I began this story 2 years ago and finally finished it this spring. Thanks to all the wonderful betas who've taken the time to help me with this, That Girl 6, Ames 449, my daughter Annette, and Muffy Morrigan. Thanks to you all! Hugs and kisses
Standard disclaimers apply.
Dean's eyelids were getting very heavy. Realizing what was happening as he jerked the wheel of the Impala to bring the big car back onto the road, he shook himself awake and glanced at his sleeping brother. Sam sleeping in the car wasn't unusual, but Dean getting sleepy while driving was. The sleek black Chevy was not only his baby, but also his home. He was comfortable in her and had been known to drive for two days straight to get to a gig, no sleep involved until either the destination area had been reached or the job was done. It wasn't necessarily the wisest thing, but it was his way. This was not to be one of those times apparently. His little brother had offered to drive a few hours ago, but Dean had turned him down. He thought about waking his sibling but decided to just stop at the next motel.
Later, he would wish that he had just kept on going.
The tired hunter managed to stay awake another twenty minutes to pull the car into the parking lot of the "HELL MOTEL". He sat staring at the sign, blinking and wondering if he was seeing it correctly or if the fatigue was making him hallucinate. After a few seconds, he realized that some of the lights in the sign had burned out. What it really said was "SEASHELL MOTEL" with a seashell design next to the name. The lights for the seashell had also burned out. Dean sighed, rested his head on the back of his seat, and ran his hands over his face. Great, just great. God, he was tired. He rolled his head to look again at his not-so-lightly snoring brother and decided to let Sam go on sleeping while he went in to get them a room. He could wake Sam when he got back, and they could get themselves some real sleep. Squinting at his watch, he saw that it was . . . three a.m. Sheesh.
"I'll be back in a few minutes, little brother," he said quietly as he opened the driver's door, wincing when the hinges creaked, but Sam would have to wake up in a few minutes anyway. He found it interesting that his brother's sleep was important to him unless the sound his car made woke him — that was okay.
He got out of the car, proceeding through the door to the dimly lit lobby where a disheveled middle-aged man sagged in an uncomfortable-looking chair. His soft, open-mouthed snores were overshadowed by the sound of the small TV set on the table in front of him. Apparently, whatever he'd been watching hadn't been enough to help him resist the call of sleep. Dean was sympathetic and hesitated to wake him, but only for a second. He needed sleep, too, so he rang the bell that was sitting on the counter.
The clerk snorted as he jumped up out of the chair and tried to pull himself together. Realizing there was someone standing at the desk, he stood to help the guest in front of him. "Yessir! Would you like a room?"
"Please," Dean replied. "Two queens, uh, Rusty." He smiled as he read the man's name tag.
"You bet!" Rusty tried to be bright and cheerful while rubbing his face to rid himself of the residual effects of sleeping on duty. "How will you be paying?"
"Do you take MasterCard?"
"Perfect," said Dean as he slid the card over and signed the form placed in front of him with the name 'Dean Wilbur'.
"Here's your key, Mr. Wilbur. Room 113, just a short distance from the office down that way." He gestured vaguely off to his right.
Dean thanked him, took the room key, started back to the car, and stopped. Might as well get the room open first, then drag Sam's heavy ass in there, he thought as he could see his still-sleeping brother leaned against the passenger door. He turned and located their room just a door down from where the Impala was parked — not even worth moving the car. The exhausted hunter slid the key card into the lock, pulling it back out so that the green light hesitated just a second before blinking on. He let out a sigh of relief because he didn't want the hassle of reporting the key not working and getting another one. He just wanted to get his little brother and their belongings inside. He pushed the door open and stepped across the threshold but stopped in surprise. "What the…?"
Sam's eyes fluttered open but shut again. Something was different, but he didn't know what. His groggy mind tried to sort things out. I'm in the Impala, so Dean must be driving and we're on our way to… It suddenly hit him what was different. He sat straight up and looked around to get his bearings, sleep forgotten. There was no engine sound, no Dean. Sam relaxed when it finally sank in that he was sitting in the parking lot of a motel. Dean must be checking us in. I told him we shouldn't drive all the way through. Thank God his brother was finally showing some common sense.
Sam decided to wait for his brother to come out of the office before he got out to unload the car. It wouldn't do any good until they had a room number anyway. He leaned back against the seat and glanced at the motel's sign. "HELL MOTEL?" he said aloud. Then he realized some of the lights were out. Huh, he thought. They need to get those lights fixed. Soon. That can't be good for business.
The young hunter began to get antsy as ten minutes passed with no sign of his big brother. He checked his watch — 3:25 a.m. Sam figured several minutes had passed, at least, after they stopped before he had woken up. What was taking Dean so long? It never took this long to check into a motel in the wee hours of the morning. He squinted to see into the office, but the angle was wrong to see well. As he got out of the car for a better look, he saw a middle-aged man walk into view, stretching and yawning. Frowning, Sam headed for the office.
The clerk, finishing another stretch, patted his stomach as he greeted Sam. "Good morning, Sir! Would you like a room?"
Sam looked around for his brother without finding him, so he turned his attention to the clerk.
"I was sleeping in the car when my brother stopped here and just woke up a few minutes ago. I figure he must have come in to get us a room, but I don't see him anywhere. Guy a few inches shorter than me, spiked brown hair and leather jacket. Have you seen him?"
"Yessir," the clerk beamed. "Came in about a half hour ago and got a room with two queen beds." Sam noted the clerk's name badge — "Rusty" — as he walked back to the desk and picked up a piece of paper. "Dean Wilbur. That right?"
Sam nodded. Good a name as any. He seemed to remember his brother having a credit card in that name.
"Room 113, right down there." Rusty repeated the general wave he'd given Dean.
"Did you give him two room keys?"
"Nossir, I didn't. Let me give you one so you can get into the room yourself."
Sam nodded his gratitude, accepted the key, and headed out to find his wayward brother. The room was not hard to find. Sam put the key in the lock and the green light flicked right on. He opened the door, turned on the light switch, and found . . . a perfectly normal motel room containing two queen beds, a microwave, small refrigerator, and small round table with two chairs, but no Dean.
Dean jumped, turning in mid-air as the motel room door slammed shut behind him. Relaxing from the defensive stance he'd landed in, he opened the door to look outside again. He sucked in a breath as he saw a dark hall, lighted by two oil lamps, with doorways on either side and one at the end. He looked back into the room that he'd entered and through the door again. "Where the hell is my car? Where the hell is my brother?" he yelled. There was no response at all, not even an echo.
Closing the door, he leaned against it to take stock of the room he was in. There was a huge four-poster bed with a canopy and draping side curtains on the left. The bed was so high, there was a little stair step on the floor next to the bed to aid in getting into it. On the far wall were two long shuttered windows covered with heavy drapes, one on either side of a dressing table. The dressing table held a lighted oil lamp which gave the room a warm glow. A large wardrobe took up most of the wall to Dean's right. He turned to look at the wall that was behind him; some darkish paintings hung on the wall either side of the door. He was surprised to see that the door was of a heavy wood, dark like the rest of the woodwork in the room. The door he'd entered from the outside had been the typical heavy metal motel room door.
Dean realized that he'd been standing with his mouth open and clamped it shut. What the hell is going on here? he wondered. How am I going to get back to Sam? Is he going to end up in here, too? Dean began to study the room carefully in hopes of finding a way out to his reality and his brother. This was just too damn weird. He decided to check the other rooms in the hall to see if he could glean any information from them. This time he went into the hall without yelling.
"Freakin' bizarre place. Sammy, I wish you were here to see this. No, scratch that. I wish I was where you are," Dean said softly. There was no way he wanted his little brother in this place with him. If he couldn't find a way out himself, Sam might be his only means of rescue.
Looking both ways as if he were crossing a road, he decided to head left since the room he'd been in appeared to be the last one. Walking normally but not trying to make much noise at the same time, he came to the first door on his right. Since no one had responded to his yells earlier, he decided that he was in the "building" alone and didn't need to knock. Grabbing hold of the knob, Dean took a deep breath and turned it — nothing. He tried wiggling it — nothing.
Looking around and hoping that something had changed, Dean let go of the knob to walk to the next door on his left — same thing. Next door on his right — same thing. Again on his left. It was the same all the way down the hall until he came to the door facing him at the end. For some reason he didn't understand, he looked at this door with a slight feeling of dread. There seemed to be an oppressiveness here that wasn't in the rest of the hallway.
"Get it together, Winchester," he mumbled to himself.
With a last glance back down the dimly lit hall, Dean took hold of the doorknob and began to give it a turn.
Sam stood gaping at the perfectly normal motel room. Granted, it was nothing spectacular, just a room. The queen beds were on the left, the bathroom on the far wall, the small appliances and the rest of the furnishings were on the right.
"Dean?" Sam crossed the room to the bathroom, pushing the door all the way open. No Dean.
Fully awake now, Sam turned to check for hiding places. If this was a sick joke his brother was trying to play on him, he was sooooo going to pay. What to do? Making a decision, the young hunter headed for the door and back to the office to speak to Rusty.
Rusty smiled when Sam entered. There hadn't been this much activity on this shift since he'd been hired.
"I checked the room and there's no sign of my brother. Is there an all night diner or anything like that close by that he might have walked to?"
Rusty's smile faded as Sam spoke. "No, nothing like that. He seemed pretty tired, only interested in the room and some sleep." The clerk's eyes were full of concern.
"Okay. Thanks, man. I'm sure he'll turn up." Sam turned and exited the building.
He looked at the muscle car, digging in his pocket for the spare keys he carried to get some of their stuff out of the trunk. As he stuck the key in the lock, he was happy that the car was virtually in front of their room so he didn't have to carry the heavy weapons bag far. If they were just stopping for the night, Dean usually left the weapons in the locked compartment in the trunk if they hadn't been used. Sam always felt better if they were in the room with them. Better safe than sorry, he always said to his brother.
Grunting as he lifted the heavy bag, he decided to come back for their other bags. Weapons were much heavier than clothes. Normally, he could have handled all three bags and had, but he was too tired this time. Throwing the heavy bag over his shoulder, he walked the few steps to the room door and inserted the key card. The green light hesitated a second then flashed on. Sam pushed the door open without turning on the light, setting the bag on the floor. He let the door close by itself, wincing a little at the slam, and went back to the car for the rest of the bags.
Easily getting the rest of their belongings, Sam closed the trunk, made sure the doors were locked, and headed back to the room. Kicking himself for not propping the door open, he dug for the key card and inserted it once again into the lock. The green light came on immediately and he stepped into the room, this time flipping the light switch by the door. The room was flooded in light and Sam gasped.
Dean heard a door slam behind him and let go of the doorknob, turning back toward the room he'd originally found himself in with surprise. He was pretty sure that the sound had come from there and had a momentary stab of fear that his brother might have come through the door to find himself in this creepy place.
"Sammy!" Dean shouted as he took off at a run toward the sound, slamming open the door and looking around wildly. "Sam?"
No Sam, but his eyes lit on something very odd on the floor not far from the door.
"What the…?" Dean stepped forward, kneeling down to check the object that looked suspiciously like their weapons bag. Snagging the handles, he spread them apart, unzipped the bag, and carefully looked inside. It was their weapons bag. Everything appeared to be in there, confirmed by a quick inventory. How could this have happened?
"Huh," the hunter said aloud as he realized something else. Sam was, wherever he was, with only his .45 and the knife he always carried. That couldn't be good. Whatever was going on here might very well bleed into the "real" world to his little brother.
"No, you don't. You're not going after my brother!" he said to the room, fisting his hands.
Dean sat down Indian style next to the weapons bag, put his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he started to work out what was going on. He had ended up in here when he opened the motel room door. The door slammed shut behind him, and when he'd reopened it, it led to the dark hallway rather than the parking lot, the Impala, and his little brother. Dean shook his head.
Well, at least now I'm armed, Dean thought, getting up. He sorted through the bag to pick out his weapons for searching this place, coming up with his favorite shotgun, a box of rock salt-loaded shells, his own .45, and extra clips. He tucked the .45 into his waist band at the small of his back, the clips going into his jacket pocket. He already had his dagger in its ankle sheath, so he felt pretty well armed. Thanks, little brother, however you did this. He smirked. Getting himself settled for his trek, he turned to exit the room once again.
Sam couldn't believe it. He knew he'd left the damned weapons bag right there. He leaned back and looked outside, but no one was around. It didn't make sense. He'd been only a few feet from the door and had been facing in that general direction even though he'd been digging in the trunk. No one could have stolen it. He shut the door, sitting down on Dean's bed. Dean's bed, he thought as he rubbed his hands over his face. Where was his brother? Totally at a loss, Sam decided to inventory what weapons he had left. He found his own .45 and had his pocket knife in his pocket, as expected, but had no other weapons, not even an extra clip. "Huh."
The youngest Winchester knew he wouldn't get any rest or even be able to sit down for any period of time until he figured out what was happening. Heading back outside, he walked all the way to the end of the building and back, the security light at the end allowing him to go around to the side and check there . . . no Dean. There were security lights at each corner, so he decided to go ahead and walk the whole perimeter of the building. Dammit!
Rubbing his hands over his eyes, he took another walk around the perimeter and headed back to their room. Sam wondered again if this was some cruel prank his brother was playing, but rejected that thought as soon as it crossed his mind. Dean could prank with the best of them, but he was never cruel. Might as well try and get some rest. Dean's going to have some serious explaining to do when he finally shows up. Sliding the card back into the slot, the light came on immediately, allowing him to enter the room. Looking sadly at his brother's empty bed, he realized his mind was growing numb and he needed to get some sleep to go at this with a fresh mind.
Stripping down to his boxer briefs, the exhausted hunter got into his bed and tried to settle himself down so sleep could come. He turned on his right side to stare in the moonlight at the other bed — empty. He closed his eyes to shut out the sight of the empty bed, hoping to fall asleep. The silence was deafening. The sound of Dean's easy breathing and soft snores should have been there. After a few seconds, he flopped back onto his back, but then had to look at the ceiling. He didn't like looking at ceilings. His eyes still refused to close, the thought of his brother not being where he was supposed to be apparently wasn't going to allow for any sleep.
Crap! Sam thought with frustration. Laying there fighting for sleep that wouldn't come wasn't going to do him or his brother any good. Sam got himself back together and yawned his way out to the car. He was pretty sure they kept an extra flashlight in the emergency supplies. He found his first glimpse of hope when he cleared away bandages, antiseptic, holy water, and sutures from the top of the zippered bag to uncover the Maglite. If he couldn't sleep, at least something could go his way.
Properly lit and almost properly armed, Sam headed toward the end of the motel to begin a serious search. Disgusted with himself, he knew he should have done this before, but he'd been so tired and sure that Dean would show up. But let's face it, in their line of work someone could just vanish contrary to what he'd told his brother months ago. Sam snorted. People don't just disappear, Dean; other people stop looking for them. The conversation with his brother came to mind, giving Sam renewed determination. He wouldn't stop. Flashing the light around in a careful motion so as not to miss anything, paying close attention to the bushes around the building, Sam did a thorough search. Bushes are a great place to hide a body, he reminded himself. Swallowing past the lump in his throat, Sam thought, Dean is NOT dead! I'd know it.
Wiping at his eyes, he continued his search all the way around the motel but found nothing. Frustrated, Sam slapped the door to their room and spun around to lean on it. He looked up to the sky, seeing the stars and the beginning of morning twilight in the east. Banging his head against the door, he blinked away the tears of frustration and fear that wanted to fall, determining anew to find his brother. Sam pushed away from the door and began a wider search. If there was nothing close to the building, he'd look further away.
Dean turned back at the sound of something banging on the door in that room again. Hesitating for a moment, he looked back down the hall, his eyes flitting across the heavy, dark wall paper, the dark pictures on the walls, and turned back to his mission. The hunter was sure there was something evil here and needed to take care of it before it went after anyone, especially Sam. He needed to kick some evil butt here, and then figure out a way to get back to his brother.
This time, Dean reached the door at the end of the hall without trying the other doors. He figured they were still locked with whatever evil that was here behind that one door anyway. Taking a deep breath, he once again took hold of the knob and began to turn it. He met some resistance, but it didn't appear to be locked so he put some muscle into it. The knob finally gave, turning all the way and allowing the door to open.
The hunter gently pushed the door open a little and waited . . . nothing. He opened it a little further and carefully peeked around the door. It was dark, very dark, but he had the definite sense of openness, like stairs going down, definitely not another room. He felt around for a light switch and found nothing. It wasn't surprising since the rest of the building seemed to be lit by oil lamps. Damn. He should have remembered to bring a flashlight or see if there was another oil lamp, at least. He had to get this over with and get some sleep. He was screwing up, and he'd be lucky if he didn't get himself hurt or worse. That wouldn't be any good for either of them.
He stood there at the top of what he knew were downward-leading steps and thought. He pushed the door fully open to see if the dim light from the hall would be of any help. It barely was. He could see the first step and the outline of another, though, confirming that this was not a room. No two ways about it, he was going to have to go back for one of the flashlights in the weapons bag. The tired hunter slapped his forehead as he sighed. Idiot!
He closed the door and quietly hobbled back to the (his) room. Grabbing the weapons bag from the floor and putting it on the bed, he rummaged until he found one of the two bright flashlights. Checking to make sure it worked, he gathered up his little arsenal, and hobbled back down the hall to the door.
This time, he turned the flashlight on before cautiously opening the door. Much better. Turning the knob and pushing the door completely open, Dean stepped through the doorway onto the first step. He shined the light down the stairs, vaguely seeing dusty 'basement stuff'. Moving the light around the walls, he saw nothing of interest except some random scratch marks. He leaned down but couldn't see much of anything else, so he took another deep breath and carefully put his foot on the first step down.
Sam was beside himself. He'd been over every square inch of ground for over two blocks in every direction with no sign of Dean. The sun was up. Coming back to the parking lot, he double checked for any signs of a struggle but there were none. The young hunter was sure he would have heard something like that. Sure, he'd been tired and asleep, but not so deeply asleep he wouldn't hear his brother in trouble. They were very well attuned to each other, so he'd know if something had happened to Dean in the parking lot. The distance from the office to the motel room door wasn't that far, and the car was right in the middle of that space. If something had happened to Dean on his way to the room or the car, it would have been virtually right beside Sam.
Running his hand through his hair, he decided to see if there was a coffee maker in the motel room; he couldn't remember. He slipped his key card into the slot and the green light flashed on immediately. Pushing down on the handle and opening the door, Sam tossed the emergency flashlight onto Dean's bed, (Dean's bed) and stood there with his mouth open in total shock. The little flashlight had landed on the bed next to what looked like their weapons bag.
"Dean?" Sam called into the silence but got silence in return. Hurrying across the room to the small bathroom, Sam called, "Dean? Where are you?" No answer. The bathroom door was open, but there was no sign that anyone had been there.
Astounded, Sam turned back to look at the bag on the bed, then ran over to check it out. The handles had been spread apart, the zipper was open, and there was every sign that someone had been rummaging through it. Sam did a mental inventory as he looked through the bag, realized that Dean's favorite shotgun, a bunch of rock salt shells, Dean's .45, spare clips, and one of the big flashlights were all missing. What the hell? Dean's been through this bag. Sam collapsed on his own bed to stare at the weapons bag in utter confusion. What the hell is going on here? His mind reeling, the youngest Winchester blinked to try to bring the world into some sort of focus. He looked around the room again, his eyes lighting on the little complimentary coffee pot and supplies. That's it. I need coffee to bring myself out of this.
Sam dazedly walked over to the coffee pot and began going through the motions of preparing coffee. This was normal, mundane, something he did every day, and it was soothing. He sat down at the small table, his gaze returning to stare at the bag on the bed. Absently, he began to drum the fingers of his left hand on the table. He couldn't seem to get his mind wrapped around the situation. Nothing in the Winchester experience even came close to these events. Finally, he decided to do some more mundane things to try getting a grip on himself, let his mind rest, and maybe something would come to him.
He remembered at Stanford that many times during a particularly rough week he'd have to leave his studies to do laundry or have a meal. He'd let his subconscious mind do the work his conscious mind didn't seem to be able to do at that point. Almost every time, the solution to the problem, whatever it was, would come to him while he wasn't thinking about it. Sometimes, he'd be asleep and sit straight up in bed with the answer, scaring Jessica half to death.
He got up and grabbed his own duffle, beginning the ordinary task of finding some clean clothes and his toiletries. Going into the bathroom, he began laying his stuff out, only using half of the space so that Dean would have room for his things when he came back. His heart lurching at the thought, Sam tried to push it away so he could get on with his tasks. He walked out of the bathroom to the enticing smell of freshly brewed coffee as the little pot finished its work.
Sam poured himself a cup of the steaming liquid and turned on the TV to see if there was any local news. He'd been reluctant to go to the police, but if there was nothing on the news and his brother didn't turn up when it was over, he'd definitely warm up the laptop to see if he could find anything there. He was happy to see a card on the table that touted free internet service. That was something, at least.
The coffee was good, the hosts of the morning show entertaining, but he wasn't in the mood to be entertained or amused in any way. He switched channels until he found one that was giving the local news, but there was nothing about an unidentified man being found injured or dead. Sam shook his head violently. He was so not going to think like that. He'd just have to call the hospital himself to see if anyone had been brought in fitting Dean's description. It could have happened too late to get into the news broadcast, he reasoned.
Deciding to take a shower and go get some breakfast before making any calls, his stomach began to growl, making him sure he'd be better able to focus after his body was refreshed. Besides, it was another mundane thing to do. At this point, he wasn't sure he was really capable of anything complicated.
After showering and shaving, Sam had to admit that he did feel better, but he also still needed food. He dressed in the clothes he'd dug out earlier, grabbed his keys to the Impala, and headed out the door. He walked to the motel office to see where a cheap breakfast could be obtained, but found that Rusty was no longer on duty. In his place was "Kim", a petite brunette in her early twenties with a winning smile. She gave him the directions he requested, even drawing a little map on a piece of paper. Sam thanked her as he left in search of sustenance.
He found the diner with no trouble, but was surprised to find he wasn't all that hungry in spite of his stomach's earlier complaining. Knowing he had to eat anyway, he ordered a bowl of hot oatmeal with fresh strawberries. Not a lot, but it would last him a while. Dean would have scoffed at the meal, preferring greasy bacon and eggs. Sam told himself to stop feeling so down. He needed to get his act together. Being depressed wasn't going to get his brother back.
When the waitress brought his meal, Sam thanked her and dug in.
Dean was moving carefully as he came to the midpoint in the stairs, leaning over and shining the flashlight around in the new areas it could reach. There still wasn't much of interest. There were tools over in the far corner, some shelves with jars of canned goods on them (fruits or vegetables, he was sure), but he wasn't down the stairs far enough to be able to see more. Continuing his way down, he reached the bottom, stopped and shined the light around again before deciding to go on.
The smallish room seemed empty, but he felt a chill ripple down his spine as he remembered another dusty basement in Rockford, Illinois that had held evil. He really hoped there was nothing like that here. Shining the light to the left, the hunter saw some wooden boxes stacked against the wall. He walked over to them to squint at the words stamped on them. He smiled as he realized they were boxes of wine. Cool. He'd come back to those. He had more pressing things to take care of right now, though.
The hunter swung the flashlight to the right, the beam landing on more shelves. These held some tins on them that turned out to be normal things one would find in a basement: nails, screws, nuts, bolts, and the like. Further to the right, he found the stack of tools in the corner he'd seen before and then the shelves holding the jars of canned goods. Moving closer to pass the light across them, Dean discovered they did, indeed hold fruits and vegetables. Huh. Wonder how old this stuff would be back in the real world? Maybe I should try to take some back with me to give to Sam. He smiled at the thought. Further to the right was the wall the stairs came down on which there was nothing of any interest at all.
Dean walked back to the steps, catching sight of something he'd missed. There seemed to be a wall to the side of the stairs to create a possible storage area beneath them. Shining the flashlight back to the stairs, he checked to see if there was open space between steps but realized that the light went no further than the stairs themselves; the backs of the steps had been closed off. Walking around to the right, Dean began to check out the wall. It was solidly built with a heavy wooden door in the middle of it.
"That's odd," he said aloud. As he moved closer to the door, he noticed a chill in the air that he was pretty sure hadn't been there before. Nice. He reached out for the handle and jumped as he heard a sound behind him. He shined the light around the area and didn't notice anything unusual until the light landed on the tools in the corner. They looked different somehow. He heard the sound again and saw a slight movement of the tools. Damnit! I'll bet it's rats. Shit!
Dean hesitated but decided to finish his inspection since he was already down there. He sure didn't want to come back if there really were rats lurking around. Turning back to the door, he saw there was also a heavy padlock blocking his way. He lifted the old lock to get a better look, and sure enough, it would be easy picking. Smirking, he put down his shotgun, stuck the flashlight under his chin, and reached into his jacket for his lock pick kit.
As he concentrated on his task, he jumped in shock when a trowel hit the wall next to him. Spinning around and shining the flashlight into the corner, he saw the tools were vibrating and generally acting like tools were not supposed to act under normal conditions. A rake shuddered and took flight in his general direction, but the experienced hunter took no further chances; it was time to leave. Forgetting his shotgun, he made his way to the stairs as more tools launched themselves at him, their aim improving. As he placed his left foot on the first step, he let out a yell as something very sharp hit the back of his right thigh. Falling onto the stairs, he reached back to pull a pitchfork out of his leg.
"Shit, shit, shit!" he yelled. Something else hit the wall next to his head, and he knew he didn't have time to waste. If he didn't get moving, he'd die down there, killed by possessed lawn and garden tools. Shining the flashlight back up the stairs, he tried to lift his right leg to the next step, managing to get it there, but it wouldn't hold his weight and he fell again. The pain was excruciating, but he swallowed past it and forced himself to move. He stepped up with his left leg and brought the right one up to that step. Each step was almost unbearable, but he managed to get himself up the stairs and through the door at the top.
The hunter turned to pull the door shut, but something hit the wall just beyond the door. He ducked back, but nothing further was thrown, so he reached for the door again and pulled it shut. He leaned against the wall to catch his breath, relieved when there were no further sounds of activity on the other side of the door. When his heart rate and breathing calmed a little, he headed down the hall to the first room he'd been in. The going was rough because he had to drag his right leg, only making real progress by hopping on his left, but managing to get into the room and shut the door.
He collapsed on the floor, leaned back to the door, and sucked in huge breaths. He felt like he'd run a marathon and was going to die from it. He needed to get his leg taken care of, thinking it was too bad Sammy hadn't supplied him with the emergency bag. Suddenly frowning, he noticed something very strange, the weapons bag was no longer on the bed. He looked around the room, but it was just gone.
Dean struggled to get up and tried a step, but collapsed again as his injured leg refused to do any more. "Fine!" he yelled at the room. "Just freakin' fine!" He'd fallen back against the door, banging the back of his head repeatedly on the heavy wood. "Come on, Dean. Get up, asshole." He tried again and was at least successful in getting all the way up this time. Looking toward the bed, he decided to go slow and hop on his left foot to keep the strain off his injured leg.
Halfway to the bed, he heard a sound behind him at the door. He struggled to turn without falling and couldn't believe his eyes.
"Sammy, Noooooooo!" Dean launched himself forward.
A/N: Like I said previously, I finished this in April. I was amazed during Episode 2 this season when Dean went upstairs at Bobby's, to see the hallway I envisioned for this fic. It was perfect! Go Kripke!
Thanks for reading. Please review! :-)