Hi and welcome to my third supernatural multi-chap.

This story is set somewhere in season 2, no real spoilers unless, maybe, for BUABS…but nothing too specific.

I'm not too good with ratings and stuff, but there might be some language, so be aware of that, but nothing too bad.

Also, I feel obliged to tell you again that english is not my first language, so please be kind and overlook any spelling mistakes or weird sentence-contructions if you find any. I hope it's not too bad…

I can't help myself and toss Dean around a bit, but if you know my other stories you know that I really do care about him (both of them) a lot.

Also, I try to update regularly, usually once a week or so, I found that rhythm to be alright with me and hopefully you readers as well.

Reviews are always appreciated, even though the story is pretty much planned out in my head already and I most likely will keep posting it whether people review or not, I find my muse works much better and faster when I get at least some responses ;-)

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering: still don't own them…so the usual disclaimers apply, what a pity!

Other than that…I hope you enjoy!

From this dark room

Prologue

Dedham, MA

A loud bang in the downstairs kitchen jolted Emily Bowers awake.

She sat up in bed with a start, brain still muddled with sleep and the remnants of a lost again dream as she tried to determine whether or not the sound that had woken her had been real or not.

She'd been a light sleeper as of late, even though before last week Mark, her husband had told her that she'd probably be able to sleep through a bomb going off right next to their bed, she'd been such a deep sleeper.

Well, maybe it had something to do with the moon, then, or the constellation of stars or something like that. Her mom and sister both were pretty susceptible to things like that; maybe it had just taken a while longer till she caught up with it too.

She waited, trying to still her fast beating heart, listening intently to any sounds from downstairs. For a whole five minutes, there was nothing. Just when she decided that she was about to lose it completely now, that it had just been a trick of her mind, something her newly sleep-deprived brain had cooked up to keep her awake yet another night, she heard the sound again.

She jumped, grabbing the blankets and drawing them closer towards her throat.

Great now, wasn't she just the impersonation of every girl in every single bad horror movie she'd ever seen on TV? While the men would get up, grab a baseball bat and go investigate the sound, the girls would stay behind, shivering and yelping and clutching the damn sheets close to their flimsily clad upper bodies. Because, no matter where the movie played, no matter how cold or warm it was outside, those girls always wore nothing more than a see-through tank top and barely there, skin tight slips to bed, right?

OK…so wile she was acting like one of those girls, at least she wasn't dressed like them, too. Her pyjama bottoms and gray t-shirt anything but sexy, Mark had told her so often enough. Which had subsequently led to him undressing her…but that was something she didn't need think about right now.

Speaking of Mark…it figured that this was the first night in the over three years they had been married that they didn't share their bed. They'd just had their first fight, a real, door-banging and vase-throwing kind of fight yesterday morning and Mark had left to cool off and stay with a friend until they'd figured this out. He had used other words, though…he'd said until she'd stopped bitching and whining and pulling on his nerves. Which was ridiculous, since he'd been the one who had acted unreasonable and out of order for some days now.

Oh god, how she wished that Mark was here tight now. He was the tall, strong, handsome guy that she'd always thought would protect her from anything bad in the whole world. Had been her romantic strong protector ever since they'd met in college. It just figured that the one night something bad actually was happening to her, he was not there. Because of something she'd apparently done wrong. Even though she still didn't know what it had been.

Well, she'd have to figure this out later…right now she had another problem at hand. The sound was there again, a little more subdued this time and Emily shivered at the thought of a burglar going through the downstairs room of their little home. How long till he or they would venture to check the rooms upstairs? Not that she had anything worth taking, but they wouldn't know that. She sure couldn't just wait until they'd come up and find out, though. She had to do something.

She untangled her legs from the blankets, reaching into the nightstand for her portable phone, quietly pressing 911 while rooting around the drawer for the pepper-spray she kept there since they'd moved into the house and she'd felt frightened by the strange sounds the old wooden structure had made during the night.

Her heart was racing, blood drumming loudly in her ears and it took her a while to realize that someone had picked up on the other end, talking to her, asking her for her name and kind of emergency.

Damn.

She moved the couple of steps towards the door, trying to listen to the downstairs sounds at the same time as talking quietly to the operator on the other end.

"Yes…hello, I'm…I think there is someone in my house…" she whispered, voice shaking.

"Ok, ma'm…tell us your name and address and we'll send someone over there right away."

Yeah…sure…she should have thought of that herself.

"I live in 28 Indian Lane in Dedham. My name's Emily Bowers. My husband…he's not home. I don't know…I think its some burglars…"

Her voice broke at the last word and she hated herself for being so weak, hated herself for feeling like she'd wet her pants any minute, she was so frightened.

"Ok, ma'm…we'll send a patrol car over there as soon as possible. Can you get out of the house undetected or lock yourself…"

And then the line went dead.

Emily again jumped at the sudden stillness on the line, shaking the phone in her hand desperately, looking at it as if that might give her any clue as to what had happened.

She felt like crawling under the bed right then and there, hide until the police came and got her out, but again those stupid horror-film scenes raced through her head – damn Mark for making her watch them in the first place – when the women would hide under the bed, see the legs approaching and then suddenly the intruder would drop down and look right at them…god, she always had hated those scenes, even though she'd known what would happen anyways and still… it gave her the creeps to just think about it.

No way was she going to get under the bed.

The bedroom door didn't have a lock on it…or rather, it had a lock but no key, so she couldn't very well stay here. She almost passed out at the thought that she'd have to leave this room, get out into the hallway, not knowing where the intruders might be right now and make her way to the bathroom – the only room upstairs that she would be able to lock right. She might even be able to make it out of the house there…the small roof of the back-porch running right underneath the bathroom window. She might be able to climb out and jump off then, hide in the bushes out back, or the little tool-shed Mark had built out of an old doghouse.

That or make her way over to the neighbours. Kate and Jim ought to be home, fast asleep, sure, but she knew where they hid their keys…and they had a dog, a Rottweiler. While Lady was one of the cutest dogs, like, ever, would never bite anyone, it still might make her feel just a bit safer having the 90 pound dog by her side.

Her hand were shaking and sweating and she had to wipe them down on her pyjama bottoms before she wrapped her fingers around the doorknob, other hand holding a death-grip on the pepper-spray. She took two steadying breaths, then another one, just for good measure, before she turned the knob as quietly as possible, gently easing the door open, thanking whoever was willing to listen that she'd insisted Mark oil the hinges just last month.

Then she found herself face to face with the source of the noises.

She let out a scream, hand letting go of the doorknob and wrapping around her other on the pepper-spray, ready to spray the intruder into oblivion. Had she been a tad faster, a tad more steady, she would have accomplished it, too. Only she wasn't.

A big hand clamped down on hers, pushing them out of the way, clearing the spray-range.

The next scream caught in her throat.

"Mark…"

She almost sobbed out the word, immediately hating herself for the relief that flooded her upon seeing her husband right there in front of her, in the middle of the night, in a completely dark house where he'd just scared her half to death.

He just stood there, looking at her probably, only that the poor lighting made it impossible to see his eyes clearly, not saying anything.

Ok, so maybe he was here to apologize, finally, had come back to her. Only that this was a pretty darn bad timing he'd got there, but Emily thought that she might be willing to forgive him. If he had a good explanation for his behaviour. Or an extraordinary make-up present.

"Mark…what…you scared the hell out of me! What…why didn't you call and let me know you were coming home?"

Mark still stood there, head down a little, still no talking.

The uneasy feeling suddenly, unexplainably, crept back up Emily's spine and her hand unconsciously tightened around the pepper-spray once more.

He was breathing a little heavily…maybe he was drunk? Only that Mark never had been drunk, ever before. He hardly ever drank, period. He was the sweetest person, the most gentle man she'd ever met in her whole life.

She pushed her uneasiness aside, putting it off to sleep-deprivation and the strain of the past couple of days without her husband around, extending her hand to cup Mark's cheek and make him look at her, see those beautiful blue eyes again, eyes that had always made her feel loved and wanted and safe.

"Mark…honey…is something wrong? Why don't you…why don't you come in and we talk…"

She never got to finish the sentence as Mark suddenly whipped his head up and for the blink of a second she saw his eyes, bloodshot and almost black with unexplainable rage, pupils so dilated that none of the light blue was visible anymore. She never got to get the pepper-spray ready to strike, never even got the chance to raise her arm to defend herself as that man that used to love her, that she used to love, charged her, a large knife coming down at her throat, cutting off any sound she was about to make.

Chapter 1

Sam entered the diner, eyes automatically flicking to the back corner of the small room, the last booth next to the doors that led to the bathrooms and the emergency exit. Sure enough, that was where he found his brother.

Dean sat, back to the wall, facing towards the entrance as usual, open laptop in front of him, next to a steaming cup of coffee and an empty plate of whatever breakfast he had already gulped down before Sam's arrival.

As Sam strode over he thought that Dean hadn't noticed him but as he was about two steps away form the table Dean shot him a quick look from underneath his lashes, tugged his mouth into a bright grin.

"Morning sunshine…my, my, don't you look nice and rested…"

Sam pulled a face as he folded his lanky body into the small booth, sitting across from his brother and regarding him with a raised eyebrow – not quite a match to Dean's trademark one, he had to admit that, but Dean would get the picture.

"Yeah, well…it's barely 8.30. AM. I would have expected you to still be in a coma-like state now… what is it with you and the early morning exercise? And why did you take the laptop?"

"I figured while you are still chasing butterflies and ladybugs in la-la-land, I might as well get some research done, find us a new gig…"

"At what, 7 o clock in the morning?"

"'t was more like 6.30, as a matter of fact. But this place doesn't open up till 7, so I had to spend some time sitting on the front steps, waiting…at least I got the freshest coffee, like, ever!"

"You feeling alright?" he asked as casually as possible, picking up Dean's cup and taking a sip, completely ignoring his brother's frown at that motion.

He knew what had woken his brother, or at least he was pretty sure what had. He had to have been bursting after last nights dinner, the, Sam was pretty sure, tons of meat they'd devoured. It had been hell on his own stomach, Dean couldn't really have felt much better. But of course he'd be too stubborn to admit to it.

"Sure I'm feeling alright. Better than ever, as a matter of fact. You should really try this getting up early to greet the day thing one time!"

Sam had to work hard on keeping his face straight at that. Coming from Dean, Mr. I don't do mornings, this certainly was something new altogether.

"Who are you and what have you done with my brother?"

"Oh Sammy, very original…you're such a blast… I'm telling you, I'm fine. Couldn't sleep and didn't want to wake you tapping away in the room – that's why I came here, all the way through the dark, by the way, on foot, just so you could have your beauty-sleep, little brother. You sure needed it!"

"Ok, so I needn't drench you in holy water, just to make sure? We could go out back, pull an impromptu exorcism on you…"

Dean's reply thankfully was cut short when the waitress stepped up to their table, hip cocked and pen poised, waiting for Sam's order.

Sam ordered coffee and eggs on toast and to his surprise Dean didn't only ask for a refill on his coffee but also for another round of pancakes and syrup – the big serving, of course. When the waitress left again, hips swaying a little too obviously which sure enough drew Dean's attention to her retreating form, Sam coughed imploringly.

"Two breakfasts?"

"Gee, mum…I'm a big guy…need a big breakfast…burning a lot of calories with all the hunting evil, saving the innocent stuff we're doing, you know?"

Sam had to grin inwardly, not willing to let it out in the open though, wanting to tease his brother a little more. It was nice, to be honest, to see that Dean seemed to have his appetite back, after all that had happened. It hadn't been anything too obvious, but the past couple of months Dean had gone on and off, eating less and drinking more every once in a while whenever the grief over their dad, the deal, had gotten the better of him again. Never apparent enough so Sam would have a reason to talk to him about it, but Sam had noticed, of course. He knew his brother better then himself at times, he knew when Dean was hurting.

"How can you be hungry after that whole pig and I don't know haw many poor chicken's wings you wolfed down last night?"

"Don't know how, Sammy, I just am. Besides, it wasn't as if you didn't have you share in the massacre that was dinner last night, so would you cut the lecture and leave me in peace…pretty please?"

Dean fluttered his eyelids mockingly at him, doing some bad imitation of Sam's puppy-dog-eyes which actually made Sam huff a laugh. But then, breakfast being the most important meal of the day and all…and they'd probably get plenty of exercise again soon, depending on what Dean had managed to dig up for them. Still Sam was going to shoot something back at Dean, he'd never been one to let go of something that easily, like a dog with a bone Dean used to call it, which wasn't always a good trade, Sam knew that.

Just in time, though the waitress cut them off again, bringing over Sam's coffee, leaning over the table much farther than she needed have when refilling Dean's cup to the brim. Sam couldn't help but notice that somehow the top button of her dress seemed to have sprung open, revealing an ample bosom and he briefly considered pointing her mishap out to her but decided against it at the last minute. He dropped his chin, hiding his grin behind long fingers that pretended to scratch the bridge of his nose, revelling in the familiarity of his brother's wide-eyed flirtatious smile.

Some things would never change…

For the next couple of minutes they didn't speak, Dean reading while Sam studied the newspaper he had grabbed form the counter on his way in, skimming the articles loosely but finding nothing of interest. At least not their kind of interest.

Dean only looked up when the waitress came back with their breakfasts and pushed the laptop towards the window and out of the way so she could place the two plates in front of them. He rubbed his hands in silent appreciation of the pile of syrupy pancakes in front of him, only able to tear his eyes away from it as the waitress spoke up.

"If there's anything else you need…anything, just gimme a shout." she purred, then turned around and left, rolling her hips some more when she felt Dean's eyes following her closely. Sam couldn't help but roll his eyes before nudging his brother's shin underneath the table none too lightly, earning himself a glowering stare and a hissed threat that he didn't quite understand. Not that he needed to. He was pretty sure that his imagination was more than sufficient.

They started eating in silence, Dean practically devouring the pancakes and Sam really did doubt that he could possibly be this hungry after what they'd had last night for dinner, but decided to not delve into the topic again. This was nice, actually, brotherly…comfortable. Like old times. He was not going to risk losing it by some stupid teasing remark that would probably go down Dean's wrong throat.

After going through about half his plate, Dean finally leaned back, hand on his stomach, belching slightly.

"Dude…gross. I'm still eating here!" Sam complained but Dean only smirked at him before pushing the plate aside, keeping a hold on the fork, though while sliding the laptop over again, keeping it angled so Sam could get a look, too.

"I think I found something." Dean said, clicking through some open windows until he found the one he was looking for, pointing a syrupy fork at an online article from some small town Massachusetts newspaper.

"Read that…" he prompted while spearing another stack of bite-sized pancake and stuffing it into his mouth.

Sam watched him with a mixture of amusement and disgust for a second before focusing his eyes on the screen. There was simply no use in reminding his brother of his annoying eating habits. Besides, Sam was pretty sure Dean was going to regret this little feast here sooner rather than later and he made a mental note to hide the pepto bismol just to have a little fun on his brother's behalf.

Sam skimmed the article loosely, then checking the name of the paper and the date, drawing his brows together slightly before reading the article again, more carefully this time. He was aware of Dean watching him intently and tried to hold onto his best poker face, dangerously close to pulling a face at his big brother, sticking his tongue out or something else completely unnecessary and childish.

It was only a couple of way too short weeks now that things had gotten easer between them again. That they'd gotten back on track again, had learned not to tiptoe around each other anymore. Not that things had ever been really easy, not before Sam had gone to school and certainly not after, but somehow they'd always managed to make the best out of it, had learned how to deal with it so it became as normal as it would ever be for a Winchester.

And for the first time in a very long time Sam felt like this might not be the worst life he could have chosen. Not the best either, most definitely, but there were worse things in the world than having a brother that you not only got along with, but actually, truly cared about, loved even. For some reason it had taken for him to go to school and learn that not everybody who had siblings actually got along as well with them as he did with Dean.

To him it had the most normal thing in the world, his brother being there, for him, caring for him, giving his last shirt for him, so to speak. Sure, they'd fought, had had some disagreements and brotherly jests, but at the end of the day, they'd still been best friends and as close to each other as they'd been before. And Sam had never thought that it could be any different. For anybody.

At college he'd learned that what he and Dean shared was anything but normal though. His first roommate, Ryan, had a brother and two older sisters, and he was barely talking to either of them. Sam had though that they must have had some kind of fight or something, since Ryan only talked to his siblings about once a month, tops. Only it turned out that they got along well enough, if you asked Ryan about it, but they just didn't…share that much. He used to say that they didn't have all that much in common.

And that hadn't been the only case he'd come to witness over the years. Most seeing their brothers and sisters for holidays and birthdays, talking to them every once in a while. But even those that were really close still didn't have the kind of connection Dean and Sam had shared.

After they'd gone back on the road together again, it had taken Sam a while to get into the flow, to find his place in their brotherly relationship again. Dean had helped him ease back into it. But then, once he'd readjusted himself again, their dad had reappeared and while Sam had been more than grateful for that, it still had shaken them up again bad.

And then…their dad getting possessed, the car accident…dad dying to safe Dean… It had pretty much torn Sam to pieces. Not only, obviously, the grief about John's death but the realization that all this time spent together, the year now after reuniting, gone within the snap of a finger. Back to square one. Or even, back to before square one because never before had Dean been so distant and closed off and self-destructing as after coming back, after being saved from the claws of the reaper. Again. Never before had he been more intent on keeping his little brother out of his head. And it had taken Sam not only close to an eternity but also about all of his strength and determination and empathy, all his skill as a brother and friend to get Dean back.

Those past months "apart" probably the worst of his life.

Worse then when being apart for real, physically, even, because then he'd not been forced to witness his brother fighting and trying and fighting some more and still failing to hold himself together. Then, at least, he had been able to pretend ignorance.

"Hey…earth to Sam…dude, you still with me?"

Dean's voice plus an exaggerated wave in front of his face, silver ring on his brother's finger blinding him with the reflection of the shrill overhead neon-light, ripping Sam out of his reverie. His vision doubled for a second when so suddenly being forced to focus on the here and now again. He looked straight into the slightly concerned and badly masked frown on Dean's face, his eyes mirroring his worry about his little brother so openly, Sam wanted to sob he was so relived that at least he was able to see something in Dean's expression again.

He was so relieved, that he failed to answer his brother, just staring at him and only when Dean was about to get up and practically rush over to his side, holding onto him, shaking him most likely, was Sam finally able to pull himself together all the way, holding up a placating hand to keep his brother from rushing him, most likely alerting the rest of the restaurant to them, getting more eyes on them as they both felt comfortable with.

"Yeah…Dean, sorry man…just lost in thought."

Dean raised an eyebrow at him, the worry still deeply engraved into his features yet forcing himself to settle back onto the bench due to his brother's assurance. Muscles still tense enough to be able to propel him to his brother's side within a second, should the need arise, Sam knew that much.

"You sure…I mean, you completely zoned out on me…almost looked like you were going to have another vision there?"

Oh, yeah, right. Almost forgot about those… Forgot about the helplessness his brother must be feeling when he had them, the absolute impotence to do anything to help Sam get through them.

"No Dean, really, just a little tired still, I guess. Sorry dude. Didn't mean to scare you."

Dean shook his head, finally relaxing again.

Trusting his brother to tell him the truth. Yet another thing that had taken them awhile to get back to – trusting each other.

"So, you got to read the article before you went all rainman on me or want me to recap for you?"

Sam looked back at the laptop then, realizing that indeed he had gone through the whole article, taking only a moment to remember what it had been all about. The ability to remember things like that in a heartbeat having been a lifesaver back in high school when, dead on his feet after a hunt with his brother and father, he'd pretty much fallen asleep at his desk more than once to be roused by one of his teachers. Somehow he'd always been able to talk himself out of it then. Now was no exception.

"Yeah…uhm…a string of unexplained deaths in a couple of suburbs of Boston, MA. All of the victims seem to have been killed by their spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend, one by her best friend and roommate. All of the alleged killers later committed suicide before they could be taken into custody or questioned in depth."

Dean leaned forward again, pushing some keys, bringing up another window.

"Yeah…since the deaths are strewn all over a number of different suburbs nobody ever questioned that the cases were individual, also since the killers seemed to have been found in every single case. And since the alleged killers later killed themselves the police took that as an admission of guilt and never dug any deeper. Well, that and the fact that those different departments don't tend to work well with each other in the first place. Anyway…6 deaths so far over a three month period, Only that not all of the killers committed suicide…the last one, a Mark Bowers…slit his wife's throat, then went havoc on her body…stabbed her 26 times but didn't get to turn on himself after. Turns out that the wife managed to call 911, reporting an intruder in her home before he got to her. When the patrol car arrived on the scene they caught Mr. Bowers pretty much in the act, smeared with blood and pretty much ravenous, attacking the officers and they had to shoot him. Only got him down though, didn't kill him. When he came to in the hospital he swore that he never intended to cause his wife any harm, that he loved her more than anything and that he just got 'so damn angry for no reason and simply had to shut her up'. He's been admitted to a mental lockup facility until his case can be determined for real."

"26 times…? Talk about overkill…"

"Yeah, go figure… So, what do you think…sounds like our kind of gig, right?"

"I don't know…but we've gone on a lot less than that, anyways. Besides, Boston is only a, what, 10 hour drive from here, right? Probably more like 8 hours, the way you are driving…"

Dean smirked at that, definitely proud of himself and Sam laughed at the sight of his brother's face at the remark.

"We could definitely make it by nightfall." He conceded, pushing his finally empty plate aside.

"You do know though, that it's my turn to drive, Dean. I did win that bet last night."

Dean sank lower into the bench automatically, groaning while booting down the laptop.

"Come on, Sammy…it's not fair. You did go to college after all…" he whined.

"Yeah but Dean…that wasn't trivial pursuit or something. It was just guess who's going to die next in the horror movie of the week…I always thought you were the expert on old, badly made slasher flicks here."

"Ah Sammy, can't know them all. Come on, I only got one wrong. Why should my baby suffer from one teeny tiny mistake…"

Sam shook his head, downed the last sip of his coffee, made ready to get up.

"A bet's a bet, Dean. You said the chick with the D-cup fake boobs was next and she wasn't. End of story. I'm driving."

"Saaaaamy, she died only, like, two seconds after that guy she was banging…"

"You know that sometimes two seconds is all it takes, Dean. Suck it up and grow yourself some balls. You lost, I won, I'm driving. That's that. Off to Boston, then. Breakfast's on you, too, by the way."

With that he pretty much charged out of the diner, not caring about the slightly bewildered stares of the other patrons plus the seductive waitress as he waved at her on his way out to the parking lot.

Again those definitely x-rated curses directed at him, not loud enough for anyone else to hear but him. And he couldn't have cared less.

XxxXXXxxxXXXxxxXXXxxx

Tbc

AN:

I was hoping that posting would get easier with time…not the case, though, at least not for me. Still nervous like hell.

So, what do you think? You want me to go on? I sure hope so!

As promised I'll most likely update again next weekend. I work best on a deadline, so I'll just set one for myself right now and hope I'll manage to live up to it!

Again, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed and take care!