Pup-of-Power: Hey, hey, this is a story co-written with PyroQueenofFire. None of us own Supernatural, nor are we making any money from this piece of fiction. It is on this site purely for your enjoyment, so that means let us know what you think! LOL. I hope you enjoy it, so without further adieu, apart from Pyro's note, we'll go on with the story.

PyroQueenOfFire: Hello, everyone! Pups and Pyro have decided to collab on something, so hopefully you will all love it like we do already. I want you guys to read, so no long note from me. =P On to the story!

Chapter one: Lonely Candle…

Wind whistled through the cracks of the old church windows. Bathed in golden artificial light stood the Pulpit in all its glory; it didn't matter to the visitors that the marble had fatigue lines or the dyed cloths were faded. It was the majestic crucifix that held people's breaths. Gothic in design, the wooden statue of Jesus in his last moments sang a dark song of agony and suffering. The head was thrown back in the midst of a scream. His mouth was open in a silent cry for mercy and carved blood drops and tears were almost realistic in their design. The body of Christ was decrepit and harsh, bony ribs jutted out, emphasizing a horridly shrunken stomach that told a story of his capture and treatment from the Roman soldiers. The leg muscles of the statue strained with the force of gravity as they tried to offer some relief from the harsh iron nails in his ankles and wrists.

Charis couldn't tear her eyes away. Was this the suffering her brother had to go through in hell everyday? She sucked in a ragged breath as the tears she had become familiar with the past few months poured down her face once more. Every evening since Sam and she had arrived in the small town she had come to find solace in the broken house of God. Her Casper, a spirit companion who had always been there in her time of need, had been visiting less and less and the feelings of loneliness and abandonment snuck upon her like black mould on a white wall. Sam was of no help, he was too busy trying to find vengeance against Lilith and drowning his own sorrows.

Their combined grief was beginning to tear them apart. The life blood that held them together as a family was gone sucked down into the dark abyss and they both struggled against the black vacuum that was left in Dean's place. So she found herself in different Homes of the Lord, spending hours and hours on harsh, uncompromising wooden pews, more often then not on her knees, praying, begging, pleading for hope, for some kind of light to guide her towards finding her place in life once more, something to define her again.

The cold seemed so much more in the church, compared to others. It seemed through her dark jeans and Dean's heavy leather jacket. Charis ducked her head down, burying her nose in the soft leather, searching for the slowly fading scent of gun powder, salt and the earthly scent that was her brother. Around her neck was his golden charm that Sam had given to him when they were children. In her mind, Dean's dying screams echoed dully like a permanent soundtrack. Someone coughed in the back pews, bringing her attention back to the present.

To her left stood the prayer candles, dark and cold apart from one shining flame. When lighting it, she hoped that it was her guiding torch and she had stood there for undefined minutes waiting for it to show her the end of her sadness, her light at the end of the tunnel. But, like every night that had passed previously, it only offered her cold, hollow comfort.

"You know, when a person comes in at night and as often as you have, they carry a weighty burden." A soft gentle voice floated into her ear from her right, drawing her out of her thoughts. Beside her sat the church's priest, an old man in an ill fitting robe.

"You should be in a warm bed with a hot drink, resting your joints," she replied softly, tucking her short pixie style hair behind her ear.

"As much as I would like to be there, I think you need me more," he offered a roguish grin, his blue eyes sparkling. Charis laughed, reminded of her brother's womanizing rejoinders. A sharp sting in her eyes warned her of more tears arriving. "Now what has got you in such a fuss?"

"I lost my brother," she replied, shocked as the words flowed easily from her, "I lost my brother and now I can't find my path. When I was a child, I prayed and prayed for a hero and they sent me him, now…" she broke off and heaved a sigh, the words that came from her were heavy, "Now he's gone and I can't find my place, I can't find my hope or faith. I had a job with him, to save lives, and now when I try, I can't find the ease that I had with him and I'm losing more than I'm winning. The cost is getting higher and higher and I…" Charis couldn't continue, couldn't find the right words. He nodded sympathetically.

"I'm not going to give you the tripe about how 'god has a plan'; Goodness knows it doesn't help anybody. But I also think you are one of the rare people who are looking for answers, rather than reassurance." His knobby hand patted her own softly. "Unfortunately I don't have the answers, only advice and reassurance. So my words are this: not everything is set in stone, give it a little time, something will pop up when you least expect it, and to have faith, God never abandons those in need."

A whisper of warm wind blew across her shoulders and settled at her side as the elderly priest patted her shoulder. Casper was back. "Thank you," she smiled. "Now how about we get you out of this drafty room and into your warm bed with a cup of tea?" The priest gave a bright grin.

"Well, if you're offering to take care of a broken down, old man this night, the kettle is in the back room and I take three sugars with a strong tea, no cream." She laughed at his blatant extortion just as her phone rang.