Sanford Ellicott was nothing if not a patient spirit. He was used to biding his time, looking for an opening, and waiting for the best moment to strike. He watched the two young men and the two teenagers as they worked out their plan, and waited for the three youngest to disappear around the corner before following the lone man deeper into the asylum. He laughed to himself, knowing the futility of their actions. There wasn't an exit to be found, and there was no way that four wet-behind-the-ears kids were going to be able to stop him.
Dean cursed under his breath as he hurried toward room 137. He hated to split up again, but he couldn't see another choice. If those damned stupid kids hadn't been running around the place, he was sure that he and Sam would've been done by now. Or, at least, they'd still be together. He hoped that Sam wouldn't run into any trouble that he couldn't handle.
Finding the room and the hidden journal, Dean settled down to flip through it, looking for any hints of what could have happened there to provoke a riot. He grimaced at the notes and pictures. That doctor was one sick bastard. No wonder the patients fought back.
Hearing a noise behind him, he turned, but didn't see anyone there. "Getting jumpy, aren't you?" He mumbled to himself, turning back to the book. He found a reference to a lab in the basement of the asylum, and ran his finger under the words, re-reading. "Got it!" he exclaimed, slamming the book shut and jumping to his feet. As he turned around, he saw a flash of movement, but didn't have time to react before Dr. Ellicott grabbed his head. He felt pain as the doctor pushed his way into his head, then a terrifying loss of control as the invading spirit took over his body. He could see what was happening – his senses were intact – and he could feel the doctor rifling through his thoughts, but he couldn't react as he felt himself pushed out of the way into a small corner of his own mind.
Dr. Ellicott reveled in the strength of the body he inhabited. Picking up the shotgun that his host – he searched the mind for a name and came up with Dean Winchester – had laid aside, he went looking for the other trespassers. A little more digging produced their names as well, two relative strangers and a little brother.
"Oh, Sammy," he crooned, stepping out into the hallway. "Big brother's coming."
The three kids were clustered together near one of the exits. Like lambs to the slaughter, he thought. Stepping into view, he lifted the shotgun and pointed it at the brother. "Sammy," he said softly, "I'm ho-ome."
Sam turned and looked at his brother, shock and realization on his face. He moved his hands out from his sides, still holding his own shotgun, but not pointing it yet. "Dean, you don't want to do this. Something's messing with your head." He moved slowly in front of the two teenagers, protecting them as best he could.
"You're messing with my head, Sammy. All that whining and complaining. I can't listen to that shit anymore. Why don't you just grow up?"
Sam just stared at him. Dean's face was set and his eyes were cold. There was no sign of the big brother that he was used to. "Dean, please, you have to fight this. I don't want to have to hurt you," he said desperately.
Dean smirked, "Try it. I always win Sam. I always will." He adjusted his hands on the shotgun and his finger tightened on the trigger. Sam willed himself to bring his own weapon up, knowing that he was already too late, but froze when he saw an expression of anger and confusion on his brother's face. Dean's shotgun clattered to the floor.
Dean watched from inside his head as the doctor threatened his brother, but when he felt the spirit's intention to shoot Sam he gathered his fear and anger around himself as a weapon and lashed out, fighting for all he was worth.
Ellicott was used to some resistance from his subjects, but they almost always gave up and resigned themselves to their fate. He was completely taken by surprise when his host attacked him, forcing him back momentarily.
"Sammy," Dean hissed, struggling to maintain control. "You've got to tied me up and go find the bones. There's a secret room in the basement. Hurry up! I can't hold him much longer."
Sam leaped forward and grabbed his brother's arms, subduing him. "Gavin, Kat, belts, shoelaces, whatever you can find! Quick!" He used his own belt to secure his brother's arms, then grabbed his shoulders, looking into his eyes. "Dean? Where in the basement?"
Dean laughed. It was an ugly sound, and Sam knew that his brother was gone again. "You'll never find it, little boy."
Pushing his brother aside, Sam turned to the two teenagers. "Tie him up and watch him. I'll be back as soon as I can." Grabbing up a shotgun, he ran off down the hall.
Ellicott was angry. He hadn't felt fear in … longer than he could remember. And now these stupid men, boys really, had come, and they were endangering everything that he had worked so hard on. He pushed away from the body he was inhabiting, intent on following the younger brother, but found himself trapped. This was a new experience too. His hosts were usually dead or dying when he left them, and those that were still aware were always glad to see him go. But this mind – this boy – was fighting to hold on to him, to give his brother time to find his lab and burn his bones. He fought back furiously and finally managed to tear away, bursting out of the boy's mouth and nose in a spray of blood. He was satisfied to hear a scream of pain from his host as he disappeared around the corner.
Dean shouted in pain as the doctor broke free from his body. As he struggled to regain his senses, he felt blood running down his chin and saw the terrified expressions on the faces of Gavin and Kat. Gavin was staring at him, while his girlfriend was looking down the hall after the doctor's spirit.
"Gavin, untie me!" Dean shouted hoarsely. When the teenager didn't move, he looked to Kat. "Kat, he's going after Sam, you've got to untie me now!"
She blinked and moved quickly to his side, pulling him free of his bindings. She brushed Gavin off when he asked, "Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"We just saw that thing get away," she pointed out.
Dean climbed unsteadily to his feet. It felt like his head was about to explode. Maybe that's because it just did, he thought crazily. "You guys stay right here. I've got to go help Sam." He took a few steps and tipped dizzily into the wall.
"Dean, I don't think…" Kat started.
"Just wait here," he ordered, using the wall to prop himself up and following it around the corner.
Dean staggered and stumbled his way to the basement, calling for Sam. His fear grew each time his brother failed to answer his calls. Blinking rapidly in an attempt to clear his tunnel vision, he set out to find the secret room. He tripped and almost fell, turning back to see their duffel bag of supplies on the floor. "Sammy?" he tried one more time. There was still no answer.
Dragging the bag with him, Dean entered a small empty room. Closer examination of one wall revealed what had to be a secret door. He leaned against it, marshalling his strength to try to break through.
At the sound of a throat clearing, Dean whirled around to see his brother standing behind him.
"Sammy," he said in relief.
"I'm afraid not." The answer came in his brother's voice, and there was a little smile on his face, but the expression didn't reach his eyes as he brought his shotgun up, leveling it at Dean's chest.
"Sam, I know you can fight it," Dean said desperately.
"I'm sorry, boy," the thing in his brother's body told him, almost pleasantly. "I made a mistake with you that I'm not going to repeat. Your brother can't even hear you now." Cocking his head to the side, he studied Dean carefully before continuing. "It kind of takes the fun out of it when the subject isn't aware of what he's doing, but who would have thought that you boys would be so strong? Why is that, do you think?"
Dean stared at him blankly, struggling with his aching head and the concept of Sam's possession. Ellicott shrugged Sam's shoulders. "I guess it isn't important," he said, pulling the trigger of the shotgun, sending Dean tumbling through the wall.
Dean returned to his senses to see Sam – no, Ellicott, he reminded himself – standing over him. "What do you think," the doctor asked conversationally, "if I use your brother to kill you, will he take his own life? I'm not really sure. He has a lot of issues with you, a lot of anger, you know?"
Glaring at him, Dean struggled for breath, gasping out his answer, "He'll fucking kill your ass!"
Sam's face turned reflective as the doctor pondered the answer, and Dean chose that moment to strike, knocking him aside and hitting him hard in the jaw. He braced himself, expecting the doctor to leave his brother's unconscious body and attack his mind, but apparently once had been enough. Clutching his chest with one arm, Dean grabbed the duffel bag with the other, staggering around the room, searching for the bones. He hit pay dirt, finding them in a small cabinet, partially decomposed and really smelly. He gagged as he covered them with salt and lighter fluid.
The doctor must have decided that an external attack would be safer than another trip into his head. A rolling cart slammed into his side, knocking the wind out of him and reigniting the pain in his chest. He reached for the lighter as the doctor materialized in front of him, and could sense the spirit's desperation as it latched onto his head once again. In spite of the pain in his head and chest, the second fight was easier, although he was relieved when the bones went up in flames and the doctor pulled away. Sam was stirring next to him, and he turned his aching body to his brother in concern.
Sam met his eyes for a minute then, taking in his injuries, looked away guiltily. "Yeah."
"Good," Dean answered. He struggled to his feet, shakily, fighting the blackness around the edges of his vision. "Let's get the hell out of here."
Dean leaned against the Impala, letting his brother do the talking as they sent the teenagers on their way. His head was pounding in time with his heartbeat. He heard Sam call his name, and lifted his head to look at him.
"I'm really sorry. I didn't mean…"
"Sammy, I know. It wasn't you back there. Can we do this later? It feels like someone's playing pinball in my head." He turned away and felt his way along the car. Tossing the bag in the back seat, he lowered himself gingerly into the driver's seat, grasping the steering wheel in a death grip as he clenched his jaw against the pain. Sam stood outside for a minute before joining him. The brothers sat in the car together for a minute. They were only a few feet apart, but each was alone; Dean with his pain, and Sam with his guilt. Reaching down, Dean started the car and pulled away from the asylum.