Wow, thanks for sticking with this!
Of course, Sam had no other choice, especially when Dean pointed out the quicker they cleared these ghosts, the quicker they could take the next step in finding their dad.
So once again, the two Winchester brothers found themselves standing on the third floor of the Mudhouse Mansion, sweeping their flashlights around the hall. The lighting was made a little better when Dean produced a battery-run camping lantern from his bag. It now cast a glow from its spot on the floor, softly illuminating the hallway.
The doors to the bedrooms stood like dark gateways around them, and Sam was secretly relieved they didn't need to venture into any of them. Instead, they took their position in the hall and waited.
"Hattie?" Sam called out. "Remember me? Come on out - please?"
"Maybe I should piss them off again," Dean suggested. "Worked last time," he said defensively when Sam shot him a dirty look.
Sam turned back to the hall. "Hattie?"
And then she was there. Sam heard a sharp intake of breath from his brother, but he ignored it, focusing on the girl staring at him.
"Hello there," he greeted softly, lowering his flashlight so it pointed straight down.
Cocking her head, the girl stepped towards him, her white gown billowing around her feet. A wave of dirty blonde hair fell behind her shoulder. She would have made a beautiful young woman, had she had the chance.
Suddenly, the lamp on the floor started blinking off and on. A look of horror passed over the girl's face as her gaze fixed on something past the two brothers. Sam looked over his shoulder, and even though he was expecting it, his heart skipped a beat when he saw the black shape.
Turning back to Hattie, he saw her running straight towards him. He steeled himself just as she was about to hit him. And then her form was gone.
Oh, Lord, help me!He was there again, right behind him stretching His cold grip towards him.Sam immediately started running, his heart jumping inside his chest.But he knew hewould never, could never escape Him; He was relentless, always showing up, always after him. Sam wanted to cry, but that never helped.
Amazingly, Sam felt some hope - an emotionhe had nearly forgotten -flicker inside him when he realized he could run faster. His legs were longer than he was used to, and their long stridescarried him farther away.
But still He loomed after him, His ragewashing coldly down Sam's back. Sam could only run and pray he would get away for once.
It was strange this time. He was after him, like He always was, but there was someone elsechasing behind him. Sam didn't know what to make of that, so he ignored it. Even if that person was good, he knew he couldn't stop Him.
But his father could. His father, safe outside. Sam had seen him, coming up the way. If he could just make it out there in time, this time. Before He catches him. He would be safe.
Sam had always been a little afraid of his father, afraid of his stinging, sudden flashes oftemper, his booming voice that pounded straight through his ribcage. But he knew his papa would protect him.
With his long legs, he flewdown the stairs, two to three amazingsteps at a time, feelingthe air rushing by him with exhilaration. He couldn't believe it, but he made it to the first floor. He felt a thrill shoot through him. Maybe he would escape this time!
He veered towards the frontdoor, but something inside of him twisted him around in the opposite direction, and he didn't have any time to fight that feeling. He was gaining on him, he could feel Him right behind him, almost on his back, never lagging.
A window loomed in front of him, and he instinctivelyknew that was the only way out. With an extra burst, he lunged for it, diving throughthe open frameand rolling onto the ground below. He thought he felt an icy touch on his feet just as he jumped, but he shook it loose.
The next instant he was on his feet again, racing through the dewy grass. "Papa!" he screamed. "Papa, help!"
And then he heard his name called out in reply. Papa! But he almost stopped, because his father's voice came from in There--the place he had forbidden him to enter, the place Sam never wanted to enter. But he had no choice this time.
"Papa!" he cried, racing up his father's portable staircase. He banged open the door. His heart swelling, he saw his father standing just inside the doorway.He was safe!
Only, his father looked strange…Darker, fuzzier, somehow.
Then his father saw him, and his face cleared into the one Sam knew. Sam could actually see his eyes again, watching as they filled with wonder.
But in the next moment, He was bursting through the door. Sam screamed in terror as his black shape billowed into the room.
In an instant, to Sam's horror, his father transformed into a cloud of darkness.His shape then lunged at Him, and they slammed together in a noiseless boom.
Sam stepped back, tears streaming down his face as he watched the two shadows struggle with each other.It was impossible totell what was happening. All he could do was call out his father's name, helpless and frightened.
Then suddenly a bright red light shot up through the darkness, shining through the floorboards underneath the two figures. The light grew brighter and larger and deeper, and Sam realized it was rising from the ground towards them until it was right under their feet and still rolling upwards.
"Papa!" he screamed, reaching for him. But he couldn't do anything as the red light suddenly engulfed the two figures.
Then the light exploded into nothing, and He and his father were gone.
He was alone.
Sam felt sobs wrack his body as he slowly sank to the floor. A wave of loneliness crashed over him and swirled around him and all he could do was let tears stream from his eyes, adding to the flood. Dimly, he was aware of another presence, pantingat the door. But it wasn't a black shadow, so it didn't matter.
"Sam?" the man asked him hesitantly, but. Sam didn't know what he wanted. He knelt on the ground, his hands clutching at the floorboard, crying, as the man walked towards him. "Sam, what's wrong?" Then he asked. "Hattie?"
Sam knewboth names and he almost looked up. But he wasdrowning in too much despair.
Heneeded his family. He didn't want to be alone anymore. And this man wasn't Papa, or Mama, or Lucy, or Peter, or John, or Sally. They had left him.
Dimly, he felt the vibrations through the floorboardsas the man came towards him. He softly laid a hand against Sam's shoulder, and for an instant, Sam thought he felt a spark of connection, of familiarity.
Startled, he looked up, pleading.
And a light caught his eye.
Sam turned towards it,the pure white brightness filling his sight. But even more lovelier, he saw his family standing within its glow.
His mother knelt down, her hair flowing free and her face smooth and clear and happy. She held out her arms, stretching them wide. Next to her, Peter urged him on, grinning that impish grin that made him Sam's favorite sibling. They were just as he had always pictured them, remembering them at their happiest.
And Sam wasn't alone or scared anymore.
Sam awoke to a bright light shining in his eyes, filling his vision.
Grimacing,he lifted up a hand to shield his eyes from the glare. "Dammit, Dean," he complained.
Dean lowered the flashlight and grinned at him.
With a groan, Sam raised himself up on his elbows and rubbed his forehead. Then he forced himself to sit up. His eyes felt weird, and when he raised a hand to rub at them, it came away wet. Memories slammed into his mind.
Sam rolled his head to look at Dean, who had a self-satisfied smirk to his face, and he knew he would never hear the end of it. Ten years from now, he would stillhave to defend himselg againstthe time he collapsed, slobbering like a baby and crying for his family. Dean would make sure the embarrassment would never leave.
But Sam knew him well enough to readpast his expression.Underneath it all, Dean looked shaken and pale.
Sam had to admit, he felt unsettled himself. The thoughts and emotions of the little girl still coursed through his veins, and it would be awhile before they faded. That sense of lonelinessembedded with those memorieswould behard to shake, and in the back of his mind, Sam could even feel the tears that still threatened to come, if he onlyallowed them.
But he had Dean there to aggravate him daily, and that would be enough. Maybeif those two teenshad someone as close as a brother to keep that depression at bay, they wouldn't have resorted to suicide. Sam knew, with Dean there, the loneliness, both phantom and real,would never completely overwhelm him.
Sam rolled his eyes and scooted towards the door. "Jerk," he muttered, dropping to the ground outside. The grass was frosty - not dewy like Hattie had imagined - and it crunched under his feet, the icy sound sending a shiver up his spine.
"Crybaby," Dean instantly retorted, falling to the ground next to him. Sam had to pull him up, and he didn't miss the wince that crossed Dean's face.
Together theystumbled their way down towards their car. At least with Dean's injuries,Sam would be allowed todrive this time.
Behind them, the empty house loomed dark and silent. Sam couldn't remember ever being so glad to leave a place.
AN: Hope you enjoyed the story, and didn't find too many glaring plot holes!(I'm biting my fingernails)Please review! I'd be incredibly and eternally grateful.
I might write a quick epilogue, but I was so excited to finish, I wanted to post this as soon as possible. Besides, I wanted to get this out there before Supernatural takes a turn and makes my story obsolete. Please warn me of any errors you've found.