Title: The Haunted Schoolhouse

Author: MacGateFan

Rating: PG-13 (language, violence)

Summary: This story is based on the The Dent Haunted Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, OH. It's a haunted attraction that's rated 6th in the US and has a complete fictional history... or does it? Takes place between "Your Soul Is Anchored" and "Missing Anchor".

Disclaimers: All characters of Supernatural belong to The Man, Eric Kripke.

"She's doing what?" Dean exclaimed, glaring at his brother.

Sam sighed because he knew how much this case was going to bother Dean. "She's in Cincinnati with Micah researching the yearly kidnapping and death of children from an old schoolhouse. A schoolhouse that a local radio station has turned into a haunted house."

"You re kidding me, right?" Dean asked, momentarily forgetting the other reason he was angry. "What the hell is wrong with people?"

Despite the fact that Dean was against ever returning to Cincinnati (okay so Braxton Woods wasn't exactly in Cincinnati, but it was in a town called Amelia about 30 miles out), Sam knew he would go. Especially when the lives of children were on the line. "Hey, I get it, Dean, I do, but if you would just check out the website and you ll understand why we can t let this go on."

"No, you guys are right. We gotta get down there," Dean replied.

Two hours later the brothers arrived in Dent, a small suburb of Cincinnati. They met Sarah at the Historical Society. She was telling them what she found when a young woman with curly brown hair brought over more papers.

"Thanks, Angela," Sarah said, taking the papers. "Angela, these are my brothers Sam and Dean. Guys, this is Angela. She's been helping me research the history behind the schoolhouse."

Dean immediately turned on the charm. "It's certainly good to meet you," he said, eyes shining.

"You too," Angela said with a smirk. "Sarah, you didn't tell me what charmers your brothers were. I'd better get back to work."

Angela walked away, turning around once to wink at Dean, then headed back up the stairs. Sarah shook her head. "Dean, she's engaged."

Dean sat down and pulled up the website. "Doesn't mean I can t window shop."

Sarah shook her head with a smile. She knew her brother too. Dean was a gentleman through and through. He would never hit on a woman he knew to be spoken for. She began to summarize it for him, though. "The Dent Public Schoolhouse was first opened in 1894. The school was very successful for years and in 1942 several students who were known for 'disruption in the classrooms" mysteriously disappeared. They were last seen at the school."

"'In 1952 three more students went missing'," Dean continued. "Looks like there were some strange smells coming from the basement and the janitor, Charlie McFree, said the pipes were clogging up. The smell continued and in 1955, seven more went missing. It was determined that the smell was coming from the basement... where they found the remains of the missing students."

Sam winced. "Nice," he muttered sarcastically. "Whatever happened to McFree?"

Sarah looked up at Sam. "He was never found after an extensive two week search and eventually they closed down the school."

"So it looks like our friendly neighborhood janitor was the one who stashed those kids bodies in the basement of that school. And what the hell? Some dumb ass radio station is using the building to run a haunted attraction for Halloween! Oh sure they'll have a huge turnout but no one is ever going to leave the basement. Not if McFree's ghost has anything to say about it!"

Sarah flipped through the papers Angela brought to her. "According to this, McFree's body was never found. How the hell are we gonna gank his spirit?"

"Oh we've got bigger problems than that," Sam replied as he took over the computer Sarah had been on. "That documentary show, Haunted Ohio has plans to check out the school within the next few days. There will be people coming in and out of it like crazy!"

Dean groaned. "Of course! Lets get in touch with Micah, let him know what we found out. I"m sure he's got a lot more. Maybe he even knows where we can find McFree's remains."

Sam and Sarah exchanged glances. They both knew that Dean was not a fan of Cincinnati area or the fact that they had to bring Micah into this because of what happened the last time they were here fighting some creature they thought, at the time, had been a Wendigo. They never did figure out what it was but Sarah hadn't been attacked by that. No, she had been attacked by a more sinister creature according to Dean and that was a human male.

Despite the fact that no one blamed Dean for what happened, the older Winchester still had nightmares about it (not that he would ever admit to it) and he still didn't like the fact that Micah had known the kid who attacked Sarah. Dean just knew that if he had gone with Sarah to the cafe like he was ordered to then nothing would have happened to her.

"Lets get going then," Sarah replied as she began gathering her notes. "It's getting late and I want to make it to Micah's before dark so we can get to the schoolhouse later and scope it out."

The siblings were heading up to the main floor when they all stopped in their tracks. Angela was talking to someone very familiar. Sarah saw Dean take a step forward but she caught his hand. "Don't even think about it!"

"That's the fucking bastard who attacked you, Sarah," Dean said, not taking his eyes off the guy.

"Yeah!" She replied. "And that was years ago! I don't give a shit if Mason remembers any of us, but we're here to do a job, not for you to play some kind of martyr. Besides you're the only one who still blames yourself for what happened, Dean."

Dean said nothing as Angela turned around to see them. She smiled and pulled Mason over. "Sarah, this is my fiance Mason. Mason, this is Sarah Winchester and her brothers Sam and Dean."

If Mason did recognize them, he said nothing about it. "Good to meet you," He replied, holding out his hand to Dean. Sarah nudged him in the side and Dean reluctantly shook Mason's hand.

"Excuse me," he muttered and rushed outside.

"Sorry about that," Sam said as Mason looked after him in confusion. "My brother hates places like this because he almost feel claustrophobic. We were just helping our sister here with a term paper she's writing on the haunted schoolhouse."

Mason shook his head. "Not a problem. I think I know how he feels." He paused before glancing over at Angela, who nodded. "Look, I remember who you guys are and I just wanted to apologize for what I did. It was years ago but I still hate myself for it. Sarah, I am so embarrassed by what I did, I hope you can forgive me."

"I do, I did," she told him. "Dean is the only one still pissed about it, but he isn't even pissed at you so much as he is at himself. He thinks it's his fault that I was attacked."

"God, I know how he feels. My little sister went missing last month after she and her friends decided they were going to the schoolhouse to find the janitor. I told her not to go because I still remember going to Braxton Woods like an idiot. Now she's gone and I don't think I'm ever going to see her again! Maria is only 12 years old! I was supposed to be watching her!"

Sam nodded in understanding. "We're going to find her," he said. "I promise you that. Our family deals with this stuff all the time."

"He's right, Mason. We'll find your sister and stop this cycle from happening again." Sarah said in agreement.


Dean was leaning against the Impala when Sam and Sarah finally came out. Taking a breath, he got into the car and waited for them to get in before saying anything. "Whatever it is you're planning, I'm probably not going to like it, am I?"

"We're helping Mason find his little sister," Sarah replied, placing her hand on her brother's shoulder.

Dean turned to face her. "I'm doing this for that little girl and all those other kids who've gone missing. Not for him!"

Sarah smiled, giving him a kiss on the cheek. "I know Dean," she replied.

Ten minutes later the three arrived at the same hotel they stayed at last time, newly renovated. Micah had already reserved rooms for them. Two adjoining, one for Sarah and one for Sam and Dean. The older man opened the door when Sam knocked on it, smiling at them. "Come on in," he said, giving each Winchester a hug.

Micah had been a really good friend of John's from the Marine Corp. He became a hunter when his four year old daughter was killed by a Rawhead. "It's good to see you," Dean said.

"You all too, Dean. Thanks for coming out to help me with this one."

Sam smiled. "That's what friends are for, Micah. I don't suppose you found out where this janitor is buried?"

"I wish!" Micah replied, handing them all some of the notes he had taken as well as various newspaper clippings from The Dent Gazette. "There was a raid on the schoolhouse in 1952 but McFree was never found. He's a creepy sonuvbitch too," he added, handing them a photo.

Sarah got the chills just looking at the picture. "Nasty. Did you learn anything from his family or friends?"

"Just that he loved being a janitor and supposedly loved all the kids. He could be a little hard on some of the under achievers and mischief makers, though, which is why the police suspected him. That and because he seemed to vanish when the police tried to find him, of course," Micah told them.

Dean took a swig of the beer Micah had passed to them. "I say we check out the schoolhouse tonight before it's overrun by that haunted TV show. We do not want a repeat of Ghostfacers here."


Maria sat in the corner of the dark room. She couldn't remember whose idea it had been to come to the old schoolhouse, but she was upset with herself for agreeing to visit. She still wasn't sure if she was conscious or not, though. She had to have been there for a long time, but she lost track after the third or fourth day. When Charlie the Janitor came out and grabbed her friends one at a time.

What scared her the most was the fact that she never saw them again, or the other children who had been brought there. Charlie the Janitor just took them and every so often, maybe a day later she wasn't sure, he would come back and grab someone else. He would return with blood all over his clothes and that same sinister look in his eyes.

If she ever got out of there alive she was going to be the most behaved teenager that ever walked the Earth! She only hoped her brother wasn't getting an earful from their parents. It wasn't like it was his fault that she ran off with her friends. Tears fell down Maria's eyes as the door opened and Charlie the Janitor came towards her.

"I'm sorry, Mason," she whispered as she was pulled into the other room. The door slammed shut reverberating with a bang.


The four stood at the stairs staring at the old schoolhouse. "This place is just fucking creepy!" Dean said. "I don't know why any kid would want to come here for fun."

"I guess not knowing these things are real makes people want to believe they're braver than they really are," Micah replied as he picked the lock. Soon they were inside and the only light available was from their flashlights. "Lets head down to the boiler room since that's where the children are usually found."

Sarah didn't like the feeling she was getting from this place. It was pure evil and she could practically feel what the frightened children were feeling. It was eerie and she didn't like it one bit. Taking a deep breath, she glanced over at Sam and Dean. She could do this! She'd been hunting for years now so why did something like this make her want to scream and run out the door?

As they neared the door to the basement and inevitably the boiler room, the temperature seemed to drop almost ten degrees. Soon they were surrounded by five children. "Help us, please," they said. "Charlie is coming for us. Please! We didn't mean to! We're sorry, we just want to go home! Please!"

"We should--" But whatever Dean was going to say was cut off because suddenly a dark shadowy figure slammed into him and disappeared. Dean was no longer there either.

"What the hell?" Sam exclaimed. "Dean!"

One of the spirit children pulled on Sam's shirt and he looked down. "Was he bad in school?" the boy asked.

"I... Sometimes, I guess. Why?"

"Because when Charlie the Janitor takes someone like that it's because they were bad and he has to punish them!" one of the girls explained. "That's what happened to all of us. We were bad and he hurt us."

Sarah asked them where Dean was taken but the kids began to scream and were gone. "We need to get down to that boiler room!" she said. "If that's where those bodies were found then that has to be where Dean was taken!"

"We need to find him fast then," Micah said as he led them towards the basement. He glanced behind at Sam and Sarah, who both nodded as he opened the door. Slowly the three descended the stairs to the boiler room.


Dean's eyes snapped open and he found himself tied to a chair at a desk. He looked around but saw no sign of the McFree's ghost anywhere. "Mr. Winchester," a gravely voice said. "I see we have a troublemaker in our midst."

"What's it to you, jackass!"

McFree materialized in front of him. "That is no way to talk to an adult, young man. You need to show me some respect!"

Dean held in a cry as he was shoved back by some force and landed on the cement floor. He was dazed from the blow to his head and pain radiated under his right eye as McFree stood there and yanked Dean upright. "Why is it that all adults want children to show them respect when they don't even return the fucking favor!"

"You are a fool Dean Winchester," McFree replied as he loosened his hold on Dean. "You will go to the chalkboard and write, 'I will respect my elders' two hundred times. Is that understood?"

"Bite me!"

Again Dean went flying, this time straight into the board. "You aren't listening!" McFree said as he forced Dean to pick up the chalk. 'I will respect my elders'!"

Dean knew something felt wrong. As he glanced at the board, he realized what. He wasn't writing in chalk, he was writing in blood... his blood. He winced as McFree continued to make him write. Dean wasn't sure how long he had been at it when he began to feel woozy. Was this bastard going to fucking drain him? Is that what he did to those innocent kids?

Okay so they weren't so innocent, but that didn't meant they deserved to die. Dean was not going to let this guy win if it was the last thing he did. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes in an attempt to sever the connection McFree held onto him. It was hard because the damn spirit had been manifesting for so long.

"What are you doing, Mr. Winchester?"

Dean grunted as he opened his eyes, glaring at McFree. "I think you know, you fucking bastard!"

McFree screamed as the connection was severed, causing him to dissipate for now and Dean to drop to his knees. His head was pounding from the blood loss and the blows he took earlier. He wanted to sleep but he needed to find the others. They had to regroup because this spirit was way more powerful than they originally thought.

Dean wasn't sure how long he was out but he was awaken by a cold blast of air. Blinking his eyes open, he realized he was outside and being held up by Sam and Micah as Sarah opened the Impala door. "Sammy?"

"You okay there, Dean?" Sam asked, as Dean sat down.

"Just give me a minute."

Sarah went to the trunk to get the first aid kit. Soon she was kneeling in front of him and dabbing at the cut under his eye. "Did you piss someone off in another life dear brother?"

"Apparently Charlie the Janitor doesn't think I respect my elders."

Sam shook his head. "Of course you didn't. Not all the time anyway."

"Who did?" Glancing at his siblings Dean shrugged, knowing full well that Sam and Sarah had always been good kids in school. "Hey, I was a rebel, what can I say? I was also like 10 at the time but I learned my lesson when a social worker was called in. I was never a bad egg after that. Well not that anyone knew."

Micah gave Dean a pat on the shoulder. "Why don't we get some sleep and regroup in the morning and you can tell us what McFree did?"

"Sounds good," Dean replied."


The next morning the group sat in motel room eating doughnuts as Dean told them what happened between himself and McFree. "I think his body is somewhere in the school. If the police never found him at his home and his family didn't know where he was, that has to be it. I don't think he'd stray too far from his 'work'."

"Seems like it," Sarah replied, taking a sip of her coffee. "I also think we should talk to Mason again. He did mention that one of his sister's friends had escaped. Maybe we can talk to her."

Dean grunted but didn't say a word. Sarah glanced over at Sam and the two silently agreed that she would go nowhere near the guy. "Okay," Sam said, "so how about Dean and you go see Mason's parents?"

"I can't get out of seeing anyone from Mason's family, can I?" Dean asked.

"No!" they all replied.

Dean pouted as he grabbed the last jelly doughnut. "Fine, but you guys owe me!"

Almost an hour later Dean pulled up in front of the two story home. Sarah watched as he stared at it. "You okay?" she asked.

"Yeah," he replied, getting out of the car. He continued once they began heading up the walkway. "I'm just thinking of that little girl. I didn't see her in McFree's hell."

"We'll find her, Dean!"

Dean nodded. "I know but in what state?" She didn't have a chance to reply because someone was already opening the door. "Mr. Derringer?"

"That's me."

"I'm Agent Hagar and this is Agent Nicks we're with the FBI. We'd like to ask you a few questions about what happened to your daughter," he explained.

Mr. Derringer glanced at their badges. "We just spoke with the FBI yesterday don't you guys communicate! We're having a rough time as it is over here!"

Dean was about to speak up but Sarah did first. "Sir," she said. "We understand how difficult this is for you, but we're only trying to help. We're from DC and they called us out here to follow up as standard procedure for a minor who's been missing for more than three days."

"I... I'm sorry," Mr. Derringer finally said as he turned to see his wife behind him with a stern look on her face. "Please come in."

"It's all right, Mr. Derringer. You're only concerned about your daughter's safety and I just want you to know that we're going to do everything in our power to bring her home to you."

Sarah nodded in agreement. She only hoped that they wouldn't have to bury her when they did.

That evening they all met up in front of the schoolhouse. We'll, tried to anyway. There were vans and cars out in the front with Haunted Ohio plastered all over them. "Shit!" Micah cursed. "This just got a bit more difficult."

"Ya think?" Dean asked. He was thoughtful for a minute before continuing. "Okay, here's the deal. I'm going down to the boiler room to keep our friend busy. Sam, you and Micah will search for his body, maybe the spirit of the kids can help you. Sarah, you're going to keep our Haunted Ohio friends distracted."

Sam shook his head. "Dean, are you crazy! You can't go after him by yourself! And how the hell is she supposed to distract those guys? Something tells me that a girl screaming at them isn't going to have any affect."

"Do you have any better ideas, Sammy, cause I'd love to hear one!"

"It's all right, Sam," Sarah replied. "I think I've got an idea on how to do this. We got anymore of that goat blood left?" she asked Dean with a grin.

In all his five years as a ghost hunter, Grant Hatfield was about to hit the pinnacle of his career. His group was going to be the first official one to check out the Dent Schoolhouse. The history about this place was probably one of the saddest and most exciting.

His team had learned one important clue that seemed to escape all law enforcement and that was that good old Janitor McFree died somewhere in the building. The parents of all those children came back and did to him what he did those innocents.

Grant had just finished checking his equipment when a scream broke through the night. A young woman came stumbling from the back of the schoolhouse, blood dripping down the side of her face, which was a sickening white. Grant caught her just before she fell to the ground. "Easy there," He said, guiding her to his car. Her eyes darted back and forth as she clung onto Grant's jacket. "What's your name, honey?"

She took a breath before she responded. "S-Sarah."

"Are you all right? Can you tell me what happened?"

Looking into his eyes, she shook her head. "I don't... I was attacked, but I think I'm okay."

"I'm not too sure about that," Grant replied as he reached for his phone. "I really think I should call an ambulance. Besides whoever attacked you might still be out there."

Sarah shook her head. "You don't have to do that, I'll be fine. I'll just call my brother."

"If you're sure..."

"Any sign of them?" Sam asked, as he and Micah headed down the hall where they first encountered the children.

"Not yet." The temperature suddenly dropped and the older man restated his answer. "Nevermind, here they come."

The same boy and girl they spoke to the night before appeared. They looked a worried about something and kept looking around nervously. "He's gonna hurt your brother bad!" the girl said to Sam. "You've gotta stop him!" the boy added.

Sam nodded. "I know I have to, but to do that, you have to tell me where he's buried. Please!"

"Down in the boiler room behind the furnace. There's a secret door over there."

"We're going down there now," Sam replied. "Thanks, guys."

Micah grabbed Sam's arm. "Wait! Have you seen any other kids around here?" he asked. "There would have been three, one by the name of Maria."

The girl nodded. "I saw them! Remember, Jack!"

"Oh yeah! They're still alive, but I don't think they will be for very long. Not with Charlie."

"Don't worry, guys," Sam told them with a reassuring smile. "We'll take care of Charlie and help the other kids. Soon you'll all be safe again."

"Thank you!" the children squealed. "We'll tell the others!"

Once they were gone Sam looked over at Micah. "Feel like torching and burning a real asshole?"

"I've been waiting all day for that!" he replied with a grin. "Be careful, Sam."

"You too!"

"McFree!" Dean called. "Come out, come out wherever you are!"

He suddenly felt a yank on his arm and he saw a miniature version of Mason staring at him, eyes as wide as saucers. Her hair was a mess and there was a bluish purple bruise around her left eye. "Be quiet! Do you want him to hear you!"


She immediately let go of Dean's hand. "How do you know my name?" Maria asked warily.

"Your brother told me. I came here to find you," he replied.

Maria nodded, tears in her eyes. "Thank you! I knew Mason would send help. What's your name?"

"Dean. Is anyone else..." He trailed off.

"Alive? If they are, I haven't seen them. If not, I don't wanna see them."

Dean held her close. "It's all right, I'll keep you safe, okay? Just so you know, I gotta keep him distracted so my brother can make sure he doesn't hurt another person again. When I tell you to, you run, understand? Don't wait for me, just run!"

"O-okay, Dean."

They were just about back in the room with the chalkboard when the temperature dropped quickly. "Maria, run! Get out of here as fast as you can!" Maria needed no urging and ran back the way they had come. "It's just you and me now McFree so quite playing around and get your ass out here!"

"Mr. Winchester, I see you came back for more."

"Oh, not for more. I'm gonna kick you back to the afterlife where you belong. You won't be hurting anymore children," he replied, turning fast to make sure the spirit wasn't behind him. Of course Charlie outsmarted him and soon Dean was sailing through the air into the small desks. He sat up, shaking his head. "Is that all ya got?"

"Not by a long shot, Mr. Winchester," McFree replied, grabbing Dean by the shirt and slamming his head onto the floor. Before Dean could register what was about to happen, he felt the tip of a knife on his stomach. "You've been a naughty boy and I intend to punish you for it."

Dean attempted to move from the spirit's grasp but McFree lifted him by his shirt again, repeating the earlier action. By this time Dean was ready to pass out but he suddenly felt the pressure of the knife sinking into his stomach and his eyes widened. McFree grinned down at him and before a word was uttered, he went up in smoke and fire.

"Shit," Dean gasped out, closing his eyes at the pain he felt everywhere. He wasn't too thrilled with the fact that the knife disappeared with McFree because now he was bleeding out and he was worried an artery might have been hit.

"Dean?" he heard Micah call out. "Dean, where are you?"

He coughed, but was unable to respond as he slowly began to lose consciousness. He wasn't sure how long he was out but soon he felt pressure on his stomach and someone was crying. Opening his eyes, he saw Sarah standing over him, Micah and Sam on either side of her while the EMTs worked to stabilize him.

"Sir, can you hear me?"



"Yeah. Tired, though, and I... I feel numb."

The EMT nodded, patting his shoulder. "That's to be expected. Just relax, once we get you to the hospital everything will be fine."

"How's he doing, Doctor?" Sarah asked, nervously wringing her hands. The doctor's face was grim when he turned to face the family. He hated being the bearer of bad news. "I'm afraid not well," he replied. "Your brother has a serious concussion and there's deep swelling in his brain. We've performed surgery to relieve some of the pressure but honestly, his chances don't look good right now."

Sarah felt her knees give out and suddenly strong arms around her. Sam. She heard him talk to to the doctor some more then thanked him. When she opened her eyes, he was kneeling in front of her. "Just take a deep breath, Sarah."

"I'm sorry," she gasped out, hand flying to her mouth as she began to cry. "God, why is this happening! I had just come to terms with Dad and... and..."

Sam pulled her into a hug. "I know, but Dean will be fine, I promise!"

"You can't make that kind of promise, Sammy," she replied, shaking her head. "As much as I want to believe you..."

Sarah sat quietly in the chair as she watched Dean sleep. She couldn't believe she had almost lost him again. He really did have a guardian angel on his shoulder. She looked up when the door opened and the nurse came in. "Good morning, Sarah."

"Hey, Suzy," Sarah replied.

Suzy went over to check the monitors attached to Dean. She frowned when her back was turned to the man's sister. His vitals haven't improved in the 24 hour period since he first arrived at Good Samaritan. She wondered if the swelling hadn't gotten worse. Sarah noticed that Suzy was quiet as she jotted down notes in Dean's chart. "Is... is something wrong?" she whispered nervously.

"I'm going to recommend the doctor do another scan to just be certain," Suzy replied. "The swelling may have gone down a bit, but not by much."

"I better call Sam," she said, getting out her phone. Her hands were shaking so badly that it dropped to the floor, battery popping out and under Dean's bed. "Shit!" she cursed, dropping to the floor, but she didn't reach for the pieces, instead she began to cry.

Suzy put the chart down and knelt next to Sarah, placing her arm around her shoulders. "Just relax, honey," she said. "Your brother seems strong. He may not have improved a lot but he's doing his best. You just need to be strong for him out here. Talk to him, let him know your here."

Sarah nodded as Suzy handed her the battery. "You're right, thanks, Suzy."

An hour later Dean had been taken down for his scans so Sarah was staring out the window. She was so lost in thought that she didn't hear Sam had arrived. He had been helping Micah clean up and anonymously messing up Haunted Ohio's equipment that had registered any sort of paranormal activity.

"Sarah," he said, reaching for her hand. "Sam, I'm so scared!"

He pulled her into a hug, but did not respond. He was just a scared as she was and knew whatever he said wouldn't help the situation. They stood that way for a long time before Sarah's stomach began to rumble. They chuckled and Sam said with a grin, "Hungry?"

"Maybe just a bit. I haven't had anything this morning. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep it down, ya know?"

Sam nodded. "I know, but you gotta eat something. How about I run down to the cafeteria and get you some toast?"

"That'd be great, thanks, Sammy."

After eating the food Sam brought, Sarah left him to wait for Dean, who they learned was being brought up, but still not conscious. She needed some air and figured she'd take a walk outside. As she headed to the main entrance, Sarah realized how tired she was really feeling. It didn't have much to do with not sleeping and she knew it. It was that bone aching, familiar feeling she got before her cancer had gone into remission.

Spying the hospital directory, she looked for the oncology floor and headed to the elevator. As much as she hated admitting this was the real reason she was tired (and not staying up waiting for Dean to open his eyes), she needed to be checked out. Something just didn't feel right to her. "Um, excuse me," Sarah said. "I was wondering if I could see a doctor."

The nurse noted the paleness of her skin and how tired she looked. "Come here, honey," she said. "Have a seat and just fill out this clipboard. I know that Dr. Hawley has just finished his rounds and I'm sure he'll talk to you."

"Thank you," Sarah replied gratefully as she sat down.

She was so lost in thought that Sarah almost didn't hear someone had come up to her. "Hello, I'm Douglas Hawley, Martha said you wanted to be seen?"

"Sarah," she said, nodding. "I do and I apologize for not going through the normal channels for this, but I'm not from around here and I've just been feeling really lethargic lately. I know it doesn't have anything to do with lack of sleep because I know the difference."

"How long have you been in remission?" Dr. Hawley asked as he lead her to one of the exam rooms.

Sarah sat up on the bed. "About two years," she replied.

"Well, lets check your vitals, and we'll do a CT scan just to make sure every thing's all right. What type of cancer do you have?"

"Brain tumor."

Dr. Hawley nodded. "Do you have any family in town you want to call?"

"No," she replied, "That's okay. My brother was attacked a few nights ago so he's still recovering. I don't want to say anything to them until I know for certain what's going on."

"If that's what you want. Looks like you have a slight temperature. I'll get that CT scan setup for you now."

Sarah brushed the hair from her face. "Thank you, Dr. Hawley."

It was almost three hours later when Sarah arrived back in Dean's room. Sam was there pacing back and forth, an unreadable expression on his face. "Sammy?"

"Sarah, there you are!" he said. "I've been trying to call you for hours!"

She inwardly winced as she realized she had turned her phone off when she had the scan. A scan that had revealed the truth she already feared: the tumor had grown and Dr. Hawley's assessment gave her six months to a year. "Sorry, Sam," she replied. "I took a nap in the Impala and my battery died. Is everything all right?"

"Yeah. They were able to relieve the pressure and the doctor's optimistic about Dean waking up soon. I was just wondering where you'd gone off to. You look sick... Sarah, are you sure you're not... sick?"

"Sammy, I'm fine," Sarah reassured him. She knew now was not the time to tell her brother she only had up to a year to live. He was already worried about Dean. "Just tired is all."

For now, Sam seemed to accept that. "If you're sure. I'm gonna head down to the cafeteria. Want anything?"

"No, I'm good, thanks." As Sam left the room, Sarah sank into he chair, taking Dean's hand in hers. "Okay, Dean, you heard what the doctor said, he's optimistic. Well that's good because I know you wouldn't want a bump on the head from a crazy spirit to take you down. That just doesn't sound like the Dean Winchester I know."

Sarah felt Dean's hand tighten around hers, but it was so weak, she wasn't sure. "Dean, do that again! Better yet, open those eyes, will ya?"

Dean knew an order when he heard one. Blinking his eyes open he saw Sarah standing next to him and he was in another stupid hospital. "Sar?"

She nodded. "What happened? The last thing I remembered was getting my ass kicked by McFree."

"Don't remind me! We almost lost you twice. As it is, you've been unconscious and close to a coma for a few days now."

"Wow," Dean breathed out after a minute. "That why I'm so tired? I've been sleeping haven't I?"

Sarah chuckled. "I think the doctor will tell you that being unconscious is a bit different than actually sleeping. Besides, you also lost a lot of blood so they had to give you a transfusion."

Dean nodded, thinking back to McFree. "Did Maria get out all right? Sammy?"

"We're all fine, Dean, thanks to you. Micah took care of McFree's bones."

"And just in time too, I might add." The pair looked over at the door to see Micah and Sam standing there. "Nice to see you awake, Dean."

"Thanks, Micah. For all your help too. We couldn't have done it without you."

Micah smiled. "Well, I couldn't have done without any of you either. Your Daddy would be proud." Giving Sarah a hug and shaking Sam and Dean's hand, Micah turned to leave. "Keep in touch!"

"We will!" Sarah replied, looking back at her brothers. They were both staring at her. "What?" she asked. "Do I have something on my face or something?"

"Is everything all right, Sar?" Dean wanted to know.

She wondered if they were starting to see through her lies in regards to her health. Pasting on a fake smile, she laughed. "You guys, I'm fine! I swear! I'm going to find the doctor so we can find out when we can bust Dean out of this joint!"

"Do you believe her?" Sam asked Dean as she left the room.

"Not for a second, Sammy, but I'm sure she'll tell us when she's ready."

Sam nodded. "Yeah. We'll let her think we don't know something is going on."

"Good idea." Dean sighed, wondering if Sarah ever will tell them. He didn't want to think about the fact that he could lose her to an enemy he couldn't defeat. Taking a deep breath, Dean looked up at Sam. "We're leaving whether the doc wants me to or not."

"I figured as much," Sarah said as she came into the room. "I already talked to the doctor and while he doesn't approve at all, he's already started the paperwork. We'll be out of here within the hour."

Dean chuckled. "That's my sister right there! I don't suppose you have a change of clothes for me too." Sarah grinned, walking over to the closet and grabbing a bag. "You are so awesome!"

"I know," she replied with a laugh.