(PART TWO OF TWO)
The sound of cheerful whistling, a Bad Company tune, woke Sam. He groaned tiredly as he sat up stiffly. A freshly showered Dean was coming out of the small bathroom, his mood perfect due to a good nights rest. The same couldn't be said for Sam. He felt as though he might as well not even have gone to bed at all. He certainly wasn't up for his brother's renditions of classic rock.
"Dean..." he said in an annoyed tone.
"C'mon Sammy!" Dean said exuberantly as he approached his sleepy brother and slapped him on the back, "Get up already, it's breakfast time!"
Breakfast was the usual charade; Dean wolfed down a hearty plate of cardiac arrest provoking greasy food, while Sam went for a more conservative choice of buttered toast and an orange juice.
"So what next?" Dean asked with his mouth full.
"Well we still need to find out more about the first victim, Amanda King. She worked part-time at the prison in the medical bay."
Dean looked slightly bemused, "In a medical bay? Wasn't that Max kid studying to be a doctor? Could that be another connection?"
"I don't know. I havn't been able to find out anything else. It does seem more then just a strange coincidence though." Sam sighed, "Look Dean, one things been troubling me. So far, each victim witnessed another one of the victims die right before them in one way or another. Chloe Reeves saw her mother die, I'm wondering if that means that she could be in danger. What if this thing goes after her too?"
"Well, I got to admit, it seems to have been the pattern. I guess this will be confirmed if we can find out exactly what happened to Amanda King. If for some reason Max Fraser saw her die..."
"I think one of us should go and see Chloe again, keep an eye out for her, just in case." Sam said with concern.
"Thats a good idea, except for one thing Sam. We still don't know what we are up against, so if it does show up to make Chloe do herself in, what can we do about it. How do we destroy it?"
"Well," said Sam after taking a quick sip of his juice, "whatever this thing is, from the way that Chloe described it before, it sounds like some kind of spirit, so I guess rock salt would help hold it off. But even better, we need to find out who it was..."
"Do some grave digging, salt the bones and torch the sucker." said Dean finishing off Sam's sentence.
"Yeah. That's about the size of it."
"Look," said Dean as he finished off the last fork-full of his breakfast hastily, "Why don't you go check out what happened to this Amanda, and I'll stick close to Chloe at the hospital, your better at all that background stuff anyway, while I'm always the better...action man." he beamed confidently.
Sam glowered, before his expression turned serious again. "Okay, but you have to be careful Dean."
"Sammy, have faith in your old bro. Nothing can happen so long as Chloe is alright, and I'm sure as hell gonna make sure that she stays safe, okay?"
Dean allowed Sam to drive the Impala, and drop him off at the tricky part about leaving Dean there had been that they'd had to find the smallest of the shot guns that they had, capable of firing rock salt rounds, so that Dean could easily smuggle it into the hospital just in case he would end up needing it. Luckily, they had found the perfect sawn-off in the trunk which Dean had to shove under his jacket to conceal. And for extra peace of mind, Dean packed his .45 too, although of course, that was no good against most of the things that they came up against.
They hadn't bothered putting on their best suits this time, they had left the motel in too much of a hurry. There were more important things to worry about then what they were going to wear.
After Dean had successfully made his way into the hospital, Sam drove out of the parking lot and headed over to the prison. He hadn't yet worked out how he was going to get access to the information that he needed, and so it was beginning to look as though he would end up making it up as he went along. He didn't like feeling so un-prepared especially when he was about to set foot on prison grounds and lie his ass off, but he knew he had to do this or other people, maybe Chloe if his suspicions were correct, could die.
It was obvious when he had reached his destination. High walls surrounded the prison perimeter, endless coils of barbed wire atop of every surface. He pulled into the parking lot, carefully observing a couple of guards who stood chatting and smoking their cigarettes near a gate at the north side. They looked as if they were sharing a joke of some sort because they were laughing. The one man was heavy set, and his great belly wobbled with his cackling.
Before getting out of the car, Sam scanned the rest of the north wall, and spotted a sign that indicated there to be an office. He grabbed the door handle and opened it. As he shut the door, he looked around and noticed that the two guards were now staring directly at him. Uh Ohhh... he thought to himself, stay calm, stay calm.
He could feel the concentrated gazes of the guards on his back as he walked as un-suspiciously as possible. He finally reached the office sign, and noticed a door inset into the wall. Before entering, he gazed into the window. He could see a grey haired woman in her sixties, arranging files neatly onto shelves behind a small counter. A younger brunette woman sat on her own at a desk in the far corner, talking on the phone. Well this shouldn't be too tough, he thought.
He opened the door and walked in, headed for the older woman at the counter. As he came to a stop, the lady dropped what she was doing, and turned to face him, a pleasant smile on her face. Her glasses were nearly on the very end of her nose, so she looked at him over the top of the frames.
"Hello dear, can I help you?" she asked helpfully.
"Yeah...I..." he struggled to find the words he should say, "I'm here because of Amanda King..."
"Oh heavens!" the woman exclaimed, "How silly of me. We've been expecting you..."
"You have?" Sam asked feeling puzzled inside whilst trying not to show his surprise on the outside. How could they have been expecting him?
"I was so sorry to hear about your mother dear...we boxed her things up for you, they are upstairs in the medical bay." the woman continued, "Sue?" she gently called to the brunette, "This is Amanda's son. Peter, isn't it dear?" she asked looking back at Sam.
"Er...yeah, that's me." Sam was utterly confused now, but as he didn't have a plan anyway, he figured it was just best to go along with this. It would make things easier now that they had got his identity confused with Amanda King's son. It was lucky for him really, as he was still wondering what he would have told them otherwise.
Suddenly, the office door flew open, and Sam shifted his gaze, noticing that it was one of the guards, the heavy set guy, that he had seen outside.
"Everything alright Joan? Just doing my rounds of the grounds, thought I'd just check in." he said, addressing the older lady, but at the same time, scrutinizing Sam with a wondering gaze.
"Yes, we're alright thanks, Bill." Joan responded casually, "Although, may I ask you a favour?"
"Sure." said Bill.
Joan looked up at Sam with sympathetic eyes. For a moment, he felt bad that he was tricking such a sweet old lady, but regularly deceiving people was a necessary part of the job, not only to protect himself and Dean, but to protect those around them.
"This is Amanda's son." she leaned over, and gently patted Sam on the arm, "Hes come to collect her things. Would you be able to take him up to medical to fetch them?"
"Of course." Bill said, his expression had changed now, and he was no longer looking at Sam as if he might be up to something, much to Sam's relief. "Let me just radio in, make sure the section is secure from prisoners." With that he pressed a button on the side of his walkie talkie, and explained the situation to the man on the other end.
"Okay," Bill said after a few moments, "we're alright to go ahead."
Bill led Sam through a series of corridors, each with doors that someone had to buzz them through each time. These were staff only corridors, Sam noted. After a little while, he and Bill reached an elevator. They got in, and Bill pressed a button to take them to level 5, right at the top.
Eventually, they reached their destination and Sam could see that they had reached the medical bay. He didn't imagine such a facility in a prison, it looked exactly like a small section from a hospital. A few staff members passed them as they made their way through, they greeted Bill as they past.
"Ah. This is it." Bill said as they turned right around a corner. He came to a stop outside a door, took out a bunch of keys and unlocked it. He held the door open for Sam. "Second locker on the right." he said, "I'll give you a few minutes to yourself kid."
"Thank you." said Sam, as he made his way into the room, and shut the door behind himself.
He managed to find the locker straight away. He opened the door to find a cardboard box, which apparently had been filled with Amanda's things. He grabbed the box, and made his way over to a chair that was in the corner. He sat down and rested the box on his lap.
After opening it, he started to look through everything carefully, in case there were any clues about what had happened to Amanda, but of course, there wasn't. Just a few items of clothing, make-up, a couple of books and general knick knacks that you would normally associate with a woman's belongings.
Sam sighed. He knew that he'd need to ask Bill about what had happened. He also realised that the real Peter King could be stopping by at any moment to collect these things.
Sam decided to tip the contents of the box into the bottom of the locker, leaving him with the empty box. He would need Bill and everyone else to continue to believe that he was Peter until he was safely off prison grounds, so by taking the box with him, they would think that he was taking Amanda's things with him.
He closed the locker, then made his way out of the room. Bill was leaning up against the opposite wall waiting for him. Sam decided that he had no choice. He would have to ask Bill some questions now, or his chance would slip away.
"I was just wondering..." Sam said, "there were a few things about what happened to my mother that I'm still unclear on...and I was wondering if you can tell me a couple of things."
"Okay, I'll try." Bill said straightening himself out.
"Well, its just...how did she seem to you before she died, I mean, did she appear to be upset or anything. She didn't always talk to me about these things you see..."
"Well yeah. I guess she was upset, mind you, so were a lot of people."
"What do you mean?" Sam asked curiously.
"I'm surprised that she never told you this. But anyway, a couple of weeks before she...er...passed, we had a little problem here at the prison. Couple of the inmates got out of hand in the cafeteria, before we knew it, it was complete chaos. They were all at it, punching, kicking..." he paused while he remembered, "Anyhow, a lot of them ended up hurt and injured, stretched the staff to the limits. We only have a limited number of medically trained personnel, each had to work from different rooms while we separated the prisoners. Your mother, she was up here having to work on her own, in this room as it happens," Bill stretched out an arm to a door that was next to him. It wasn't locked, and his hand caused it to slowly open.
"The guards had brought up this one guy, Henry Baxtor, who was sentenced here after committing multiple armed robberies and attempting murder. One of the other inmates had managed to stab him repeatedly with his eating utensils. Got him deep, they did. Anyways, your mother, she did everything that she could for him, but he'd already lost too much blood, and he died."
Sam gazed through the door into the room where this had happened. It was a small square shape, with a paper lined bed at one end, and various pieces of medical equipment set out. There were a lot of wide windows which gave the room good light, thick steel bars ran down each and every one casting striped shadows across the sterile white wash walls. So Amanda King saw someone die too, just like the other victims, he thought to himself.
"Then...your mother...what happened to her...it must have shaken her up more then we could have realised at the time." Bill shook his head from side to side with disbelief. He looked deep into Sam's eyes, "He tried so hard to save her...I'm so sorry."
"Who...who was it trying to save her life?" Sam blurted this question out without thinking, it must have sounded strange, but Bill didn't seem to notice, and answered any way.
"Some student. Sometimes the university send them out to get career experience...they never like getting sent here, can't say I blame them really."
Sam had a bad feeling. "The student, was that Max Fraser by any chance?" he asked.
Bill's expression turned surprised, "Yeah, that's right, how'd you know?"
Sam had to think quickly before Bill got suspicious, "Oh, I think I remember someone mentioning his name..." that was it. All of the deaths were definitely connected. The only question now was, would it continue to happen, or could they stop it before anyone else gets hurt...
Dean had been sat on a bench, and was waited patiently outside of Chloe Reeves' room all morning. So far all seemed to be pretty normal here, at least for a nuthouse anyway, he thought. The nurses hadn't let him go into her room to see her when he'd arrived, because, for the first time since she'd been committed, Chloe was finally able to sleep properly, and she'd been out for a while now.
There was a small hinged peep-hole built into the door at eye level, so every now and then, Dean took a look to make sure that everything was still alright. It had been every time. The girl was peacefully asleep on her bed.
He sighed out of boredom. He realised that his throat felt a bit dry. The heating was on a little too high for his liking. He glanced to the side, and noticed that there was a Coke vending machine just a few feet away. He got up, and made his way over to it, his hands searching for money in his pockets as he went.
He finally found the coins that he needed, and feeded them into the slot. He pressed a button, and his drink was delivered in the bottom tray. He took the can out, and opened it. It spluttered and fizzed a little due to being shaken up, but Dean ignored this, lifted the can to his lips and began to drink, quenching his thirst.
"Ahhh!" he sighed, "That's better."
The sudden sound made Dean jump into action. He ran back the short distance to Chloe's room, dropping the can of Coke onto the floor, and peered through the peep hole. She wasn't on her bed any more, but as his focus shifted direction, he gasped in horror. There she was, dangling by a bed sheet that was tied to the light fixture, then around her neck, a chair lay on it's side below her. "DAMN IT!" he yelled.
He quickly stepped back, then kicked the door as hard as he could, once, then twice. It flew open, bits of broken wood was sent spraying into the room as he made a grab for the chair. He set it the right way up, then clambered onto the seat, taking a knife out of his pocket at the same time. As quickly as he could, he hacked away at the sheet, until finally, he was all the way through.
He caught Chloe in his arms, stepped down from the chair, then laid her out on the ground. He put a finger on her wrist to feel for a pulse.
"Somebody help me in here!" he yelled desperately towards the doorway. Looking back down at Chloe, he noticed that he couldn't feel a pulse, and she had started to turn a funny colour.
He adjusted the position of her head, and proceeded in giving her mouth to mouth resuscitation. "C'mon Chloe! Don't you dare die on me!"
He persisted with his attempts to save her life but it didn't take long before he realised that his efforts were fruitless. "Damn it! Where are all the doctors!" he yelled again, "HEY! WE NEED HELP IN HERE!"
But it was too late. She had just about slipped away.
A sudden invisible force shoved Dean away from Chloe's lifeless body. He slid into the bed, smashing his head on the metal frame. Groggily and stunned, he looked up, and saw a black figure moving towards him. As it approached, it was as if a sudden feeling of doom rose from inside of him, he felt like he was plunging into a terrible hopeless darkness...
Whilst driving back to the hospital, Sam decided that it would be a good idea to phone his and Dean's good friend Bobby Singer. Bobby had a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the supernatural, knowledge that had come through age and experience as well as good old hunting. Sam knew that if anyone would have an answer, it would be Bobby.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone, he pressed a button which was programmed as Bobby's on the speed dial. He held it to his ear and listened to it ringing.
"Hello?" said the voice on the other end.
"Hey Bobby, it's Sam."
"Sam! It's good to hear from you kid, how are things?"
"Well actually, we've kind of hit a brick wall with a job that we've been working on, and I was hoping you might be able to help."
"Well, I'll certainly try. What's goin' on then?" said Bobby.
"We're in Little Rock. Four people have died in a way that's been made to look like suicide. Each victim witnessed the other's death, and in two cases a black shadowy figure was seen. I think this spirit, whatever, drives the person to commit suicide, takes over their emotions somehow. A couple of the victims were apparently acting differently before they died, y'know kinda depressed."
"Hmmm..." Bobby sighed, "think I've heard of something like that before, hang on a minute."
Sam waited patiently for Bobby to get back to him.
"Ahh, here we are," said Bobby finally, "just found something in one of my books. From what I can tell, I think that your dealing with some kind of malevolent spirit, nasty sons of a bitches by the looks of things. Some of the accounts written here say that they latch on to a living person, and remove their happiness, leaving them nothing more then a weak emotional wreck. Says that sometimes, the spirit will stay with a person over the course of their whole lifetime, never leaving their side, draining their emotions slowly. The victim doesn't even realise what's happening to them, probably just believe that they were born unlucky and miserable."
"But what about the spirit moving from person to person once they have killed them?" asked Sam.
"Um. Yeah, it mentions that too. If somebody witnesses the last victims death..."
"The spirit takes them over too, just like what's happened here."
"That's right." Bobby confirmed.
"Where do those kind of spirits come from in the first place?"
"Well according to this, the spirit comes from someone whos passed, someone who lived an angry violent life, possibly someone who committed murder or had the intent to. But for it to happen, one more circumstance must be in place."
"Well Sam, you know that tradition that they have in hospitals, that when a person dies, a window is opened to let the spirit out?"
"Well this spirit wasn't able to go free. Someone forgot to open a window."
"The guy who died at the prison!" Sam exclaimed, "Henry Baxtor, he died in the medical bay in front of the first victim. I saw the room he died in, theres no way the'd ever be able to open the windows in there! They've put up too many bars...and he lived a violent life; armed robbery and attempted murder!"
"Well that must be your guy then."
"Does it say how to kill the spirit? Will burning the bones work?" Sam asked eagerly.
"Just a minute..." said Bobby, he needed to pause to read up some more. "Oh, that could be a problem..." he finally said.
"What? What's wrong?" Sam asked panic in his voice.
"Well, burning the bones will work, 'cept that the current victim might not recover straight away. They'd still probably have to be talked out of wastin' themselves. See the spirit messes with brain activity, sometimes even people around the victim can be affected strangely, slight memory loss etc... "
"We went to see the wife of one of the victims, she forgot to mention that her husband saw one of his students drive his car into a wall...maybe the spirit had effected her." Sam sighed, "Why can't these things ever be easy..."
When Sam pulled into the hospital parking lot, he noticed that there were a number of police cars gathered at the main entrance and a crowd of people standing to one side. Oh no! Something's gone down already... he thought. As soon as he found a free space, he slammed on the breaks and got out of the car, shutting the door closed.
He ran in the direction of the entrance, but an officer stepped out in front of him with his hands held up, stopping him from going any further. "I'm sorry Sir, I can't allow you to enter the building."
"But...my brother...hes here somewhere..." Sam said.
"Sir, if you'd like to go and stand down there with the others, one of my officers will come and speak to you as soon as possible." he motioned over to the group of people, and Sam noticed the receptionist, Sarah, that he and Dean had met the day before.
He stepped away from the officer, and paced quickly over to Sarah. It looked as if a few of the other hospital staff were out here too, chattering amongst themselves.
"Hey!" Sam said as he came to a stop in front of her.
Sarah looked surprised to see Sam. He noticed that she quickly scanned her wide eyes over his clothes, obviously curious that he was no longer wearing a smart suit.
"What happened here?" he asked her.
"You tell us. That guy you came here with yesterday..."
"What? Where is he?"
Sarah took in a deep breath, "Well he went a bit... funny."
"Yeah, that girl Chloe Reeves who you came here to see yesterday, well he shows up this morning, which was fine until," she paused, "well no one knows exactly what happened, but Miss Reeves is dead, and that friend of yours was the last person to see her."
"He was there when she died?" Sam felt an anxious twinge stirring around in his gut.
"Yeah, I guess. Anyhow, next thing we know was, he was running down the corridor in some kind of state, he had a gun in his hand and was screaming something about a shadow being after him or somthin', scared the life out of Kenneth over there..." she pointed to a skinny man in a long white doctors coat, with a big brown moustache who was stood a few feet away from them.
"Where did he go?" Sam asked as the worry started to show in his tone.
"Nobody knows. He got out through a fire exit at the back of the building."
"Look!" Sam snapped, "It's really important that I find find him right away! Is there anything else you can tell me about what happened, anything at all?"
Sarah looked stunned, "No! That's all we know, I'm sorry!"
Sam didn't wait any longer, he didn't want to get caught up in the police interviews and such. He ran back to the Impala, whipping his cell phone from his pocket. He dialled Bobby to explain what was happening. He'd need all the help he could get now that the spirit had taken over Dean's emotions.
Dean sat huddled up on the carpeted floor of the motel room, slowly rocking himself backwards and forwards. He had the blinds closed, which darkened the room. He felt so unhappy that it was painful. He was still aware of the spirit that was doing this to him, but he could no longer see it himself, but, he could certainly feel it there hanging over him like a black, heavy cloud.
It didn't matter any more though. Chloe had died because of him. An innocent girl. If he'd had been paying more attention...he could have saved her life. But he didn't, couldn't.
"It's my fault, my fault..." he wept, his shoulders heaving up and down with each sob. The tears fell rapidly from his eyes, falling onto his knees. How could I have let this happen, why did she have to die? he thought. Dad died for me too,I can't take this any more...can't win this fight.
The time passed slowly whilst in this state of mind, but eventually he heard the door open, and looked up to see a very worried looking Sam burst into the room.
"Dean! Thank God I've found you! he yelled as he approached his brother. "Dean?" he fell to his knees, reached a hand out and placed it on Dean's shoulder.
"Get away from me Sammy..." Dean whispered.
"Dean, listen! The spirits latched onto you, it's making you feel this way..."
"She died because of me. I didn't help her." Deans tears grew heavier.
"It wasn't your fault, you did all you can..." Sam said softly, trying to comfort him.
"No!" Dean yelled as he jumped up onto his feet, "I didn't!" He walked over to the table, and kicked it violently causing it to collapse in a heap, confirming it's cheap quality.
Sam sprang up and made a grab for Dean, but he shoved his hand's away.
"You should stay away from me Sam! I can't protect you, I can't save anyone!" he was starting to sweat now as his behaviour got more and more erratic.
Sam had guessed that it was going to be traumatic, but seeing Dean like this was like nothing that he could have imagined. It was as if he had turned into another man completely. He felt the surges of his own emotions rippling through him as tears of his own started to fall.
"Dean...we can work all this out, I promise, okay. Bobby's on his way down to help sort this out, he should be here by morning. We've just gotta get through this until then. We have to salt and burn the remains of a prisoner I found out about. It's his spirit that's doing this..."
"No Sam! I don't want you to get hurt...you have to stay away from me!" he pushed past Sam and started towards the door.
Sam hurried in the same direction, and tried to force himself between Dean and the door before it could be opened, but Dean beat him to it by a split second, but not before Sam could get a tight grip on his wrist.
Dean swung around, "Let go of me!" he screamed, his face up close to Sam's.
"I'm not gonna let you hurt yourself Dean! Your not leaving this room!"
"Damn it Sam!" Dean tried to wriggle free of Sam's grip, but he just held on tighter. "Don't make me do somethin' I'll regret!"
"Your staying here!" Sam yelled back, making a grab with his other hand.
"If I have to do this the hard way Sam, I will, I can't let you follow me! I can't let you get dragged down with me! I don't wanna hurt you but..."
Before Sam knew what was happening, Dean managed to make a move for his .45, and pointed it towards his legs. "I'm sorry Sam," he sobbed, "I have to do this..." he pulled the trigger, and the shot blasted out.
Sam tried to get out of the way, but the bullet hit his calf, "Arrghhhhhh!" he screamed out in pain as he fell to the floor closing a hand around the wound as he went. With the pain, he couldn't find the physical strength to get up to his feet. Instead he was forced to watch helplessly through the open door, to see Dean run out to the Impala. A roar from the engine, and his brother speeded away within seconds.
"Damn it! What was he thinkin'!" Bobby cursed as he drove himself and Sam around Little Rock in the hope that they would find Dean. They'd been searching all day, but it was getting close to sun down now which would make it more difficult.
"Well that's just it, he wasn't thinking. The spirit is controlling how hes feeling. We've got to find him Bobby, before it's too late." Sam was relieved when Bobby had shown up that morning, he just hoped that they'd be able to find Dean, but he knew that there was a chance that he could be anywhere now. Maybe he'd even left town. It could be like looking for a needle in a haystack. But, he couldn't give up on him. He knew that if the roles were reversed and it was Dean looking for him when he was in danger, that he'd go to the ends of the earth to save him if he had to.
"It may be controlling him, but it still pains me that he shot you like that. Lucky for you it's just a graze."
"Why do you think its affected Dean that quickly and in a way that made him turn on me, I mean, the other victims didn't show violent intentions towards anyone they knew."
Bobby sighed heavily, "Well, I guess it must depend on the person. Your brother tends to hide a lot of himself away, bottles up a lot. Maybe it just brought that out of him, kinda like when a volcano erupts, letting all hell break loose."
Sam's eyes welled up, and a few tears rolled down his cheeks, "I just hope hes okay..."
Bobby quickly glanced from the road to Sam, "So do I kid. We'll find him, somehow, okay? I mean, I already got a contact whos tryin' to find out where Baxtor is buried, that will get us part way there." he looked back through the windshield turning his focus back onto the road ahead. "Maybe you should try his cell again."
Sam sniffed back the tears and pulled his phone from his jacket pocket. He must have already tried ringing Dean for what seemed like a hundred times, and had left him message after message, but so far Dean hadn't answered or responded in any way. Even though he thought trying him again this time would turn out the same way, he pressed the button that dialled Dean's number, and held the phone to his ear...
Dean heard his cell ring yet again. But yet again, he didn't know wether he should answer it. He felt conflicted. He knew it was Sam, and that if he told him where he was he'd come to him. He wanted him here, but then again, he didn't. If Sam was near him, he might be in danger from the spirit, but also in danger from him. Because people had died because of him.
He sat in the Impala which was parked at the end of a dirt track upon a cliff that looked down into a valley within Burns Park. This is where he'd been since he'd left Sam at the motel. He stared forwards out of the windshield his tears stinging his red eyes. It was quite a view, the sky was turning a flaming red colour as the sun started to go down. Mountains across the other side of the valley stood out in front of the vivid hue. He even saw, to his surprise, that an eagle was flying contentedly around the sheer jagged rock expanse. It's wing span slicing through the air in a smooth motion that was almost hypnotic.
But his phone kept ringing.
Maybe I should answer it, hear Sammy's voice one last time, say goodbye...
He manage to disengage his focus from the view in front of him, and looked down at the passenger seat where his phone lay, the display screen lit brightly up as it rang out urging for his attention. Just to say goodbye...
He reached for the phone and answered it quickly so that he couldn't give himself time to change his mind.
"Sammy..." he sobbed.
"Dean! Where are yo..."
"I'm sorry Sam, but I can't keep doin' this..." he shut his eyes and pictured his little brothers face.
"What are you talking about! I can help you! Bobbys here, were going to straighten this out..."
"Nobody can help...but I got it all figured out see...I've even found me the perfect spot to do it..." Dean opened his eyes again, and stared out to the cliff edge that he'd picked out to jump from. "It's beautiful Sammy...theres even an eagle here..."
"Dean, tell me where you are NOW! Don't do this, let me come see you..."
"Goodbye Sammy, I love you..." he hung the phone up.
"NO!" Sam yelled as the call ended, he balled his free hand into a tight fist.
"Sam? What he say?" Bobby asked anxiously.
"He said goodbye..."
Bobby gazed at him, a certain horror in his eyes.
Sam buried his face in his hands, he felt so useless not being able to do more. He'd let his brother down. He was going to die and there was nothing that he could do about it.
Then it hit him. An eagle. He brought his head up quickly and turned to Bobby. "Eagles are rare, so there wouldn't be too many places around here that you'd see them, right?" his tone showed a sudden glint of hope which didn't go un-noticed.
Sam suddenly saw a gas station approaching, "Pull in there..." he pointed.
Bobby turned into the side and came to a stop outside the shop that stood next to the pumps. Sam lept out of the car, and sprinted in.
There was a middle aged man at the serving counter, who looked up as the door had flew open.
"Excuse me..." Sam gasped, "do you know where there is some kind of national park or place where we could see eagles around here?"
"Yep. You want Burns Park, just two miles south of here. Only place you will see 'em round these parts..."
Sam didn't wait to hear any more. He rushed back through the doors, and rejoined Bobby in the car. "We gotta go to Burns Park! Two miles south. I think that's where Dean is!"
Bobby pulled off the gas station lot at top speed, and headed south. A few minutes later, his cell rang. "Hello..." he said as he spoke to his caller, "really? That's great! Thanks for that!" he hung up then shot Sam a quick look.
"Good news. That was my contact, he told me where Baxtor is buried, the cemetery is on the way where we're headed. I'll get what I need from the trunk, and do some diggin' while you go after your brother."
Sam let out a big breathe. Finally there seemed to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
It was dark by the time they had reached the cemetery. Bobby grabbed his shovel, some salt, and gas from the trunk, then disappeared by torchlight amongst the graves to find the plot where Henry Baxtor had been buried.
Sam shifted himself over to the drivers seat, and set off towards Burns Park, driving at a dangerous speed. He couldn't waste another second so keeping to the rules of the road was simply not an option right now.
When he had finally arrived at the park, he drove through an open gateway. In the light of the headlights he could make out a group of tourists to the right, packing their camping gear into their huge RV, in a spot allocated for parking. He squinted and scanned the area carefully. There was a track further behind where the tourists were parked up, but then looking to the left, he could see another dirt track. But which one should he choose.
C'mon Sam! C'mon! Dean's life depends on you making the right decision... he thought to himself, a nauseating pang in his stomach.
He suddenly had a gut feeling, he stepped on the gas and made a left turn, choosing the more deserted looking route.
He tried to concentrate, but the track was getting bumpy, forcing him to drive slower. Walls of overgrowth leaned towards him from either side, darkening the way further even more. After what seemed like forever had passed, he started to question wether he'd taken the right track...but then as a sudden opening appeared, there it was. The Impala.
Sam steered hard to the right into the opening, the tyres spat gravel and dirt all around him. He hit the breaks as he pulled up besides his brother's car.
"Dean!" he yelled as he climbed out of his seat and slammed the door, he didn't even bother to cut the engine or the head lights, "DEAN!"
He opened the door on the Impala's driver side and looked in. Dean wasn't there. "Oh no...DEAN!" he started to panic again as he backed away from the car. His foot twisted on a rock, and he found himself plummet to the hard surface. He gasped in pain as the wound on his calf managed to scrape on the ground.
He managed to bring himself up to a sitting position, a lone silhouette in the moonlight just feet away, suddenly catching his attention. Dean.
The adrenalin gave him the extra power that he needed to get onto his feet, then he started making his way over to his bother, though he was limping quite badly now. It was just as well that he needed to approach Dean with care, as not to startle him into jumping.
The sight of Dean standing on the cliff's edge sent a new cascade of tears down Sam's face which was now dirtied from falling to the ground. He tried to walk silently, the closer he got, he raised his hands up, even though Dean seemed to be fixated on the dark valley below.
"Dean," Sam sobbed, "please don't do this. I need you, I...I can't do this without you. This isn't you Dean..." but he was stunned into silence when the black robed spirit appeared right beside his brother. It was standing in the same stance as Dean, as if copying him.
"Listen to me, you have to come away from the edge, please..." Sam pleaded, but Dean seemed to ignore him. He reached down with one of his hands and edged it slowly to one of Dean's.
Suddenly a loud crackling noise filled his ears, and the spirit was being engulfed by violent pulsating bright orange and red flames. Sam made his move, grabbed Dean's hand and pulled him a few meters from the edge with such force, that they both fell backside first onto the ground, just as what was left of the spirit exploded into a ball of light before it disappeared completely. Bobby did it! Sam thought, he found the grave and torched Baxtor's remains!
But there was still one problem left, which was confirmed as Dean leapt to his feet and ran towards the cliff edge.
"Nooooooo!" Sam shouted as he darted after him, luckily grabbing a handful of his jacket just in time, and pulled him to safety again.
"Let me go Sam!" Dean suddenly yelled trying get free from Sam's restraining grip.
"I'll NEVER let go! Your my big brother and I love you...you have to trust me...I'll never let you fall..." Sam sobbed.
Dean suddenly stopped struggling and fell against Sam's chest, weeping loudly.
Sam wrapped his arms tightly and protectively around him, encasing him in a loving safe space. He knew that once he was allowed to go through the motions, Dean would be okay. They'd both be okay.
"How'd you feel?" Bobby asked as he sat on the end of Dean's bed.
Dean lifted his head off the pillow, then sat up. "I feel kinda dumb, i suppose. He still couldn't get over the way he had acted before, although technically, it hadn't been his fault. Attempting suicide definitely hadn't been on his to-do list, so he felt ashamed that he'd nearly took a sky dive off a cliff.
Then there was the other bad thing that he'd done. He looked over to Sam who was sat across from him on his own bed. "I'm sorry I shot you Sammy..." he said softly.
"Hey don't worry about it." Sam said in the same quiet tone.
"Y' know I don't know what I'd do without you bro." he really didn't.
"You know I'd do anything for you Dean, I'll always be here for you. I'll never leave your side."
"Yeah, I know you won't." as he said this, Dean got to his feet and went over to sit next to Sam, pulling him into a hug. Nothing felt safer, nor gave him more reassurance, then knowing he'd always have his brother close by.