Chapter 2: No One's There

It had been two weeks since Sam had shot Dean with rock salt, and eleven days since Sam got a mysterious phone call that he suspected had been his father. He hadn't told Dean about the call. Sam had tried to trace it but had had no luck. He figured mentioning it to Dean would just cause more trouble between them.

For the past two weeks Sam had tried to back off and not get on Dean's case so much. The truth was, even though Dean had forgiven Sam for what happened in the Asylum, Sam had yet to forgive himself.

So for two weeks now Sam had refrained from arguing with Dean. He did the laundry without complaining, he listened to Dean's music, and he had even hustled pool while Dean was recuperating in the motel. When Dean said they had a job to do he went along with it. He knew Dean had noticed something was different, but honestly he didn't know what else to do to make it up to Dean. Having and heart to heart conversation was out, so he showed he cared with his actions.

Dean parked the car in front of the now abandoned Brice House. The house was supposedly haunted with a malevolent spirit. Several teens had been attacked while sneaking into the place for a little fun and illegal drinking. The same thing had happened two years ago and two kids to got killed. This time no one died, but a girl was in the hospital still in a coma.

"You ready?" Dean asked Sam. Once again Sam seemed to be a million miles away. "Earth to Sammy?" Dean called as he snapped his fingers. Sam flinched and looked at him.

"I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"I asked if you were ready."

"Oh, yeah, of course," Sam said and grabbed for the door handle. He was surprised when Dean put his hand on his arm and stopped him.

"Sam, what's going on?" Dean asked.

"I…I don't know what you mean?" Sam looked genuinely confused. "Did I do something wrong?"

"No," Dean said with a sigh. "You never do anything wrong anymore. You don't complain, you don't roll your eyes at me, you never change the radio station, and you don't talk about Dad anymore."

"Then what's wrong?" Sam asked.

"That's what's wrong," Dean scoffed. "Sam, it's like you're only half alive."

"I'm…I…I was just trying to not give you such a hard time. I thought you'd be grateful."

"I appreciate the gesture," Dean said, "but I…I miss you." He grimaced as if saying the words out loud had actually caused him physical pain.

Sam shook his head from side to side. "I don't understand. I'm right here."

"No, you're not," Dean said. "Sammy left the building the day the mad doctor messed with his head."

"You mean the day I shot you," Sam snapped.

"Okay, I thought we had this conversation already. It wasn't you. I don't blame you."

"Yes you did," Sam said. "I was there, remember. I wasn't strong enough to fight it and you blamed me for every word that came out of my mouth."

"Sam, at that moment I was pissed off," Dean agreed. "I hurt like hell and I just needed time to stew for a while. That was two weeks ago though. I'm over it. I'm so over it. If I had any lingering doubt, watching you mope around and kiss my ass for two weeks put it right out of my head."

"I haven't been kissing your ass," Sam defended.

"Please, you've now hustled pool twice and played poker once, something you NEVER would have done a few weeks ago."

"We needed money and you were hurt. I did what was necessary."

"Sam, I'm fine. I'm not mad at you, and believe it or not, I miss arguing with you. The old Sam had spirit. This new Sam, well, to be perfectly honest, you're boring the hell out of me."

Sam sat there looking at him slack-jawed. He couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"Close your mouth before a bug flies in there," Dean cautioned.

Sam snapped his jaw shut but continued to stare at Dean.

"Dude, really. I've let it go, and I'm asking you to do the same. I want my pain in the ass, exasperating, and down right annoying baby brother back. So are we cool, or what?"

Sam finally cracked a smile. It was the first one he had made since that horrible night. "Yeah, we're cool."

"Good, glad to hear it. Now, let's go in there and kick some evil thing's ass."

"You know, we really should do a bit more research on this place before we go in," Sam said. "I mean, we might not even need to go in. If we research the house and find out who this is, we can just go straight to the cemetery and salt and burn. The library isn't far. We can wait till tomorrow."

"Sam, remember what I said about missing my annoying little brother," Dean asked.


"Forget I mentioned it!" Dean grabbed his shot gun and got out of the car. Sam just smiled and followed behind his big brother.