Disclaimer: It depends; I don't own them in real life, but in my dreams...

Summary: Alternative ending for Provenance, so mind the spoilers! Brother's angst, nervous breakdown...I hope you like it ;-) Oh, and character's death involved (evil laugh).

Thanks to Emrys, my amazing beta, whose support and great job is priceless. She suggested I make a "grab a tissue" warning for you!

UNANSWERED CALLS

Chapter 1

Dean watched intently as the fire consumed the remains of the doll. With adrenaline still rushing through his body and with his jaw clenched, he stared as each fiber of the cursed mop of dead hair burned and volatilized in the dusty half-light of the mausoleum. He mentally sent a curse of his own to the spirit of the psycho girl who had once owned the doll and wished for her to rot in hell forever.

Sam...

Heart pounding fast, Dean jerked awake from his fire-induced trance and fumbled for his cell phone. He quickly scrolled down to Sam's number and waited tensely for a response on the other end of the line.

"C'mon..."

The tones followed one another in an even and impassive fashion that drilled through Dean's brain to his increasingly worried soul. As he desperately waited for Sam to pick up on the other end, the hunter found himself counting the ringing pulses of sound. Each time a new ring started he expected it to be the last and found himself hating the tones with all his heart when the next one shattered his hopes.

"Sam, c'mon, answer the damn phone!" he yelled into the receiver.

But no answer came. Dean shut his eyes and tried hard not to panic.

"Sammy, this is not funny."

And he failed.

"Sammy, please."

Eventually, the unanswered call was automatically cut off and the line went dead. Dean stood frozen in place for a second, and unconsciously held his breath. This couldn't be happening; he couldn't accept it. Sam had to be fine, and if he wasn't answering the phone it was because...Well, it better be for a damn good reason, one that would have them both laughing afterwards. After Dean kicked his ass for scaring the crap out of him, that is.

No, he wouldn't give up on Sam. And most importantly, not because a damn set of tones considered a call "unanswered." He would decide whether a call was unanswered or not!

Hell, there probably was a way to do that, if he ever took the time to personalize the cell phone settings.

Tossing a last, fuming look at the ashes of the doll, Dean shoved the cell inside his pocket and swore under his breath.

"I promise you, bitch, if you've done something to my brother, I'll chase you down to hell and burn you all over again."

oooooooooooooOooooooooooooo

Dean pulled over the Impala with a loud screech in front of Evelyn's house and rushed to the door with baited breath. After a couple of vain attempts to get a hold of his brother, Dean was officially terrified, and his chest ached so badly he doubted he could manage to force a single word up through his vocal chords.

"SAM!"

Well, apparently he was wrong about the whole vocal chord thing.

"SAM! SAMMY!" he yelled again, pounding on the door with his fists as hard as he could.

Unexpectedly, the hinges gave way and the door cracked open without letting out the slightest sound. Dean staggered and leaned on the doorframe for support, since the lack of oxygen from yelling was making him dizzy.

"Sammy," he whispered.

Swallowing the lump that had started to build inside his throat, Dean pushed the door and slipped cautiously into the house. All the while he made sure that his hand hovered near his gun.

"Sam?" he called. "Sam, are you there?"

Dean's voice wavered, as if the deadly silence that reigned all over the place was engulfing it. Again, he got no answer from Sam, and Dean forced himself to advance down the hall and into the corridor, where only the sound of his own, uneven breathing kept him company. When he tried to turn on the lights, he discovered there was no current, and his heart sank a bit more. Pricking up his ears in an attempt to hear any sounds coming from further inside the house, he headed for the living room, the place where the damned painting had been exposed.

Sammy, please be there.

Dean couldn't remember the last time he had prayed. But as he grabbed the gun and braced himself to turn the knob of the door, he prayed with all his heart for his little brother to be okay. He couldn't envision any other possibility, and so he fought tooth and nail against relentlessly falling into despair.

He entered the room and immediately fixed his eyes on the painting. Finding it unaltered and safely motionless, Dean released part of the tension he was feeling. However, his anxiousness peaked as soon as he tossed a look around and realized that the room was completely trashed.

"Damn…" he breathed.

There was furniture knocked over and scattered all around, and the crunching sound of his steps told him that there were numerous pieces of shattered glass covering the floor. Frightened of the kind of power that could have caused such devastation, Dean tightened the grip on his gun and stepped forward, all the while scanning the room nervously as he advanced deeper into the gloom. Suddenly, he thought he saw something moving out of the corner of his eye, and gun in hand, he turned around in one fluid movement.

At first, he didn't see anything. He just stood there, grinding his teeth and grabbing the gun so hard that his knuckles started to turn white. But as his eyes grew accustomed to the poor lighting a huge object—was that a piano?—caught his attention. The object was abnormally drawn up against a wrecked glass cabinet that was slumping forwards so that it rested unstably against the edge of the furniture. Trying to spot whatever it was that he had seen moving in the first place, Dean eyed the scene. Then, he spotted something… no, someone sprawled awkwardly on the floor, in between the piano and the cabinet, over a pool of blood. His eyes lingered on the form, and his heart skipped a beat when he was able to make out a familiar face under the long, honey-brown bangs of hair.

Sammy…

TBC

I won't be too mean: next chapter in a couple of days! Please, review!