Dean squirmed uncomfortably, not sure what to do next or what to expect 'Bryce' to do. Instead he just watched the young boy closely, ready to defend himself if need be.
"Bryce, put the knife down." Dean replied softly, taking another step back.
"Get out of the boathouse first." Bryce snapped.
"I can't do that, there's something I have to do."
"You're going to take our doll away. Why would you do that when Ben gave it to us?"
"Ben didn't give you the doll, he put it away for safekeeping until later. And now is later so I'll just go in and get it and come back out then we can all go away happy, how's that sound?" Dean asked.
"He gave it to us! And now you wanna take it away!"
"Now girls, just listen, the doll belongs to Olivia. She wants it back so she can go away and she won't come and get the doll because she's afraid of you."
Bryce blinked a few times and then smiled, but the smile was soon replaced by a look of anguish and the young boy screamed out as Dean saw a dark cloud of mist rise from his body before the young child went rigid. The knife clattered to the damp ground, making no sound and Bryce collapsed. Dean started to rush forward, but was stopped by what seemed like and invisible wall. He reached a hand out and quickly pulled it back with a shout when small cuts littered his palm.
"What the hell? Sammy, check Bryce!" Dean shouted and the youngest Winchester, who had already been moving toward the young boy, dropped to his knees on the ground and felt for a pulse. He found one beating strongly beneath his fingertips and nodded to Dean who breathed a sigh of relief.
Dean turned away and rushed back into the boathouse to continue pulling floorboards up in search of Lola, the doll that seemed to be the key to the hauntings. He had to find that doll and then he felt that Riverside would settle down and this would be one week of camp that the children would never forget.
The oldest brother rushed across the boards that led to the opposite side. He dropped to his knees and tore up another floorboard, then another and another before he felt one of the torn up boards strike him in the back. He went down, face first and his eyes clouded with pain while his body was left breathless. His expression tensed as he tried to fight off the ache and he shook his head in an attempt to gather his composure once again.
He saw a shadow under the last floorboard he'd pulled up and grabbed the next one over, weakly yanking it out of place to reveal a dusty, torn and damp old doll. He reached for it and felt a sharp pain in his wrist as though it hand just been snapped back. He winced and got to his knees to crawl closer to the doll. Another shot of pain struck his wrist and he yelped at the feel of bones grinding together.
With a single, deep breath he thrust his hand forward and closed his fingers around the neck of the doll. All at once his entire body was overcome with pain and he felt someone trying to pry his fingers apart. He refused to give in despite the discomfort and he slowly withdrew from the open floor, got shakily to his feet and staggered over the bridge, nearly falling into the river twice. He hit the ground on his knees just before reaching the door and pressed on. He could feel the cool night air gusting in at him and he crawled out, collapsing upon escaping the boathouse. He lay on the ground, panting and in pain as he clutched the doll tighter in his hand.
"Dean!" Sam shouted and sprinted to where his brother lay on the ground. Bryce was just waking up not two feet away.
A horrific screaming blasted through the air from inside the building that Dean had just crawled out of.
"I got it." Dean panted as the pain slowly started to dwindle away. There was nothing that Jill or Jenna could do now, the doll was gone. The shouts of the girls slowed and silenced and a feeling of peace settled over the grounds and Dean knew the two girls were gone.
"Is Bryce okay?" Dean asked shakily as he struggled to get to his feet and go to the child.
"He's fine, take a look." Sam replied with a smile and pointed to where Bryce was picking himself up off of the ground.
"Good." Dean sighed.
"Dean!" Came a high pitched voice. Dean turned to see Olivia running toward him with a large smile on her face.
"You got Lola back and you made Jill and Jenna go away!" Olivia squeaked.
"You betcha." Dean stated tiredly. The young girl held out her hands for her doll and Dean couldn't help, but smile at her attitude. He handed the toy over and Olivia embraced it with a small squeal of delight.
"Dean, you saved her! Thank you!" Olivia stated and before Dean could say another word she vanished in a ray of light and Dean saw William do the same just behind her.
"Wow, that was quick." Dean spoke in disbelief, but nonetheless he was happy that it was over and a quick glance to his brother told him that Sam was glad as well.
"What happened?" Bryce asked. He was now standing next to Dean with a perplexed look on his face.
"I'll tell you about it on the way back to the cabin." Dean replied and offered his hand to the boy who took it eagerly and followed him back to the dining hall where the other boys and Ben were awaiting their return.
"Mom, you'll never believe what happened!" Timothy shouted when he saw his mother walking across the campgrounds toward the softball field where Sam and Dean were enjoying a last minute game of softball with the children they had been responsible for all week.
"I won't will I?" Timothy's mother smirked.
"Nope, Riverside is haunted by like five ghosts! Well, it was haunted, but Sam and Dean made the ghosts go away!" The boy chattered excitedly.
"I see. It sounds like you guys were told one too many scary campfire stories." The woman smiled at the brothers who returned the expression with a shrug.
"Let's go and get your stuff packed in the car, your dad's waiting for us."
"Okay." Timothy replied.
"Come over here and say good bye." Dean smirked and wasn't a bit surprised when Timothy ran to him and gave him a hug, he was expecting it actually.
The child turned and gave Sam a hug as well and then turned back to Dean.
"I guess she doesn't believe how brave you were, but I do." Timothy smiled at Dean and then scampered off after his mother.
"Thanks buddy." Dean whispered after him.
Sam, Dean and Ben sat on the front steps of the director's cabin watching the final children, Bryce being the last of the children from Sam and Dean's cabin to leave, playing a game of tag.
"It's amazing how adaptable kids are." Ben replied.
"What do you mean?" Dean questioned.
"Look at Bryce, after all he's been through this week it doesn't even seem to have phased him, he's already forgotten. I sometimes wish I could do the same and forget the nasty history this campground has."
"He hasn't forgotten, he's just accepted what happened and moved on and you should do the same. Riverside's fine now and what happened in the past should stay in the past."
"Fair enough, but it's not that easy to just move on."
"We know better than anybody, but what's happened is done and over with and there's nothing that can change it now." Sam replied.
"Thanks for everything you did for this place and I really think the kids look up to you. Will you be coming back to work next summer?" Ben asked hopefully.
"No, probably not, it's time for us to move on, our job's done." Dean stated.
"Well, you know where to find us if you decide to come back. Maybe this time we'll get through a week without injury." Ben smirked, noting the various cuts and bruises covering the exposed skin of both brothers plus himself.
"Mom!" Bryce shouted and ran to the woman coming towards them.
"Hey hun, did you enjoy your week?" Bryce's mother replied.
"You bet! Sam and Dean are the best counselors ever! And Ben's the best camp chief!" Bryce exclaimed.
"Does that mean you won't fight me next year when I sign you up for camp?"
"I wanna come back every year!" Bryce grinned.
"We'll see what we can do, now go say goodbye to your...oh wow, it looks like you three have been through the war." Bryce's mother replied in surprise as her eyes traveled over the three men.
"Just the dangers of camp, ma'am." Ben smiled.
"You didn't get any of those nasty bruises did you?" She asked, turning back to Bryce.
"Nope! Sam and Dean protected me!" Bryce stated.
"I can see that and it looks like Ben protected you too."
"Go say good bye and let's get home okay buddy?" Bryce's mother watched her son go to the three men and give each of them a hug, careful not to aggravate their injuries.
"Bye Sam, bye Dean. See you next year Ben!" Bryce smiled.
"Alright, see you next summer." Ben answered.
"Hey, Bryce, remember what I told you about what happened. Don't tell anybody about what happened to you, okay? It's our little secret." Dean replied.
"I won't! Bye!" Bryce replied and scampered off after his mother.
Dean's eyes followed the child until he was out of sight and his heart clenched a bit, he'd really grown attached to the boys and he was going to miss them, not that he'd let Sam know, Sam was the supposed to be the touchy feely one and he wouldn't stoop to his baby brother's level of absolute unmasculinity. He smirked at the thought and turned to see Sam watching him curiously.
"You're gonna miss him, aren't you?" Sam asked with a slight, knowing smile.
"Who me? No, no I'm fine." Dean replied a little too quickly and Sam laughed.
Dean looked at his brother innocently and Ben watched the brotherly exchange curiously, it sure had been nice to have Sam and Dean around for the week, he didn't know what he would've done without them there.
"Am not!" Dean argued when Sam kept watching him.
"Dude, quit watching me, it's freaking me out!" Dean stated. Sam shook his head in amusement.
"Well it is." Dean replied smugly and Ben turned his head away to hide his laughter as the banter continued.
A/N: Hope you all enjoyed the story! Until next time, whenever that may be!