Dean had sealed the office door with rock salt, keeping Sam safe from their newest quarry. All he had to do was wait for his plan to knock and come for him.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. "Let me in, Chris. Please." The same sickly, sad, entrancing, voice called.
"DEAN! No… don't do this… you do this I swear… I'll…" Sam yelled. Again, much to Sam's disappointment, his demands and wait were short lived.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK "You're here."
A powdery hand penetrated the door of the warehouse with delicate fingers arched, reaching out. The same porcelain sculpture perfection flashed in front of Dean and his two captives. One below him squirmed, trying to flee. Sam beat on the glass, trying to break free to help him.
Chris' muffled grunts and Sam's screams filled the space and slammed against Dean's ears. The burning sense of guilt and trepidation swished inside Dean's guts. His muscles tightened as the ghostly woman came closer, just floating pass the first of his broken salt circles. .
"Dean…let me out! Dean!"
Dean ignored his brother and poured salt to complete the ring around Chris. Now, both men in his protection were safe, leaving only him in harm's way.
"Aida…I know you can hear me. You spared my brother- my Sammy. I want to help you."
"Please, listen to me. I'm Dean. Do you remember me?"
Her saddened, widened child-like eyes still burned with anger. She glanced at her lover behind Dean's protective circle, and then she turned to view the captive Sam.
"Yeah, you can't have him. I can't let you do that."
Her body jerked and twisted in a popping motion as she cocked her head. Her gaze fell upon Dean. "WHY?"
"Cause this is not who you are! You have to remember who you are…. You need to go on!"
Her hand remained outstretched. "You must join us!"
The slayer whirled towards her only possible target. "You…you are leaving him."
"Yes! Damn straight I am!" Dean focused on his guilt of leaving Sam behind, hoping it was enough to keep her focus on him. Unloading a round of rock salt, the air filled with white powder. The spirit dispersed, giving him time to complete the outer circle.
Re-emerging, the spirit appeared, trapped between the lines of Chris and the outer circle. The inner one was all that was left. If the sprit came on either side and he had opportunity, he could keep her away from him and everyone until he freed her. The Chinese woman told him he had to reach her and he believed it was true. For once, Dean Winchester was going to set something right, hoping for a happy ending. As the spirit moved further in, he risked completing the inner circle.
"DEAN!" Sam pounded on the glass, seeing the spirit fly towards his brother again. DEAN… no…" Sam grabbed the office chair and started rebounding the glass like a madman. The chair bounced repeatedly without any signs of cracking the wired glass. All Sam could do was watch as the spirit gripped his brother.
Aida hammered into Dean's chest, sailing him back towards the floor. He tried to fire as he fell but he missed the ghost by at least a barn length. His back impacted with a thud, sending pain up his spine.
"CHRIS???" The melancholy grumble echoed in the room. The bound man wiggled in almost hyperventilation. "Chris? Why?" We were a family." The voice echoed. "AHHHHHHHH" Aida's enraged wail shrieked against Dean's eardrum.
"DEAN!!! GET UP!!! MOVE!"
The fallen Winchester groaned at the sound of his name. Rolling over, he had hoped to find Sam, despite his plan- despite Sam's captivity. Instead, the exquisite spirit flickered upon on him. Her hand penetrated his skin and squeezed his heart once again. His body jerked in new pain and memory of being at her mercy once again. The tightness seared through to his shoulders, neck and arms as if a vice squeezed his insides to fold upon themselves.
"Dean…no…" Sam slammed the chair again, throwing it harder and harder. "No… take me… leave him alone…. No… DEAN!" A loud boom sounded as the chair slammed again. Sam heart skipped a beat, remembering his own experience. "NO!"
Darkness clawed, pulling Dean into an endless void. "NO!" His body jerked in pain as the grip on him tightened. He turned his head, knowing it was over, wanting to see Sam one last time. In a second he hoped he could somehow tell Sam how proud he was of him, how much he would miss him, how much he loved him, and how sorry he was. The sadness and love in his eyes glared and cried out to the enraged man behind the office glass.
"NO! Don't you give up… NO!" Sam saw the way his brother flopped and the energy leaving him. "STOP! NO… please don't….No...please... he's all I have...please."
"Sammy…." Dean slurred, reaching out his fingers towards Sam.
Sam slammed the chair again and again, trying to reach out to his brother and hoping he could stop the spirit before him. He never once imagined a life without his brother or imagined a life of being the only one left. Yet, that day was coming and he would be damn if that day was today. "Leave my brother Alone!"
The stabbing pain twitched in Dean's chest causing his body to jolt. And again, the pain eased and he found the apparition gazing at him. Her head tilted in awe and stared at him, like she had before. Shuddering as his heart tried to return to normal, he felt cold fingers brush his cheek again. "I'm sorry, Sammy." Dean meeked out as his eyes began to roll.
A pained, weakened groan spill out and the sound was as loud as a yell to Sam. "No... No... No... Dean... please."
"You lied…you do not want to leave him." Aida's voice became softer, sweeter. Dean imagined it was how she was before her death.
"DEAN! Please…" Again the slamming of the chair echoed. The window shook with each strike, sending the quivers into Sam's fatigue drained arms. The shivers of the strike sent agony on his limbs, but it was nothing compared to the agony of watching Dean suffer and die. Sam didn't stop his assault on the window. He kept screaming for his brother, watching the spirit m, and trying to break the glass. His only thought was to reach Dean.
"You would never leave your family." The specter's voice sounded sorrowful and sweet.
"I don't want to… But…you are!' Dean forced out. "You are leaving your family alone!" He gasped at trying to speak.
"He's not your…..family…." Dean breathed through the pain.
"Dean! No don't anger her! Please..." Sam screamed.
"Your baby… your family… they don't want you do this."
"My baby is dead! ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH"
"Your baby ……hhh…..ughh….is waiting for you. She needs you. I know… it hurts like hell." Dean breathed harshly and pain filled his eyes with wetness. "I can't imagine … lost of a child….But…losing your family rips a hole in you…burying all you have to darkness… Don't let the darkness take you. Your baby….is somewhere safe now.
Seeing his brother struggle and try to reason with Aida, gave Sam new resolve. "ARRRGGHH" He screamed as he tossed the desk chair as hard and a far as he could. This time a crack appeared in the corner. With newfound persistence, he slammed again, watching the crack get bigger and bigger as it finally cracked and splintered. He threw the chair one final time, sending it crashing through the other side. He wasted no time, jumping out the opening, scooping up a salt gun and scrambling to grasp Dean. He skidded to his knees, like a runner going for home. And he was. He was going for the only home he had ever known: Dean. One hand skidded under Dean and his other arched a steady aim at the ghost.
"NO… Sammy… don't"
Aida moved towards the brothers as if she no longer amused to listen to Dean once Sam arrived.
"No… Aida… don't… he's….he trying to…" Dean forced out. Sam was pulling Dean to rest against him to get a better chance at defending his brother. "Your family…your child needs you. The family you had here is no more, but….you can go to your baby.
"I don't know where she is."
"Yes you do… just listen… I know it…Just…go…..the love of your family is something you don't have to ask for… it just happens…And you can feel it when you think you….have…hhhh….have nothing at all… And when it's gone…it hurts so bad….If you stay here…" Dean wavered, trying to hold on. "You will twist until nothing of your love for the baby…. You could have had….is gone…Don't…don't…stay here…Move on."
"She's waiting…I hear her."
"Yeah…just listen…you'll hear her."
"Dean…she knows her baby is a girl….how could…"
"She knows…..she just knows." Dean eyes welled with tears.
A glow wrapped around Aida, splashing bright warmth in the room. The Winchesters blinked, holding back some of the brightness. Just as quickly as the light came, it was gone, along with Aida.
Dean sighed and a violent shiver coursed through his weakened body. Abruptly, he felt Sam's strong arm wrap across his chest, pulling him close in what was undeniably a hug. At the moment, Dean didn't care. He let his brother support him, enjoying the fact that Sam was safe. He eased out a small breath. "Sammy…" he whispered before he lulled into unconsciousness and collapsed again Sam's shoulder.
"Easy… easy… I gotcha…" Sam held his brother gently, letting relief fill him as he listened to the uneasy breaths pouring out. "Man…I freaking hate the things you do sometimes!"
Later… just after morning.
"Sam! Just stop at the post office. I need to send this to someone special. Then we have to move it. I want to make it to South Carolina by night fall."
Sam eased to a stop, still staring at the small shake in his brother's hand and legs. This one hunt almost did them both in and Dean got second helpings of pain. Sam wasn't sure if he wanted to smack some sense in his brother or be proud of him for the way he loved his family. Mentally, he noted that once Dean was up to par, he planned on kicking that Dean-knows-best-ass.
Dean swung the door, steadied himself, and struggled into the postal office. After a few minutes, he shuffled back out to Sam. He swung cautiously in, showing obvious signs of pain.
Sam let the Impala hum beneath his fingers for a second before he spoke. "You still look pale… are you…"
"At least get some rest on the drive."
Knowing his brother's tone well, Sam changed the subject. "So, what were you doing in there?"
"Sending the tape to someone special."
"We already dropped a copy to the local PD with directions on how to find Chris…uh…"
"Yeah… I don't think we ever did learn his real last name either… I call him dic…"
"Dean…" Sam chuckled. "Who did you send a copy to?"
"Are you nuts!?!"
"No, Sam. He may be wrong about us, but if nothing else he won't stop. I just want insurance this man is going to pay for what he did to Aida. No matter what, I know Henriksen will do it. He doesn't let things go."
"That's an understatement….Heh…the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
"If you ever lock me up again, I'm going to kick your ass into next week!
"Okay... fair enough."