Disclaimer : Not mine, although the cheque is in the mail

Set after Faith.

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Chapter One

She could see the light in front of her, bright, shining, hope. Light could signify so much to those whose life was bathed in darkness. She tried to run faster but the faster her feet moved the slower the ground passed.

Her outstretched arms found nothing but air to hold, air and hope became the same, trying to breathe in both she started to choke. This was not a game anymore, this was no longer a dream from which she would wake any second. They had seen to that.

Her screams would never be heard.

Would her blood ever be found?

Would her body ever be buried?

Would she even be remembered?

A strange feeling of acceptance flowed through her body, her feet began to move as slow as the ground beneath her, her breath caught up with her heart and she began to feel tired and resigned. She was going to die, even if she escaped this time, they would come after her again and again until she could bear it no more and her mind and soul imploded into one another.

She stopped running. Her nightgown stuck to her with sweat, becoming one with her skin. She felt a breeze from behind and swung around, everything around her seemed to be hiding, the shadows hung back like cats preparing to pounce. She could hear a child crying far, far away, but it was no child. It was them. They was mocking her own cries in the darkness, they were ready for her now, their fun was had.

She closed her eyes as her body turned inside out and then was sucked in on itself like an explosion underwater, except without the evidence of anything having taken place.

The childlike voice stopped crying and began to laugh as the stranger walked from the alley. He paused to look out at the street ahead, people passing in a hurry. Night is not a good time to be out alone he thought, a smile crossed his face and he licked his lips, a tear rolled down his cheek and with one finger he gently wiped his face, his finger came away black. He wiped the rest of the blackness away with a tissue and turned onto the street.

Revenge was to be had, now he needed to find a new player in his game. She needed the game as much as he did. He couldn't stop, she wouldn't allow him. As he walked down the street he smiled at all who walked passed him.

Looking for the next one to make his own.

Dawn was always a favourite time for Sam, he sat outside the motel, feet in the gutter as he watched the sky turn from black to deep purple, purple to red, red to a brightness that he had to shield from his eyes. This was his routine, his alone, to watch as the night sky was burned into memory by the coming of the new day. A new hope. The colours bathed across the growing blue of the sky, the red began to recede as if the sun was draining into the distant sea somewhere deep in the horizon.

Sam sat and soaked up the experience, allowed his deep breath's to reach his soul, he closed his eyes and sighed as the warmth found it's way the millions of miles from the sun, through space, past planets, penetrating the atmosphere and roaming past clouds and mountains, sea's and valleys, to his small place by the curb.

Every morning he'd awaken at 5am, had done since Jess had died, and every morning he'd find himself outside. What had begun as a retreat from painful dreams and memories had become something which allowed his mind to wonder, to remember, to open up and not fall apart. It had taken time, but there was something soothing about his routine that had helped to heal the gaping wound which had threatened infection, threatened to eat him alive. Through this ritual and Dean's patience he had come to a point where remembering didn't hurt.

As much.

From the open door of the motel Sam heard his brother stirring, after a long drive they'd arrived here in Minnesota to investigate a string of disappearances, apparently linked to several reported stalkings. The news article had simply stated that twelve people, seven women and five men, had all disappeared at some point during the past year. All had complained to friends, co-workers, one to the police, that they were being watched, being stalked. Yet without hard evidence or a suspect to question the police could do little.

Sam hoped he and Dean could do more.

"Sammy?"

"Out here"

"Close the friggin door man, it's freezing"

And there endeth the watching of sunrise.

"Sorry man"

Sam smirked as Dean uncurled himself from the blankets and sat up, his hair stood up at bizarre angles and his eyes squinted as he tried to chase the sleep from his body.

"What time is it?"

"Almost 6"

Dean scratched his head and yawned hard enough to crack his jaw. He watched Sam move over to the desk, watched him switch on the laptop and begin the arduous task of researching, arduous, unless you were a geek brother.

"You get any coffee?"

"No, not yet man"

"Sam, if you're gonna insist on getting up this early the least you can do is get me coffee"

"I thought we'd grab some breakfast at the diner across the street before we looked into this thing"

"Oh you did?"

Sam smirked as Dean's stomach gave an appreciative grumble. Dean rubbed his pet absently and headed for the bathroom.

"So twelve people go missing, no explanation and the police say they're unrelated"

"Dude say it, don't spray it!"

Sam wiped his brothers eggs off of his shirt dramatically as Dean raised his eyebrows and opened his mouth for Sam's viewing pleasure.

"That's gross"

"Didn't make ya look Sammy"

"Anyway, twelve missing, the police I'm guessing don't want to panic anyone so are saying they're unrelated"

"But.."

"But I called , spoke to Officer Watkins who told me that he'd be glad for the FBI to get involved as they think it's a serial abductor"

"Please let me be Mulder"

"No man, you were Mulder last time, and anyway, from the looks on the guys faces last time those names aren't gonna work anymore"

"You're just pissed that you had to be Scully"

Office Billy Watkins sat at his desk appraising the two FBI agents across from him of the situation. It had been a hell of a month for him, not only had Reg, his trusty German Shepherd, died after running out into the road, but he'd had a stack of work to do thanks to these people vanishing, plus Martha wanted more money per month, the lawyers were loving that one, not only did they help her get custody of Jake but now they wanted him to pay almost double per month to help support him.

Bullshit.

Martha had a new man on the scene, and from what Billy had heard the guy had no job, didn't want a job, and pretty much just moved from one relationship to another depending on how much money he could get out of it. But would Martha listen? No she would not, instead she was going to make a fool out of herself while she bled Billy dry to support her deadbeat new lover.

Well, he'd see who'd have the last laugh in that one, if he didn't go bankrupt first.

Billy placed the crime scene photo's across the table, all showed blood trails leading to the living rooms from the bedrooms, leading out the front doors and ending in the middle of the street. The blood trails showed droplets, evenly spaced and no evidence of pooling. Whatever took the people from the street did it quickly.

FBI Special Agent Picard leaned forward and studied the photo of the blood path in the street. He turned the picture around, trying to discern a pattern. There was none.

"Anything else Officer?"

"Well, we think this guy must have been watching these people before breaking in. We're guessing it's gotta be two guys, one breaking in and grabbing the victim, the other waiting in the street. Although none of the neighbours remember seeing a car"

"You have leads? Any at all?"

"All I can tell ya is that whoever this guy, or guys are, they know what they are doing, they're in and out of the bedrooms in no time, although the blood trail seems to suggest that the victims walked outside, we have no evidence of any other footprints in the front gardens of the houses other than that of the victims"

"What about the back gardens?"

"We haven't checked that yet"

"Don't you think you ought to get a move on"

Officer Watkins sat up straighter and leaned forward slightly, ready to defend himself against the accusation being implied.

Special Agent Riker kicked Agent Picard under the desk as he decided now was as good a time as any to take over this conversation.

"Sir, do you have any thoughts on this, other than what you've told us?"

Dean watched as Sam used his puppy dog eyes, Officer Watkins, although appearing to be a gruff old war horse, softened considerably and sighed before sitting back in his chair. He deliberately ignored Dean.

"Listen son, we don't even know if this guy was in the houses. To be honest the only evidence we have is one broken window. There's no sign inside of an intruder, family members have checked and say nothing obvious is missing, there was no sign of struggle yet there's blood leading outside which suddenly stops as if the victims just disappeared into thin air. Poof"

Billy made a gesture with his hands to reinforce his point, he looked like a magician to Dean, but he decided keeping his mouth shut on that comment would probably be the wisest thing.

"Listen, I really don't know what to think, all this, it's way out of my league. Some of the things I've heard, I don't have a clue what to think about"

"Things like what?" Asked Sam as he leant further forward.

"One of the friends of the last victim, said she kept calling her in the middle of the night, crying and screaming about seeing things"

"What things?"

"A child, in the street"

"You got the name of this friend?"