The soft whoosh of the ventilator of the room filled the hospital where ten-year-old Kelly Peach lay fighting for her life in a coma. A veritable swarm of wires and tubes fought their way into her limp body, hooked up to the monitors looming over her bed. By her side her dad sat slumped in the chair, clutching her hand is slept an exhausted sleep.
The duty nurse walked by and paused for a second to gaze at the quiet scene, a compassionate expression sweeping across her face as she saw the sleeping man. After a moments hesitation she continued on her round; whilst behind her a cold chill swept into the room. The electrical displays and lights began to flicker and one of the machines started to bleep; at once a startled Mr.Peach jolted awake fearfully and was reassured to see a petite dark haired nurse leaning over his daughter.
"What is it?" He asked hoping against hope that his daughter was finally starting to fight back, the nurse glanced at him and smiled and then before he could react she reached out and switched off the machines that were keeping Kelly alive. "No," he cried as an alarm went off and he leapt around the bed towards the nurse.
Silver flashed in the air as he reached her and he staggered back in with a gurgling gasp, staring in shock at the crimson drops sprayed around the room and then at the scalpel in the nurse's hand.
"She's at peace now," the nurse whispered as the man collapsed in a pool of his own blood, pocketing the scalpel the nurse turned and walked from the room.
Sam glanced up as Dean came across to where he was sitting in the back of the bar, his brother was grinning triumphantly as he waved a wad of money at him.
"Dude, you really need to have a go at poker," Dean said as he slipped onto a stool and reclaimed his beer.
"I wouldn't want to steal your thunder," Sam said as his brother pocketed the money with a sigh and a shake of his head, then Dean nodded at the open laptop in front of him.
"Anything freakish?" He asked keen to get on with a new hunt.
"I think so, take a look at this," Sam swung the laptop around so Dean could read the newspaper article. "It's the second double murder at the hospital in the last two months; both times it was a critically ill patient and a parent that was murdered."
"Could be garden variety murders?" Dean asked as he scanned the article but he felt the beginnings of a hunt.
"Maybe, but the CCTV cameras show no one entering the rooms at the time of the murders and both rooms suffered brief electrical surges at the times of the murder," Sam replied as he pulled the laptop back towards him whilst Dean took a thoughtful swig of bear.
"Okay its worth a look," he said as he lay aside his empty bottle and stood, with a grin Sam followed suit quickly shutting the laptop and slipping it back into its bag as he followed Dean out to the Impala.
Leaving the car at a small motel on the outskirts of town they made their way to the hospital on the west side of the town, noticing as they arrived that there were more police than usual.
"This isn't going to be as easy as we thought," Sam muttered as they stepped past two cops guarding the main entrance and Dean grimaced and then grinned as he saw the pretty, blonde-haired receptionist.
"Oh I don't know about that, stay here," he told Sam who sighed as he watched his irrepressible brother make a beeline for the girl.
A few minutes later his brother was back, a smug smile on his face as he glanced back at the girl.
"Did you get anything apart from her number?" Sam asked in exasperation and Dean grinned.
"I got the room number where the last murder was and she's going to get the back up copy of the CCTV video for me." Shaking his head Sam followed as Dean headed for the stairs, wondering just what it was about his brother that made girl's do anything for him. They noticed that a curious hush lay over the wards that they passed, and that visitors were arriving in groups; clearly the murders were causing concern.
Finally they reached a part of a corridor that had been cordoned off, glancing around they slipped under the yellow tape and entered the room on the right.
"What a mess," Sam said as he peered down at the crimson pool on the floor and then up at the drops sprayed on the wall, ceiling and bed.
"Look at this," Dean had his EMF out and was busy scanning the room; Sam peered over his brother's shoulder and saw that the scanner was detecting large readings.
"Definitely not a garden-variety murder," he said grimly looking around the room.
"Yeah but who or what is doing it? And why?"
"Well we're not going to get any more answers from this room," Sam replied and Dean reluctantly pocketed his scanner and followed Sam out of the room and back down the corridor.
Just as they reached the second floor they noticed that the light in a small side-room was starting to flicker, exchanging alarmed glances the two brothers rushed to the door. A small, dark haired nurse was bent over an unconscious man whose partner was watching anxiously; Sam and Dean turned to leave just as the scanner in Dean's pocket went of with a high pitched beep. At once they turned back as the nurse whirled to confront the intruders, her hand reaching out towards the switch for the machines.
"I don't think you want to do that," Dean said and the nurse froze, whilst the man's partner looked at them in alarmed confusion.
"Who are you?" She demanded her eyes shifting to the nurse's outstretched arm and then back to the two brothers.
Sam detected the nurse's slight shift in balance, and as she sprang at Dean he shoved his brother aside as a silver blade flashed through the air. He cried out as the scalpel tore into his abdomen, and he was thrown aside as the nurse rushed past her eyes glowing gold as she disappeared down the corridor.
"Sam are you alright? " Dean rushed to his side and gently pushed aside the hand Sam had clasped instinctively to his abdomen, Sam didn't need to see the worry and horror in Dean's eyes to know that the wound was bad, steeling himself he looked down to see a growing red stain on his torn shirt.
"I think we found our culprit," he managed to say as an alarm went off, looking up they realised that the man's partner had hit the alarm button. "Um Dean I don't feel so good," Sam muttered thickly, blinking as he tried to focus on his brother's face.
"Sammy," Dean said sternly- forgetting Sam's dislike of his childhood name- as he reached out to hold his brother's face so that Sam was forced to look at him.
The woman who'd rung the alarm came to stand beside them, gazing wide-eyed at Sam with tears of shock and fear trickling down her cheeks. Dean glanced briefly at her, but barely registered her presence as he turned his attention back to his brother who was barely conscious.
"Is he alright?" She whispered and Dean felt like exploding with frustration. Sammy was laying there bleeding like crazy and she was asking if he was okay, but instead he bit his lip and shook his head silently. The sound of urgent voices and hurried footsteps made him look up, and to his relief he saw that it was doctor and a nurse.
He was forced to back off as they went to work on Sammy, and he gazed blankly at his hands, which were stained crimson. He couldn't believe that everything had happened so quickly- they'd only been on the hunt for a couple of hours and already everything had descended into chaos. Shaking himself free of his dark thoughts he watched helplessly as Sam was lifted carefully onto the trolley, feeling a cold fist of anger growing in his stomach as he gazed at his brother's pale face.
"We've got to get him to theatre," the doctor, a kind round-faced man said gently to him and Dean nodded wordlessly his eyes fixated on his little brother. Silently he followed them as they rushed Sam to the theatre, his thoughts turning swiftly from shock to cold images of vengeance- whatever that nurse had been…she'd now brought herself a death warrant…Winchester style.
Dean was pacing around anxiously outside the theatre when the doctor re-emerged and came across to him.
"How's my brother?" Dean demanded at once, his face strained from what had felt like hours of silence although in reality it hadn't been that long.
"He's a very lucky young man, he lost a lot of blood but the blade didn't pierce anything vital and we repaired the damage," the doctor said unruffled by Dean's impatience and he smiled as Dean sighed with relief. "We'll be bringing him out in a minute and you can sit with him if you like, though I know the cops will want to talk with you when they've finished with the other witness."
"Thanks doctor," Dean said in a relieved voice, however, he was shocked by how frail and helpless his brother looked when Sam was wheeled out of the theatre.
Sam groaned as he came to, drowsily pushing at the oxygen mask on his face as he looked around in confusion, his brown eyes clouded with sleep and pain.
"Hey Sam," he blinked and realised that Dean was sat in a chair beside his bed, as his brain woke up he was surprised by the level of concern showing in his brother's eyes.
"Hey," he said croakily as he managed to push the oxygen mask aside, "what happened?"
"The doctors managed to patch you up," Dean gave him a strained smile before adding, "trust you to find the one psycho chick in the place." Sam chuckled weakly and then gasped as the laughter pulled at the wound.
"I wasn't about to let you have all the fun, and Meg still beats her hands down," he said once the pain had subsided once more.
"Seriously Sam, you shouldn't have put yourself in danger like that," Dean said sternly as he leant forward in the chair, and Sam sighed.
"Well I wasn't about to let her gut you."
"And you figured it was better for her to gut you?" Dean demanded. "Dude if that's what you call logic I think you'd better go back to college."
"I didn't exactly have time to think of a plan," Sam retorted wearily and Dean softened as he saw him stifle a wince of pain.
"The cops think it was just a random attack," He said as he leant back in his chair.
"I take it you didn't tell them it's probably supernatural?"
"Of I didn't, anyway I'm not so sure that it is anything supernatural."
"What if I told you that the nurse's eyes went gold after she stabbed me?"
"Gold? So she could be a demon or a reaper? But reapers don't usually go after healthy people and they don't use scalpels," Dean grimaced as he considered the difficulties of finding a single nurse in a hospital and then exorcising or killing her without anyone noticing. "But what does she want?" He pondered aloud but there was no response, and looking at Sam he realised that his brother had drifted of to sleep and an affectionate look came into his blue eyes.
"Great help you are," he muttered jokingly as he carefully straightened his brother's covers, scowling at the medical equipment surrounding the bed. He seriously hated hospitals, particularly when he wasn't the one who was injured- and especially when there was something supernatural running riot. Gazing at Sam's peaceful expression and pale complexion he berated himself yet again for letting his little brother get hurt; making a decision he got to his feet and softly left the room- it was time to get a handle on this thing.
When Sam woke sometime later he was disconcerted to find himself on his own, where on earth was Dean? It shocked him to realise just how much his brother's presence comforted him, and he shook his head…this wasn't something that he was going to admit to Dean, the guy already had a large enough ego. Yawning he took an inventory of his body, the area where he'd been stabbed was still painful and he certainly wasn't about to go for a round with a demon or angry spirit but he was slowly on the bend. Relaxing he gazed up at the tiled ceiling, his sleepy mind slowly kicking itself into gear as he puzzled over the recent murders and the attack…why was whatever the nurse really was stalking a hospital?
Suddenly he sat up forgetting about his wound, and tears came to his eyes as he stretched the wound. Hissing he steadied himself, but his eyes darted around as he realised that Dean hadn't left him with any means of defending himself if it came to finish him off…he didn't have a weapon or any salt. Anxiously he gazed around, eyeing up anything that he could utilise as a weapon but the room was depressingly empty.
"What are you doing?" A voice broke into his anxious search and to his relief he saw Dean walking through the door, a stern expression on his face.
"Looking for weapons," Sam admitted sheepishly.
"Have you seen it again?" Dean demanded sharply as he looked around the room, with a sigh Sam shook his head and his brother relaxed visibly.
"I just realised I didn't have any weapons in case it did turn up again," he explained and Dean grinned as he patted the bulge in his coat.
"All taken care of, now lie down will you I don't want you doing anymore damage to yourself today," he instructed as he slid into the chair beside the bed and glaring at his brother until Sam reluctantly settled back into his pillows unwilling to admit how much his sudden movement had cost him. Dean clearly wasn't fooled though because his brother's eyebrows rose and he gazed at him as though assessing his condition.
"I don't suppose you know what we're dealing with?" Sam asked in an attempt to change the subject and to reassure his brother that he really was on the mend.
"I know it's not a reaper," Dean replied eventually deciding to follow Sam's ploy. "And I did a check back over the hospitals history and I found two more occurrences when there was a series of double murders."
"The first one was two months after the hospital opened, the other was twenty years ago so there isn't a pattern apart from the method and victims."
"Maybe it's a spirit of someone associated with the opening of the hospital?" Sam asked and Dean grinned, it was good to see his kid brother was well enough to be his usual geeky self.
"I thought of that and I'm going to hit the local library in a while, I just wanted to check you were all right."
"I'm fine, but I'll feel better when we have this thing wrapped up. The thought of her still being out there is a bit worrying," Sam said and Dean nodded as he saw the anxiety in his brother's soulful eyes.
"Alright I'll see what I can find, but please stay in bed- I don't want to hear of any escape attempts."
"Like I'd get far," Sam, retorted and Dean grinned as he slipped a small package under his brother's pillow, keeping an eye out for any nurses passing by.
"Its got an iron blade and some rock salt, so if she turns up to give you some TLC you should be able to deal. Okay?"
"Thanks Dean, for everything," Sam said, reassured by the feel of the bundle through the pillow.
"No chick flick moments," Dean said and then he was gone, and Sam couldn't help but smile as he heard him whistling a Metallica song.
Dean sat back with a sigh and rubbed his tired eyes, he hated research, which was why Sam usually did it, but today his brother had to rest. Besides this hunt was quickly becoming more and more personal, he wanted to end that son of a bitch and quickly before anymore harm came to his little brother. Stretching his stiff shoulders he leant forward once more and picked up another yellow-stained newspaper from when the original murders had occurred; this time as though in response to vengeful impatience he found what he was looking for:
Caroline Wilson aged 25 was prosecuted for the murder of twelve
people at the local hospital. The nurse claimed that she hadn't
murdered the people but was helping them escape their pain, and her
lawyer moved for an insanity plea, which was rejected. The local
Judge said that 'this is one of the most horrific case of serial
murder that he had ever experienced and that the only honourable and
just punishment for such a crime was death.'
The families of the victims were granted retribution today when Miss. Wilson was sentenced to death within the week by hanging; and after a special plea from one family it was agreed for the penalty to be carried out in the field next to the hospital.
"Got you," he grinned things were definitely on the up, if only he could find where she was buried then it would be a simple case of salt and burn and then bang, no more Casper. "See Sammy, I can do research." Shaking his head at his own folly he got up, surely the librarian would know where the nurse had been buried- after all it was a huge scandal and this was a small town. And the sooner he got what he needed the sooner he could check on Sammy before getting on with the hunt.
enough the old librarian had the information he wanted to know and
more, the man kept spouting out information and Dean began to regret
saying he was a college student doing a research project.
"Thanks for your help, but I've got to go," he said but the man didn't seem to notice, and his diatribe continued even as Dean sneaked away. Once outside he grinned with relief, libraries really were not his scene and he couldn't wait for his brother to take over that part again.
stirred restlessly, his eyes flicking open and blurring for a second
as the pain hit him again. Blinking and holding back a gasp of pain
he looked up to find Dean peering down at him anxiously.
"Thought I was meant to wake up next to a dark haired beauty," Sam quipped and Dean rolled his eyes, although he still looked concerned as he watched his brother struggle to sit up.
"I look a lot better than you do at the moment sweetheart," he retorted and Sam smiled slightly as he gave himself a mental kick for giving Dean an opening.
"Did you find anything?" Sam asked as his eyes darted to the rucksack slung casually over his brother's shoulder.
"And I'm going to do a little salt 'n' burn," Dean replied with a broad smile that was ruined by the vengeful glint in his eyes, Sam almost felt sorry for the ghost…she really had ticked off the wrong person.
"Who was she?"
"Here," Dean handed him a pad of notes in his scruffy hand writing, "I thought it'd give you something to read."
"Dude your writing is a mess," Sam commented as he flicked through the notes, but he gave his brother a grateful look and a small grin.
"Try to stay out of trouble whilst I'm gone," Dean said and Sam chuckled, Dean really was like a mother hen at times when he got into protective brother mode.
"I'll try," Sam replied and Dean smirked.
"I could always get a nurse to give you some TLC Sammy," he suggested.
"It's Sam and no thanks, I've had enough of nurses to fill me a life time," Sam said with a small shudder, which he hid by pointing at the door with a mock scowl. " Besides isn't there a lady calling for you to make her burn?"
"I'm gone," Dean said and he headed out of the door without another word, although he couldn't stop himself from glancing back to check on his brother but Sam was already engrossed in his notes. Shaking his head at his brother's geek tendencies he headed out on the hunt.
frowned as he flicked through Dean's messy yet surprisingly
detailed notes, something was hovering on the edge of his mind and it
was bothering him. Rubbing the bridge of his nose he turned the page
to look at a picture of the woman that looked as though it'd been
torn out of a book, shaking his head at Dean's research methods he
examined the picture and something clicked. The woman in the picture
was wearing an old-fashioned nurse's outfit….and the one that had
attacked him had been wearing a modern uniform. The face had been the
same…but ghosts didn't usually keep up with fashion changes...
which meant that they were dealing with something else.
"Burning the bones isn't going to do anything," Sam muttered to himself as he tried to ignore the jolt of alarm going through him. Glancing around he saw that Dean had dumped his blood-splattered jacket in a chair on the far side of the room and groaned.
Cautiously he slipped out of bed and stood on shaky legs, taking a deep breath he retrieved the small knife Dean had left him and tucked it into his sleeve. Slowly he moved across to the chair, his eyes flicking anxiously to the doorway as he fumbled in his coat pockets until he found his cell phone. Staring at the blood on his jacket he quickly flipped open his phone and dialled Dean's number. After a couple of rings Dean answered.
"Sam what is it?" His brother sounded irritated and worried, and Sam could almost imagine him tapping the steering wheel.
"It's not a ghost Dean."
"What? Has it come back? Are you alright?"
"I'm fine, but I found the picture of the nurse and it looks like the same woman but it has a different uniform; the woman in the picture is dressed as a old-fashioned nurse and the one that attacked me was wearing a modern uniform," Sam explained in a hurry, leaning against the wall to take some of the weight off his trembling legs.
"Damn it," Dean growled angrily. "But they look exactly the same…which means…"
"It's a shape shifter," Sam finished his brother's sentence.
"I'm coming back, stay alert Sam you know how sneaky Shape shifters are."
"After Saint Louis I'm not about to forg…." Sam trailed off suddenly.
"Sam? Sammy? Sam answer me!" Dean yelled down the telephone but Sam didn't reply as his attention was fixated on the woman in the doorway, his eyes growing wide as he stared at the golden-eyed nurse with a mixture of alarm and fear.
"Hello Samuel," the nurse said coldly as she stepped into the room, her eyes glinting with amusement as Sam slowly closed his phone…