any reason to worry about falling when he was around Dean, whose lightning fast reflexes would be at the ready if Sam ever had a misstep, but that was something both brothers didn't want to test out again.

"Ready," He chimed once he was stationed next to Dean's neck.

"Alright, let's see…" Dean held up the EMF, watching the dial and listening to the light squawking noise it made as it checked for ghost hot spots.

They searched the whole downstairs, but there was no sign of ghost activity. "Odd." Dean muttered, furrowing his brow.

"The air didn't get cold when the lights flickered either," Sam said thoughtfully, thinking back to earlier.

"You're right…" Dean checked the EMF again, still nothing. "Let's check upstairs then." He made his way up the stairs, ascending carefully. He was a huge human, but years of hunter training taught him how to move smooth and soundlessly. "It could just be faulty wiring or something, but until we stake out the whole place, we need to stay on alert."

Once they reached the second landing Dean did another EMF sweep around by the stairs, still not getting any readings. He grumbled in frustration at the lack of progress.

"Let's split up," Sam piped up from where he sat. "I'll go through the walls and see if I can find anything, and you can search the rest of the rooms."

"What? No." Dean replied hastily. His brother was an adult and could hold his own, but he couldn't help thinking back to when they split up that other time and the fire sprites had attacked. He almost hadn't made it in time when Sam was escaping Ilyana. He almost got hurt, on Dean's watch. He couldn't stand the thought of something like that happening again. "We don't know what we're dealing with here, it might be nothing, but we can't be so sure yet."

"It's okay," Sam said reassuringly. He was used to his brother's overprotectiveness, he could be extremely stubborn, but he knew Dean would never keep him anywhere against his will. "I have my salt packet, remember? I know what to do. Besides, I'm feeling restless here." He didn't want to say that he was feeling unhelpful too, he wanted to be doing something, and checking for any clues in the walls was a way he could contribute.

Dean sighed, unhappily giving in to his brother's request. "Fine." He grunted, squatting down and extending his arm so Sam could climb to the floor. "Just…Be careful, okay?"

"Always am." Sam replied once he was ground level with Dean's boots. He shuffled backwards when Dean stood up to his full height and cast a worried look down at his brother. Seeing Dean from this perspective was always unnerving for Sam, he was just so big, even after all this time together it was still hard to wrap his brain around. He pushed his nerves down and gave a reassuring smile back up at Dean, Dean who would never do anything to hurt Sam, ever. He gave a little salute and turned away, jogging towards the wall across from him, looking for an entrance.

Dean watched as his brother made his way over to the wall, eventually slipping in through an entry Dean hadn't even noticed. He let out another sigh and checked the EMF again. He had to admit it was a good plan if they wanted to cover more ground. Sam was really good at finding small, important clues that Dean would've missed if he was on his own. He just wished he could go with Sam for backup, but of course, he had a size disadvantage when it came to Sam's world.

He watched the dial as he made his way into a bigger bedroom, still not getting anything. The room was even dustier and staler than downstairs, if that was even possible. He doubted that the woman who lived here had been able to come up the stairs at her old age, so this floor had been forgotten. A comforter that smelled of cotton balls lay over a queen size bed that was set against the left wall, a closet was at its foot. Worn furniture had white sheets hanging over them to help preserve them from the thick dust that coated everything.

The natural lighting was only dimly making its way through the window, so Dean checked the light switch to see if it happened to be working, and was surprised to find it did. As light flooded the area Dean heard a squeak of surprise coming from the right side of the room. With hunter instincts on high Dean swiveled quickly to face where the noise had come from, shotgun raised at the ready. A small shadow dashed along the baseboard of the wall, Dean darted towards it.

The shadow kept running but Dean was upon it instantly, his long strides taking him across the room in no time. He crashed down onto his knees, casting the EMF and shotgun to the side to free his hands. The figure came more into view as it tripped, finding itself in the corner of the walls. Suddenly Dean stopped abruptly, registering exactly what he was chasing.