Thanks for all the lovely reviews! You guys really make me happy. Here's chapter two.

Standard disclaimers apply, as always.


Feeling fed, refreshed, and ready for the tasks he had ahead of him, Sam pulled the Impala into the parking lot in front of their room. He picked up the paper he'd purchased at the diner as he got out of the car. Looking at the front page, Sam absently stuck his key card into the slot. The green light hesitated before coming on. Still looking down at the paper, the young hunter pushed the handle down and pushed the door open. He was completely shocked as his brother screamed, launching himself into him and sending them both out onto the sidewalk in front of their room. The door slammed shut behind them.

Having automatically thrown his arms around his brother as they fell back, Sam fired off a million questions in rapid succession. "Dean? Ohmigod, Dean! What happened? Where the hell have you been? Are you okay? When did you get back? Why did you jump me like that? I've been worried sick and scared to death! Dean?"

"Mmphf" was the reply from somewhere in Sam's chest.

"Oh." Sam let go of his brother.

"Jeez, Sam, you trying to suffocate me? One question at a time, dude. Get off me."

"You're the one on top of me; you get off."


The older man rolled off his little brother onto his stomach so Sam could have his arm back. The younger man raised himself up on one elbow, regarding his big brother. He opened his mouth to make a smart-assed remark but stopped when his appraising gaze landed on his older brother's injured leg. "What the hell? You're bleeding." Sam gasped. There was blood soaked all the way down the back of his brother's right leg. The back of the thigh looked like it had been stabbed repeatedly, but the holes in the pants appeared to be in a straight line.

Dean let his head fall on his arm and sighed. "Yeah. Can I have a little help here?"

Sam jumped up, grabbed his brother under his arms, and pulled him to his feet. Dean staggered and leaned into Sam for balance, neither brother moving for a couple of seconds in their relief to be together again.

The younger man pushed Dean away slightly, not letting go of his big brother's arms as he asked, "Can you walk?"

"No, dude. You're really going to have to help me here. This hurts like a sonofabitch."

"Where did you go?" Sam put his brother's arm around his shoulders, taking most of the injured man's weight as they headed toward their door.

"Into our room. I wanted to see it to make sure it was okay before waking you up." Dean hissed as the pain in his leg once again made itself known.

"What? You haven't been anywhere near this room since we got here . . . whenever it was. I searched every square inch in a two block radius. You were not here."

Sam put his key card into the slot and the green light flashed on immediately. Dean held his breath as he stared at the door in fear while the younger man pushed the handle down and opened the door. He let the breath go loudly and allowed Sam to help him through the door when he saw that it was, indeed, a motel room.

"What's wrong with you, man? It's just a room. Why did you jump me like that?" Sam helped his brother to his bed and began to move the things off it so Dean could lie down on his stomach.

"Sam, I swear, the last time I came through that door from the outside, this is not where I ended up."

"Then where were you?" Sam pulled the drapes across the window to keep any prying eyes away, although he hadn't seen anyone around the motel today at all besides Kim in the office. It was too early for Rusty to be there yet.

"It was a freaky old room like something out of a Vincent Price movie or something. The door shut behind me before I could get out. When I opened it again, it led to a hallway. There was no parking lot, no Impala, and no Sam. Dude!" Dean couldn't help but exclaim as Sam tried to help his brother get comfortable on the bed.

"Sorry. Not sure about these jeans, man. There are four holes in the right leg. Do you want to take them off or should I just cut this pant leg off?" Sam gently took Dean's sneakers off and tossed them on the floor. The right one was soaked in his brother's blood.

"No way. These are my favorite jeans, dude. Besides, chicks love a little tease like that. I'll try to undo them and you pull them off, but be careful."

The older sibling tiredly rolled over on his left side to get to the button and zipper so Sam could get the jeans off. He realized that he really was wearing down when it seemed to take almost super human effort to perform that simple function. "Okay." He sighed as he flopped back down on his stomach in exhaustion.

After hesitating a second then patting his brother's left ankle, Sam began carefully tugging, pulling, and adjusting until the poor abused jeans were finally off. The brothers simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief as they both relaxed.

"What the hell got you, dude? These holes look more round than flat like a knife would have done. Did someone use an ice pick on you or something?" the younger man asked as he gently examined the wounds. The bleeding seemed to be slowing down but would definitely need tending. They appeared deep, but Sam was grateful that all major arteries had apparently been missed.

"Pitchfork" was the mumbled reply.

"Pitchfork? Who'd you piss off this time?" Sam moved to the bathroom, returning with a small wet towel and setting it on his brother's leg, wincing at Dean's sudden intake of breath. He moved to the emergency bag and came out with the bandages, antiseptics, and anything else he might need once he got the wounds clean and could better assess them.

"Sam, can we play Twenty Questions later? I'm beat. I just want you to finish this so I can get some sleep. Okay?"

"Okay, you know the drill. Ready?"

"Whatever, dude, just do it and get it done. With any luck, I'll be asleep before you finish."

"Yeah, I'll be right behind you." Sam sat down on the bed next to his brother's leg.

Dean tried to turn to give his brother an appraising look. "You okay?"

"I'm fine now that I know you didn't vanish into thin air. With you back, I'll be able to get a little sleep, too. We can go over all this later."

Satisfied, the injured man nodded, put his head down on the pillow, shut his eyes, and gave himself up to the exhaustion. He was safe now and would let his little brother take care of him for the time being. God, he was tired.

Sam poured the hydrogen peroxide on Dean's leg and held his breath. Dean flinched but made no sound as the antiseptic foamed and did its job. Sam repeated the process for each puncture, and when the foaming stopped he began to gently wipe the residue from the four holes in his brother's leg. Dean didn't move. From what Sam could see, the pitchfork must have gone in solidly but didn't seem to have done any severe damage. After applying butterfly bandages on the wounds and standing up, Sam stretched to relieve some of the tension in his shoulders. He watched Dean breathe steadily and smiled.

"Dean?" he said softly. When there was no answer, Sam cleaned up the clutter and put the items back in their pack with a mental note that they needed to get another bottle of hydrogen peroxide. The stuff's cheap enough and we go through enough of it; we should buy it by the gallon jug, five gallon, fifty gallon barrel, he chuckled.

Suddenly, the young hunter was completely exhausted. He'd known he was tense but hadn't realized just how tense until he began to relax. He'd gotten his brother back and taken care of his injuries for now. There wouldn't be anything to do until he could talk to Dean when he woke up, so he decided to lie down and get some rest himself. He'd told Dean he'd get some sleep, but he really felt the need to keep watch for some reason. He didn't think he'd be able to, though, as utter fatigue washed over him and he gave in to it. The young hunter took the spread from his bed and gently covered his brother.

Sam didn't bother to remove any clothing as he lay down on his own bed. Adjusting the pillows, he lay on his right side so he could see his big brother. Dean had obviously been through quite an ordeal and Sam was anxious to hear about it, but they both needed rest. The older man's even breathing was a comforting sound to Sam. He realized that Dean hadn't even had any pain relievers. Marveling at his brother's strength and fortitude, Sam sighed and relaxed. Soon his own eyes closed, his breathing becoming even, too.

The room was quiet, but after a few minutes, Dean hitched awake. He looked around, realizing he was in a motel room as he saw his little brother asleep in the next bed. He watched Sam breathe for a minute and sent his hunter's senses out to the room. Recognizing no danger but briefly wishing his knife was under his pillow for added protection, Dean relaxed so that the very much welcome sleep could claim him once again.

The room again became quiet with the soft snores of the two brothers the only sound.

A few minutes later, Dean's bed began to shimmer: if anyone had been looking they'd have seen that the edges became blurred, a heavy bedspread appeared, and the eerie glow of an oil lamp could be seen. Slowly, the visual vanished, the room settled down, and the brothers slept on.


Sam jerked awake, looked around the room in confusion, suddenly remembered the events of the last twenty-four hours, and looked over to Dean's bed. His brother was still sleeping soundly, apparently not having moved from his original position. Sam glanced at the digital clock on the night stand — 2:45. He sat up quickly and rubbed his eyes. He couldn't believe he'd slept for five hours, but he felt much better. His body was less fatigued and his brain was all but cobweb-free. The young hunter chuckled to himself; Dean would have a heyday with that thought.

The younger brother got up and stood closer to Dean. The older man's sleep appeared restful; the look on his face was peaceful — no nightmares. Is it a nightmare if it's in the middle of the day when you're sleeping? Where the hell did that come from? He gently placed his hand on his brother's forehead to check for fever and found none, causing a sigh of relief. Dean mumbled in his sleep but didn't waken.

Sam moved to the bathroom, splashing some water on his face, and rubbing the sleep from his eyes with one of the cheap towels. He felt much better than he had and was ready to tackle whatever might come up. He decided some research was in order and got the laptop out, quietly placing it on the small table. Pushing the "On" button and waiting for it to power up, he went to make some more coffee. He knew no matter how Dean felt when he woke up, he'd want his coffee. He'd wait for his brother to wake before doing anything about food, however. Sam wasn't hungry, but he knew Dean would be and might want to get out for a while.

Sam sat down at the laptop and connected to the internet. The notepaper named Harrison, IL as the town they were in, so he started his search there. After an hour of research and note taking, he stood up to stretch and make another little pot of coffee. He hadn't realized he'd drunk it all. While the little pot worked, Sam walked to Dean's bed. His brother appeared to be rousing a little, so Sam decided to put his hand on his brother's forehead again — while he still could — to check his temperature.

Dean jerked at the touch and came up swatting his hands around until he realized where he was.

"Sorry, dude. I just wanted to check for a fever."

The older Winchester winced as he tried to lie back down. The sudden movement had pulled on his injured leg, which was letting him know how unhappy it was. "Don't scare me like that," Dean groaned.


He went over to the first aid kit to retrieve the bottle of ibuprofen, shaking a couple into his hand. Grabbing a bottle of water, he took the offering to Dean's bed and carefully sat down where he'd been a few hours earlier. "Can you turn over to take these and drink some water?"

"Mmpft?" Dean said into the pillow.

"I'm taking that as a question. I said, 'can you turn over to take these pills and drink some water?' Did you have any water or anything while you were . . . wherever you were?"

Dean rolled a little to his left side. "No, nothing. I was kind of busy getting yard tools tossed at me." Taking the pills and the bottle of water, he drained it. "Thanks." A beat. "You know what I'd really like, though? Some coffee." He had smelled the freshly brewed coffee and couldn't wait to taste it.

Sam got up and poured a cup, bringing it back to sit on the nightstand while he helped his big brother get into a sitting position that wouldn't put too much pressure on the back of his leg. Being on the bed was perfect since Dean could slouch against the headboard and bend his leg enough to keep it off the bed. Nodding that he was fine, Dean accepted the cup and gently sipped the steaming nectar. He was looking forward to the ibuprofen taking effect, but the coffee tasted very good. He sighed happily as he leaned his head back against the headboard.

His eyes wandered to his little brother. "How long?"

"Six hours."

"How about you?"

"Five hours." Sam shrugged. "I decided to do some research to see if there was anything interesting in this town."

Dean raised his brows. "Find anything?"

"A little, but I want to hear what happened to you. I think we're both sufficiently awake."

Dean nodded. "I'll tell you about it, but how about running out for some cheeseburgers and fries first? They weren't exactly serving a buffet over there and I'm starving."

Sam got up and took the car keys from the table. "I'll be right back. You organize your thoughts while I'm gone, and we'll try to come up with a plan." He waved a hand as he headed out the door.

The exhausted hunter lay back against the headboard, sighing deeply. It was good to relax and to have his brother have his back again. Even with all the supernatural stuff they saw everyday, he'd had a hard time with what he'd been through the last twenty-four hours. He'd hunted alone plenty of times while Sam was at Stanford, but they'd been together again for a while now; he'd felt his little brother's absence on the other side. He closed his eyes, trying to relax. They were going to have to figure out how his little adventure had happened, then do something about it. He and Sam could handle themselves, but they needed to figure out if this event was related to this motel and/or room or if it was just some random event. They didn't want innocent people going through what he had. As he relaxed a little more, the thought that Sam might have some ideas from his research had him switching off his brain. He'd wait until Geek Boy came back so they could talk about this and whatever Sam had found out then. He was still very tired.

As Dean's breathing evened out, and his head slipped a little to the side in sleep, the lighting in the room began to change to the hue of the light from an oil lamp. The walls became covered in dark wallpaper. The sounds from the road outside the motel began to fade away.

Several minutes later, the sleek, black Impala rumbled into the parking lot of the motel. Sam switched off the ignition, gathered up the bags of greasy food and sodas that his brother preferred and hauled his lanky frame out of the driver's seat.

"Damn," he grumbled. He'd forgotten to get the room key out before picking up the bags. Setting the drinks on the ground, he reached into his back pocket for the key. Sliding it into the lock, he frowned as the red light came back on. Sticking the card in again, the green light hesitated, but finally came on. Mumbling his irritation with these modern key locks, Sam pushed the handle down, shoved the door open, and bent down to pick up the drinks.


Dean came awake lazily as he heard something at the door. As his eyes opened in anticipation of his brother coming in with food and drinks, he suddenly realized that he wasn't where he'd been when he fell asleep. He sat upright, wincing at the pinch he felt in his leg, and looked around in amazement. He was lying on the four-poster bed back in the other room.

Still shocked, he turned his head to the right as the door opened and saw Sam leaning down to pick up something from the ground. In desperation, Dean flew off the bed at his little brother, the two of them landing in a heap just outside the door, sodas flying.

"Dude!" Sam said when his breath came back. "This is getting old. What's up with you?"

Dean rolled off his brother quickly, gesturing toward the door. "Look."

The younger hunter followed his brother's gesture, his mouth dropping open in amazement just as the door slammed shut. He slowly turned to Dean. "What the hell?"

"Close your mouth, dude. You're gonna get something in there you don't want." Dean chuckled as he took a deep breath and let it go. "That's where I was."

Sam clamped his mouth shut. Glancing back at the door and once again at his brother, he could only blink.

This time, the older sibling laughed. My geek boy brother is speechless. This is freakin' priceless! He slapped Sam on the shoulder, motioning with his right hand. "Let's get up and have some food."

Sam shook himself as he got up to assist his brother. "Dude, you're out here in your shorts." Sam was laughing as he took Dean's hand. At the expression on his brother's face, he laughed even harder.

Dean composed himself, smirked, and stood proudly. "Hey, if you've got it, flaunt it."

"Fine, jerk."


"I can't believe you're thinking about food when we can't get back into our motel room."

"Oh. Right." Dean considered for a moment. "Help me to the car."

As they turned to head to the car, Sam glanced at the motel office, hesitating in surprise. There stood Kim looking out the window at them, her eyes wide open in shock, mouth in the shape of an O.

Dean followed his brother's gaze to see what had caused him to stop and let a slow smile light up his face. He turned to face the window fully and raised his hand in a friendly wave.

Embarrassed and appalled at his brother's boldness, Sam pulled Dean toward the car. "I don't believe you."

The half-naked hunter shrugged his shoulders at Kim and waved again, but allowed himself to be pulled toward his beloved Impala. Kim gave a hesitant wave in return and quickly turned away, but not before Dean noticed the increased color on her cheeks. He laughed happily.

Sam got his brother settled in the passenger seat, careful of his leg, then ran around and got in behind the wheel. "Where to?" He eyed Dean expectantly.

"Nowhere. We're going to eat in here. Go get the food." He gave Sam a little shove as he settled down with a contented smile on his face.

Sam stared at his brother in amazement for a moment. Shaking his head, he got out of the car, picked up what was left of the soft drinks and the bags of food, and got back in.

"Now, don't be making a mess. Just because we have to eat in the car is no reason to be spilling stuff all over her interior." Dean reached for one of the bags and started rummaging through it with enthusiasm.

"Uh, Dean…"

Dean looked up at Sam but continued stuffing French fries into his mouth.

"What are we going to do about getting back into our room? Sitting here stuffing our faces isn't going to get us back in there. What happened to my laptop? Where's all our stuff?" The youngest Winchester was obviously quite shaken up.

"Hey, shtarbing ban hew!" Dean swallowed. "Sorry, starving man here." He put his hand on Sam's shoulder. "We'll figure it out, I promise. I'm just too hungry to do it right this minute. Okay? Let's eat and then we'll get to work on the problem." He raised his eyebrows in anticipation of Sam's answer.

"Okay, but Dean… This is just so weird." Sam gestured in frustration at his inability to come up with something more eloquent.

The older man squeezed Sam's shoulder before letting go. "Story of our lives, Sam, story of our lives. Is there a cheeseburger with bacon in here? I think I smell bacon. Want a napkin?"

"Yeah, there is," Sam sighed as he took the offered item. "Pass me some fries, would you?" No point in pushing his brother now. They might as well get food off his mind before they got to work.


Gathering up the remnants of their lunch and stuffing all the trash into one bag, Sam sat back and turned toward his brother. "Well?"

Dean shrugged. "I think the first thing we should do is try the key again. There's got to be a way to enter our room." He put up his hand in response to Sam's open mouth. "Hear me out, okay?" His brother settled back and Dean nodded. "Okay. I put the key in the lock and went into another . . . world? You put the key in the lock and go into the real room. There has to be something to do with the key." The hunter raised his eyebrows and waited.

"Okay, I can buy that, but we need to figure out if there's a way to tell which we're going to find. I'm going to try the door and pay close attention to what happens. You stay here. There isn't much traffic, but you can't just stand out there in your underwear."

Dean smirked as he spread his arms out. "Nothing to be ashamed of here, Sammy!"

Sam snorted and got out of the car. Shutting the door behind him, he walked over to the door to their room, put the card in the slot, and pulled it out again. When the green light came on immediately, the young hunter pushed the handle down and began to open the door. Looking back at his brother, he could see him staring through the windshield at him with not a little concern — he might even have been holding his breath. Sam turned back to the door, pushing it open far enough to be able to see inside. It was their motel room. He dropped his head in relief and motioned for his brother to come on.

When Sam actually entered the room, he gave everything a quick once over. His laptop was on the table where it should be, and their other meager belongs were where they'd been left. He turned at the sound of his brother entering the room.

"I don't know. I put the key in the slot, pulled it out, the green light came on, I opened the door, and here we are." Sam held his arms out to encompass the room as he shook his head. "I don't get it."

"Me neither, but we will." Dean reached his hand over to grab his bed and collapsed onto it, putting all of his weight on his left side.

"How did you get over to the door, Dean?" Sam walked over to his brother, concerned.

The horizontal hunter grinned sheepishly. "I hopped."

Sam's eyes widened. "You hopped? What are you, a rabbit?"

"Don't get wise, little brother. I can still whip your ass."

"Whatever, dude. Let me see your leg. I want to make sure the bandages haven't slipped."

Dean dutifully rolled over onto his left side to let Sam see his injuries. After careful examination, Sam declared the wounds in good shape and patted his brother's foot. Rummaging in his brother's duffle, he came up with a pair of sweats, tossing them at the older man. "You'd better put these on and stop flashing people."

The older Winchester snorted but did as instructed and settled himself comfortably, putting his hands behind his head as he directed his gaze toward his little brother. "Okay. So let's talk about what you found out during your little research time."

Blinking, the younger sibling rubbed his eyes at the events of the last hour. He went to the table to sit in front of his laptop and his pad of notes, staring at them, marveling that they were exactly where he'd left them even though this wasn't the room he'd seen just a little while ago. Man, our lives are weird.


Sam came out of his reverie. "Huh? Oh, yeah. The only thing I could find at this point was an old mansion that used to sit on this very spot. It was owned by a Mr. Ian Harrison. He was an Irish immigrant who had worked his way up in the world to where he could afford a mansion like this." Sam took the laptop over to Dean's bed and sat down next to his brother so they could both see the screen. It showed a beautiful three-story brick mansion. Sam knew that the third floor was often used for servants' quarters, making it quite an impressive building and testament to the man's wealth by having live-in servants.

Dean leaned over towards his brother to study the picture. "This looks like the kind of place that would have the interior that I saw, but what would be the connection?"

Sam shook his head. "I don't know. That's really as far as I got. I've seen mention of family but haven't gotten far enough to discover what the family consisted of. Oh, I did find out that it's his family for whom this town is named, so there's probably some connection that way."

Sam got up, returned the laptop to the table, and sat down heavily. After several moments, he cast a thoughtful eye on his older brother. "You know, this is coal mining country, so it might have something to do with mining and some dark event surrounding that industry."

Dean nodded and tiredly lay back on the pillows. "Not unusual. Why don't you do some more research while I lie here and think? We also need to get out and talk to the townspeople, but I'm no good for that just yet, so I'm better off thinking. You're better at the research, so you're better off doing that, okay?" Dean lifted his arms behind his head, smiling at Sam. Suddenly, he was hit in the face by a flying newspaper.

"Sure, Dean, but you can read the newspaper to see if there's anything interesting in there."

"Fine. I'm sure I'm well enough to read."

Smiling, Sam turned back to his laptop as Dean began to unfold the paper to go through it.

An hour later, Sam had a stack of papers with notes on them. His older brother was softly snoring with the newspaper over his face, having succumbed to fatigue again shortly after beginning his search through it. He hadn't found anything of interest, and the lack of results contributed to his drowsiness. Ultimately giving up and letting the paper fall to help shut out some of the light, the ticking of his brother's fingers on the laptop had a lulling effect.

Sam leaned back in his chair, stretching his long limbs and arching his back. He loved the research aspect of the hunt, but the events of the last twenty-four hours had him a little stressed. He glanced at his sleeping brother. Dean needed the sleep and Sam was going to let him get it. Sam looked back at the stack of papers he had accumulated and sighed. There was a lot of info here. It was amazing what one could find out about a property when one dug far enough back. When Dean awoke, he'd go over what he'd found with him.

He turned a thoughtful gaze onto the motel room door. So far, he'd only seen evidence of the supernatural when he came in from the outside. However, the last time, his brother was in the room, experiencing the supernatural while inside, only able to get out when Sam came in from outside. Okay, so that meant that the problem was not just limited to the act of opening the door, it could happen with the door shut. His fingers drumming on the table, Sam frowned. Could they possibly be in the regular motel room while things were changing outside the door, changing into the hallway that Dean had described? He got up and walked quietly to the door, trying very hard not to waken his brother, and taking hold of the handle. Positioning himself to better get a look at what was outside, the young hunter carefully pushed down on the handle and pulled it slowly inward.

Giving his complete concentration and hunters' instincts to the task at hand, he was unaware of movement behind him. Suddenly he jumped, letting out a cry of surprise when something hit him on the back of the head with enough force to shove his forehead into the edge of the door. Turning around so fast he almost knocked himself over while instinctively dropping into a defensive stance, he was shocked to see his older brother rolling back and forth on the bed with both hands over his mouth to stifle his laughter.

Sam straightened up to look around in confusion. One of the motel pillows was lying on the floor at his feet. He picked it up and threw it back at his brother in disgust. "Damn it, Dean! You almost gave me a heart attack. What the hell's wrong with you?"

Dean gave up trying to stifle his laughter, caught the pillow before it hit him and laughed out loud before gleefully tossing it back in Sam's general direction. Fortunately for Sam, the older man was too weak with laughter for the pillow to find its mark this time.

"Aw, come on, Samantha. Lighten up a little, huh?"

Sam glared at his big brother in response.

Settling down a little, Dean shrugged his shoulders. "Okay, fine, Princess. What were you doing, anyway?"

Sam huffed but shared the thought process that had taken him to the door.

Dean nodded his head in agreement. "What did you see?"

Sam rubbed his forehead. "The edge of the door as my head hit it. I'm going to have a bruise."

"Oh. Sorry. Well, why don't you look again?"

"You look. I'm not setting myself up for another pillow in the back of the head."

Dean pouted, "Sammy, I'm hurt. I don't think I can make it to the door."

"Yeah, right." Sam sat with his arms crossed over his chest, continuing to glare at his immature brother.

Dean Winchester continued to pout, even batting his eyelashes at his little brother. He didn't have Sam's puppy eyes, but he could usually make him do something Dean himself didn't want to do. This time he was doing it just for fun. Feeling a little more rested, he was trying to lift the general mood.

Sam couldn't help it. Laughing as he got up, he went to the door, making a face at his brother's satisfied grin and keeping a wary eye on him. Dean rolled over to the edge of the bed, very interested in the results of the expedition. Sam carefully opened the door and looked. Sighing, he opened it all the way so that Dean could see the parking lot with the Impala in front of their room.

"Well, that wasn't very helpful." Sam closed the door and sat down on the edge of Dean's bed. "How's your leg? Do you need some more pain relievers?"

Dean sat up and tried flexing his right leg. "It's not bad. I don't need anything for pain right now." He looked up at his little brother, feeling a little guilty. "Sorry about the pillow."

Sam slapped his brother on the arm and grinned. "It's okay. Just part of your charm, I guess."

The older man beamed. He knew his baby brother couldn't stay mad at him but also knew that he'd have to be careful for a while in case of reprisals.

"So did you find anything during your research?"

"I did, actually." Sam got up and retrieved his notes from the table. "I found the town's Historical Society's website, and like I mentioned before, the mansion used to sit on this site and was owned by the Harrison family." Looking at his notes, Sam continued, "It was built in 1842, and due to investments and hard work, Mr. Harrison continued to build his fortune, becoming well respected and liked by the community. He became a mine owner, and for the time, provided excellent working conditions for his men. It's a dangerous business, and he felt that losing good men when it could be avoided was not profitable. He also seemed to genuinely care for his employees.

"Let's see: he had a wife, Abigail; two children, a boy and a girl, Todd and Martha. As was the custom of the time, Todd went to work for his father in the business, becoming an astute business man in his own right, making the family fortune grow as his father had. Martha married well and all was right with the world, it seemed."

"Nothing lasts forever, though, right?"

Sam nodded, shuffling his papers, "Right. Todd's grandson, a Warren Harrison, developed a gambling habit and love for the ladies." Sam looked pointedly at his brother at the last part of that statement.

Dean smirked and shrugged. "The guy wasn't all bad."

Sam snorted and continued, "Anyway, he went through the family fortune, losing everything except the family mansion. His wife left him, taking their only son, seventeen-year-old Martin, with her. Warren died a broken and lonely man when Martin was thirty. Being the only heir, Martin came 'home' to live in the house and rebuild the family fortune. But Martin had none of the family business sense, so it didn't go as planned. He ended up turning the mansion into a boarding house of sorts and died penniless." Sam put the papers down. "That's as far as I got when I decided to take a break."

"Good job, Geek Boy," he said as he slapped his brother's knee.

"Thanks. I know there's more to the story than that, but I'll get back to it in a minute."

"I'm going to take a shower while you do." He slapped Sam's hand away as his brother tried to help him up. "I can do it."

"Fine." Sam backed up and waited while his stubborn brother tried to get himself off the bed.

"Fine." Dean turned, scooted to the edge of the bed, and grabbed the night table between the beds. Taking a breath, he attempted to raise himself. It took more effort than he'd anticipated, but he was determined to not need to be taken care of any longer. In his eyes, it made him weak, and he was definitely not weak. He was the strong older brother. He finally made it to a completely vertical position and turned to his brother with a smile on his face.

Sam backed up to allow his brother to head out on his own. Dean took a tentative step with his right foot, hissing as his weight brought a sharp but manageable pain. Left foot forward, easy; right foot forward, slowly. In this manner the injured hunter got past his brother and the end of the bed. As he got closer to the bathroom, it became a little easier and his gait evened out somewhat. Crossing the threshold and turning to close the door, he smiled and winked at Sam.

Sam chuckled and turned back to his laptop to continue his information gathering, and by the time Dean came out of the bathroom, was completely engrossed.


Please let me know what you think! :-)