What she saw
By Gumnut
3 Mar 2007

She didn't see him the first time. She only felt the cold circle of metal pressed up against the back of her neck. It pulled at her hair, bright little sparks of pain ignored in deference to the greater struggle against the arm around her throat.

She didn't see him, but she heard him, beyond the breath teasing at her ear. But the closer voice whispered words that drowned him out. She tried to scream, but only a whimper escaped the strangle hold.

She didn't know who he was, didn't know what he wanted, all she knew was that her life was at stake.

And he was trying to save it.

So she struggled.

He yelled.

And something happened.

-o-o-o-

She watched him go after that, him and another man, the pair of them disappearing like a mirage on the road. The police came and went, but she didn't mention them. There was something...

The house was cold and empty.

She wanted to leave. She wanted to know who they were.

-o-o-o-

The second time she saw him everything was different. She found him out on the road. He didn't see her, did not respond to her presence. The moonlight sketched out his form, merging it with the shadow of the Impala he leant against. A cool breeze played with his hair as he stared at his feet.

She frowned at the expression on his face, her eyes tracing out the frown, the concern. He kicked at the gravel of the fractured blacktop.

She dared to move closer and he looked up, his eyes flickering in her direction. Her breath hitched in her throat.

But still he did not see her.

The frown crumpled his brow even further.

He shouted into the trees. "Damnit, Sam, why don't you just tie it off already? Did you drink half the Atlantic or what?"

The words "Shut up, Dean." wandered back through the trees.

He turned away, muttering and kicking the gravel at his feet. His fingers played across the roof of the car. Tentatively, she stepped forward, moving in behind him. He was taller than she expected. Exactly what she had expected, she wasn't sure, but she had to reach up to brush her fingers through his hair.

She stumbled backwards as he spun, a gun in his hand.

"Sam!"

She ducked behind the car, suddenly terrified.

His brother stumbled from the brush, his pants half fastened, a knife in one hand and leaves in his hair. "What?!"

There was silence for a moment as the shorter man stared into the dark, his posture tense. "Something touched me."

Sam blinked. "What?"

"If I knew, do you think I would be holding the gun?" Dean threw an angry look in the other's direction.

"Well, since you mention it..."

"Shut up, I'm serious."

And following that there was a great deal of silence as the two men prowled around the Impala, weapons at the ready. She slipped quietly back into the trees.

And watched.

He had such eyes. Such concentration.

"Damnit, let's just get the hell out of here." He stuffed the gun into his jeans.

Sam didn't comment and they both climbed into the car. The night was broken by the engine's snarl and an abrupt burst of music as they drove off.

And she found herself watching them leave once again.

-o-o-o-

The next time she saw him, she had specifically searched for and found him. It hadn't been easy, he and the man she discovered to be his brother seemed to make a career of hiding from anyone and everything.

And she found out what he was.

He was a hunter.

If she had been told this before, she would have asked what he hunted. But she now knew that was a question not easily answered.

As she knocked on the wooden door, she shivered and was unsure if it was from the cold or nervousness. Possibly a little of both.

The moment he opened the door, she knew she had made a mistake. He looked down at her, a smile forming on his lips. "Can I help you?" Then he frowned. "Do I know you?"

She opened her mouth to say something, but nothing came out. She watched that frown form on his brow once again and something inside her twisted.

"Hey? You okay?" The frown warped to one of concern and her heart lurched.

She nodded wordlessly, but he reached out and she flinched away.

"I'm not going to hurt you. What's wrong?" He wanted to help, she could tell that much, but still she held back.

Why? She had come here for just this reason.

That frown stared at her, boring through to her heart. Tentatively she reached up and touched his hair.

It was his turn to flinch away. "What do you want?"

Nothing. Nothing at all. Everything. To brush that frown from his brow? She didn't know.

She turned and ran.

-o-o-o-

He called out the next time and she heard him.

She found him in the basement, his brother lying silent beside him. He was fighting for his life, a monstrosity strangling him as he struggled to reach his gun.

The scream was out of her lungs before she realised it had even been born. Glass windows shattered, shards falling like rain. The creature turned in her direction, its glowing red eyes latching onto hers.

It gave him the distraction he needed and a moment later the shotgun was filling the creature's guts with whatever was required to kill it. It fell in a heap of bloodied fur. Her eyes widened as a moment later the corpse shuddered and faded from existence.

Dean struggled to sit up, blood running down the side of his face. "S-Sam?" An equally bloodied hand reached for his unconscious brother. "Sammy?"

There was no response.

"Sam?!" He dragged himself over, shaking the limp man. "C'mon, Sammy." A finger reached for a pulse and Dean sighed in relief. "C'mon, buddy, please."

Finally a groan heralded a couple of uncoordinated attempts at getting up. "Sam!"

"God, Dean, kill the shouting."

"We gotta get outta here."

"Wha-? Oh, shit."

"Yeah." Dean staggered to his feet and as he wavered, she was tempted to reach out and steady him, but held back.

He looked in her direction and she scampered behind a shelf. That frown was thrown at her again. He pulled more urgently at his brother's arm and the two of them leant on each other.

Glass crunched under their boots. "Man, what's with the windows?" Sam held a hand to his head.

"I dunno, but something doesn't feel right."

They paused in the middle of the room as Sam pulled their little stagger to a halt. "What doesn't feel right?"

A pair of hazel eyes groped around in the darkness and she knew they were searching for her even if they didn't know it themselves. "I don't know. Something...she screamed?" He looked up at his brother.

"Who?"

"I dunno. Let's just get out of here." The brother frowned, obviously a little freaked at Dean's words. "We can come back later."

Those five words hit her hard. She knew what he was suggesting and it set her trembling.

And again she ran.

-o-o-o-

The last time she saw him she was terrified.

He burst through the door, splinters of wood scattering to the floor, his expression as much a tempest as her mind. His brother marched in behind him, his face as equally as taut, his hands gripping a shotgun.

She had tried to keep away, but she found she couldn't. He called to her in his sleep. He called to her in moments of desperation. She felt he needed her.

So she came.

And they discovered.

At the sight of them she turned and fled.

The glow of the streetlamps chased her from room to room as their footsteps echoed on the floorboards.

She reached the backdoor, but found it unbreachable, something shoving her back into the house. The windows equally denied her escape and she clattered against the panes.

"We know you're here. There is no escape." Dean's voice echoed through the house.

She cried out, she couldn't help it. Doors and wallpaper danced across her vision as she fled down the hallway. Her skirts fluttered against the stair balustrade.

"Are you sure about this?"

"Of course, I'm sure. Haunting a house is one thing, but haunting us? No way, man, too damn spooky."

"Haunting you, you mean. I've never laid eyes on her."

"So she's a ghost with taste."

"That's just it, Dean, she's never hurt us. If anything, as far as I can tell she's helped us."

"It's not cool, man."

She fled to her bedroom, her hands beating at the window in desperation.

She didn't turn when their footsteps made it to her doorway. She stared at the reflection of the little red lights in the window glass.

The little machine whirred and clicked as it indicated her presence.

Her eyes closed and she let her head drop.

She couldn't see him, but she could hear him. His breathing reached her ears and she could almost feel his breath on her skin.

She couldn't see him, but she knew the expression that would be on his face. That concerned frown, etched out in the dark by the flickering red light of the ghost detector. She had only wanted to thank him, to give him some of the release he had given her. She had tried to reach out, but didn't know how to touch him.

She knew who he was, she knew what he wanted, but it wasn't her life that was at stake anymore.

She didn't struggle this time.

He didn't yell.

But something happened.

-o-o-o-